Q#1: What is your background, what should our readers know about you?
Hi, I’m Akshat Choudhary, founder of BlogVault, Migrate Guru, and MalCare. We provide backup, migration, and security services to WordPress sites.
I started BlogVault as a side project almost 8 years back. A computer engineer by education, I love building products that solve real problems for real people. I’ve been building system and products since 2005 and have filed 19 patents.
In my free time, I love traveling and reading biographies.
Q#2: What’s your main activity within WordPress today?
BlogVault is the most reliable website backup service which provides the safest and the best way to backup a blog.
MalCare, our newest product is an easy-to-use WordPress website security solution. It accurately scans a WordPress site for hacks and also cleans it with a click of a button, all without putting any load on your website.
MalCare and BlogVault are freemium products. But Migrate Guru is a completely free one-click WordPress Migration plugin which is our biggest contribution to the community yet.
Q#3: Why did you choose a SaaS (subscription service) model? Did you change your model from your beginnings? and if so, why?
While there are plugin based backup systems, we feel that backups and security are both best done as a service (SaaS). Backups need to be completely independent of the source site. Further, given the critical nature of the data, it needs to be extremely reliable as failure is not an option. This is only possible when offered as a SaaS.
Q#4: What’s the key metric you’re closely watching on a daily basis?
We keep a close eye on the success rates of our backups. We work really hard to ensure that every backup succeeds. For our security product, the metric is more complex. We are looking at the accuracy of scans. We try to find every malware but at the same time, we do not want to create false alarms. Treading this thin line is very difficult.
Q#5: How do you handle support? And how important is it to you?
We provide personalized support for all our customers. We strongly believe that all customers should be treated equally well. Customer support is the best way to understand how your customers use your products. It lets us discover the bugs, new potential features, and even products.
As product owners, we want our product to be perfect and never have any issues. But the wide usage of WordPress ensures that there are new things being discovered regularly. Our developers are involved and look into every customer support issue which not only gives them exposure on customer’s mindset but also helps them in building future features as they now have a much better understanding of how the customers think. This also ensures that we rarely give answers such as “Restart windows/close your browser or clear your cookies” 🙂
Q#6: What will be the next big moves for you within the WordPress ecosystem?
We are heavily focused on our new security service, MalCare. We have had a great start with a superb sold-out campaign on AppSumo which has doubled our belief in the product and technology. We think that there is a great potential in the technology we have built.
Q#7: What’s your favorite SaaS reference?
I love the content created by Jason Lemkin in SaaStr. Also, love this one talk by Gail Goodman. Every SaaS person should watch it.
Q#8: What was your toughest challenge in your entrepreneurial journey?
I have been extremely lucky. The tough parts really have been to deal with the fact that we have been very lucky and the doubt it creates around controlling our own destiny.
Q#9: Whom should we interview next & why?
I think Robert Abela of WP Security Audit Log would be a great candidate to talk to.