Editor’s note: We are excited to continue our Interview Series with WordPress experts, an ongoing series to provide our clients with the world-known specialists sharing their life experience and pieces of advice. Today we are lucky to have Dan Norris and Alex McClafferty (WP Curve founders) participate in interview for this post. It’s our great honor that they did this interview discussing what inspires them, how they got into WordPress and more. We hope you’ll like their secrets of success and get inspired. Happy reading!
1. Hello Dan! You’ve been working with WordPress for more than 6 years. Could you explain, what is it all about WordPress – it’s getting more trendy from day to day. What is the phenomena of the platform?
When I started out in 2006 / 2007 content management systems were virtually unheard of outside techies. Business owners were 100% ok with the idea that the website got built once and every time it got changed, they engaged a developer. This started to change and as that happened a whole bunch of platforms started competing for the top spot. WordPress managed to beat it’s 2 main rivals in different ways from memory. I think Moveable Type was a big competitor that went to a paid model which scared off a lot of their competitors. Their biggest open source competitor was Joomla which didn’t develop quickly enough. It was too complex to use and WordPress beat it on the basis that WordPress was much easier to use. In the beginning WordPress had very features but it was easy to use. By the end WordPress had all of the main features and was still easy to use.
2. Tell us more about your project. What is WP Curve? Where the idea came from and what does “WP Curve” exactly mean? Explain to our readers what do you do?
WP Curve empowers business owners to build their business without worrying about WordPress. You get 24 / 7 access to the world’s best developers for maintenance, support & unlimited small jobs for $69 / month. WP Stands for WordPress. Curve relates to the fact that there is a learning curve associated with WordPress and sometimes people need a bit of support. Mostly it’s just a simple, memorable name.
3. Could you specify a couple of WordPress’s benefits for business sites.
It’s free, simple and is infinitely scalable. The 3rd point is the main benefit for me. Sure business owners could use a hosted web page builder and have a site up quickly. But as their business grows accessing support, developers, themes, plugins and other things that help them grow and scale are important. WordPress is used by small businesses through to the New York Times. If you want a website that you can manage easily but can grow with you as your business grows, WordPress is a no brainer.
4. Do you have any experience with powerful WordPress projects? Do you consider WordPress to be suitable for running robust websites, for instance E-commerce?
We have quite a few clients running ecommerce sites. Again it comes down to how customized you want the site to be. If you are happy with how something like Shopify looks, feels and functions then that is always going to be a simple option. If you want full creative control of your site, then WordPress + WooCommerce is the way to go. It’s not without it’s issues because ecommerce has it’s own set of challenges (cart configuration, number of database queries, hosting setup etc). In the end though, if you have a successful ecommerce business then you should be prepared to pay a bit for support and decent hosting.
5. What piece of advice would you give those users who are currently running HTML-based sites or projects powered by other CMS, but wish to run WordPress website? Is it a good idea to migrate content to WP or should they start a new website from the scratch?
This depends on a lot of things. There are social factors, SEO factors, branding, domain names and a million other things to consider. I have a general belief in business that the right long term choice is always the best choice. If migrating to WordPress is painful in the short term but it makes sense in the long term, then I would always go with that option and put up with the short term pain.
6. Have you ever migrated website content to WordPress from other platforms by yourselves?
I have personally but as a company we don’t handle migrations. I did a big migration once for a well known iPhone gaming company (had a top 5 iPhone game at the time, very well known). They migrated from Blogger to WordPress and it was pretty seamless.
In next interview episode we bring on Alex McClafferty who discusses in depth the immense benefits and perspectives of WordPress.
1. Tell us, Alex, how long have you been working with WordPress? You are a Business Analyst, so why have you decided to tie up your life with WP?
I’ve been working with WordPress for the past year, but am by no means a technical person. I’m not really a Business Analyst – a lot of the work I did in the past was team leadership, project management and coaching, so I’m more focused on the business, rather than the technical side of WP Curve.
2. WordPress is floating around the web for quite a long time, and I think it is getting better and better. What is your vision of WordPress, let’s say in a year or two?
I’m expecting the platform to offer a very simple WYSIWYG editor, similar to WIx.
3. Is there a feature that WordPress still lacks? Which component should WP acquire in the nearest feature?
A very simple WYSIWYG editor!
4. What is the most common WordPress problem that you and your team are dealing with? Could you outline the most significant drawback of the platform that makes the majority of users stuck over when they get started or run a WP website?
Tiny tweaks to CSS and theme changes are what a lot of users get caught up on, including myself. When I found out what Dan was planning to do with WP Curve, I was instantly on board with the idea of WordPress support. The reason? I had personally spent 4 hours trying to get a header to look ‘just right’ and it looked worse than when I started.
5. Name three plugins which you suggest to activate right after the WP installation.
ConvertPress / Digg Digg / Backupbuddy
6. Let’s imagine that there is no WordPress, which platform would you choose to work with?
7. There are a lot of people who have their websites powered by other CMS platforms. Despite the fact that they don’t suit their requirements – something is still keeping them off the “Go” button, but they have thoughts of switching to WordPress. How would you recommend to encourage them to transfer to WordPress? Do you have some recommendations for them?
WordPress is the best and most customizable CMS platform, but I think it really depends on what a business owner needs. For example, if you’re a restaurant, it’s unlikely that you will be creating content on a frequent basis. That means a basic site will do the job for you.
Many thanks to both Dan Norris and Alex McClafferty for the interview!
In case you have any additional questions – feel free to leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer them all in the shortest period of time.
P.S. Left with a strong desire to switch to WordPress? Then look no further than CMS2CMS automated migration service to perform the conversion as error- and trouble-free as possible. Find more detailed information here and try your Demo Migration without any delay.
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