Team Member Profile: Mike Zyvoloski

Web-hosting-hub-about-us-mike-zyvoloskiHometown: Springfield, Virginia
Position: Business Development & Affiliate Marketing
Web Hosting Hub team member since 2011

How did you get started in the web hosting field?

I have a BS Computer Science with a minor in Network and Data Communications and have always been in the “computer world”. I spent much of my early career working with various types of servers & networking components until one day I figured out I would rather work with people instead of machines so I left that line work and got into Sales and Marketing. After a few years I decided to open a new business with my father outsourcing managed services for small businesses that couldn’t afford an in-house IT Department. Of course one of the main services is Web Hosting & Web Design. After doing that for a few years Web Hosting Hub caught my eye and decided to come work for one of the best web hosting companies in the industry! Almost 4 years later I still love coming into work every day and have the privilege of working with the best team around.

What’s your current role at Web Hosting Hub? What do you like most about it?

I have the privilege to work with all of our various partners here at Web Hosting Hub no matter how small or large. Those partners range from small website owners who join our affiliate program to help spread the word about our amazing products and services all the way to industry leaders who reach millions of people on a daily basis. No matter how small or large the partner, they all bring something unique to the table and I really enjoy working with each of them to ensure that Web Hosting Hub can offer the best hosting product suite in the market!

Coolest aspect of your job?

I love to travel and it’s even better when your company has so many places to send you! One month I may have 2 WordCamp’s and 3 Trade Shows to attend all over the country and the next month I get to visit a partner to talk about how we can offer our customers a better hosting experience. For example in January I will be attending WordCamp Phoenix, Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas, PressNomics back in Phoenix, and not to mention visiting my team in Los Angeles then planning a trip to visit some partners in Australia in February. You can’t tell me that’s not a pretty cool part of the job!

What would you like to tell us about yourself?

I’m 6’4”, a Taurus, enjoy long walks on the beach and candle lit dinners… Just playing. As you can tell I am loving my job here at Web Hosting Hub and if you have an idea on how we can work together please contact me anytime! I love to meet new people and hear new ideas!

What’s one word that would describe your personality?

Left-Handed for those 10% of you who are a southpaws you know what I am talking about!

Why You Need A Website

responsive websiteIt’s 2014 and you don’t have a website (gasp! let me catch my breath). Maybe you don’t see the full value of owning a website or the need, but I’m here to tell you why you need a website from a professional standpoint. If you’re a student, business owner, or a working professional, then you make up a majority of the adult population and you need a website. I can’t stress it enough… which I think you can tell. There is no excuse as to why you shouldn’t have a website in 2014 and I will lay them out for you. The first thing that comes to mind, is that it’s an opportunity to make money and a lot of people are making money online.

If you want to make money and you’re a business owner, it would behoove me as to why you would not invest a little bit of money and sometime into a website that has little overhead cost, but that will expose you to potential new customers. Imagine if you will, that you are an interior designer and I was looking for your services, how would I find you? By word of mouth? Sure I trust my friends and family, but I (and I’m sure you would too) would jump online and do a little research. Imagine if you were not online, then how would I ever find what my friends and family told me about you as an interior designer? If I can find something, what is it going to be..? And this brings me to the next point as to why you need a website and that is that your name is a keyword.

Whether you like it or not, your name is a keyword and what shows up from an internet search can either have a positive or a negative results for you. We all know that you need to take everything you read online with a grain of salt, but why sit by and allow other to define your story; to define your brand? Instead of allowing others to define your story or brand through review sites and social media, why not change the conversation to focus on what you want the world to be talking about? If you had a website that you optimized to show up in the search results, then I would have seen your side of the story and not just what someone said on a third party website like Yelp. We all “Google” people for whatever reasons and one reason might be that you are an employer, which brings me to the next point as to why you need a website and that is to control your story.

keywordPerhaps you are in your final year of university or maybe it’s time to take that next step in your career and you start applying to graduate schools or to potential new employers. How do you plan to get there and wouldn’t you want to influence your chances of landing that dream job or graduate program at the top school of your choice? You have probably figured out where I am going with this by now and that is that people/customers/employers will research you online and what they find will either have positive or negative consequences for you. Let’s say none of your competitors or anyone has posted anything negative about you and that you have no online foot print… what then is that saying? Having a background in research, it would say one of three things to me; (i.) either you don’t exist, (ii.) you don’t know how to use the internet or you really hate the internet and (iii.) you have cleaned house and are hiding something. Either way, these conclusions are not in your favor and more the reason as to why you need a website from a professional standpoint.

With a website you can tell the world who you are and what you are all about. You are able to help shape the story people find when they research you and that alone is enough reason as to why you need a website. Besides being able to shape, manage and/or control your public image online to potential new customers or employers, you also have the ability to monetize your website’s content. Whether you do it with: Google AdSense, various affiliate programs (we have a great one that you should check out), sponsored post or you simply wanted to learn how to start a blog, your website has the potential to make you money. So, why let other people tell your story and third party sites like Yelp or Facebook make money off it, when you can? In my professional opinion, this reason enough as to why you need a website.

Team Member Profile: Maria Abugan

Maria-Abugan-Web-Hosting-Hub-About-UsHometown: San Diego, CA
Position: Affiliate Marketing Operations 
Web Hosting Hub team member since March 2010

Last week’s blog post focused somewhat on the company culture here at Web Hosting Hub and I wanted to continue with that theme and introduce you to one of our team members, Maria Abugan. I believe it’s important that we recognize those who are behind the scenes and who help make Web Hosting Hub one of the best web hosting companies out there. At this company, it’s about the people and for the people. Finally, having great web hosting doesn’t happen without dedicated personnel.

How did you get started in the web hosting field?

Before working at Web Hosting Hub, I had worked with a few different ad agency creative departments and helped coordinate multiple web development projects. You can’t get a website online without a web host, so that’s how I was initially introduced to web hosting.

What’s your current role at Web Hosting Hub? What do you like most about it?

My current role is handling Affiliate Marketing Operations. I like the diversity of the tasks with this role. Each day is slightly different and I’m always learning something new.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?

I’d like to one day own a custom electric guitar that has a touchpad & synth built into it. I love both organic and electronic instruments, so the combination of the two would be amazing.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?

I LOVE music, it’s a big part of my life outside of the office, whether creating/playing it or going to concerts.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?

I’d say “detail-oriented.” This is why I naturally swayed toward project management, which was my initial role when I first started at Web Hosting Hub.

Halloween and Why We Have Fun

Web-Hosting-Hub-Halloween-2014
Some of the marketing team from the Los Angeles office getting into the Halloween spirit.

Here at Web Hosting Hub we like to HAVE FUN and nothing beats a costume contest on Halloween. This years costumes ranged from the creative to spooky and everything in between and you could say that this diversity mirrors the uniqueness that everyone brings to our relaxed and positive centered company culture. Halloween is a reminder of how we at Web Hosting Hub celebrate our diversity all year round, because it’s what makes us unique and great as a web hosting company. Plus, conformity is boring and does not foster an environment of innovation, inclusiveness or ‘thinking outside the box’ on complex issues.

We work in an industry that supports the free flow of information, expression, innovation and sharing of ideas and it wouldn’t make much sense if we didn’t hold  true to these values ourselves. These are just some of the things that make working at Web Hosting Hub so rewarding. In addition to the lavish costumes this year, we had our weekly company lunch and engaged in a few good hours of bowling. We do all these things, not just because it’s fun, but because building a strong company culture and team is what has helped drive our success.

Make sure to check out all the fun and creative costumes of those who took part in the Halloween spirit and costume contest this year!

Web Hosting Hub Attends WordCamp San Francisco

WordCamp San Francisco: Visiting the Birthplace of WordPress

 

WordCamp-San-Francisco-2014-Web-Hosting-Hub
What a turnout with over 900 in attendance at this years WordCamp San Francisco.

This year at Web Hosting Hub, we attended WordCamp San Francisco with our sister company InMotion Hosting.  As a hosting company, we make an effort to attend as many WordCamps as possible and  to always support WordPress and the WordPress community at large. San Francisco is the home of WordPress; a platform that now runs and manages the content of over 23 percent of the websites on the internet.  This is quite the feat for any organization and especially from it’s modest beginnings just 11 years ago and we feel like we share a very similar story with WordPress and that those with common goals need to stick together. For that reason, we are dedicated to supporting WordPress with easy use, implementation and one-click instillation on our servers and much more. What I liked about WordCamp San  Francisco, is that I believe that you have to know where you come from in order to know where you are going and this is the reason Web Hosting Hub attended once again.

WordCamp-San-Francisco-2014-SFO
Even the airport is beautiful in San Francisco and has some pretty awesome coffee and food.
WordCamp-San-Francisco-2014-Matt-Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg’s keynote speech to a sold out house and streamed live across the internet.

I made my way to San Francisco excitedly, as it’s home to my collegiate alma mater, the birth place of WordPress, and  awesomeness all around for any tech and foodie geek like myself. For example, the food and coffee at the airport was delicious and this was also the case for the food at this WordCamp. Like San Francisco, nothing was left half done and I think that speaks volumes to the growth of WordPress and why Matt Mullenweg, the Founder of WordPress said they had outgrown the conference space and that next year there would be no WordCamp San Francisco.  You heard me right, there will be no WordCamp San Francisco next year! Don’t freak out though, because it will now be a much larger global event and called WordCamp USA. For myself, this was one of the biggest reveals at this years WordCamp San Francisco.

“WordPress is like Pringles, once you start, you just can’t stop” – Matt Mullenweg

WordCamp-San-Francisco-2014-Web-Hosting-Hub-Matt-Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg learning some valuable cup stacking skills with Web Hosting Hub and InMotion Hosting.

Besides Pringles and other quotables from the keynote, it seems Matt could not stop playing our cup stacking game that  was a clear winner among the WordPress community. However, Matt was not fast enough to beat out Konstantin Kovshenin who won a pebble watch for his triumph at cup stacking with the fastest time. What does cup stacking have to do with hosting you ask? Nothing, nothing at all, we just like to have fun at our company and invite everyone else to have fun with us. In addition to the Pebble watch and our sponsorship, we gave away a Galaxy Tab 4 and our very popular 4 gig flash drive slap bracelets. These things are awesome, you can literally wear a Linux operating system on your wrist (wow, I have just totally dorked-out on you).

WordCamp-San-Francisco-2014-Web-Hosting-Hub-Swag
Some of our awesome swag this year. Just wait until next years swag!

In addition to the awesome swag and reveals about WordCamp USA next year, some 900 awesome people attended WordCamp San Francisco, including myself, Jason HongArtem Minayev and our founders Sunil Saxena and Todd Robinson. Not only did I realize once again how awesome WordPress and the community is, but I realized what a great industry I work in and how fortunate I am to work where I work and for possibly having the best bosses and leadership you could ask for from a company.

WordCamp-San-Francisco-2014-automattic
Fun times and networking at the Automattic after party.

It was also pretty awesome to go to the Autommatic after party to network with the founders of your company and to be able to meet the people you look up to in the world of WordPress. Even more awesome, was being recognized (…who, me?) The best part about it all is how friendly and real everyone is and this is why I left feeling very blessed and excited for the next WordCamp and to be a part of this company and contributing to WordPress.

 “WordPress now powers over 23% of  all websites” -Matt Mullenweg

Web Hosting Hub Furthers its Commitment to Women

Web-hosting-hub-blogging-blogher14If you’ve never heard of BlogHer before, it’s one of the most influential blogging networks for women online. They are so influential that presidential nominees in the United States have sought their approval and influence in the past two elections. Besides its political influence, BlogHer is a great resource for women both seasoned and new to blogging. BlogHer provides community, collective bargaining power, exposure and advertorial magnetization resources to its members. Founded in 2005 by Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, BlogHer has grown over the past decade to an astounding reach of more than 100 million visitors a month.  It’s fair to say that they are kind of a big deal and the crowd you want to be in with. This year, they held their tenth annual conference appropriately in Silicon Valley, where they held their first conference and started as an organization. However, this year brought over 5,000 attendees.

Web-hosting-hub-Blogher-14-best-web-hosting

I attended the BlogHer ‘14 conference on behalf of Web Hosting Hub to further our commitment to women in online media.  It also made a lot of sense, as we share many of the same values, and these values can be seen in our commitment to provide quality, reliable, affordable and socially conscious hosting. As Web Hosting Hub continues to grow, we will continue to strive to be a company that meets the needs of the mom blogger, dad blogger, citizen journalist and any blogger or small business looking to get online.  At Web Hosting Hub, we promise to make it easy and affordable without the hassle or having to compromise with the morally objectionable behaviors and marketing ploys of certain other hosting companies.   It’s values like these and our commitment to staying employee owned, valuing the family, the customer, the environment and being socially conscious that makes us different.  It’s what makes us better.  Add in our outstanding customer service and up-time, the majority of the other hosting companies fall bar behind.

paul-tardiff-blogher-ariana-huffington-guy-kawasaki-1024x776BlogHer and Web Hosting Hub share a lot of things in common and it’s why I believe companies could be doing a better job at representing women in technology.  Web Hosting Hub is one of those companies and as I said earlier, we will strive to be the number one choice in web hosting among women.  At Web Hosting Hub, we value the relationships we have with our customers and partners across the web and this is one of the reasons why we furthered our commitment to women in online media by attending BlogHer ’14. On a personal level, I wanted to get to know the attendees who make this organization so great, meet and interview some of the key speakers, and to connect with as many bloggers as possible.

Web-Hosting-Hub-Blogher-14-blogging

We sponsored bloggers to attend BlogHer ’14 on behalf of Web Hosting Hub, which was awesome, because I ended up making many friends as a result of their connections and willingness to include me as one of their own.  This is what relationships in business and life are all about.  Thanks again, Julie and Ellie.  Finally, like blogging, I believe the marketing approach needs to be soft, personable and independent of your traditional marketing tactics you would expect at a conference in order to achieve exceptional results. (Left: Julie DeNeen of FabulousBlogging.com, Ellie Petrov of CreativeGeekery.com & myself.)

Web-Hosting-Hub-Blogher-14I’m not going to share all of my marketing secrets with you, but one aspect to this “non-traditional” marketing tactic is that a concerted effort was made to find the most compelling information for our customers and the community at large.  So, I conducted interviews with Elisa Camahort Page, the Co-Founder of BlogHer, Melissa Barnes the Head of Global Brands at Twitter, Charlie Capen and Andy Herald at HowToBeADad.com, Julie DeNeen at FabulousBlogging.com, and Peg Fitzpatrick the Head of Social Media at Canva.  Each one of these interviews can be found on our blog and they are aimed at covering the most important topics bloggers will be looking for when starting their next blog or website.  We’re doing this at Web Hosting Hub because we believe in building relationships and welcome conversations between bloggers, brands and industry leaders.  This is an aspect of our social consciousness at Web Hosting Hub because we are built on transparency and thrilling the customer.

 

WordCamp Seattle Interviews

The Complete Interviews Transcribed

 

Andrew Nacin:

  • How can someone get started in contributing to WordPress?

It’s really easy to get involved in anyway number of ways. Most people think that it is just about writing codes, but it’s so much more than that…whether it’s designing, testing, writing documentation or support.   There are more people working on documentation today, than there are working on code, which is a really cool thing to see.

  • How can someone be such a code machine like you?

On some days I wish I write more code than I do.  I do a lot of code review and feedback on other people’s code. It is very much a group effort and there is a significant investment in making sure that our underlying existing architecture and API have at least in the future a more coherent vision and base to build on top of.  So a lot of people of people contribute here and there, but there needs to be people looking over the overall vision of WordPress.

  • How do you effectively manage your time working remotely?

A lot of people like to get an involved with a co-op.  I have an office at home and only use that to do work.   I try to do a routine, go on walks or walk my wife to work in the mornings.  I have even heard that some people will get up and go outside for a walk around the block and then go back inside and at the end of the day, they go back outside and walk around the block in the opposite direction and then their day is done.  Form a good routine and strategy and I only use my computer for work and at home I only work out of my office.    You need to be able to communicate on online effectively is a valuable skill and necessity, because you need to focus on how can I best get my point across best, when it is often over email and different time zones.

  • Even when you were sick for a period of time, you managed to redesign the WordPress core Trac.  Do you have any hobbies that we don’t know about?

In this case, I just had this nagging cold or something for maybe 2 weeks over the holidays.   It was one of my goals to make it easier for people to contribute code.  A lot of that has to do with molding our tools around what our processes are.  In some cases, it was modifying and improving our processes to make a lot more sense for contributors.  I ended up spending really almost a month working on our tools and processes.  In this case, improving trac and our processes there.  Built some WordPress and track plugins for it.  I was planning on working on code, so it worked out being sick.  Being sick kind of gave me the excuse to burry my head and not really deal with anything that was going on over the holidays.

I was a volunteer firefighter for some time and it was quite an intense hobby.  No longer anymore, because I know live in the city and that does not make much sense.   I am also an ice hockey referee in the DC/Maryland Metro area. I referee high school, high school and junior ice hockey in the D.C. / Maryland area and sometimes up the cost.  In general, I try not to code 24/7, because it will burn you out.

  • Where do you see yourself and WordPress in 10 years?

10 years? That’s a long time! I don’t even want to guess 10 year, but there is a lot that we can still do to make the editing, customization and writing experience better.  A lot of my work has gone into building a sustainable platform for contributors and in my case, most of my work has been on the WordPress architecture.   I don’t know where I will be in 10 years, but I can say that we are just getting started.

  • WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging platform to something that can do pretty much anything.  What is the coolest thing you have seen made with WordPress?

It’s pretty interesting, because sometimes I look at a website and I think “wow that is a WordPress Website”.  People have made these incredible websites that I can’t even begin to imagine where they would have gotten started with that.  It is very rewarding to see that the platform is being used in such creative and innovative ways.

  • Do you have any plans on implementing automatic updates for major releases or plugins?  As plugin authors can sometimes break things in their updates, how could that be avoided while still keeping current?

I do think that Plugins should be auto updated.  That said, it is a much harder problem than updating core, because of the fact that things can go wrong and it’s far more unpredictable what can go wrong.  For the moment right now, we are trying to leverage automatic updates for plugins and themes for fixing security issues in those plugins and themes.  If a plugin has a major vulnerability or minor vulnerabilities, being able to update and push out updates to those sites is incredibly important.  So when we get to major release updates for plugins or bug, how we can deal with customizations or maybe opt-ins for certain plugins, how we can deal with testing, there is a lot that needs to happen here. Saying that everything will always be updated: plugins, themes, core, translations, it will always be updated and you will not need to worry about it.  That is all but impossible, but that is a goal and it is a goal that we can continue to work for.  The same way that we made updates as simple as a one button update.  Even though it is going to be incredibly difficult along the way, there will be some wins that will make it easier for users and developers.

  • From a hosting standpoint, we love that the majority of users are all updated on new releases.  How have the automatic updates impacted WordPress users as a whole?

I think it’s been fantastic and I think users definitely feel they can trust WordPress a lot more, in the sense that they no longer need to struggle to update. That in and of itself is huge, because they don’t need to struggle to find a security update or something they might have not seen for weeks.   There is no reason why even though you want to be self-hosted, control your content and install plugins and there is no point why you should have to go through the pain of updates if the system can do that for you.  In an ideal word, WordPress would update nightly like say Google Chrome does.

  • What are some of the major improvement of WP 4.0 and what are some of the things we can expect in the near future with WP?

4.0 will have a number of really nice features I think. Working on a few things right now.  The big one is working on better localization and internationalization, because we have a huge global audience and a lot of potential to grow.  It’s a major untapped market and focusing on making it so anyone can translate any plugin or theme into any other language and anyone using that theme or plugin in that language can then leverage that translation is huge.   The real thing there, is that we want to make a seamless experience for that.  Aside from that, we are also working on finding the right plugin and this is a really tough thing to solve and 4.0 will not fix all of this.  There are more than 30 thousand plugins and many of them are quite good and it can be quite tough to find the right plugin for what you need, so there will be an installer screen, ideally that will give you more information to find the right plugin.  So, 4.0 will have a redesigned installer screen for plugins.

 


 

Paul Clark:

  • How can someone get started in contributing to WordPress?

The best place to start contributing is in the .org forums, there are plenty of ticket there that people need help on.  It’s an easy way to help the community, get a sense of what people need and any one can do it.  After that… just get on WordPress Trac or the blog.

  • You work with some of the best minds in the world on WordPress. What has been the most challenging aspect of that?

There aren’t many challenges there, it’s just really nice. The WordPress community is very welcoming and collaborative with everyone and it’s an honor to be a part of it and to be able to learn and grow with people together.

  • From your speech “How WordPress Saves Lives and Moves Governments,” you talk about the success WordPress brings to the voiceless.  Do you worry that repressive regimes might ban the use of WordPress or compromise contributors and developers in troubled regions around the world? If so, is WordPress prepared to deal with such a scenario?

WordPress is an interesting scenario, because WordPress.com is at a single address location like Twitter is and can be blocked because of that… you know, via firewalls and blacklisting.  WordPress.org is not, it can be installed on any computer, on any server, on a shared host, or say from a closet in China to bypass firewalls. So that makes it very difficult to control and for that reason, there are even WordPress plugins out there that use WordPress, its ease of us and adaptability to get around repressive governments and to basically use it as a proxy to get around firewalls and other things that a repressive regime might put up.

  • Where do you see yourself and WordPress in 10 years?

I like to say that we make solid products for people and not for computers and as long as WordPress is helping people and solving problems for people, then I would continue to do it.

  • WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging platform to something that can do pretty much anything.  What is the coolest thing you have seen made with WordPress?

My favorite story is what I talk about in my talk (How WordPress Saves Lives and Moves Governments), where there is a man who is living in a jungle and has no identity and no communication to the outside world.  He takes a photo of his people being bombed, he walks it across the border, puts it on a blog and it gets published on a news blog.  Now two governments and the United Nations came out to put a stop to then oppression.  This was in Myanmar.  The thing about WordPress that makes it cool, is not that it is all glitz and glam, it’s about the freedom to express ideas across boundaries.

  • Do you have any plans on implementing automatic updates for major releases or plugins?  As plugin authors can sometimes break things in their updates, how could that be avoided while still keeping current?

I wasn’t personally involved in the automatic update process, but I do know that the core automatic updates go through great lengths to kind of sandbox the code and make sure it doesn’t cause problems. At the same time, Core updates go through tens of thousands of users for QA before there released and even that is a very small percentage of the WordPress market.  Most .org plugin developers don’t have the resources to do quality assurance in the way that I would be confident in that.   I am also open to being surprised with what somebody could come up with.

  • What are some of the major improvement of WP 4.0 and what are some of the things we can expect in the near future with WP?

One really cool things, is the possibility of a front end editor that when you are in preview mode, the post Meta and the content area are live and editable within the themes design.  It still has some bugs and they are still working on it, but they did really good job on it and it’s a pretty good looking plugin as it is now.  It may or may not make it into 4.0.

 


 

Jennifer Bourn:

  • How can someone get started in contributing to WordPress?

When people say contributing to WordPress, people automatically think that you need to be a developer or that you have to be some ridiculous genius to contribute, because that is what everyone talks about.  What a people don’t talk about, is that you can give back to WordPress or to the community, but just getting involved with your local community WordPress meet up.   You can answer questions in the support forums or using your blog.  But sometimes the easiest is about finding your local community and just get your feet wet and then if there is a WordCamp in your area, then get involved with that.   I know that I would not be where I am at today, if it had not been for the WordPress community and our local meet ups and I think that breeds that need to pay it back and give it forward.  I just think it’s amazing that I make my living on software that others contribute to for free and why I try to give back the way I can with my local meet up in Sacramento.

 

  • How can someone be such digital marketing machine like you?

You have to love it.  I really enjoy writing and teaching and sharing and it’s always been something I liked sense I was little.  I actually wanted to be a teacher, but… I went for money and I had a Dad who stressed that I should not rely of other people and that I should be self-sufficient.  I found in my business that I was able to dig back into that love of teaching and sharing through my blog.  To be able to write, to teach and to share and to give all that knowledge, feeds that other part of me that I just like.

 

  • What is the most challenging aspect you face when building WordPress sites for clients?

Getting them to understand the difference between their theme and content.  That there content is merely what goes into that theme.    We do custom themes mostly, so when they are looking at design drafts, they get really hung up on what a specific menu item says or a picture placement when that is just a place holder things. The biggest challenge, is  really educating them on the difference between the theme files, the content files,  and then the added functionality of what plugins bring and helping them understand that and then it helps with the different phases of the project as well.  You need to learn how to communicate the value that you are bring to the table.

 

  • You have created quite a successful business providing marketing, design, and the coding needed in today’s business world.  How do you manage your time and what is the most challenging aspect of the job?  What advice would you give to future WordPress entrepreneurs?

The first part is managing time and we were lucky enough to be in business long enough to choose what we work on and who we work with.  So, I don’t answer contact forms, project inquiry forms or make sales calls unless someone specifically ask to speak to Jenifer.   Otherwise, my time best spent in design, because that is where I can have the biggest impact and the best use of my time.  We really structured that Monday to Friday from 9 to 5, its client work only.  We don’t work on our own business until after 5 pm, so it’s a lot of work being a business owner.   For advice, I would say that that if you are looking at providing services that you look for partners early on, so that you don’t get used to providing your income solely by yourself. What I wish I had done and my best piece of advice is to get resources early and always be looking out for potential partners and experts that can be there for overflow work.

  • Where do you see yourself and WordPress in 10 years?

I would like to be able to contribute more and find a more meaningful way to give back more of my time and getting involved.  Whether it’s starting a WordCamp in our area and giving back because of what WordPress has afforded us to do.   I think that if WordPress continues to have the support and growth that it has over the past few years, it will undeniably be the go-to resource for publishing online. I think it is going to just continue to grow and the core will become much simpler to use and dominate the online landscape if the support continues to be what it is today.

  • WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging platform to something that can do pretty much anything.  What is the coolest thing you have seen made with WordPress?

The coolest thing that I have seen made with WordPress is this co working space that had used it to schedule the use of the space and to give access to people to open or not open the doors.  Never would I have imagined that you could program it to do something like that.  Also, Paul Clark did a speech were he had used WordPress to power medical resources out in the jungle.   People don’t realize that it can be used for so many more things beyond it being a website CMS or a blogging platform.

  • Do you have think that WordPress is going to have automatic updates for plugins?  As plugin authors can sometimes break things in their updates and for this reason, do you think WordPress should have automatic updates for plugins?

I don’t know if they should, I think that before they can get to a point where they can have plugins, I think they need to get to a point of standardization in how they are built.  For example, we use a particular plugin that we had highly customized and do it on our client’s sites and the latest update and push out of that plugin, did not take into consideration everyone who customizes it and it broke every single one.  So, until there is a standardization to how they are created or how they are updated, they should shouldn’t do automatic updates unless there is an option to opt into the updates, because I just don’t think we are there yet.

  • From a hosting standpoint, we love that the majority of users are all updated on new releases.  How have the automatic updates impacted WordPress users as a whole?

I think as a whole, it’s a really positive push, because most people don’t update or there designer will try to teach them, but they forget.   A lot of business owners don’t really log into their sites and so as a whole the automatic updates also them to not have to learn another thing that they need to do.   This makes their sites less susceptible to hacks and functioning better, even when they are not involved with their site.   Also, I think WordPress gets blamed a lot for sites getting hacks, when it’s often not their fault, because it was the users fault.  You know, GoDaddy had that horrible hack last year when hundreds of sites went down and everyone blamed it on WordPress, when it was due to a massive outage on part of GoDaddy.

  • What are some of the major improvement of WP 4.0 and what are some of the things we can expect in the near future with WP?

My partner Brian tracks all of the new WordPress updates and the development aspect of the business, so that is his thing and I leave that to him.   So, I really don’t know, he updates me on the things that I need to know, so that I can adjust and be the best consultant possible.

WordCamp Seattle and The Future of WordPress

Web-Hosting-hub-WordCamp-Seattle-best-WordPress-hostingHaving never been to a WordCamp or Seattle before, I was excited to visit this beautiful city in the Pacific Northwest and to get a better understanding of the WordPress community. I wanted to better understand WordCamp Seattle and the future of WordPress from key WordPress
influencers like Paul Clark, Andrew Nacin and Jenifer Bourn. I didn’t want to just make assumptions, so I put on my Inspector Gadgets glasses and planned interviews with Paul Clark and Andrew Nacin, both speakers at WordCamp Seattle and important players on the core development of WordPress; while Jennifer Bourn is the perfect poster child for the power and success many people find using WordPress, with its simple and free access to managing a website and its content.

Web-Hosting-hub-WordCamp-Seattle-top-WordPress-hostingAndrew Nacin (who goes by Nacin) is one of the Lead Developers on WordPress and is your one stop source for anything and everything WordPress. If you want to know about the direction of the organization, how it works, and what to expect, then he is your guy and precisely the reason I interviewed him. Think of him as the leading authority on WordPress. Paul Clark is a WordPress core contributor, Tedx speaker, and the Director of Recruiting at 10up.com. He is viably one of the most important people involved with WordPress who was in attendance at Seattle WordCamp. Jennifer Bourn, founded and owns BournCreative.com, a comprehensive digital agency that is 100% WordPress focused. Her direct relationships, advocacy and use of WordPress in her business, makes her the perfect resource for anyone (like myself) looking to utilize, understand and find success with WordPress.

Web-Hosting-hub-WordCamp-Seattle-WordPress-hostingIt’s very easy for companies to say or guess what the next big thing is, while it’s another thing to actually investigate and present truthful and compelling insight that your customers and readers can use. You should know what’s down the road and especially with a platform like WordPress, which currently runs over twenty percent of all the websites in the world. This information is not only important for InMotion Hosting to continue being one of the best web hosting providers… but it’s important to our customers who are looking to for one of the best content management systems [CMS] like WordPress to run their blog or website.

Web-Hosting-hub-WordCamp-Seattle-WordPressWhat makes WordPress so great is the dedication of the people who contribute to it for free. Yes, I said free. It’s this freedom that has allowed anyone to help innovate WordPress and because of this, it will continue to become better and better for anyone and everyone across the world. WordPress is leveling the playing field for anyone to publish and own their content online and this would not have been possible without the dedication to contributing, which is at the core of WordPress. Don’t just take my word for it, but check out what Andrew Nacin and Jennifer Bourn had to say:

“It’s really easy to get involved in anyway number of ways. Most people think that it is just about writing codes, but it’s so much more than that…whether it’s designing, testing, writing documentation or support. There are more people working on documentation today, than there are working on code, which is a really cool thing to see.”  (Andrew Nacin)

“When people say contributing to WordPress, people automatically think that you need to be a developer or that you have to be some ridiculous genius to contribute, because that is what everyone talks about.  What people don’t talk about, is that you can give back to WordPress or to the community by just getting involved with your local WordPress community. You can answer questions in the support forums or using your blog.  But sometimes the easiest is about finding your local community and just get your feet wet and then if there is a WordCamp in your area, then get involved with that.” (Jennifer Bourn)

Jennifer also went on to say that she would not be where she is today without the support she received from the WordPress community when she was starting out, all the way til today.  For this reason, she believes that this, “breeds that need to pay it back and give it forward” and why she is motivated to give back to the WordPress community. It’s clear that this charity of contributing has made WordPress what it is today and the reason I asked the question, “Where do you see yourself and WordPress in 10 years?” and here are the responses:

“…there is a lot that we can still do to make the editing, customization and writing experience better.  A lot of my work has gone into building a sustainable platform for contributors and in my case, most of my work has been on the WordPress architecture.   I don’t know where I will be in 10 years, but I can say that we are just getting started.” (Andrew Nacin)

“I like to say that we make solid products for people and not for computers and as long as WordPress is helping people and solving problems for people, then I would continue to do it.” (Paul Clark)

“I would like to be able to contribute more and find a more meaningful way to give back more of my time and getting involved.  Whether it’s starting a WordCamp in our area and giving back because of what WordPress has afforded us to do. I think that if WordPress continues to have the support and growth that it has over the past few years, it will undeniably be the go-to resource for publishing online. I think it is going to just continue to grow and the core will become much simpler to use and dominate the online landscape if the support continues to be what it is today.” (Jenifer Bourn)

It’s clear that the support is there and with automatic updates of core making WordPress even more secure from hackers, it is only adding to its long term viability as one of the go platforms to manage you website’s content. As Andrew Nacin put it:

You should have to go through the pain of updates if the system can do that for you.  In an ideal word, WordPress would update nightly like say Google Chrome does. “

It’s truly great that WordPress has core automatic updates from a hosting standpoint, but what about automatic updates for major releases or plugins? Sometimes plugin authors can break things in their updates, causing a lot of headaches for people. With more than 30 thousand plugins, this seems like a daunting task and a possible downside Web-Hosting-hub-WordCamp-Seattle-WordPress-hosting-hostingto the continued innovation of the platform. After speaking with all three interviewees, it seems that the clear consensus is not one way or the other, rather there should and most likely will be an opt-in feature for the consumer and plugin developer in the future. As Andrew puts it, “though it is going to be incredibly difficult along the way, there will be some wins that will make it easier for users and developers.” and “we are trying to leverage automatic updates for plugins and themes for fixing security issues in those plugins and themes.”

Web-Hosting-hub-WordCamp-Seattle-best-top-WordPress-hostingI think it’s fair to say, that WordPress will continue to innovate, become simpler to use at the core, more secure and so long as people continue to support it, it will be a force to be reckoned with. The beauty of WordPress, is that not one person owns it and it is based on the values of equal access to publishing information and content. We need organizations like WordPress, which make it possible for anyone to publish online and share with the world what is happening in their lives, because the purpose of the internet is to give us all equal access to the world. As a hosting company employee and blogger myself, it is this type of ‘philanthropy of information’ that makes the  internet great and the reason we need to protect it and make sure it remains open to anyone and everyone who has a message to share. Paul Clark, in response to a question I asked him regarding his speech “How WordPress Saves Lives and Moves Governments” said that WordPress is essentially uncontrollable and that’s because:

“It can be installed on any computer, on any server, on a shared host, or say from a closet in China to bypass firewalls… it makes it very difficult to control and for that reason, there are even WordPress plugins out there that use WordPress, its ease of use and adaptability to get around repressive governments.”

This is relieving, because often times platforms and even search engines will fail to uphold the values of the internet that have made them rich in the first place. I believe that the access to information and the act of publishing should be free and accessible to all and not a minority or the highest bidder. WordCamp showed me the great possibilities the internet can provide and its power to bring people together over an idea that is worth spreading.

If you want to read the rest the interview questions, the response and bios for Paul Clark, Andrew Nacin and Jennifer Bourn from WordCamp Seattle, please click here.