Hosting by Real People & for Real People with Joel Boonstra

Joel ziplines during a staff retreat in Costa Rica
Joel zips through the jungle in Costa Rica during a team-building retreat in 2011.

Joel Boonstra joined Agathon Group nearly 12 years ago, when the company was a two-person operation. He was the first employee hire and, before long, was invited to become a partner at Agathon Group. His unrelenting commitment to client success, and dedication to quality service, have helped shaped the company into what it is today.

“Joel cares very deeply about our clients’ problems and invests himself in fixing them thoroughly,” Peter Green, CTO at Agathon Group, said.

Though his responsibilities span a variety of areas, Joel is particularly focused on web development, including database design and optimization, application programming, and front-end development. “I write a lot of code to make computers display what we want them to display.” Joel said.

He also spends time doing support, planning projects, building and maintaining internal systems, and stepping in for systems troubleshooting.

“I love when we’re able to help an AGhosted client get more out of the plan that they already have with us,” Joel said. “Sometimes this means adding or configuring a WordPress plugin that uses resources more efficiently; sometimes it means identifying and blocking someone with malicious intent.”

Joel said there’s often a nice balance between education (“did you know about this plugin?”) and technical detective work when solving a problem on a busy blog. He writes for the AGhosted blog, highlighting plugins, providing step-by-step guides, or sharing resources with our AGhosted readers.

“I enjoy the variety, partly because it keeps things interesting, and partly because it helps me stay involved in the various aspects of Agathon Group,” Boonstra said. “When I switch gears in a week from programming to writing to support to troubleshooting systems, I’m sharpening skills that let me dive in to situations where our projects and tools might need a helping hand.”

When Joel first came on board, he knew that he worked well with Alan Ritari, the CEO, and Peter Green, the CTO, and that he was interested in the work they were doing for clients. They shared what was, and continues to be, the motto for the company: Do Good. That motto influences relationships among staff, interactions with clients, and the quality of services the company offers.

Joel in France“Agathon Group is an organization with really great, really skilled people,” Joel said. “We are able to use those skills to help a client whose needs might not fit the pre-built plans offered by other companies.

“We’re often asked to help rescue a project or site, either from some accumulated technical debt or from a tricky hosting situation,” he continued, “and it’s very gratifying to be able to bring stability and better performance to a website, allowing our clients to focus on their content and their visitors, not on checking whether their site is still running.”

Joel lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys playing softball on a team with friends (many of whom are also Agathon Group staff), reading books, watching TV and movies, and playing the occasional video game.

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