Q: What inspired you to become a Kinsta Kingpin?
A: I was inspired to become a Kinsta Kingpin because I wanted to help people get the most out of their WordPress websites. I have been working with WordPress for over 10 years and have seen the power of the platform first-hand. Kinsta is a great platform for hosting WordPress websites and I wanted to help people get the most out of it.
Q: What do you think sets Kinsta apart from other hosting providers?
A: Kinsta stands out from other hosting providers because of its focus on performance and reliability. Kinsta has a team of experts that are constantly monitoring and optimizing the platform to ensure that websites are running as fast and securely as possible. Kinsta also offers a wide range of features and tools that make it easy to manage and maintain WordPress websites.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with Kinsta?
A: My advice to someone just starting out with Kinsta would be to take advantage of the resources available. Kinsta has a great knowledge base and support team that can help answer any questions you may have. Additionally, there are a lot of great tutorials and guides available online that can help you get up and running quickly. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different features and settings to find the best setup for your website.
Q1: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
In 2009 I got a job at a web design agency in Leicestershire, UK. WordPress had just begun filtering its way into the company and it wasn’t long before I started building websites using it. It was like nothing I’d used before; so simple to build themes (compared to Magento, which was our go to CMS/eCommerce solution at the time), plus, intuitive to manage as an admin user. I was hooked.
I soon became one of the go to employees for all things WordPress, including running a couple of workshops for the company and its employees.
As I mentioned, we were big advocates of Magento. This led to me creating my first WordPress plugin; a Magento WordPress integration. I eventually monetised that project and sold it off to another developer.
Q2: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
Over time, it became clear that WooCommerce was going to be huge. I’d built a number of sites using the platform, and also created a few bespoke plugins. Eventually, I decided to release some of the plugins I was making as premium plugins on the Envato marketplace.
In early 2016, Iconic (https://iconicwp.com) was officially formed. Under the Iconic brand, I produce a number of popular free and premium WooCommerce plugins. My most popular plugins include WooThumbs for adding additional variation images to your products, as well as an enhanced gallery experience, Show Single Variations for displaying single product variations in your catalog listings, and WooCommerce Delivery Slots for enabling your customers to select specific times for their delivery.
Q3: What challenges did you face in getting to where you are now professionally?
I now work on Iconic pretty much full time. The hardest part about getting to that stage was balancing time between my full-time job, plugin updates, plugin support, and spending time with my family. Now that I am spending my working hours on Iconic, the balance has become much easier to manage.
Q4: Has anything surprised you while coming up in the WordPress world?
I’m sure everyone says it, but I’m always pleasantly surprised at how helpful the WordPress community can be. There are so many quality developers and WordPress users who just love to help in whatever way they can. Vova Feldman has been so helpful to me during my transition to selling plugins through my own site. Be sure to check out his Freemius software.
Q5: What does the future look like for you in the WordPress world?
I plan to keep releasing awesome new features for my plugins. I also have a completely new plugin idea, not related to WooCommerce, which I will be working on as soon as I find the time. Ultimately, my focus will be on products, rather than websites.
Q6: What do you look for in a WordPress host?
When I do host WordPress websites, the key things I look out for are: regular backups, improved security, staging areas, and git compatibility.
Q7: What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from your laptop?
What do you mean, “away from your laptop”? Joking. I enjoy photography (https://creativemarket.com/jamesckemp), traveling, and spending time with my family.
Q8: Whom should we interview next & why?
I always like to hear from Pippin Williamson as he has done very well in the WordPress space. I’d also be interested in hearing from any other plugin authors who started on Envato but have since moved away to sell via their own website.
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