"The year was exciting" is probably written in every annual review. For us, it's still true. Alone because of the growth of our team and our platform. This article is a thank you to our customers and employees. And to all those who still want to become one.
Raidboxes Grows - and becomes more diverse
The demand for our managed hosting for WordPress and WooCommerce is increasing significantly. More than 7,000 customers now trust in the leading WordPress hosting in the German-speaking region, we notice this in all areas. And with that, the team at Raidboxes is also growing to double its size.
What began in 2014 with three people as a start-up in Münster has long since grown up. We are still young, unconventional and dynamic. And that is also what we value. The cornerstones of our colourful team:
- Raidboxes is more diverse than ever: six of the 20 colleagues are female. We are still a long way from where we want to be. But for IT and WordPress, this is a very good value. Our managing directors and the team have explicitly worked towards this, although it was anything but easy.
- More customers also bring more tasks: And that despite new employees. Raidboxes copes with this mainly because we rely on the management model of the holacracy management model. This means flat hierarchies, independent work and happy faces. Because everyone can fully contribute with their individual strengths.
- Strong brand: A capital increase will help us to further expand our market position as a leading WordPress web host in the DACH region. It also makes growth in other European countries possible.
- Distributed work: In the meantime, there is not only the Münster location, but also home offices in Hamburg, Magdeburg and Freiburg via remote colleagues.
Raidboxes is one of the few companies that supports remote collaboration. Even in the WordPress scene, this is not yet a given everywhere. See our blog post on the pros & cons for employees and companies.
The eleven new faces in 2019:
- Ariane is responsible for the administration and the Happy Management
- Auke actively supports system administration
- Marcel builds up the sales together with Neele
- And another Marcel, he and his colleagues take care of the product development
- Milva and Frauke provide top support
- Me (Michael) and Annie conjure up content for marketing
- Sebastian and Jesus join the development team
Raidboxes continues to grow. Do you want to help create the best hosting platform for WordPress in the world? Then become part of the Raidboxes team now.
Sustainability @ Raidboxes
Besides growth, sustainability is our most important topic in 2019, because we want to make our positive development as planet friendly as possible. #GreenHosting has always been the at the heart of Raidboxes from the very beginning. It's not without reason that we're the first climate-positive WordPress host in the German-speaking world, probably even worldwide.
If you run a website or an online shop, you consume a lot of resources. We counteract this for you. This year, we have once again significantly increased our commitment - also thanks to our customers:
- For every WordPress website or WooCommerce shop that you host with us, we will plant a tree for you. In 2019 alone, we will donateover 29,000 trees!
- Our Christmas promotion: for every new BOX added in December, we will fund 10 trees instead of one.
- At WordCamp Europe in Berlin, all participants of the camp could make a statement at our stand and hand in a card for climate protection. Our promise there: For every vote received, we will plant an additional tree. But also for every participant. In the end, 3000 new trees were planted.
- Raidboxes uses 100 per cent hydroelectric power for hosting and the office. We are aware that not all green electricity is the same. That's why we pay attention to strict framework conditions with our energy partners.
- In addition to compensating for green hosting, we are gradually implementing a corporate philosophy that focuses on sustainability in all areas. You can find out more about this in our article Green Hosting for WordPress .
We'll continue to work on fulfilling our social responsibility. And we hope the models mentioned here will inspire others to act too.
Of course, we too ask ourselves when ecological approaches by companies are authentic: Does a sustainable internet even exist? How "green" can WordPress really be? In the text WordPress and sustainability you will find a current state of the discussion in the German-speaking WP community.
Note: Do you have an initiative or an idea on how to make WordPress more sustainable? Then feel free to contact us or let us know in the comments. We'll report on it, or maybe even sponsor your idea.
The mission of Raidboxes
What contribution can our company make to the common good? And what vision are we pursuing? Addressing this is also part of the topic of sustainability. Our team used several workshops to develop a suitable corporate vision for Raidboxes\. The results include:
- Sales - as a symbol for an economic key figure - are particularly important for investors, employees, founders and suppliers. But they also create the basis and the necessary security to be able to act sustainably.
- Our mission is primarily focused on the customer. It is to give freelancers, WP professionals and agencies more freedom when it comes to hosting. And give you time for the really relevant things.
- The article Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting shows how we support you concretely. Read in particular the sections on time savings, cost reduction and scalability.
- All Raidboxes employees can use this mission as an argument when it comes to shaping their role (see "holacracy" above).
Regular team events are also part of Raidboxes\. This helps us to think outside the box. And it brings people together. This is especially helpful for new employees.
We live the slogan "Provide more freedom" every day. A small example: We had an internal discussion about the procedure for PHP updates for WordPress. Is every customer responsible for doing them himself? And is he obliged to do so? This would definitely be the easier solution for us and our support.
Keeping our mission in mind, we finally developed a checking mechanism for PHP updates. After an auto-update, this automatically tests whether the result is identical to the baseline before the update. If not, it plays back the old version. At the same time, each customer is given the freedom to keep their old PHP version in case of problems.
We also give ourselves more freedom - and a better culture of discussion in the team. Raidboxes sponsors courses on non-violent communication (GfK) for its employees, among other things. Trainer Marianne Oshege regularly comes to our office to introduce us to the model. Through non-violent communication, we learn how to recognise conflicts among ourselves more quickly and more mindfully. And how we can resolve them better.
Our fabulous support team makes you happy every day. We regularly hear how unique our support is in chat, on the phone, at WordCamps, on social media, and on Trusted Shops. Besides our technical features for WordPress , this is what sets us apart from other web hosts.
At Trusted Shops we currently get 4.92 out of 5 stars. Jan Milva, Frauke, Jeffrey, Tino, Johannes and other colleagues will answer you within minutes. And not within hours or even days:
- In your language, at your working hours
- Out of Germany
- On several channels
- Without anonymous call center
With us you're working with real WordPress experts. I emphasize the "real" because that's not always a given on the hosting market. You can reach us daily from 8:00 t0 22:00 via live chat. Also on weekends and holidays. Our support is so well received that some people can't wait to deal with it 😉.
The Raidboxes Blog
This year, we have greatly expanded our WordPress magazine OUT OF THE BOX. High-quality blogs with a clear thematic focus are the perfect tool for attracting new customers. But also to provide existing customers with important information. This is reflected in the success figures of OUT OF THE BOX. The associated newsletter alone currently has over 3000 loyal subscribers.
In our blog, we now cover all the important topics relating to WordPress . This is ensured by our new content strategy, with which we reach our readers even more precisely. The cornerstones that have been added in 2019:
- Team of authors: We work significantly more with guest authors and expert interviews. This allows us to cover additional topics for which we do not have 100 percent expertise. Or for which there are no free capacities in the team.
- Diversity: The diversity of the content and our keywords that we cover on Google also loosens that up considerably.
- More resources: With Annie and myself, the content team has been expanded. Among other things, we can realize more contributions to WooCommerce and new e-books.
- Editorial planning: We have been using an editorial plan for some time now. Our content manager Leefke has intensified the associated process even more, for example with a fixed rotation of topics.
- Variety: In this way, we ensure that no category is neglected. And that our keywords are used according to a predefined weighting.
- Target groups: In the future we will focus more on the target groups WP agencies, freelancers and WP professionals. Among others with our new categories Agencies & Freelancers and Online Marketing.
As part of the strategy, we were able to recruit several well-known authors for the blog. For example Jan Tissler, Daniela Sprung , Torsten Landsiedel, Sven Scheuerle or Dominik Stein. This gives WordPress additional exposure and reach.
Note: Corporate blogs are also exciting for your business? You have questions about our content strategy or our experience with it? Then please use the comment section below.
In the beginning of 2020, our WordPress magazine will expand significantly, with a completely new design and more focus on our core topics. Let us surprise you and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date.
We have evaluated the most popular articles in 2019, according to the number of hits. The result is also exciting for us and in part quite surprising:
- Becoming a Digital Nomad: Our client's personal story Michael Hörnlimann was the most read by a wide margin. In it, he reports on the advantages and hurdles of location-independent working.
- Web design trends 2019: Deliberate asymmetry, illustrations, collages or "brutalism" style? Our clients want to stay up to date with their websites.
- WordPress Hosting Comparison: Who is ahead in terms of WordPress performance? And why? A much-discussed topic, even among professionals, and therefore particularly popular.
- Borlabs Cookie - GDPR for WordPress : The implementation of GDPR is still a nagging issue for WordPress admins. We demonstrated a particularly comprehensive solution with Borlabs Cookie.
- Avada-Theme for WordPress : You like it or you reject it - Avada. The article shows what the mega-seller can do. And what it can't.
- Advantages and disadvantages of WooCommerce: Our new blog series on WooCommerce got off to a successful start. Basic knowledge was particularly in demand - freelancers and agencies in the German-speaking market are only slowly getting on the bandwagon.
- Gutenberg vs. WordPress Page Builder: Gutenberg and PageBuilder are also two "hot potatoes" in the WordPress community. That explains the lively interest.
- Quick Fixes - EU VAT Reform: The changes in the EU are not only relevant for large platforms or online shops.
- Tips on the cookie banner: How do you implement cookie banners so that they actually comply with applicable law? Opinions differ on this. We bring light into the jungle.
- Curse or blessing? Page Builder: PageBuilder, the second. Pascal Prohl sheds light on Elementor , Visual Composer and Co. for you.
Contents on controversial topics are not only shared more often, they also spark a lively discussion. Just like Michael's post on Twitter:
The following texts have received the most comments (on the blog and on social media) in the last 12 months:
- Digital Nomad: The experience report from Michael Hörnlimann was also number one in the comments. Unfortunately less on the blog, but more on Twitter and Facebook.
- Borlabs Cookie: How do you set up the tool? This question generated a lot of feedback. Thanks to Ben from Borlabs, who answered this question extensively.
- Conversion killer data protection: Data protection hails our conversion tracking. But that in no way means we don't take the issue seriously. Nevertheless, the post was critically scrutinized, which is exactly what the comment function is for.
- Multilingual WordPress with WPML: WPML is powerful, but not easy to set up. That's why our founder Torben's contribution got a lot of feedback.
- Green hosting for WordPress : How sustainable can web hosting really be? Where are the limits? As pioneers in green web hosting, these questions are particularly important to us. It's nice to see our readers are just as interested as we are.
You have questions about WordPress , WordPress hosting, WooCommerce and online marketing? We are always happy to receive your comments - and will answer comprehensively.
Tip: Ideally ask questions directly in the blog posts. This way other visitors will be able to read the answer as long as the post is online. Each interesting blog comment adds value to your WordPress, and not to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Co.
The Partner Programof Raidboxes
We owe our growth to our customers, but also to our many partners. In the future, we want to invest even more in this area. And you can be part of it. The following opportunities are available:
- Become one of our FREE DEV partners and host your projects with us for free. For every new customer you will receive up to 1.500 € commission. More than 800 agencies and WP professionals are already using this opportunity.
- You run a portal yourself, are a blogger or publish on another channel? Then check out our classic partner program (affiliate) for WordPress and WooCommerce-Hosting. Here, too, you will earn commissions far above the industry average.
- We are currently looking for specific cooperation partners: We will include you in our attractive network around WordPress and WooCommerce . Among the first cooperation partners are for example the Händlerbund, Weglot or TemplateMonster.
- Content partnership: We are not only on the lookout for guest authors from the WordPress scene. We also like to exchange ideas with your blog or magazine about WordPress & WooCommerce .
Do you have questions about the individual models? Or further ideas for cooperation with us? Then feel free to contact us, or use the comment function here.
Product features and improvements
We regularly receive very good feedback on our Managed WordPress Hosting features. Do you have an idea on how we can improve? Submit suggestions for improvement at any time via the feedback forum in your Raidboxes-Dashboard. Also, check out the ideas of other users there and vote on them.
Here is a list of the most important features we have implemented in 2019. With the help of the Raidboxes community:
Until 2018, we didn't have email on offer, due to our specialisation in just. WordPress Hosting. But here too, the community has convinced us. In cooperation with our partner mailbox.org, we now offer you secure email communication from anywhere. Our mailboxes are GDPR -compliant, hosted in Germany, ad-free and climate-neutral.
Features such as encrypted mail transfer (optionally via PGP), anonymous email headers, virus and spam protection, blacklisting, redundant storage and webmail ensure that you always have full control over your mailboxes.
Raidboxes Login Protector
By far the most frequent type of attack on WordPress websites are Brute Force attacks or unauthorized login attempts. The RB Login Protector prevents these malicious attacks. It uses a known mechanism and improves it: Limit Login Attempts. So you don't need an additional Plugin anymore.
You can set exactly how many failed attempts are allowed before an IP is blocked. And how long blocked IPs should be blocked. In addition to the blocking rules, you can also define a whitelist. IP addresses on this list are not excluded.
With WPML-Multidomain you can now assign a domain to each language of your website. Via the settings, you can turn your BOXES into multidomain BOXES. This makes it even easier to implement multilingual projects:
Planning to translate your site with WPML in the future? Then check out our post Multilingual WordPress . It shows you how to use WPML to internationalize your site . And which settings are useful.
Many users wanted WordPress multisites on our Boxes. The work on the feature was complex, after all, it should be possible to set up multisites at Raidboxes effortlessly with just a few clicks - fully automated and including multisite domain mapping.
Note: The new multisite features are available in an open beta. Feel free to test them.
Advanced WordPress templates
The WordPress templates from Raidboxes are an extremely practical feature. It saves you a lot of time when managing and developing projects. Our customers can now create up to 35 templates for WordPress and WooCommerce . Previously, there was a maximum of 10.
With the templates, your favoritePlugins,Themes and favorite settings are always preconfigured and ready to use when you start a new project. Use them to clone sites , which are similar in content. For example, a template for customers from industry A, and one for industry B. This way you don't have to start over again with the configuration.
In the first version of the status overview of our BOXES you can read out the utilization of the CPU and the RAM. Soon, more information will be added, such as detailed log files. This will simplify your monitoring. In addition, you will then be able to react even better to large visitor loads.
The server-side NGINX caching of Raidboxes becomes active before WordPress takes over. This allows us to deliver your websites extremely quickly. The advantage: you no longer need a separate cachingplugin. However, you have to set up exceptions for some pages. For example WooCommerceotherwise the shopping cart may not work correctly.
From now on you can define exactly which parts of your website should be cached and which should not via the settings of your Box. For the most common use cases, we define standard defaults. They can be adjusted at any time if necessary. You can create as many rules as you like via the caching settings of your Box.
In the coming year, you can look forward to some innovations that will take even more work off your hands. And which will make your websites even more powerful. Among other things, these are:
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Due to the GDPR and WordPress 5.0 the introduction of CDN has unfortunately been postponed once again. Now it is planned for the next months. A Content Delivery Network is a network of servers strategically distributed across multiple locations worldwide.
This allows you to additionally optimize the performance of your websites: The geographical proximity of the end user to the CDN nodes reduces the latency between client and server. This is especially important if part of your target group is geographically very far away. Due to its distributed structure, a CDN also ensures optimal data throughput, even with large load peaks.
Our status overview is far from being at its limit. We are already working on new functions. For example to:
- Cache Usage
- Breakdown of your files within the WP installation
- Speed analysis of your site
- ResponseCode listing
and much more. We focus on functions that provide maximum support for the everyday work of your agency or when working on your website.
The other features are also impressive. They save you even more time and money when hosting, developing and managing your WordPress projects:
- New infrastructure: We are working behind the scenes on a new technical infrastructure. With even more speed and more flexible development environments.
- WooCommerce: Advanced features make your online store more productive. For example, on the much sought-after topic of caching for WooCommerce.
- Performance: Every millisecond counts online. We get even more out of it for you. Among other things, with server-controlled CSS/JS and automatic image minification.
- Security features: We already protect you effectively against hacker attacks. But we want to get better and better. This includes automated WordPress salts or SALT keys.
- Improvements for agencies: Collaboration between multiple employees is further optimized through more efficient team management in the dashboard.
With Raidboxes, we have created a platform that is as easy to use as possible. You can use it to flexibly create WordPress websitesand collaborate with others. As a freelancer or in an agency, the finished product can be seamlessly passed on to your clients. That was and is our mission - also for the coming year.
WordCamps 2019 and 2020
Raidboxes regularly sponsors WordCamps in Germany and Europe. This is one of our postsfor the community. WordCamps are meetings of WordPress users and WooCommerce. There are lectures, workshops, discussions and question-and-answer sessions on various topics related to the CMS. As a rule, a WordCamp lasts one to two days. It is planned and run by a volunteer organization team.
Technical topics play just as important a role as agency work or the marketing of blogs & co. The most important thing there is the shared exchange: At no other place will you find so many knowledgeable people at WordPress . You also want to network? Here are a few event tips for 2020.
This year we supported the following WordCamps financially, and in some cases also organizationally. At most of them we were present with a booth:
- WordCamp Osnabrück in March. Leefke and Johannes were part of the core organizing team. You can read their exciting insights into the community work in the Osnabrück recap.
- WordCamp Vienna in April.
- In June, the Europe-wide WordCamp Europe in Berlin brought exciting insights into the future of WordPress. The "new" editor Gutenberg will clean up with many old concepts - freelancers and agencies have to adapt to it. With over 2700 participants, the event was not only one of the largest WordCamps in Europe, but one of the largest in the world.
- WordCamp Zurich and WordCamp Nijmegen in September. Both communities - Switzerland and the Netherlands - have grown even closer to our hearts.
- In September we sponsored the Press4Word Conference in Israel as well as the WordPress Meetup-Day in Potsdam.
- Likewise the WordCamp Stuttgart and the WordCamp Düsseldorf in November. The event in Stuttgart was a pioneer in terms of "green" camp, with a sustainable and diverse agenda.
You want to meet us in person next year? So far, the following WordCamps have already been determined in which we will participate:
- Meet us in Austria at WordCamp Vienna, on February 15 and 16.
- Or in Belgium: WordCamp Antwerp/Antwerp will take place from 27 to 29 March.
- WordCamp Retreat Soltau: From April 30 to May 3, 2020. An extraordinary camp, in the middle of the countryside - WordCamp, events, leisure activities, access to the community, food and accommodation all in one.
- WordCamp Europe 2020 in Porto: Bem-vindo in Portugal! From 4 to 6 June we will be there. Network and talk shop with WordPress fans from all over the world.
We will inform you about further WordCamps here in the blog or via our newsletter. You can also meet the staff of Raidboxes at events such as CloudFest in Rust near Freiburg, the Online Marketing Rockstars Festival (OMR) in Hamburg or DMEXCO in Cologne.
Without you, our growth would not have been possible. No matter if you are a customer, partner, employee, or if you just read our blog. The team of Raidboxes wishes you a peaceful Christmas and a good start into the new year. See you around!