Last updated - May 9, 2023
Marius has been in the WordPress industry for more than 10 + years. He has completed 1450+ WordPress projects for small to mid-sized businesses and startups. We are indeed thankful to Surendra that he made time for answering our questions even in the midst of managing so many projects together.
In this conversation with us, Marius has shared his thoughts on WordPress development, how he manages his journey of excellence, and his work.
Hello Marius, it’s great to have you on LearnWoo! We appreciate your presence here today. Can you tell us about your background and how you came to start WP Riders?
I started as a freelancer back in 2014 and that solopreneur activity has later evolved into an agency called WPRiders. 8 years fast forward, we have made it our mission to offer top-notch services to our clients, including names like Panasonic, Versace, Bitdefender, and Cloudways. Our commitment is to deliver reliable WordPress development on a retainer, and we focus on building successful relationships with our clients.
Capitalizing on the agency experience, three years ago we launched Subscription Force WooCommerce plugin. This is the only full-featured extension to the WooCommerce Subscriptions Plugin that increases recurring revenue exponentially and efficiently by keeping customers happy and active.
What makes WPRiders unique compared to other WordPress development agencies?
First, our focus is on being dependable, reliable. And to achieve these we harness a mix of culture, people, and processes.
Next, with more than 1450 WordPress projects delivered, including websites, digital products, and custom plugins for the biggest brands and coolest startups, our team knows what works and what doesn’t.
What led you to pursue a career in programming and web development, and who were your inspirations? Additionally, could you share with us the resources you relied on for learning and development in these fields?
I think programming was love, at first sight, 🙂It seems like I was wired for it. Through the years I got many “little angels”, i.e. people who helped me, or sometimes “kicked my butt” but also inspired me to progress.
In terms of resources, I love reading and listening to books, but also practicing myself. Experiential learning is probably one of the most powerful ways to learn a new skill and by this, I mean, set a small goal for yourself, like building a website, a chat app, or a plugin, and then work hard on it to accomplish that.
What are some of the most important skills that you think are necessary for a successful WordPress and web development career?
In my opinion, you need to be able to communicate very well; to know to listen to the other party, empathically reflect back what you heard, understand their needs, set their expectations and then only to come up with solutions and suggestions.
Next, you need to be a good software architect: understand very well databases, performance and scalability, algorithms, and software design.
And lastly, you need to be an excellent coder.
What are some of the most common challenges you encounter when developing WordPress websites, and how do you overcome them?
When it comes to design, the tricky part, in my opinion, is getting it right 🙂because design is very emotional.
When it comes to coding, common challenges in WordPress website development include performance issues, security vulnerabilities, and plugin compatibility issues. To overcome these, we use optimization techniques, implement security best practices, carefully research and test themes and plugins, follow UX design principles, and ensure easy content management for clients.
How do you ensure that the websites you develop are secure and protected from potential threats?
Our team relies on code reviews, best practices as well as security scanners in order to alleviate potential threats.
Upon reviewing your LinkedIn profile, we found that you completed a Ph.D. in Economic Informatics. Could you elaborate on this field of study and explain how your education has influenced your business pursuits?
The Ph.D. has helped WPRiders in two key ways: project management and public relations. We gained strong data analysis and modeling skills that allowed us to estimate project costs and timelines more accurately and identify potential risks and opportunities. Additionally, the Ph.D. research has given us a deep understanding of economic issues, which has allowed us to provide more informed and strategic advice to clients and position ourselves as thought leaders. Our education has also given us credibility and expertise in our field, making it easier to build relationships and communicate with stakeholders.
How do you approach client communication and ensure that their needs and expectations are met during a project?
At WPRiders, we prioritize clear and effective communication with our clients to ensure that their needs and expectations are met during a project. Our entire team is fluent in English, which enables us to understand customer requests and provide expert advice in a timely and efficient manner.
WPRider’s approach to communication is rooted in our company’s value of honesty, which means treating others as we would like to be treated. We believe that this value is essential to building a strong and lasting relationship with our clients.
For mission-critical tasks, we provide real-time communication to ensure that our clients have the information they need to make informed decisions. In addition, we provide regular status reports every three days and weekly meetings for all projects to keep our clients up-to-date on our progress and address any questions or concerns they may have. We believe that this level of transparency and collaboration is essential to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Ultimately, our commitment to honesty, combined with our expertise and technical capabilities, enables us to deliver high-quality solutions that help our clients achieve their business goals.
How does WPRiders give back to the WordPress community?
WPRiders has been sponsoring, while me personally I was the event host at the Bucharest WordPress meetup for 5 years and more than 60 events. The meetup has grown to more than 1000 members! More on how to organize and grow a WordPress meetup here.
Recently we have finished the first edition of a 3-month long free WordPress learning course called WPRiders Academy. This was a live course with one on one feedback and mentoring for each individual student.
Besides that, from time to time our team provides voluntary support on the WooCommerce forum to those in need.
Can you share some of the most interesting or unique projects that WPRiders has worked on?
We are really proud of the Panasonic website for the Czech Republic. Then, working on the Breeze plugin for Cloudways has been an incredible journey. Lastly, the Bitdefender support website has been a pleasure to work on because we were able to significantly reduce their support costs. More on this in this Clutch review.
Can you describe a typical day in your work routine and what projects are you actively involved in?
The day usually starts with me checking what action objectives I set for that specific day as well as what meetings are there scheduled. Then, based on that, I define my top 3 priorities for that day and I block time in the agenda to work on each of those 3 priorities.
These days I usually focus on 1-2 OKRs per quarter which are in general related to company growth, relationship building, and marketing.
What suggestions would you offer to young readers, graduates, and aspiring entrepreneurs?
To young readers, I’d suggest you read:
1. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life because it’ll help you a lot with communication
2. The Law of Success: 16 Secrets to Unlock Wealth and Happiness because it’ll teach you good life habits
3. How to Win Friends & Influence People because it’ll eventually help you focus less on yourself and more on what people around you want and need.
To graduates, I’d recommend you really think through what are the items you love doing; what are the items people love you do; and what items you are eventually good at. Find the intersection between the three and, as the Chinese say, you’ll not have to work for the rest of your whole life because work will be pure pleasure for you. I also encourage you to get mentors. One is good, but 2 or 3, each for specific areas of your life is even better.
To aspiring entrepreneurs, I’d suggest you focus on one thing with your company and do it very very well so customers love that and keep coming back. You have to be known for something, or otherwise, you’ll be known for nothing.