Today’s article is our second installment in our Year in Review at the MainWP blog. We had a lot of articles and several were Q&A, so I wanted to talk about those separately.
So today, we will take a look at the Q&A articles for the year 2021 at MainWP.
In the last couple of years, we have had several virtual summits in the WordPress and website space. One of those is the Web Agency Summit by Atarim.
We visited with Atarim founder Vito Peleg about the summit and some of the changes at his company including the new name.
About the name, Peleg said,
“My native language is Hebrew, so we thought it would be awesome to have a name that means something. Atarim is the Hebrew word for websites. As I started off as a web designer/agency owner, and our platform is an agency management platform, the team and I felt like the name was right as soon as it was suggested.”
Among the things he said about the summit, Peleg said,
“One thing I would like to add, though, is that the summit is, first and foremost, a celebration of the community and the industry we all love. With COVID keeping us on inside, it sucks not being able to go to live events anymore and learn together.
“We want to give the feeling of community while teaching everyone along the way how to build their agency to where they want it to be in 2021.”
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In this interview, we visit with Twitter and marketing consultant Bridget Willard.
She explains her consulting skills,
“I’m a marketing consultant who also writes and manages social media accounts, primarily for WordPress-based businesses.
“I started doing content and social media marketing back in 2009 when I was still in my office manager role at a general contractor. It seems I’m a natural, so I doubled down on my skill set.”
As for branding as herself than an agency she explained,
“I decided to brand myself because I am myself. A lot of people want to appear bigger than they are. With me, you get me. Sure, I have a few writers who ghostwrite for my clients, but my clients know that is happening. I am not interested in having a bunch of employees. My business is for my future and to bring me stability as a single woman.”
WordFest Live is a product of Big Orange Heart, an organization for supporting WordPress professionals with mental health and more.
I asked the organizers of Big Orange Heart some questions about the event.
About choosing the speakers, they explained,
“We start with a blind process where everyone on the organizing team evaluates each submission from 1-5 based only on the title and write-up (with all identifying information redacted). Once we complete that process, we look at speakers within each continent, also making sure that we have a balance of representation from all community groups. We’re really happy with the calibre of submissions each time and the diversity of speakers.”
I asked what would make the event successful, and one of the things they mentioned was,
“If even one person feels less isolated in this turbulent thing we call remote work because of WordFest Live, it will have been successful.”
I started using Newsletter Glue in 2021 so I was delighted to interview Leslie Sims, co-founder of the plugin.
Leslie has a unique personality that shines through on social media. I asked her lesley_pizza for her username on Twitter and she said,
“Haha! It’s because, like many others, I love looking at interesting domains and top-level domains. I noticed lesley.pizza was available and cheap and decided to buy it. From that point on, I tried to use lesleypizza or lesley.pizza or lesley_pizza for all my online handles. I like that it’s immediately identifiable.”
Explaining why she got started with Newsletter Glue, she said,
I was honored to interview Birgit Pauli-Haack of the Gutenberg Times. I am impressed with the depth of her knowledge, experience, and also her kindness.
On starting the Gutenberg Times she said,
“From June 2017 (WordCamp Europe) to December 2017, I was curating updates, stories tweets, and plugins via Storify and posting weekly links to updates to Twitter. By the end of 2017, I had some interesting conversations with team members of the development and design team. I received multiple requests for a newsletter.”
When I asked what she would say to developers who are hesitant to switch to Gutenberg, she said,
“It’s alright to wait. Not every project can be migrated easily to the block editor. I also want to stress you don’t have to learn ReactJS to open up your classic themes to the block editor and gradually adopt.”
Pauli-Haack goes into depth in her answers and it is worth a read.
In the fall of 2021, MainWP brought on a new Growth Marketer, Mustaasam Saleem. So, I did a Q&A intervew with Mustaasam.
When I asked him what his job entailed, he told me,
“I’m the Growth Manager at MainWP which is entitled to everything related to inbound & outbound marketing including organic, affiliate, paid channels, etc.
“Analyze competitors, responsible for effective execution of “Five Ps” of marketing, and highly focused on the customer journey which includes lead generation, onboarding, reducing churn, and reactivation based on the data.”
The publisher of WPfounders and WPdiscounts explained what a typical day looked like at MainWP,
“The day starts with a cup of ☕, saying 👋 to the team members, and planning the day to achieve business objectives.
“Since I recently joined MainWP, most of the time I’m occupied with studying competitors, the gap analysis, and how we can become the last choice of agencies, freelancers, & individuals for those, looking to manage multiple WordPress websites from a single dashboard.”
HeroPress is one of those projects in WordPress that I really love. I also love Cate and Topher DeRosia. I have developed some kind of rapport with them over the year 2021.
I just felt like a Q&A with the WordPress power couple was in store, and in the Fall of 2021, HeroPress made some significant changes that made it the right time to do the interview.
I asked Topher about the tech stack for HeroPress and he admitted it was vast including multiple websites. But, he did say,
“As for plugins, I could literally talk for hours about all the things going on behind the scenes. HeroPress.com alone has 70 plugins on it. The others have fewer, but I’m a strong believer in using good plugins for specific tasks.”
As for the mission of HeroPress, Cate explained,
“HeroPress is a place where community members can share their stories, generally as written essays, that show how people from across the globe are using WordPress to build jobs that fit the lives they want to lead. It becomes a written history of the project that encourages and inspires.”
I highly recommend you read this article, learn more about Cate and Topher and the HeroPress initiative.
Call it a creative endeavor. I got to have some fun with this article which is a work of fiction.
A chance to interview the Big Man and how he uses MainWP was the highlight of my year!
Wrapping it up
The Q&A articles that I write are among my favorite projects. I love asking interesting and penetrating questions, learning more about WordPress professionals, their projects, and how they help others.
It is as much a labor of love as it is an assignment for me.
I hope you like them too. I am looking forward to more in 2022.
Do you have a favorite Q&A this year at MainWP? Let us know in the MainWP Facebook Users group.