Basilis Kanonidis is the founder and CEO of Kinsta, a managed WordPress hosting provider. He has been in the web hosting industry for over 10 years and has a wealth of experience in the field. In this interview, we discuss his journey to founding Kinsta, the challenges he faced, and his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Q: What inspired you to start Kinsta?
A: I had been working in the web hosting industry for over 10 years and had seen the industry evolve from shared hosting to VPS and cloud hosting. I wanted to create a hosting solution that was tailored to the needs of WordPress users, and that would provide them with the best performance and reliability.
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting Kinsta?
A: One of the biggest challenges was finding the right technology and infrastructure to power Kinsta. We had to build our own custom stack from the ground up, which was a huge undertaking. We also had to find the right partners to help us scale our infrastructure and provide the best possible service to our customers.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: My advice would be to focus on the customer and their needs. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things, but always keep the customer in mind. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are a lot of people out there who are willing to help you succeed. Finally, don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of the learning process and can help you become a better entrepreneur.
Q1: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
I started with WordPress before it was even called WordPress!
I am not sure if there are a lot of people who remember it but back then, it was called B2. Joining the WordPress movement was easy because, at the time, it was either WP or Expression Engine. I was just finishing my Multimedia & Design Master, and I needed something to move the design to code. WordPress was the easiest solution I could find and that’s how it all started. Since then, all the projects I’m working on are on the WordPress platform; developing either custom plugins, functionality, or using things other developers have created.
Q2: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
I’m working with NinjaOutreach, and I am responsible for the front-end of the site. NinjaOutreach helps streamline influencer marketing and lead generation process with automated outreach and follow-ups. We are maximizing WordPress and pushing the limits throughout our website.
Our latest plugin, Instagram Influencers is creating virtual WordPress pages based on our Instagram API. We have also worked a lot with optimizing WordPress for speed and performance. Kinsta played a big part in this.
Q3: What challenges did you face in getting to where you are now professionally?
The main challenge is to position yourself on what you really do well. There are so many different things and with WordPress, you can actually do everything yourself and sell it. However, that does not make you grow as a professional.
There was a point where I needed to consider what I really wanted to do and that AHA moment came to me when I hit my 30’s. I decided that I want to help more people in launching their online businesses and educate them on how to build their WordPress websites quickly and easily.
Q4: Has anything surprised you while coming up in the WordPress world?
Yes. How open source and premium businesses can be combined perfectly. WordPress is 43.3% of the entire web – imagine how many people are making their living from WordPress in different ways. ?
From building a website and an eCommerce business to selling themes and plugins. That is the beauty of WordPress, but there is also the ugly space.
There are a lot of people who do not want to adapt to new things. There are firms and agencies who still run their own servers and not move their users on services like Kinsta, where they can put their head away from the hard management and focus on website optimization instead.
Q5: What does the future look like for you in the WordPress world?
Builders and blocks. Plugins like Elementor are helping a lot more users to be added into the WordPress ecosystem. A landing page can be designed and launched in a day, startups can build new pages in 2-3 hours, they can test A/B elements in as little as 30 minutes. WordPress helps take decisions and make implementations faster. WordPress is simply part of businesses growth right now.
Q6: How has Kinsta’s hosting helped your business?
We have moved to Kinsta from different WordPress hosting, with our new website. We are passionate about optimized websites (i.e. SPEED). After a few tests, it showed us that switching to Kinsta was a no-brainer. Not only that, Kinsta’s support helped us monitor our speed and the performance of our site, implement new solutions, and guided us to achieve the best results possible.
Q7: What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from your laptop?
Keeping myself in good shape. Working so many hours in front of my laptop, it takes a lot of energy and it creates bad habits. So I’ve been busy trying to create a balance between work and life – get out, exercise, meet new people, and enjoy! ?
Q8: Whom should we interview next & why?
Gerasimos, from CSSIgniter. I strongly believe that Gerasimos fully understands WordPress and where things are going. You can see that from the growth his company has had and the direction and pivots he quickly makes. He was one of the first who considered jumping on the Gutenberg project.
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- Easy setup and management in the MyKinsta dashboard
- 24/7 expert support
- The best Google Cloud Platform hardware and network, powered by Kubernetes for maximum scalability
- An enterprise-level Cloudflare integration for speed and security
- Global audience reach with up to 35 data centers and 275 PoPs worldwide
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