Today I am presenting another written interview with Jeremy Andrews. Jeremy is an accomplished, dynamic, and strategic entrepreneur with an extensive experience in finance, technology, digital marketing and operations. He currently is the lead developer for several WordPress products including Alpha Beta Commerce, WordPress Interns and various other WordPress Themes and Plugins for clients. He also works with several Non-Profits throughout the United States.
Check out the interview:
- What got you interested in creating products for the WordPress platform?
When I first took over operations for an international fashion company, I knew very little about software or web development. At the time I knew how to use systems like Salesforce, WordPress, and Magento, but didn’t have a solid grasp on how those systems worked internally. My biggest strengths and expertise came from the finance and operations world. When I took over the fashion company I had already been an entrepreneur and owned a few businesses, and was excited about jumping into a new venture. The most difficult part of this takeover was dealing with our new international ecommerce. Up until then, the company had a small web presence, but needed to expand by creating a US/Japanese based website with Inventory Management, and shipping integration, connecting three warehouses across the globe. The good thing was that I was fluent in Japanese.
As you may have imagined, it was nearly impossible to find any affordable developers in the US or remotely that spoke Japanese and had a solid reputation for building complex ecommerce sites. That’s when I started to dive in and learn about web development. The funny thing is that coming from a finance background, where everything is numbers based provided a good training ground for web development, which is also numbers and logic based. So the transition was not that difficult. Of course it took me a few years to get to the skill level I am at today, but ultimately, it was my desire to learn, combined with the right opportunity that really got me into the field.
- What are the biggest challenges you face when going through the building process of a product or plugin for WordPress?
We find that the biggest challenge to date when building themes and plugins is the security needed to ensure clients’ information remains safe. Especially in light of recent WordPress security issues, we take pride in knowing that none of our clients at Alpha Beta Commerce or WordPress Interns sites were hacked. This is also why we do not reveal who are clients are as doing so provides an easy mark for hackers.
The second biggest challenge we face is customer education and ensuring our customers know what security measures they need to take when updating their website. While most customers now realize that putting your password as “password” or “admin” on any system is not secure, with the recent breach of Sony Entertainment businesses owners at least have been making strides to keep passwords and other authentication credentials safe.
- Do you outsource any aspects of the actual building process? How do you go about this?
We are actually the people companies and individuals outsource to, so we don’t then outsource to other people not connected with our company. One of things we are extremely proud of is that 100% of the interns who work with WordPress Interns are based in the US. As an entrepreneur who works with Education Non-Profits, I am a big believer that students need to establish skills while in school in order to make them employable upon graduation.
And even if a student didn’t go to school to become a website expert, the jobs in the web field are plenty, the training is free, and it helps them to pay down their student debt, which is ultimately the goal.
- How have you gone about marketing your WordPress products and what’s working for you?
With WordPress Interns, the number of people searching for the term “Wordpress Interns” was quite incredible. We also knew based upon what our customers at Alpha Beta Commerce told us, that there was a huge demand for a good quality service like ours. And although we do some advertising, most of our traffic has been organic search.
Content generation has been another area where we invest. Many of our prospective clients read the articles on our blogs before signing up. This gives them some insight into what the company and products are about.
- What are your future plans for 2015 and beyond?
In 2015, Ecommerce continues to grow, especially globally. Because we have offices in Serbia and Spain in addition to New York, we are finding clients are starting to really get into bi-directional Ecommerce. When we talk about bi-directional ecommerce, we are referring to a company that has multiple locations around the world, and both exports and imports goods in multiple countries. Being able to use a single system that is truly multi-lingual and can handle international shipping and inventory logistics is why we built Alpha Beta Commerce and WordPress Interns.
Because we have partnered with many shipping carriers around the world to streamline their processes into our system, merchants have one point of access for their ecommerce needs.