In a market where speed and time act as the gatekeepers of success, SMBs and enterprise-level entities alike have to give it their all to stay on top. Back in the day, when the internet was a privilege and smartphones a dream, digital marketing was a lot less competitive. But with time, the tides have turned, and nowadays, with more than 5 billion active smartphone users roaming the digital sphere, companies have to adapt.
According to a study, more than 40% of users abandon a website if the load time exceeds 3 seconds, paving the way for managed web hosting service providers to take the stage. These agencies are responsible for developing, maintaining, and optimizing websites that help brands and businesses increase conversions by reducing bounce rates.
We sat down with Michael Borgelt, the founder of BionicWP, a managed WordPress hosting provider, to discuss what the future holds for this budding niche and how his approach to managed web hosting was pivotal in revolutionizing website optimization in the long run. Here’s an excerpt from his interview…
Tell us a bit about your background. Aside from BionicWP, you also founded 51Blocks. Can you explain what that’s about?
Michael Borgelt: I was born and raised in Hastings, Minnesota and graduated from St. Thomas University with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Business Marketing. My first job out of college was as a database administrator and a classic ASP programmer. After a while, I moved over to the marketing department, where I was first introduced to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I also have a background as a basketball officiant, but that’s a different story.
So when I retired from officiating, I started my own SEO agency by the name of 51Blocks. It started as a direct-to-consumer agency, but we went through a major overhaul shortly afterwards and switched to white-label services.
51Blocks acted as your primary venture for a while, so what made you switch to web hosting with BionicWP?
Michael Borgelt: That’s true, BionicWP isn’t as old as 51Blocks – it was only founded in 2021 – but the main inspiration behind BionicWP is kind of ironic because I needed a hosting service for 51Blocks, and after combing through hundreds of agencies, I just couldn’t find the right one. And I suppose it wouldn’t be wrong to say that BionicWP was created to support 51Blocks.
You searched for a suitable hosting partner and couldn’t find one, so what does BionicWP offer that others don’t? What makes BionicWP unique?
Michael Borgelt: With BionicWP, I already had a clear set of rules: Do everything the others aren’t doing. Since we’re a hosting platform, we obviously have to look out for any bugs or errors that can affect a site’s performance or long-term ranking. Apart from that, we believe in manually updating the code, theme, plugins, and basically, everything that makes a site functional. From what I’ve found, most other companies just put it on auto-update. We also offer unlimited edits and load speed optimization free of charge.
You don’t have a background in entrepreneurship, so how has your experience been so far?
Michael Borgelt: Well, it’s been a roller coaster ride, that’s for sure. I had zero experience in sales and business scaling, and I was just as lost as any other person flung into entrepreneurship. Let me tell you something, it is not as easy as everyone spells it out to be – I mean, I had mental breakdowns on the job! So it’s been tough, but the results have definitely made every second worth it.
What’s the future of BionicWP? You’ve already accomplished so much, so where do you want to go next?Michael Borgelt: I’m pleased with how 2022 turned out for BionicWP, and I want to expand on that front. I want BionicWP to be the first thing that pops into people’s minds when they think of managed hosting providers. I want to grow my team and learn as I go because I know I still have a lot to learn, but I mainly want to help more people build brands and businesses and just watch as things unfold.