Legendary developer Chris Pearson has been working with WordPress since 2005. He’s famous (infamous?) for launching the first hugely successful premium Theme—Thesis, way back in 2008—and he’s still building upon that legacy today with the Focus WordPress Theme.
But now he’s got a new hobby to go along with that whole Theme thing.
You guessed it—golf!
Ok, ok—so it’s not golf. It’s building WordPress Plugins!
And since Mr. “Nobody Else Is Insane Enough to Tolerate This Level of Detail” is on the job, you know the Plugins are exceptional.
But why Plugins? Let’s turn it over to Chris and get some insight into his new endeavors.
Why would a Theme guy build Plugins?
I’ve been in the WordPress spotlight for over a dozen years, and during that time, I’ve amassed a large audience of followers on my websites, in my forums, and on social media.
Way back in 2010, it was really easy to get these people to try out my Themes because:
- Most people were just getting started with their first site, so they hadn’t amassed any technical debt from old websites running crappy WordPress Themes.
- There were a lot fewer options back then, so the question was more “Thesis or nothing?” rather than “Thesis vs. eleventy billion other options?”
But at this point, pretty much everybody has had a website for a long time. And they’ve all amassed crazy amounts of technical debt while running on a foundation held together by rusty nails and duct tape.
That situation is bad enough, but the reality of the whole thing makes it even worse…
For most of these sites, changing Themes has become a terrible—and terribly expensive—option.
This is the equivalent of painting oneself into a corner:
- You know your site is slow and difficult to manage.
- You loathe updates because they’re really just twisted game of “what’s gonna break next?”
- Responsive design is a constant headache; every time you add something new to your site, it seems like something in the design “breaks” (and if you’re like me, having your website contribute to your to-do list drives you nuts)
But at the end of the day, simply giving up and accepting these crappy outcomes is cheaper and easier than changing your Theme!
This has taken a huge portion of the fun out of building and selling Themes.
Everything that used to be so exciting has been replaced by high costs and a lingering cloud of existential dread.
So why am I building Plugins now?
Because I want to recapture some of the fun we’ve lost over the last decade.
After all, software is supposed to make our lives easier!
And Plugins represent a more frictionless opportunity for me to help you improve your website and actually recapture some of the joy of creation—which is really what your website experience is supposed to be about!
What makes your Plugins stand out?
I love the nerdy, cool, and thoughtful stuff I’m able to do with software:
- Provide intuitive, easy-to-use solutions
- Ensure everything is done in the most optimized and performance-friendly way possible
- Leverage patterns so I can provide world-class instructions and support
And while all that stuff is great, it’s not quite enough to set DIYplugins apart from the crowd.
So what’s the secret sauce?
The thing that makes my Plugins so great is the way the community works.
I’ll illustrate this with a little example I’m dealing with right now:
While building a website, I had to reach out to a hosting company for support on some DNS matters. I had one simple question I needed answered, and then I could forge ahead with other items on my list.
But this hosting company only offers email support. And they have thousands of customers.
(Update: My support ticket was open for 39 hours before receiving a disappointing and ineffective response.)
You and I both know how it works when dealing with companies like this—
You send an email into the ether, and then a couple days later, you might get a helpful response.
I’ll tell you right now—I hate this so much, it actually makes me angry just to think about it.
It’s an inefficient hope and a prayer, and everybody knows it.
(Side note: Isn’t it great when you get a response after 2 days, only to discover the support rep misinterpreted your question?)
Anyway, like I said—I hate this. But instead of whining, I decided to do something about it.
I’ve taken key steps to provide you with the ultimate support + information + community experience here on DIYplugins and also at my WordPress Theme site:
- I handle all official support. No support reps. No middle men. Just me—the guy who built the software you’re using.
- Pattern leverage — Good software uses patterns to do great things. I’m a master of this, and it’s reflected in the simplicity of my Plugins and in the precise, effective support I provide.
- Community forums — Although they are not the official avenue for support, the forums are where nearly all the magic happens. I provide detailed answers and solutions to every question, and the rest of the community feeds off the pattern leverage and insights to help one another. This leads to quick response times and higher quality answers from everyone.
- For sensitive matters, I offer private email support. And since August 2016, my average response time via email is 6 hours and 50 minutes.
When you combine these things, you get a highly responsive ecosystem that is perfect for creating and supporting world-class software.
We’ve all got problems to conquer and new challenges to face, and none of us has time to put everything on hold while we wait for a big, faceless company to respond to our questions.
That’s why I do what I do, and that’s why you’re here. Now let’s get to work!
Bottom line? Your experience of running my software is every bit as important as the software itself.
And I guarantee the finest software experience on the planet. That is what sets DIYplugins apart from everybody else.