Since launching Managed WordPress Hosting 2.0 , we wanted to introduce you to the people who have worked on this product from the very beginning. We caught up with Frankie Jarrett, Product Development Manager for Managed WordPress. Frankie shares with us his role in the making of Managed WordPress 2.0, the "why" behind the product, and some features for more advanced developers. For him, overall, it was our users that made it possible for us to create a product that we are proud of. Big thank you to all of you who provided feedback, and especially the beta testers.
What was your role in creating this new Pro Managed WordPress hosting?
I manage the product engineering team for Managed WordPress 2.0. My biggest responsibility is removing roadblocks for our talented engineers so they can just be awesome and do their thing. I also stay closely aligned with the Product, UX and Marketing teams so our engineering priorities are solid and the user experience is constantly being improved. Having an engineering background myself, the cherry on top for me is being able to contribute to the codebase too!
Can you tell us the reason for creating this new product?
The biggest reason was listening to our customers and understanding what they loved about our existing Managed WordPress product, and where it fell short. Fortunately, we have an incredibly large customer base that isn’t shy about providing feedback, so when we go into the war room to start architecting solutions and building prototypes we have a lot of confidence that we are doing what actually matters and it will help our customers succeed in big ways.
What are some of the new features that you’re really proud of?
I’m proud that this product is secure by default. Every site comes with SSL included – there isn’t even anything to configure or turn on – it will just have SSL automatically, and all HTTP traffic will be seamlessly redirected to HTTPS. A lot of companies are now offering free SSL, but for some reason it’s always turned off by default, so once you figure out how to actually turn it on, there’s usually more configuration needed to move your legacy HTTP traffic to HTTPS. Instead of treating secure browsing like a feature, we just architected it into the product as a requirement that’s incredibly smooth. I’m very proud of the way we approached this and to be raising the bar in the Managed WordPress market.
How has GoDaddy taken into account advanced developers who are building custom solutions with WordPress?
We wanted to move away from the traditional shared hosting model to deliver a Managed WordPress product that leveraged the latest containerization tech (Kubernetes) along with the latest application tech (PHP 7 and MySQL 5.7) – with the awesome twist of being able to continue upgrading that stack in the foreseeable future without limit. Ultimately, we’re now able to give customers their own isolated environments, putting them in control instead of a shared server configuration dictating who gets what and when. This is the stuff of dreams for the Web Pro who is most concerned about their clients’ requirements, not what they can or can’t do on a shared hosting platform.
What did you learn from those who participated in the Beta programme?
Our group of beta testers amazed me with their willingness to not only try the product and give us very detailed feedback, but to keep coming back verifying the bug fixes and enhancements we were constantly adding. It goes without saying really that we could not have done it without them.