Why OhMyFoodness goes for the hosting at Savvii
Sabine Koning has been writing blogs since she was in the first year of secondary school. On a self-constructed HTML site, she posts blog posts about fashion, make-up and other girl stuff. Today, she runs one of the Netherlands’ largest food blogs, and is busy transforming her site OhMyFoodness into an interactive food hub. A place where food lovers can get new ideas, share recipes and use her webshop. All in all, a dynamic website that needs the necessary hosting power.
That blogging is more than a hobby and you can earn serious money from it, is something you don’t need to explain to people anymore. That was not the case in the Dutch food blogging scene halfway through the previous decade. However, a change was slowly taking place during that time. When the number of visitors increased, advertisers saw their chance. And those advertisers don’t pay for ads on a site that is down half the time. For Sabine, this was the moment she decided to look for a new hosting provider.
The professionalisation of food blogs
“Blogging was just a hobby for a long time,” says Sabine. “I put almost all my free time into it, but I didn’t earn any money. That wasn’t what it was about for me either. I just really enjoy blogging!” Where fashion blogs were already well found by advertisers, that was yet to come for food blogs according to Sabine. “Slowly but surely, we became more interesting. Advertisers wanted to buy banner space and small collaborations became serious business. Money was starting to come in. That also meant that certain expectations were created from the advertisers’ side.”
“In those days, I didn’t pay much for my hosting. My site was hosted for a dime by a budget host. That went well for a long time until the number of visitors increased and my blog became more popular. It has happened a few times that my website was down, and then it sometimes took several hours before it came back online. Unacceptable for advertisers who make advertising costs. It had to be more professional! Especially now that I had the chance to really make something of my blog. Time for a new hosting provider!
Currently, 350,000 unique visitors visit OhMyFoodness monthly and the site generates 1.2 million page views. “The blog has grown so much in the past five years! And that growth only seems to continue. With all those visitors, you obviously need stable hosting. Since my site has been hosted by Savvii, there has been no downtime. Only once during a server maintenance session it was offline for about 10 minutes. But that was announced well in advance and, because the update was carried out at night, it did not cause any problems. Even at peak times, like during Christmas (when up to three times as many visitors come to the site), I don’t notice any problems.”
I currently run a webshop in addition to my blog. This is now on a separate site but will soon be part of OhMyFoodness. There is also a login area that we want to develop into a place where food fans and cooking enthusiasts can exchange recipes and cooking ideas. So there are quite a few ambitions on the table. OhMyFoodness will be more than just a place where I can share my own cooking ideas and inspiration. Such an interactive platform requires the necessary hosting power. At Savvii we can easily scale up to that capacity.
“OhMyFoodness will be more than just a place where I can share my own cooking ideas and inspiration. Such an interactive platform requires the necessary hosting power. At Savvii, we can easily scale up to that capacity.”
“I keep myself busy with photography, coming up with new recipes, writing blogs and publishing cookbooks. I also like to think about what else I would like to do with OhMyFoodness. Hence the plans that are now on the table. So I’m definitely not sitting still! Because you have to make choices in what you put your time in, I love that I don’t have to worry about updates and back-ups. I am often afraid that things will go wrong if I do this myself. And if it does go wrong, then I first have to find out where my back-ups are. This takes time and energy. So I don’t want to deal with this at all. Savvii takes care of these tasks for me, so that I can continue to focus on new projects.
What tips do you give bloggers who also dream of a blogging career?
“If you take blogging seriously, then also take the technology behind your site seriously. Successful blogging is more than just writing stories. If you want to make money from it, your website needs to be in order as well. Take a good look at which hosting provider suits you best. If you are looking for extra support, choose a provider who can provide it. Choose a hosting provider who can grow along with your ambitions. Suppose your blog really takes off, will you be able to scale up to a higher plan more easily? And what about the service? Are you being helped quickly when you have questions? Test that, for example, by simply asking the support department a question. Or see whether they have a live chat and how quickly you get an answer to your questions there.”
“In any case, take hosting seriously. You shouldn’t be saving on this. Get good advice from different providers and go for the plan that best suits your current situation. If you are bringing in advertisers for the first time, make sure everything is in place. You owe it to them. It’s up to you to prove that advertising on your blog pays off. If the technology lets you down, advertisers will quickly drop out.”
- “Since my site has been hosted by Savvii, there has been no downtime. Even at peak times, such as during Christmas (when there are up to three times as many visitors to the site), I have not experienced any problems.”Sabine - Founder OhMyFoodness