Expert Speaks: In conversation with Surendra, Founder & CEO of Rigorous Web & Aarambha Themes.

Today, on ‘Expert Speaks‘, we have Surendra Founder & CEO at Rigorous Web & Aarambha Themes

Surendra has been in the WordPress industry for more than 10 years. 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, Surendra has shared his thoughts on WordPress development, how he manages his journey of excellence, and his work.

Hello Surendra, Welcome to LearnWoo! How has your journey been so far as a Founder & WordPress enthusiast? 

Hi, I am greatly honored to have been selected by LearnWoo for this interview opportunity.

I started my career as a PHP programmer and quickly recognized the increasing demand for WordPress in the web industry. I pursued this interest by working for a WordPress theme development company and later as a freelancer. Through these experiences, I gained a comprehensive understanding of WordPress customization, theme and plugin development, as well as crucial tools such as SEO, site optimization, and security. My expertise has expanded to encompass full-stack development, leading me to establish Rigorous Web, a premier digital web agency in 2014. Our team of skilled and dedicated experts strives to deliver high-quality work in a timely manner and offers a range of web services including website development, design, customization, hosting, application development, e-commerce solutions, and search engine optimization.

I have managed multiple WordPress theme stores including  Rigorous Themes, Theme404, and Aarambha Themes for several years. However, it was challenging to efficiently manage all stores, leading to the decision to sell Rigorous Themes and Theme404. Currently, we are focusing on producing highly professional themes with unique designs through Aarambha Themes and prioritize the time needed to create polished and flawless themes.

In addition, I have been working as a certified expert at Codeable for over a decade, utilizing my extensive experience and expertise to provide exceptional service to clients.

As a CEO & Founder of a company, how you are making the right decisions and making them a reality in your life? Please share your thoughts on this.

As a CEO & Founder, making the right decisions is crucial for the success of the company. I make important decisions by setting clear goals, gathering and analyzing data, involving my team, keeping an open mind, taking calculated risks, and continuously monitoring and adjusting my decisions. I also review my decisions and learn from any mistakes. My personal experience has taught me that this approach has led to successful outcomes and growth for my company. It’s important to stay flexible and disciplined, so as to make sure that you’re on the right track.

Tell us about Rigorous Web & Arambha Themes.

Rigorous Web is a full-service based digital agency that specializes in website development, design, hosting, application development, and e-commerce solutions. The company also offers SEO services. The company was founded in 2014 with the goal to provide quality work and strong abilities in all kinds of web services. We have a team of experts who are able to deliver any kind of project, known for our flexibility and ability to adapt to clients’ needs.

Aarambha Themes is a WordPress theme development company founded in 2015, specializing in creating high-quality, professional themes that are visually appealing, easy to use and customize, fully responsive, and optimized for SEO. We offer a wide range of themes for different types of websites, including business, portfolio, blog, e-commerce, and more. All themes are built with clean and valid code, making them easy to customize and maintain. In addition to creating themes, we also offer customization services to help customers make their website unique and tailor it to their needs. We are committed to providing excellent customer service, and offer free updates and support for all of its themes making it a great choice for anyone looking for high-quality professional WordPress themes.

What are some of your biggest learning experiences in running and managing a company? What motivated you to persevere?

To successfully run and manage a company, it is essential to possess strong leadership, good decision-making, and effective communication skills, as well as be able to adapt to change and handle uncertainty. 

In my personal experience, understanding and managing finances, building and leading a team, creating and executing a business strategy, and navigating legal and regulatory issues are crucial. My passion for the business, drive to succeed, and belief in the company’s mission and vision have motivated me to persevere through any challenges that may arise.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their business?

As an entrepreneur, it is important to focus on key areas for the success of your business. 

This includes: 

  • Creating a clear business plan to set goals and identify target market and strategies, 
  • Conducting market research for industry and competition insights,
  • Building a strong team with the necessary skills and expertise, 
  • Being prepared for financial challenges and being flexible and adaptable to changes in the market. 
  • Perseverance and patience are crucial in the journey of entrepreneurship, as well as seeking mentorship and advice. 
  • Protecting your business legally through trademark, patent, and copyright registration and compliance with laws and regulations. 
  • Networking and effectively marketing your business increases visibility and attracts customers. 
  • Lastly, entrepreneurs should continuously learn and stay current with industry trends to stay ahead of the competition.

What managerial and leadership routines do you follow each day?

  • My daily managerial and leadership routines include: 
  • Checking in on ongoing projects, 
  • Reviewing and prioritizing tasks for my team, 
  • Communicating with team members and clients, 
  • Staying informed about new web technologies and trends, 
  • Holding regular meetings with my team, 
  • Reviewing feedback from clients and partners, 
  • Providing guidance and mentorship, 
  • Looking for new opportunities, 
  • Monitoring team performance and fostering a positive work environment,
  • Networking and building relationships with other professionals in the industry.
  • The goal is to provide effective leadership and drive the success of the agency.

How do you set your company apart from the contemporaries in your industry?

I have differentiated my company, Rigorous Web, from my contemporaries by utilizing strategies such as specializing in a specific niche of web development, keeping up with the latest technologies, providing excellent customer service, establishing a robust online presence, promoting positive company culture, and regularly assessing and adapting to market and client needs. These tactics have assisted me in attracting clients seeking specialized services, delivering innovative solutions, building a solid reputation, expanding my reach, retaining top talent, and staying current in the industry.

Do you adhere to WordPress coding standards?

I ensure adherence to WordPress coding standards when developing WordPress themes and plugins, as well as during customization projects. This includes following guidelines for formatting, commenting, and naming conventions, as well as adhering to specific rules for writing PHP, JavaScript, and CSS code. By conforming to these standards, I ensure that the code produced is clean, readable, and maintainable, which ultimately helps to prevent compatibility and security issues.

As a WordPress expert, what rules do you follow for WordPress website development?

As an expert in WordPress development, my approach to building websites includes a set of rules and best practices. Some of the key rules and best practices that I follow are:

  • Using the latest version of WordPress and keeping it up to date
  • Using a child theme to customize a parent theme without modifying the original code, making updates seamless and keeping customizations safe.
  • Using WordPress functions and hooks to easily add custom functionality to the website, without having to write a lot of custom code.
  • Adhering to WordPress coding standards by following the guidelines for formatting, commenting, and naming conventions to ensure that the code is clean, readable, and maintainable.
  • Ensuring that the website is mobile responsive
  • Optimizing the website’s performance and usability by optimizing images, reducing code bloat, and implementing caching techniques.
  • Implementing security best practices, and staying up-to-date with the latest security vulnerabilities and patches to keep the website secure.
  • Conducting regular backups of the website to ensure that it can be easily restored in case of any issues or errors.
  • Optimizing the website’s structure, and utilizing Google Analytics and Search Console to track and analyze website traffic and search performance.

By following these rules and best practices, I can ensure that the website is high-performing, secure, and user-friendly, which ultimately leads to satisfied customers. Additionally, my approach to website development also includes providing ongoing maintenance and support to ensure that the website remains up-to-date and free of errors.

According to you, what will be/are the new marketing techniques for WordPress/WooCommerce?

In my personal view, new marketing techniques for WordPress and WooCommerce may include utilizing social media, email marketing, and influencer partnerships, as well as utilizing data and analytics to personalize and target marketing efforts, and using chatbots and AI for customer service and engagement. Additionally, using virtual and augmented reality, and implementing voice search optimization may also become popular marketing strategies for WordPress and WooCommerce websites.

What are some of the things that excite you about the development process? And what would you like to improve going forward?

As a developer, I find the process of bringing ideas to life and solving problems to be incredibly exciting. Being able to see my work materialize as a finished product is a rewarding experience. Staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and advancements in the field is also something that I find exciting.

I aim to improve efficiency in development by streamlining workflows and automating tasks. Additionally, I strive to improve my collaboration and communication skills and expand my skillset by learning new programming languages, and technologies, and enhancing my understanding of user experience and design principles.

We know it’s difficult to manage your work-life balance, so how do you unwind after a long day?

As a professional, I understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. After a long day of work, I take time to unwind and relax through activities such as listening to music, watching movies or TV shows, playing with my sons, or spending time with loved ones. I also prioritize getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercising regularly to keep my mind and body in top condition. This helps me to stay refreshed and focused, so I can perform at my best in my professional life.

What piece of advice would you give to our readers, youngsters, and graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?

Everyone has a dream of becoming an entrepreneur. I can tell you that having a solid business plan is crucial for success. Take the time to create a clear and concise business plan and validate your ideas through thorough market research. Building relationships within your industry is also incredibly important. Networking can open doors to funding and mentorship opportunities that can help you grow and succeed.

Stay informed about industry trends and maintain a positive attitude, even when facing setbacks. It’s important to remember that failure is a normal part of the entrepreneurial journey and can provide valuable lessons for growth. Embrace failure as a learning experience and use it to improve.

Finally, entrepreneurship requires a lot of passion, dedication, and a willingness to take risks. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want. This journey can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey


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