Peter Nilsson is the CEO and co-founder of Kinsta, a managed WordPress hosting provider. He has been in the web hosting industry for over 15 years and has a wealth of experience in the field. In this interview, we discuss his journey to 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 15 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 was when Kinsta was born.
Q: What challenges did you face 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 platform from the ground up, which was a huge undertaking. We also had to find the right partners to help us with the development and support of our platform.
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?
My background before WordPress is a bit different from what I do today. Before I stumbled across WordPress, I worked as a construction worker and network technician.
I discovered WordPress in 2008 and quickly realized the potential of blogging and WordPress. A new world really opened up. For me, who had previously just tweaked HTML templates and used Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, discovering WordPress was really a step in the right direction.
I started by setting up a couple of blogs in Swedish, and things started to move fast. One of the blogs became one of the largest WordPress-oriented blogs in Sweden, and I really found my focus.
In 2011, I wanted to go international and sold all my Swedish blogs. I started a couple of new websites in English. Most people probably know me from my site WP Daily Themes, which I ran for five years. In 2016, WP Daily Themes were acquired. I also sold my other websites to start fresh again.
Today, I have four new blogs, but the main site is WP Newsify, and it’s really starting to take off.
Q2: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
I’m running WP Newsify full speed ahead. WP Newsify is a website with a focus on WordPress (of course). My team and I write about WordPress, themes, plugins, and tutorials.
The websites take a lot of my time, so my days are quite full, but I’m really happy to work on something I love.
When I have some free time, I do translations, mostly in the WordPress Plugin Repository but also for those who are interested in translating their plugins. Currently, I am working with the guys from WP Mayor to translate their well-known plugin WP RSS Aggregator into Swedish.
Q3: What challenges did you face in getting to where you are now professionally?
There have been many (and I mean many) challenges over the years. I have basically been working with WordPress since 2008, so I have quite a few years in the industry. One thing I know with conviction is never be afraid of failure. I have failed many times with projects, websites, and other web-related stuff. It’s tough!
In hindsight, those failures revealed themselves to be pivotal turning points. If you can get stronger from any kind of failure, you’ve actually been more victorious from the situation than you imagine!
When it comes to WordPress, I’m convinced that I encountered most of the issues that may occur in WordPress with both clients and my own websites. If you know the terrifying feeling and are nodding your head, then you know what I’m talking about.
But honestly, learn from the mistakes. Roll up your sleeves and keep working. There is no other way.
Q4: Has anything surprised you while coming up in the WordPress world?
One word: Community!
I have never been so amazed by the community and the helpfulness of the global WordPress community. So many people spread and share their knowledge about WordPress through blogs, forums, WordCamp, and meetups, all of which are awesome sources for anyone who wants learn or needs any kind of help with everything from installing a plugin to more advanced troubleshooting.
Another great thing about this wonderful community is that I’ve met so many awesome people and friends over the years from different parts of the world. It is so easy to connect nowadays via social media. No one is more than a click away.
Q5: What does the future look like for you in the WordPress world?
As far as my business and small team, I want to focus on simplifying but, at the same time, improving and optimizing some of our current processes. I simply want to become more effective without losing focus on those who hire us. And of course, I want WP Newsify to increase at all levels.
I’m also working on a new website that is still in the planning stage. It will hopefully be an asset for those who want to work with WordPress or are looking for WordPress-related jobs. It’s a new challenge, and I have a very optimistic view of the future.
Q6: What do you look for in a WordPress host?
Some things I look at when it comes to hosting is speed, performance, and reliability. Great technical and solid support means a lot. The price is also a factor to take into consideration, at least for me. I’ve had hosting platforms that charge sky-high fees with great performance but lousy support. Those relationships were short-lived.
Q7: What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from your laptop?
When I’m not stuck in front of a computer, I spend time with my family. We live in beautiful southern Sweden with amazing scenery close by. We also live a part of the year in Thailand, enjoying the nature and the lifestyle Thailand has to offer.
Because I’m an outdoor guy, I enjoy walking, running, canoeing, camping, and other nature-inspiring experiences. I love to travel the world and experience new countries and cultures. My favorite countries are definitely Australia and Thailand.
Q8: Whom should we interview next & why?
I would love to see an interview David Attard, who is an inspirational writer with a lot of in-depth articles about WordPress.
Thanks, Brian, for having me for this interview.
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