Navigating the Tech Ecosystem with WordPress: A Journey with WPFlat

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In January 2020, I started WPFlat, a WordPress agency based in Nigeria and the United States . Prior to that, I've worked in tech space as a freelance website developer and designer, only to realize that coding wasn't my forte. I tried my hands on different content management systems (CMS) and eventually settled for WordPress. To me, WordPress stood out for its extensive plugin database, such that I could achieve so much more with less effort. Little did I know that this decision would lead to the birth of WPFlat.

The turning point was during the COVID-19 period when schools transitioned to remote learning. I designed a unique e-learning platform using WordPress. This was one of my  first major projects that went beyond the ordinary. The platform mimicked the Windows File Explorer, enabling students to download their lesson notes. It was fascinating to discover that I could achieve all of this without coding. This experience inspired me to explore further possibilities with WordPress, ultimately giving birth to WPFlat.

At the beginning of WPFlat, we didn't have a specific target audience in mind. As time went on, two main groups stood out: those in education and those in the corporate world. The education group wanted to share information, while the corporate side was interested in showcasing products and job postings online. Keeping things authentic, WPFlat found its niche by meeting the unique needs of these sectors.

Overcoming Challenges:

When we first started, acquiring clients was a significant challenge. The competitive market made it tough to stand out, and traditional marketing efforts didn't yield the desired results. Collaborating with digital agencies proved to be a strategic move, leading to referrals and sustained growth.

We also struggled with some challenges during hosting. One critical aspect that often gets overlooked in website management is the importance of backups.  We've encountered several situations where a client's website faced issues, putting the entire information at risk. I vividly recall a situation where a site was hacked, and the client urgently needed it restored.  With conventional hosting, the challenge lies in the difficulty of backing up and recovering.

This journey led us to Cloudways —an innovative platform that revolutionized our approach. Cloudways simplified critical aspects like backups, staging (a pre-launch testing environment), and configurations, significantly easing our workflow. It was easy to integrate with WordPress and effective distribution management made it the perfect fit for our diverse clientele. The platform offers not only ease in backup and recovery but also additional advantages, such as managing the cost of elastic emails with simpler configurations using other STP plugins. In essence, Cloudways became our preferred hosting solution, streamlining processes for both us and our clients.

Embracing Growth with WordPress

Success, for me as a digital consultant, means achieving things that seem really hard or impossible. In 2021, we took on a big project for Technext. They wanted us to automate everything for the largest tech coinference, a huge task. I contemplated whether we'd need to develop a custom site, but to my surprise, using just WordPress, we successfully built the entire project. Throughout 2021 and 2022, the site processed over 10,000 registrations. Unfortunately, not many agencies grasp the potential of plugins to develop web solutions with robust functionalities. However, our experiences have consistently proven otherwise, time and time again.

While other agencies might suggest using platforms like Eventbrite or other popular event solutions, there's a distinct sentiment people have towards something that feels uniquely theirs. At WPFlat, our aim is to cultivate a premium brand identity and evoke that special feeling for our clients. We go beyond the standard options, opting for custom solutions that truly reflect the essence of each brand we work with.

Thinking back on the last four years, this achievement shows our growth. Starting from where WPFlat began, our partnership with Cloudways has played a big role in moving us forward. As we face new challenges and discover more in the digital world, projects like the tech conference automation remind us of the exciting journey we're on toward innovation and excellence.

To aspiring Techpreneurs

You have to love what you do. That way you’ll be motivated by passion and not profit. In the early days, prioritizing quality over profits will open unforeseen opportunities.

When we first started WPFlat and even as a freelancer, almost all the times I’d run at a loss or make insignificant profits. My focus was on delivering quality rather than prioritizing immediate financial gains. At least 50% of the websites I developed didn't last the year because clients didn't appreciate their value. If this had discouraged me and led to compromising on the quality of work, charging more, or taking fewer projects, it would have been disastrous. Today, our focus on delivering quality work has allowed us to expand beyond the Nigerian market and venture into the UK & USA. The recognition of the quality of our work has become a driving force for our success.

Therefore, my advice to young techpreneurs is to prioritize passion over profits in the initial stages.

PS: This is an highlighted summary of my speaking session during the 2023 Cloudways Customers' Week.

Watch the video below:

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