I don’t often do interviews full stop, here on layerWP or in my blogging life. I felt compelled to this time. As I’ve kind of got a
So I thought I’d ask and see if they’d like to be interviewed, guess what? They did.
Ah… well what makes all agencies unique is the people. So in our case, we’re really invested in getting involved in the community (agency community & WordPress community) and giving back as much as we can.
That might be sharing knowledge on Podcasts, speaking at events, donating money & supporting community causes & charities.
One thing as an agency we are really passionate about is mental health in the industry. This industry is suffering right now. A lot of people are overwhelmed, lacking direction and burned out.
Check out our latest interview covering this issue on the WP&UP Podcast.
We’re certainly not all about money, and seriously… if you are all about money, then other industries will give you far better odds of financial success if that’s what you want 😉
How did you get started with WordPress?
Back in 2005, I was playing around with different Content Management Systems to replace my own bespoke system that I had created. Before WordPress, I’d experimented with Mambo (which later forked to Joomla), and also a pretty lovely little CMS called TextPattern.
I found WordPress (which was pretty basic back then), but it was reasonably easy to theme & customise – and that was that!
How did you come across GeneratePress?
So I was using Divi for client sites, and… I quite liked it. In fact, I loved it for a while.
After some time I started to get frustrated with certain shortcomings. In fact, the main reason I found GeneratePress was because I wanted a theme that I could use the Divi Builder plugin with that also had a header widget – that was it!
I was moving away from
However, after about 6 months of working with GeneratePress, I realised that this theme I bought for $30 lifetime license was, in fact, capable of everything I wanted from Genesis Framework, but was developing faster and in a way more relevant roadmap for modern WordPress website design & development.
So, I decided to go all in on GeneratePress.
Confession time…For some reason, I had this preoccupation that being a Genesis developer would give me some kind of unique credibility. Funny what one’s ego can do to cloud judgement 🙂
Yep – I aspired to be some kind of Genesis influencer lol!
But back to GeneratePress…I’m so happy I found this theme, joined its community and where that ultimately led with our involvement with the theme itself, the icons, the Site Library and the
How has using GeneratePress benefited you as a developer and your workflow?
The developer, Tom Usborne, has a philosophy. He’s all about stability and sustainability…mixed in with cutting edge innovation. He won’t just add some random flavour of the month feature, and he’s absolutely obsessed with smooth upgrades for all the users.
As a developer, it has all the PHP hooks and filters you could ever want. It’s accessibility-ready, secure…and one of the fastest loading frameworks you’ll find.
Right now we’re using
It’s exciting times, it’s making everything so modularised and efficient – and shows how extendable the GeneratePress theme really is if you want to take it that far.
What advice would you give to someone else looking into starting their own design service?
If you are starting out right now, then figure out your “why,” find supportive communities to help you and to contribute to, and most of all… don’t undervalue yourself or be intimidated by how great all your peers “appear” to be doing.
And, read (or listen to) The E-Myth Re-visited… it could save you YEARS of misdirection.
If there’s one thing you would change when you first started out what would it be?
Well, it didn’t exist back then…but it does now… so I’d enrol in Agency Mavericks – is a business community for WordPress consultants, offering advice and help on attracting new customers etc.
What are your go-to plugins for WordPress?
Custom fields & extending WordPress capabilities
Advanced Custom Fields Pro & Pods.
Themer Pro &
And… anything by Tom Usborne (GeneratePress) or Eric Hamm (Cobalt Apps). There are so many more awesome plugins. It’s a great time to be working with WordPress.
What’s a typical working week for you?
Oh man…there really isn’t a typical week. Each is different from the last. I literally can’t answer that with any honesty.
Is there one particular website you’ve built that’s the jewel in your crown (or proud of the most)
Yeah for sure. generatepress.com A jewel in the crown is the word! We’re so damn proud of our involvement designing this website.
We also wanted to give back through this project. There’s a fun story about that here.
Everyone makes mistakes, what’s your biggest one?
For 10 years of business, I barely interacted in any peer communities. In the last 2 years, I dived deep into the community, and it changed my whole business. So my biggest mistake as a business owner was being so boxed in on myself for a decade.
Thank you Paul!
I’m sure you will agree Paul has made an excellent candidate for my first ever interview. I cannot thank him enough to tell it like it is and offer insight in not only his business but his experiences with WordPress.
Want to get in touch with Paul? Maybe discuss a new project you’re thinking of? Get in touch via email here.
Want to be next on my new interviews section? Well if you do, get in touch on my contact page, and let’s see what happens.