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Q&A: GoDaddy exec Jeff King and the value of a WordPress solution

GoDaddy, the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, recently announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire WordPress site management tool ManageWP.

ManageWP enables web designers and developers to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard, no matter where they are hosted. I spoke with Jeff King, SVP of Hosting at GoDaddy, to find out more about what this acquisition means for GoDaddy and ManageWP customers, what drives GoDaddy’s continued investment in WordPress, and to get his thoughts on how the online industry is shaping the SME segment.

1. Why has GoDaddy acquired ManageWP?

With customer demand and experience at the very heart of everything that we do, GoDaddy has acquired ManageWP to offer a game-changing product for Pros: the world’s best WordPress Management tools integrated seamlessly with Hosting.

GoDaddy is the leading technology provider for SMEs with over 14 million SME customers worldwide. Considering that over half of small business websites are built by professional designers or developers, this acquisition empowers PROs to manage multiple client sites efficiently via a complete set of WordPress site management tools.

2. What makes WordPress so popular for small businesses?

WordPress is a perfect union of powerful features, flexibility, versatility and security, and as a result is by far the most popular CMS and PRO tool, with more than half of all sites using WordPress. With this acquisition GoDaddy is bringing ManageWP to scale, giving millions of PROs the ability to leverage the leading tool for managing multiple WordPress sites to serve small businesses across the world.

With WordPress now more accessible to PROs and SMEs than ever before, you can setup, manage and update your company website, giving you no excuse not to keep your customers updated with your very latest product news and information, as well as extend you customer base through SEO.

3. Why is it so important that small businesses have an online presence?

Having a strong online presence is essential for any modern day business. First and foremost it will allow you to reach a greater number of potential customers than you could ever achieve through traditional marketing methods, and not just domestically, but internationally too.

Having an online presence also facilitates building your brand – it gives customers a first point of call to learn more about what you do and what you offer, so it is essential that your website is enticing to customers, informative and brings your brand’s personality to life.

4. When should a SME choose a managed WordPress solution?

WordPress offers business the opportunity to develop a dynamic, full featured website with all the personal touches you require to ultimately support the growth and development of your business exponentially.

A contact form, booking function or ecommerce store are all part of enriching the experience you offer your customers online. If you are looking for a robust and flexible platform to let you do just about anything, because it is safe to say you never know what feature you are going to need around the corner, WordPress is the right choice.

And, part of that flexibility means choosing how to work with WordPress. PROs are now able to serve customers more efficiently thanks to the ManageWP tool; enabling designers and developers to serve a greater number of small businesses. But, if you want to set-up your website yourself, the Managed WordPress option handles the hosting setup and technical management while providing your with 24/7 support.

5. What does the ManageWP acquisition mean for GoDaddy and its product portfolio?

This acquisition affirms GoDaddy as the #1 destination for Managed WordPress worldwide and gives its PRO customers best-in-class tools for managing and maintaining WordPress sites.

Additionally, GoDaddy is very customer focused and committed to supporting its base of designers and developers and the wider community. In recognising that these customers may work with a selection of different hosting companies GoDaddy will continue to support PROs and existing relationships that ManageWP has.

6. This acquisition adds software engineering expertise. How else do you plan to use the resource?

50-60 per cent of SMB sites are built by professionals, so as the number 1 provider for SMBs, GoDaddy is focused on developing more efficient ways for PROs to manage multiple client sites, save time, save money and make their lives easier. In addition to making ManageWP’s product available as part of GoDaddy Pro, GoDaddy will continue investing in making ManageWP even better and provide an integrated solution with hosting, domains, ssl, backups and more.

7. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the hosting industry over the next few years?

As more and more business look to build a strong online presence, it is becoming increasingly important for hosting platforms to offer products that incorporate all the functionalities required to build an enticing and effective website and remain simple to use, efficient and cost-effective.

Image Credit: David M G / Shutterstock

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.