Alongside teaming up coaches and runners, Team RunRun also provides an online community where members can gain access to resources, knowledge, and support to help them on their running journey.
Fear and frustration
Before working with Justin, Julie and her colleagues from Team RunRun were with GoDaddy, a large hosting provider that offers very competitive prices. However, they were finding the experience unsustainable, becoming increasingly frustrated with multiple aspects of the service. In particular, they were constantly worried about their site going down due to an issue with a plugin update.
“With GoDaddy, I would literally wake up each morning, look at my phone or pull up the site and think, ‘What broke overnight?’” Julie recalls. Although she admits it didn’t happen all that often, “just having the chance of it was enough to dread each email or text from someone saying that something wasn’t working on the site.”
To make matters worse, when an issue did arise, the support they would receive was far from adequate. Julie remembers long wait times and unwanted upsells that just added insult to injury.
Meeting Justin From Watchdog Studio
Julie heard about Justin from a colleague Andrew Skurka, who recommended his services. They scheduled a meeting and Julie recalls being hesitant about investing in higher quality support. The reason that services like GoDaddy are so popular is chiefly to do with their low prices. As Julie says, “at the time, I think our monthly cost was not even $5/mo.”
However, they were aware that they were paying a high price in other ways, finally getting to the stage where they “were fairly desperate for a solution and alternative to GoDaddy.”
In the end, they “took Skurka’s word that Justin was good, so we didn’t need much convincing!” Justin quickly began the implementation process, which Julie recalls as being “easy peasy. I remember very little of it, so that’s a good thing!”
As soon as they started working with Justin, Julie and the team noticed the difference. “It was better, faster support with more WordPress knowledge and expertise.” The main issues that were troubling them were soon a thing of the past, with Julie stating that “we didn’t have to hold our breath with each update.”
This new peace of mind was the definitive sign that they had made the right decision. As Julie puts it, “knowing that eyes are on our site when updates are being made is a huge relief and a big worry off my plate.”
Results Speak For Themselves
Moving from GoDaddy to a more qualified hosting provider had a somewhat unintentional positive impact in different areas. Although Justin didn’t set out with the specific intention of improving page speed, immediately after migrating the Team RunRun website to his servers, the load time of their website improved by over 100%—going from 7 seconds down to 3.2 seconds.
When reviewing the updates already on WordPress, Justin came across a few bad ones which made their website unstable. With very little effort from Team RunRun, he was able to catch the issues, revert the updates, and let Julie know about the offending update. This proactive support meant there was no downtime, no loss of sales, and extra peace of mind for Julie.
The impact of a better functioning website was particularly noticeable as they rely heavily on their ecommerce site working at all times. As Julie points out, “If customers either can’t pull up your page to purchase something, or don’t have faith that you have a ‘real’ site for them to enter their payment info, it’s hard to win that back after you lose that initial belief that you have a legit, dependable website.”
The Ongoing Partnership
Since the initial support in site maintenance and plugin updates, the partnership has developed into making sure their web presence is secure and reliable. Justin has assisted the team with some small development tasks to help fix and change some functionality of their site, acting as an extension to their small team.
He’s constantly working to improve the infrastructure. So, when Team RunRun was experiencing some new speed optimization issues, Justin offered to switch their server configuration from NGINX to Open Light Speed to see if the change in configuration alone would help.
Beyond this, mindful of their budgetary requirements, he also offered to provide some in-depth guidance to give them the tools they need to optimize their website without outside support.
The ongoing relationship is continuing to show results and, as of early 2022, the Team RunRun homepage is down to a 1.2 second load time.
An Eye on the Future
Not having to worry about the website has allowed Team RunRun to concentrate on their main challenge—driving growth.
As Julie puts it, working with Justin has “allowed our growth without the concern that we’re going to blow a fuse in the process. It’s like wiring a house—you have your control panel with all the different circuit breakers for each line or appliance and you don’t want to overload any particular circuit. I see plugins that way on the main WordPress board, so I’m confident we won’t overload the overall control panel in our growth because someone is keeping an eye on all the circuit breakers and control panel.”
From migrating the server to updating plugins to equipping Team RunRun with technical skills, Justin’s work covers a broad number of tasks. However, when combined they become much more than the sum of their parts, allowing the team to concentrate on what they do best. In Julie’s own words, “The less I have to think about the site and its well-being, the more time, energy, and money we can spend on growing the business and keeping our current customers happy.”