Today I am presenting a 2nd interview with John Hacking. John is the Product Manager for fixmywp.com.au. He has been involved with online marketing since 1989. Fixmywp.com.au is a service that helps people with their WordPress web sites.
Checkout the interview:
1. What got you interested in helping other people fix issues with WordPress?
I used to build web sites using Joomla, but once I started using WordPress I was hooked. As more and more people discovered the benefits of WordPress and managing your own web site, I saw a profitable opportunity in giving by-the-hour support to such people. Why pay $3000 for a web site when you can do most of it yourself for less than $200 and then spend another $120 with us to give it the final touches?
2. What are some of the biggest challenges you face when fixing WordPress sites?
The major challenge I find is when people want the WordPress template they have selected to do things that it was not designed to do. In most cases it is far easier and cheaper to select a template that does 99% of what you want the web site to do rather than hacking a template and forcing it do conform to a certain “look”.
Some elements like font style, size and colours, background colours and logos are easy to change in WordPress, but when you start messing with structural elements like header dimensions, footer dimensions, sidebar dimensions and other structural element sizes, that’s when things can go wrong. Think of WordPress as a room. It’s easy to change the color of the walls with a coat of paint, but to make the ceiling just 6 inches higher or the windows 40% wider will take a lot more work.
The other issue I face is getting the look that the client wants. The truth is if you have a crappy looking logo, bland colour scheme and ugly graphical elements then your web site will not look as good as the template sales page you bought the template from.
3. What are your thoughts on WordPress security? Do you have any recommended plugins or suggestions on making WordPress sites more secure?
Because WordPress is so popular, it is an obvious target for hackers. The only advice I can give is buy good quality hosting, backup your site weekly and install a plugin like WordPress Firewall 2. For automatic off-site backups I can highly recommend the plugin called Backup to Dropbox. Assume that your web site will be hacked one day and plan for that eventuality.
4. How do you go about marketing your services online? What is working for you?
Most of our business comes from Google search and Google Adwords. With the Google Adwords we limit the catchment area to the east coast of Australia as this traffic converts the best. People tend to trust service providers in their local area. Over 50% of the time our clients give us a call first before doing the online support order.
If you are in Australia and do a search in Google for WordPress Help or WordPress Support we are usually on page one of the Google search results. About 60% of our business comes from repeat customers.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
At this stage we will concentrate on the core business of providing WordPress support. We have also recently designed a one day training course for people interested in building their own web site in WordPress. We will start running these courses next month.
Check out John’s site at Fixmywp.com.au