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About Davinder:

Davinder has been into “all things internet” for over 10 years now. He first started as a technology blogger and then transitioned into design, development and digital solutions world. He is now a prolific digital consultant and web creator building successful converting web spaces for clients & personal brands, and the founder of TheWPWeekly.

Quel est votre titre d'emploi ?Fondateur
Quel est le nom de votre entreprise ?TheWPWeekly
Que faites-vous avec WordPress ?Create content, design and develop WordPress websites. Also,will soon be getting back to the WP products space.
Décrivez la communauté WordPress en quelques mots.Open and Inspiring!
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Transcription de l'épisode

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk with your podcast Barista Michelle Frechette where we interview people in the WordPress community from all over the world. Every guest is asked the same questions and every guest has wonderful and varied answers about their history and their hopes. Special thanks to our espresso level sponsors, Bluehost, WS Form and Beaver Builder. And now on with the show.

Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk. I’m your podcast Barista Michelle Frechette serving up the stories of the WordPress folks from around the world. And I am so fortunate today to have as my guest Davinder Singh Kainth who is the founder of the WP Weekly. Welcome Davinder. How are you?

[00:00:47] Speaker B: I am doing good and thank you for inviting me on the show.

[00:00:51] Speaker A: It’s my pleasure and I hope I pronounced your name right. I think we’ve known each other long enough that I hope I got it at least somewhat close. Did I do okay?

[00:01:00] Speaker B: No, that was perfect. Ten on ten.

[00:01:02] Speaker A: Okay, good, that’s what I like to hear. Well I think a lot of people in the WordPress community know who you are, at least know of the WP weekly. But why don’t you tell us just a little bit about yourself and what you do?

[00:01:14] Speaker B: Well I’ve been into WordPress. I was thinking WordPress was born, did all the usual drill from running an agency design development, but in recent times I’m more into content creation, email marketing, and one end result is in the form of the WP weekly. Plus I do consulting, coaching. Basically I do all the things that keep me interested in WordPress and web.

[00:01:39] Speaker A: That’s exciting when you can create a career for yourself that makes you want to get up and do what you do every day. So that’s wonderful. And where are you located? I know where you’re located but tell everybody else where you’re located.

[00:01:51] Speaker B: I am located in India, I’m in a place called Chandigarh Mohali which is like six hour drive from the capital New Delhi.

[00:01:59] Speaker A: Okay, very good. And I’m gonna guess it’s warmer there than it is here because we have five inches of snow last night where I live.

[00:02:07] Speaker B: Well the season is changing now so we, it’s like summer is gonna start in couple of weeks. So we get like heat of around 48 degrees celsius in summer to a cold of two degrees celsius in winter. So we have all kinds of weather being in north India and the foothills of himalayas.

[00:02:28] Speaker A: Yes but does it snow?

[00:02:30] Speaker B: No, but if I travel like four or 5 hours then you’ll find snow. Yeah yeah.

[00:02:37] Speaker A: Yeah.

It’s not supposed to snow this late into the year here where I am, but. But we live in western New York when in western New York, you have all of the Great Lakes. Like, I live 1 mile south of Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes, and then right to the west is Lake Erie. And so we get weather systems because there’s so much water in the Great Lakes. So if it gets cold enough, it snows here even in May. So, unfortunately. But we’re heading into April of the next week or two, so hopefully, hopefully, we’ll start to see some warmth come around very soon.

So I always ask people to show me a mug, and you have a mug. You showed it to me a little bit beforehand, and I know where it came from, but tell everybody. Show us your mug on the camera, and tell everybody about it.

[00:03:24] Speaker B: So this is, like, the latest addition to the mug collection. You know, I am one of those who keep collecting mugs, but I don’t even use them, so even this one is empty. So if someone who knows Chinese would understand. This is all chinese inscription that’s written, and I got it from Taiwan, from the recent visit at Wordcamp Asia. And I was actually checking the description. I got it from the Taiwan National Museum. So this is basically. Basically tells the story of a warrior from Tang dynasty. So kind of interesting. I don’t know. It looked really beautiful. Chinese language as such, looks like, almost like it’s a drawing thing, even though it’s like something written. That should make sense. So I love this.

[00:04:09] Speaker A: It’s a beautiful language. Just visually, it’s a beautiful language, isn’t it? And to hear people speak, it’s the. Such a sing songy quality. It was. I can’t understand a word except I love to hear it. It just sounded so beautiful.

[00:04:24] Speaker B: To hear people speak, I just know Nihau.

[00:04:27] Speaker A: Nihau. That’s right.

I think that’s all I know as well.

It’s beautiful, and it’s, the white frosted mug with the writing on it is very pretty.

My mug today is from the WP world, which is Marcus Burnett’s project, as you know. And I like to support where I can. So I have swag that I buy from people’s stores that I have them. I can use them here. I especially like when somebody makes the big mug, because I don’t just want a little bit of coffee in the morning, I want a lot of coffee in the morning. And this morning, I am drinking coffee with irish creamer in it. So it’s actually pretty good.

And I’m enjoying that. So how did you get started with WordPress? You said you’ve been using it quite a while. How did your journey start in the WordPress community?

[00:05:17] Speaker B: Well, when the WordPress was born, I was there in the web space and I still remember those was HTML days, Microsoft publisher days where we used to make websites as web pages in HTML. And WordPress came on the scene as a blogging platform. And I said because at that time I was more of a content creator, a blogger, like text blogger. No video or images existed during those dial up days. I’m pretty.

[00:05:43] Speaker A: It was early. It was early, yep.

[00:05:46] Speaker B: Yeah. And yeah, when WordPress came on the scene, it was just like a simple, you know, blogging platform. And people used to, and you know, during those times, personal blogging was the real blogging. Now the blogging definition has changed a lot. It’s like more commercialized way of creating content and all that stuff. Yeah. So I said like, okay, let’s try it. So at that time, you know, it was all text. So I used to write and you know, suddenly, you know, started liking the whole thing of easy to manage stuff rather than the, the beauty of it was like you can change the layout of all your pages from one place vis a vis, you know, you have to, you have a website with five HTML pages and you have to edit all those pages manually later. So that was one part. And then I think WordPress has progressed a lot and it did progress a lot even during the early years. And that was like, it was just like I was growing up, WordPress was growing up and my business was also changing, so went from content creation to design and development. And during those days, I still remember like 2000, maybe 20, 2010, around like ten years, 15 years back. The other things like Genesis and all those things came into the picture that made WordPress even more usable because, you know, you could create a lot of things you could. Like, obviously there was no page builders as such, but yeah, Genesis, like made, made me love WordPress more. And with that I actually learned CSS, PhP, all those things I learned because of WordPress. So it was a fun ride and it’s still a fun ride. WordPress now has matured into a really big thing in terms of what you can do with WordPress compared to what you could have done with WordPress.

[00:07:31] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. And with being able to use WordPress and with Genesis coming in, you could add images and there was a much easier way to make your blog more visually appealing. And that’s why I think when they really started to become more commercial and people started using WordPress not just for personal blogging, but also as a commercial entity. Right. And like, well, you can build a whole website as opposed to just having a blog. And I think that was pretty cool. I’ve been in the WordPress space for twelve years and it still feels like I’m new on the scene when I talk to people who’ve been using it for, you know, 15, 1820 years like you have.

[00:08:08] Speaker B: But.

[00:08:09] Speaker A: So I’m still a newbie compared to what you did, which you’ve done. But I love that when you look at websites and you, with what you do with the WP weekly, you look at a lot of websites because that’s what’s news, that’s what people are, you know, where we get a lot of the information and what people are doing and innovating and that kind of thing.

When you look at websites across the board, whether they’re WordPress or not, what do you think that we as web developers, builders, designers are trying to make sure I use the terminology that includes everybody. What do you think that we don’t focus enough attention on that would make our sites better for our end users? Users.

[00:08:48] Speaker B: I think the biggest mistake that I noticed among a lot of websites is using fancy copy. That is just fancy and not actually talking to the end user or the visitor that’s coming to your site.

Most of the people who are culprit are actually people like us who run fancy agencies because we have fancy name and then we put a fancy word like skyrocket your business. Those are like, you know, titles and then even the subtitles won’t make sense. It’s like all the fancy words you’ve taken and added. So I think we need to improve on that. Even I’ve done those mistakes and I noticed that not just an agency website, even the people who are selling WordPress products, or products online products in general, you don’t want to, you know, I think people should be more clear rather than clever in terms of, you know, sending, just telling what the thing is and what it is and how it can help you. That will not just save person’s time, who’s wasting it, and also it will help me make more conversions, because a person who lands on your website is not going to stand there or stare it for more than few seconds. So the time is limited so we can improve on that. And secondly, I think accessibility is something that is still missing in a big way. But now, if I compare accessibility with responsive websites, like few years back, if you see and ask someone, would you make a responsive website? And they would say what it is, right? And some, and I still remember during the early days when responsive thing was coming up and some agencies started offering responsive as a premium add on to, you know, basic website building. So I’m just, you know, tracking the same journey that responsive as a feature has taken. I think accessibility will go through the same journey like more. And as soon as more and more people will realize that it is needed, they will start learning. Because again, accessibility is not as simple as making website responsive. There are so many factors in terms of accessibility because there are, there’s school of thought. You install a plugin, your website is accessible. That’s completely wrong. That doesn’t help, obviously, because accessibility is not just the front end, it’s also the back end. Because then there’s another school of thought. If your colors are contrasting enough, your website is accessible. Yes, it is to some extent. But I think there’s a lot more learning to be done for everyone and things will change. Just like now. Responsive website is by default. Every website is responsive, right? It’s not a premium thing. Soon we’ll see. Accessible website out of the box will be the default thing.

[00:11:27] Speaker A: I agree. I think that, and you hit the nail on the head when you say that. It’s not as easy to just say, I have an accessible website. Even overlays and things like that are not as accessible as some companies, like accessib, for example, would like you to think. But it’s almost impossible to build a non responsive website now. You have to intentionally make a site that’s non responsive if you really want to, which why would you? But the accessibility part of things has to be so much more intentional than how we approach it.

You have to create an alt text for an image, for example. It’s not going to happen by default, although it’s getting better. So there’s AI that people can use and that kind of thing. Which brings me back to your first point about the language.

I have discovered that sometimes the fancy language is an absolute indicator that somebody has gone to chat, GPT or other AI generators to say, how can I say this in a more exciting way? And then you get things like skyrocket that you wouldn’t normally have thought about. But I also think that when you use those fancy languages, that especially you know, for english speaking, the english speaking world, where English is the primary language, we don’t even notice those kinds of things as much. But when you are designing and developing and selling in a global market, you sometimes have to remember that some phrases are so idiomatic that it doesn’t make sense in other languages. And so it could be downright confusing. So I agree. I think we have to be really careful about how we use language, especially in a global economy. And if you’re hoping to have reach beyond the native language that you are using on your site. So I think those are very good points that you make. So thank you for sharing this.

[00:13:11] Speaker B: Yep. Because, you know, I actively have Grammarly active. So sometimes when I write a small sentence, Grammarly write the same sentence in two sentences, it’s conveying the same language as a. No, that’s wrong. I’m just going to stick with one sentence.

[00:13:24] Speaker A: Exactly. But sometimes Grammarly also, sometimes we can make choices to break the acceptable way of saying something. Like when we speak, we’ll start a sentence with a letter with the word and, but in the proper grammar, you would never begin a sentence with and. But when you’re blogging, sometimes you’ll do that because you want it to sound conversational. You want it to sound like somebody’s just speaking to you as opposed to writing, you know, school level language. And so you make decisions based on that. But Grammarly is good because it can suggest things and you can still say no, no, thank you.

[00:14:03] Speaker B: And that’s what, you know, distinguishes actual humanly written content with the AI content. You can easily, when you read a paragraph, you can actually make out like, this is too perfect for a human to write.

[00:14:15] Speaker A: Yes, exactly. It’s. And when you spot that, you think, was it clever or was it lazy? I don’t know.

So you’ve been in the WordPress space a while, but even people who’ve been in the space a while learn things later in the journey that they think to themselves, oh my gosh, where did, how did I miss this? What, what could I have? How, how much better could my life have been had I known this one thing?

What is that one thing for you? What do you wish you had learned a little bit earlier in your journey?

[00:14:45] Speaker B: I think I will say two things. Firstly to the ability to say no. Like I was, I shouldn’t say this, but I was so stupid that I was saying yes to everything in my early years of an agency person. Like, someone comes with this project, oh, I’ll do that. So what? I’ll just learn the tool just for your project. Oh, I will do that as well. I’ll learn this also like I was. And now that I look back, I think not just me, in fact, majority of people do this mistake that they don’t say no to things. And now I’m pretty good at saying no because I want to do things that I want to do and I want to stick with the tool set that I use rather than learning a new tool set just to serve one additional client. The second thing is also sort of related, which is pricing. Like, I had no idea about pricing. And my, all my clients were from us, Australia, UK in the beginning, and they’re still from there. And since I’m not from there, so getting, you know, the idea of pricing was pretty wrong for me in the beginning. Like, few zeros were missing.

So I learned it. You know, again, it’s a learning process because in early years when I did it, there were not many resources like blog post or, you know, YouTube videos and all that. Not even courses that would teach you. But now there’s more exposure, there’s a lot more content that you can consume and get. You know, you can have a faster learning curve. So, yeah, these two things, pricing and.

[00:16:13] Speaker A: Saying no, I think those are very, very good things to talk about. I also used to say yes to everything, especially if I thought somebody needed my help with something. I didn’t want to say no to somebody, but just this morning, I had to say no to somebody yet again, because of the work that I do in the community around sharing jobs and things like that, at least, at a minimum, three times a week, up to ten times a week, I have people asking me to help them find jobs and I have to say no because I don’t have enough time to individually help people go and do headhunter kind of work for no money, especially. Right? So I can’t give 1015, 20 hours a week helping people find jobs when I. When that would take away time that I’m using in paid work. It just doesn’t make sense for me to do that. And I always feel terrible telling people no. But I’ve gotten good at saying why I can’t and pointing them to resources. And someday somebody’s gonna, like, say something really negative about me because I wouldn’t help them. And I’m just. I think people will understand there’s only so many hours in a day. But I’ve learned that I can’t do everything for everybody. And it’s not easy to say no. And so it’s good that you found the way to be able to do that.

[00:17:28] Speaker B: Yeah, even I used to feel that way. Like, if I say no to this guy or this girl, they will say negative things about me. But you know what? Now I’m at that stage of life, I really don’t care if you say bad things about me. Please do. Waste your time, waste your energy. I’m like a one way traffic now. So good for you.

[00:17:46] Speaker A: That’s the better way to be. It’s like the having the armor on that those little arrows that people send just kind of bounce off. Because in the greater scheme of things, everybody’s responsible for themselves and can’t ask people to just do things for them all the time. And I used to say, too, if I don’t know your work, if I’ve never worked with you, I can’t recommend you for a job. You could be terrible at what you do. And I’ve just told somebody they should hire you. That’s my reputation. Then I can’t do that.

[00:18:12] Speaker B: The funny thing is, like, last two days back, one person emailed me again and again and said that I’ve been emailing you for last 1015 days. You didn’t even bother to reply me, and that person is not my client. That was the submission on the WP weekly website. And I said, firstly, I don’t over reply to everyone. Secondly, didn’t you, if you follow me, did you even know that I was away for ten days to wordcamp and I was not even there? So it’s kind of difficult. Like, people just come there and thinking that they will. I try to reply to everyone, but then when you are outside, you know, away for your normal schedule, gets upset and you are. And even, you know, when, when we are on Wordcamp event, there’s hardly time to sleep. Forget about checking emails.

[00:18:57] Speaker A: Absolutely. And all the DM’s and everything else. And you have multiple, multiple channels that you are responsible for, not just your own brand, but then also the WP weekly and other things. And so we get message. People like you and me, we get messages in from so many sources. And to kind of keep track of all of that can be a little overwhelming as well. So. Yeah, for sure.

So you’ve been to Wordcamps. I know that you just came back from Wordcamp Asia, and you’ve had other Wordcamp experiences and other WordPress event experiences too. So tell us about a time or something that happened at a wordcamp. Whether it was a talk you listened to, somebody that you talked to, maybe in the vendor hall or something like that, that really made a difference for you. That was maybe an inspirational or pivotal moment.

[00:19:50] Speaker B: You know, I’ve not attended many wordcamps. I’ve recently started attending the international ones, like the word cam last year and this year and the last wordcamp was like the eye opener for me. Like earlier, I was under this impression, like, wordcamps, attending wordcamps is just waste of time, to be honest. But once I started attending it, I think it’s a real eye opener. Like, you meet people who are in the WordPress phase, but they are doing completely different things, and you have 0% idea, actually, about those things because you just never got introduced to those things. Right. And I loved that part. And I don’t know, last wordcamp was eye opener. This was like, this wordcamp a few, few weeks back was like a light bulb moment. Like, I had so many light bulb moment that, okay, cool, this can, I can also do this, right? So I’m planning a lot of things in, you know, the coming months or weeks just from. So there were many people, actually. But talking to new people always help, because again, if you’re talking to the same kind of people again and again, that won’t add to you or even to other. So the beauty of wordcamps is, like this wordcamp I met kind of all different kind of people compared to the last wordcamp, because the audience was little different to the, compared to the last one. So I had so many takeaways. So anyone who’s listening and think, think like old devender would think, the wordcamp is waste of time. Please don’t believe.

Just go and attend it.

[00:21:22] Speaker A: Yes, absolutely. I haven’t updated my, I keep a list of what camps I’ve attended and which camps I’ve spoken at. I have not updated it in a while, but I think in the space of the last twelve years, I’ve been to maybe 65 word camps, and I’ve spoken maybe 45, 46, somewhere, 47 times, something like that at word camps. And I would never in a million years call them a waste of time, but I can see why some people might think that when they’re still learning and getting into it, and maybe they didn’t. Maybe they’re shy or introverted and they don’t make the connections easily at those camps, and so they go home thinking, what did I just spend a weekend doing? But, yeah, if you can invest your time and approach it in a different way, I think it can be, um, they can be really amazing.

[00:22:10] Speaker B: And you raise very important point, like, especially saying hi to someone new in a wordcamp is not an easy thing for a lot of people, even for me, who is pretty good at talking in English, I can tell you, especially from people who are coming from Asia, uh, who are. Who always put doubts on the way they talk in terms of, you know, English language, because, again, we speak multiple languages, so English is not the perfect language that we come across. So this is a problem for a lot of people, even for me in the beginning, like, saying hi and starting a conversation, it’s kind of very tough, but, you know, you. You have to learn. So what I used to do, or I have started doing is so instead of other person taking initiative, like, I am now in a space where I can actually flourish and say hello. So I try to start the conversation so that the other person, you know, feels. So anyone who’s listening, please, if you are comfortable talking English, finds or sees a new person in the. In an event, go there, say hello, and start the conversation. You never know who becomes your next best friend.

[00:23:13] Speaker A: And at least for myself, and I think for most native english speakers, anybody who’s making an effort to speak to us, don’t be worried that you might say the wrong word, or we want to listen. We want to talk to people and meet new people. And let’s just say that there are apps that make that so much easier now, too. When I was at the airport, you know, I travel with my scooter, which, when I’m flying out of the United States, is never an issue because everybody here speaks English. But when I’m at foreign airports, foreign to me, of course, there isn’t always somebody that you need to communicate with that speaks English well. And that was the case. Flying out of Taipei is one of the people that was at the gate who came to talk to me about the scooter, didn’t speak English at all. So we were using Google translate right there in real time and communicating, and it worked perfectly.

And there are people that I met this past summer at the summit, the community summit, who are using Google Translate for the entire thing because they don’t speak English very well. And so I just always try to remind people, especially in an international setting with lots of different people, if English is your first language, because for a lot of us, it is.

And you are in a country that, or you are working with people who. For whom English is not their first spoken language. Speak slowly, speak clearly, use the translation tools that you need to, because when you can get to know people, regardless of language barriers, your world is so much more enriched because of that. I talk very quickly, but I try to remember well, in podcasting, especially because people are listening, but also one on one, to speak more slowly, to give people an opportunity to understand.

I’ve spent the last four years trying to learn Spanish, and I can follow conversation if people slow the language down, but if they speak at their normal pace, I’m lost. So I try to put myself in that position of being the person who’s being listened to by people who have to translate in their head. And so I think that’s good advice, is to just say hello to people. Don’t be worried about language barriers. We have so many tools now that can help with that, and you can make friends around the world. I think of Junko from Japan, and I just think the world of her. And I don’t speak Japanese, and she does speak some English, but she has to, you know, translate. And when I message back and forth with her, like through Facebook and things like that, I try to use words that will translate more directly and not use idioms and things like that because it will be easier for her translation to understand. And she does the same for me when she writes in Japanese so that I can translate to English and it makes sense. And so we just have to be thoughtful in how we talk to one another.

But, wow, my life is so much more enriched because of the people around the world that I know through WordPress, regardless of which is our primary language. So thank you for bringing that up. I think that’s very important.

Now, let’s talk about the WP weekly. I love the WP weekly, and when I was first, you know, speaking with you about the WP weekly, I was not part of post status at that point in time. And, you know, now I am the executive director of post status. I’m curating. And along with, you know, we have other people that could contribute to the weekly newsletter and to our blog. And I think you’re doing it all by yourself still, which is, you know, kudos. Hats off to you there.

But curating the news, I think it’s interesting when people try to, um, you know, pit us against one another. Like, oh, but this one is easier to read, and that one has different news. And I love. I read them all. Like, I love Ray Morris. I read hers every week. I read yours every week. There are so many. I can’t think of all the other ones.

There are some that are specific. Like, Rodolfo has the Woo weekly. There’s so many podcasts. I take in so much every week and just read down and see what people are talking about, because your focus will be different than my focus will be different than Ray’s focus will be different than Ronafel’s. Focus and we all bring such wonderful things and create such a beautiful big picture, I think, of what’s going on, but how do you do what you do and what made you think about starting it in the first place? Tell us a little bit of that history.

[00:27:52] Speaker B: Okay, so the history part. Before WP weekly I used to run a website called Pro It is still there. It was the most authoritative unofficial resource for Beaver builder users because I’ve been a beaver builder user ever since Beaver Builder came into existence and I’m still a Beaver builder user. I love it. I use it for almost all my client websites. So on that website I used to run a newsletter called Pro Beaver Weekly. There I used to share everything that was new with the Beaver Builder world, like new plugins, add ons and etcetera. So I thought like I’m doing that and I’m also doing the normal WordPress ecosystem thing because I browse and part of a lot of, you know, Facebook groups. So I basically took the same framework and just expanded from Beaver Builder to the WordPress ecosystem in general. And, and the WP weekly came into existence and obviously I didn’t have any plan that uh, that it will be very famous like it is now. Like I just started it because again, I’ve done so many other similar kind of website, not just newsletter like. I also had a WordPress tutorial website called Basicwp which I plan to reboot someday. You know, we’ve got so many side projects that we want to rekindle. So that was the like just taking the same framework and starting the WP weekly and I started sharing. You know, everyone has, like you mentioned, like we have different newsletters, but every newsletter has its own format, own flavor, own style and own focus, right?

My personal style is keeping things very simple. Like if you notice, my newsletter doesn’t have any image because for me that doesn’t make any sense because it’s all about giving, communicating things and I don’t have any, you know, fixed criteria what should be there in the newsletter. I only have one rule. If you send me something and I find it useful as a WordPress user, it goes into the newsletter. It doesn’t matter who is the creator, whether you, it’s your first product or your first blog post or your hundredth blog post, doesn’t matter. So maybe that’s, that’s what clicked. I don’t know. But I keep it very simple. Obviously I get a lot of feedback early. You know, few months were little difficult because I had to go and, you know, scar various sources to find the content that. But now things are pretty easy thanks to wonderful WordPress people. So I have a submit form on the website. So most people submit their stuff there and most stuff come from there. And plus people DM on various social networks who are connected. So yeah, it’s like a crowdsource stuff that I get. But again, you have to spend time. Like it looks easy, but mind you, it’s not easy when a single person is running it. Like I still end up spending four to 5 hours per week to, you know, finally draft the whole thing into a more readable, usable format. So it takes time. But you know, I don’t find this as a work. I enjoy writing it and it’s like I’ve written 180 plus issues. That’s like about three, three and a half years now. I still enjoy it. I write it, I start writing on Friday and I finish it by Sunday. Like I, like I’ll write a rough draft and then, you know, refine it and you know, make it more crisp. So I still enjoy it. It’s not a work for me. And at this point of my life I only want to do things that are enjoyable rather than, and the good part is the WP weekly is also now financially, you know, uh, relevant thing because it does make money, make me money. It’s not that I’m gonna become billionaire or acquire, but still, it’s still.

[00:31:32] Speaker A: But it generates revenue. Yeah, that’s a good thing.

[00:31:34] Speaker B: Yeah, it’s a side project that is little more than side now. But I do other things as well, which also takes my time. So, but I keep my schedule like that way. Like from Monday to Thursday I’m doing other things. Friday to Saturday, Saturday, Sundays I don’t work much, but whatever I do is just the WP weekly here and there, stealing some time here and there. So that’s how things are and I’m loving it. I have few other projects in my head that, you know, we all have ideas, right. Especially when you come from a wordcamp, you have even more ideas. That’s the problem of attending wordcamps.

[00:32:07] Speaker A: Yes.

[00:32:08] Speaker B: Or a good problem. So yeah, that’s how it is.

[00:32:11] Speaker A: Yeah, for sure. And so you publish it on like what’s Sunday night for you? Or does Monday morning when.

[00:32:16] Speaker B: Monday morning?

[00:32:17] Speaker A: Yeah, I just know that when I wake up on my Monday, it’s already in my mailbox.

[00:32:22] Speaker B: So yeah, you know, a lot of people actually email me. Like there’s been instances like I got late. Usually I publish it Monday morning around eight, eight thirty am, my time here. So that’s like evening or midnight time in majority of USA. So the thing is, sometime I get late because of certain things, you know, family stuff and all that. So some, oh, it’s not here or did I miss it or what happened? I said, no, it’s coming, it’s hanging there.

[00:32:49] Speaker A: I have a life. There’s sometimes things get in the way. For sure, I think. So the first time I ever did something newsworthy in WordPress and saw my name come up in one of the newsletters, it happened to be David Bissette. Put one of the episodes of WP Coffee talk early on in the post status newsletter and I would always read the news and my name was never in there, right? There’s nothing I had done that was newsworthy. And when I saw my name, I screenshot it and I still have that screenshot somewhere. And I was like, oh my gosh, I was in this newsletter. And so that like kind of got the bug of now, every time your newsletter raised newsletter, all of these newsletters come out, the first thing I do is scan don’t through the whole thing to see if my name is anywhere, which it isn’t all very often, which is fine, but that’s like, if it is like so exciting that like some, that I did something that was newsworthy. But.

[00:33:52] Speaker B: And I like to keep things personal. Like if some person has created some plugin, I make sure I mention the name of the plugin. Not just name of the plugin, but also the person. And of course it gives validation even to a person, especially if a new plugin developer and sees, oh, my name got featured exactly right here.

[00:34:08] Speaker A: It is exciting that when that kind of thing happens, but then I always scroll back to the top and read the whole thing. I don’t want you to think I’m only looking for myself. I scroll to the top, I read the whole every newsletter, I take it all in and I think about those things too, when I’m putting out our newsletter for post status, because I know how exciting it is when people see their products and things that they’ve created and what’s going on in the world. So it’s interesting when you take your own experiences and turn them into something.

[00:34:32] Speaker B: Else for people and what gives me the biggest pleasure or happiness. Sometimes I get feedback from people and like, I can tell you, like few months back someone actually sent me a screenshot and that person actually was a blogger, or is a blogger, and he told me to share his blog post. It was related to something related to WordPress, so I shared it and that person sent me a screenshot day after the newsletter. It was published in the newsletter and said, I’m so thankful my little blog got 80 visits on just few hours. It could have never happened in my lifetime. I’m so thankful.

That’s. Thanks. That thank you. The thank you is more than enough for me.

[00:35:16] Speaker A: It is. It’s such a powerful thing to help people and it doesn’t take many lines for us to include something like that, but it means the world to somebody else who sees that. And that is very exciting. I love that.

So how do you curate your news? I have a team at post status, so I don’t have to be the only person curating. I have somebody doing business, I have somebody doing WordPress, and then I fill in community and I have other writers there, of course. But you’re doing it all on your own. So how, what’s your method? I know people will submit things to you, but where else do you find your news? Are you. I’m curious if your path is similar. You know, your work is similar to how I do things. So tell us how you curate.

[00:36:00] Speaker B: Okay. The secret is I’m the only one who’s working on it. So that’s first secret. Second secret is, you know, a lot of people have those shiny tools of, you know, bookmarking things and all that. My tool for bookmarking is, I know it’s laughable, but that works for me, which is my gmail is always open on my work computer and also on my email. So what I have on my Gmail is a draft email called the WP weekly. So whenever I encounter something useful, I just copy the link and paste it in the draft email. And that draft email remains there. And that draft email gets filled from Monday to Friday as I work. Browse what, you know, various Facebook, because again, I also participate in a lot of Facebook groups as a person. Because again, if you want to write something, you also have to consume something, right? So that draft email gets filled, filled, filled. And by the time I have to sit down and write, I only check that draft email and nothing else because, and that draft email would have all the rough stuff like links, anything that came to my mind. Oh, the new WordPress beta version is coming up. I know it’s coming up. I don’t have the link, but I’ll write, write it down there, just, just in a very short form. And when I sit to write it, my content is already there. It’s just I have to write it in a more readable manner. So that’s my very simple secret, actually. It’s not fancy. Like a lot of people who say, oh, use this tool. To use that tool, guess what? You should use one tool that can serve a lot of purposes. And all of us use Gmail, right? Yeah, in fact, majority of us. So why not just use it rather than, you know, because if I use another tool, I have to login into another tool. I have to make sure the app is installed on my phone. This gmail is everywhere, so why not just use that? And I do that for all of my projects, not just for the WP weekly, but I have a draft email for all of my projects. So I just put anything that’s there and I delete once the stuff is done from that.

So it’s a very simple technique. It works for me. I’m sure if someone tries it, it will work for them also.

[00:38:08] Speaker A: Very nice. Now, I want to ask you about the WP weekly awards that you do every year. How did that come about? What made you think I should do this?

[00:38:17] Speaker B: You know, the funny part is, like, if you google, you know, best page builders, best this, best this, what you get in the results is not the best, right?

[00:38:29] Speaker A: Right.

[00:38:30] Speaker B: At least in current times, it was different, like few years back. So there’s always a question, like, people would ask me, like, hey, what is the best page builder? Which is the best, you know, theme and all that. And I’ll tell I use people builder, but that’s not best, right?

I say the best should be best for no, but I always give them an answer, like, the best page builder or the best theme or the best plugin is what you use, not your neighbor uses, right. So that’s, that’s the answer. So people was always like, how do you discover these things? So I said, let’s help people decide by themselves. So that was the, you know, the main motive of starting WP awards. Like, I didn’t want it to put, you know, that jewelry thing there. Like certain selected people would decide. So there were only two rules. Anyone can nominate anything and anyone can vote on anything. So it was the free, democratic, the real democracy thing. So, you know, it. I know it clicked. People liked it. And, you know, the feedback that I got after the first year of running it, it’s like they said, yes, I. We did enjoy voting on it, but guess what? What we enjoyed more was discovering that this specific plugin in this niche was also there.

[00:39:45] Speaker A: I never exactly didn’t know it existed until that. Right.

I see those. You have the awards.

So there are other, I think, twerk used to do, like their annual awards, and I can’t think of the others right now that do the same kinds of things. Right. And sometimes it feels like it’s a popularity contest, like, who’s got the bigger newsletters that can get people over there to vote?

And, you know, because I work for a plugin company, so I’m submitting all of our plugins, and some of them are in the same category. Like, I have two plugins in the same category, or I have, or like podcasts, I will submit the one I want to have in there, but other people will submit some of my other podcasts, and I’m like, it’s like my own children, how do I choose kind of thing. But I think you’re right. It’s not even so much about winning as seeing what’s out there. Who is the competitor, who are the competitors in that niche, and if I am a plugin developer, how can I make mine better based on what people are voting on and what kinds of things are out there. And then also just that somebody nominated you, that you’re on the list. It really is exciting to see your things out there. So thank you for doing it. I think you do it in a very good and democratized way. I think that I’ve participated, I’ve nominated, as you know, and I vote every single time, and I only vote once. I don’t log in with different email addresses and do that. But it is exciting, and I appreciate that. It’s not just something that you threw up there on the site and be like, oh, let’s just do this. You’ve done it very thoughtfully, and you are very, what’s the word I want? It’s the way that you present it and the professional way that it is on the site, as well as the way that you promote it through your newsletter. Hats off to you. I think that you’ve done a really nice job with that.

[00:41:44] Speaker B: Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:41:46] Speaker A: Of course.

Is there anything else? I know you also have an agency. I don’t know if you want to talk about the agency at all. Before we move into our rapid fire questions. Well, just so people get a complete picture of who Devender is, tell us a little bit more about what you do.

[00:41:58] Speaker B: My agency website is in maintenance mode now because it doesn’t work for me, work for me in the sense, like I’m mostly, you know, I don’t work with new clients. I’ve never worked. I’ve not worked with a new client in last two years. It’s not that I’m bragging or something, it’s just my old clients keep me busy enough to, you know, keep things because I just don’t build websites. I, you know, I’ve shifted my focus. I mostly do consulting and coaching, especially building funnels. And, you know, that is like the byproduct of, you know, doing email marketing, that you get more interested in the whole journey of a person coming to your website and then converting that person into a paying person. So that’s what I help my other, most of my clients with. And I do website design is something like, I’m very passionate about it. But you know, the funny thing is last year I only did two or three client websites. That was kind of record, like the lowest record that I’ve ever done. But I’m happy about it because again, with every few years, you know, everyone should see a change in what they do because that’s how, that’s a good indicator that you’re growing.

[00:43:02] Speaker A: Yeah, I think that’s true. Well, I’m happy to hear that you’re not having to hustle for clients and that you’ve built a life, a sustainable life for yourself and your family. That’s wonderful. So kudos to you. Let’s move into our rapid fire questions. They’re not really rapid. I just ask questions, but they are maybe shorter answers is probably the way to think about that. But here we go. Ready?

[00:43:28] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:43:29] Speaker A: What are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?

[00:43:35] Speaker B: I think rather than plug in, I would say type of plugin. Like one would be a security plugin. Second would be SEO and third would be a page builder or a theme that you love. Like for me, security I use path stack, love it for building. I love baba builder and Astra theme, love both of them. And for SEO I use yoast and seopress. Again, I don’t use both of them on the same site.

[00:44:01] Speaker A: Okay, good to know.

[00:44:04] Speaker B: On some sites I have your. Some site I have SEO press. Again, it depends, you know, because both have their pros and cons, I won’t get into those comparison, but I think these three things should be there on everyone’s radar.

[00:44:15] Speaker A: Absolutely. Now you talked about being a consultant and coaching sometimes, but have you had a mentor or a coach at all during your WordPress journey, whether it was official or not? Maybe somebody that you kind of modeled your business after or somebody that was an official mentor? Tell us. You know who that person was.

[00:44:34] Speaker B: Well, I will always be thankful to a person called Kim Doyle. I don’t know if you know her.

[00:44:40] Speaker A: I do.

[00:44:40] Speaker B: So when I entered, when I actually became active in the WordPress space, she was, she used to run a website called and she was called the WordPress chick. And I don’t know how I connected with her. And we started, you know, interacting, you know, the things I learned just by interacting with her was so valuable in my personal growth as a person, as an expert or even as a, you know, WordPress developer and designer. So I’ll be always. Thank. We still chat almost every week though now we don’t chat much about WordPress because even she has expanded beyond WordPress now. So yeah, she was not my official mentor but actually I didn’t even know what mentor was. The concept of mentoring and mentee at that time. So yeah, having an official one doesn’t even went into my head. So I will always be thankful to her.

[00:45:36] Speaker A: She is a pretty awesome person, that’s for sure.

So for the next question, you can’t use the same answer. So you have to have a different person in mind. But who is somebody in the WordPress community that you admire and why?

[00:45:49] Speaker B: Well, they’re not just one or two people, they’re actually many. Like for last few years we have a very private slack channel and that feature four other people from different parts of the world other than me. And we talk about anything and everything and I love it. And few of those people include Rob Keynes, Paul Lacey, Toddy Jones and Ryan Waterbury. And one is from Canada, two is from us, one is from UK. So it’s, you know, it’s so fun because we are there at a different times, at different, you know, we all have different time zones, but I know this is a place where I can share an idea and get a real answer rather than a fabricated one. And that’s what we do. Like, I also will give you the real feedback. And we all, even though we all are in the WordPress space, we all are doing different things. Like Tory is more into copywriting, you know, Rob is more agency guy and all that stuff. So yeah, this is a close knit circle, but other than that, the other circle that’s growing in recent time thanks to wordcamps that I’ve been started attending. Like, I’m discovering more WordPress people who are living locally near to my house. So now I know like ten minutes drive from my house, I know there’s a plug in developer living right earlier, I didn’t even, you know, didn’t even forget about, I’d never even imagined like someone who usually, so there are many, you know, people around my, in my city that have started interacting and we started meeting regular basis like this Simran deep, this just pray, this, this tinder. There are many people around. So yeah, I love it. So there’s many people.

[00:47:28] Speaker A: That’s awesome. I love that. And I do love how big, it’s a small world and a big world at the same time. Somebody once said to me, I said something about, oh, it’s what a small world that we both know somebody and they said it’s a very big world, but there’s small circles in it and we interact with each other’s circles. And I thought it’s a good way to think about it for sure. Well, what’s something that you still want to learn in WordPress that you haven’t learned yet?

[00:47:52] Speaker B: Well, I did made the first step during the contributor day at the recent concluded word Cambasia. So the thing is, I contribute to WordPress via the project WP weekly and other things I do, but I’m never recognized as an official contributor because, you know, the official paths are completely different than the path I follow. So this time I made a promise to myself that I would not sit on a table or contributor table that I already know a thing about. So I’ll sit on a table I have zero knowledge about. So I went to the, I went to the documentation table and because I know I can write documentation and all are pretty good at writing, but I had zero idea how to even start with it. So at that table, Milana Capp was there and Anand was there and they were so helpful in actually opening my eyes. It’s not that difficult to actually be a, you know, contributor in terms of writing documentation. So I learned a few things, the basics. So I’m gonna follow up and actually do that thing in coming weeks and see how it goes.

[00:48:54] Speaker A: It wasn’t just for the cookies, right, because Milana always brings cookies to her contributor table.

[00:48:59] Speaker B: Oh, those, we didn’t get any cookies. The WordPress people took those cookies away. They said, you are not allowed to eat there. So the cookies vanished in front of her eyes.

[00:49:08] Speaker A: Oh, that promise. And then not to be able to have them.

She’s good about that. She likes to bribe people to come to her table.

She’s smart.

What’s one of the biggest mistakes that you’ve made in WordPress and what did you learn from it?

[00:49:25] Speaker B: Mistake again. The mistake that I’ve done and many people do is often changing your tool set like new shiny things comes in the market. Oh, I need that and I need to put that in my business, man. This is the most, the biggest mistake and I think a lot of people are still doing it. I think you should not do it. And now I’m of this thinking, if a tool is working on a foundational level, just keep using it because no tool is perfect and then it’s not about the tool, it’s about the end result. People forget, you know, if you see the discussions that happen in our ecosystem, the WordPress ecosystem is more this tool is that. This tool is that, this is this, this is that. I think we should, rather than talking about WordPress, we should talk more about business around the WordPress. That would help every one of us, even the product makers of the tool. So our priorities are little wrong in here. Probably will get right as more and more people talk about that.

[00:50:23] Speaker A: Makes sense. Well, what’s your proudest WordPress moment?

[00:50:28] Speaker B: Proudest. I was the opening speaker at Wordcamp Udaipur, which was in India in 2017 or 2018. I’m forgetting the date. So that was my first ever Wordcamp and that was my first ever as an opening speaker. So I actually attended that Wordcamp because I was told to become an opening speaker because they thought I’m worth it. So, yeah, that’s like, obviously I had some, you know, nerves standing there for few seconds.

[00:50:57] Speaker A: Sure.

[00:50:59] Speaker B: And it was a huge audience, so. But I did well. So, yeah, you know, even today if you put someone on stage, there are a few nerves here and there. But I think I would do better now compared to those days. Again with, you know, with time view improve, I guess.

[00:51:15] Speaker A: Very true. Absolutely. That’s awesome. That’s very cool.

If you weren’t working in WordPress and technology, what’s another career that you might like to attempt?

[00:51:29] Speaker B: So I’m MBA in finance, so if I was not in WordPress, I would be sitting in a bank, accounting cash.

[00:51:38] Speaker A: I think WordPress sounds more fun then.

[00:51:41] Speaker B: Oh, yes.

You know what, I actually worked in a bank for a few months and I got tired, you know, I don’t want to, you know, dot it quote s not now. It’s like two. I’m talking about 2005 when I completed my MBA and all that. And I said, no, I can’t be counting cash and talking to people whole day. And my. This is missing. That is missing. That’s not what I want to do. And I left the job in two weeks. Two months.

[00:52:06] Speaker A: I also have an MBA. I think we don’t find a lot of people in WordPress who went the MBA route.

Mine’s in marketing and I actually do marketing. But it’s nice to kind of to know that you’re a fellow MBA. That’s kind of cool.

[00:52:21] Speaker B: Yeah, I’m MB finance. I just keep counting money now.

[00:52:24] Speaker A: So that’s as long as it’s coming into your account, that’s what’s more important than anybody else’s.

What’s something on your bucket list?

[00:52:35] Speaker B: A lot, to be honest. Like I just told you, like, came back from Wordcamp, right? Lot of ideas, law of light bulb moment. You know, one thing that in recent years that I’ve discovered, like when you talk to a CEO or a founder of a certain product, be it a plugin or a theme, and you discover that was kind of a surprising for me also. Like I met a few founders slash CEO’s of free products and I discovered they are not actually developers. So that was like, really even this can happen. So that was kind of, you know, eye opening for me and you know, yeah, I can also do something like that.

[00:53:12] Speaker A: That’s awesome.

Show us or tell us about a hidden talent that you have that the WordPress community might not know about.

[00:53:22] Speaker B: I think my biggest talent in recent years is finding domain names for my friends. Like I find the best domain names for everyone and sometimes I even make the logo for them. So because I’m a pretty handy designer, like pretty good designer, I’m proud of that part of my, but I’m pretty good at finding domains. I always find, not any other dot this and that. And most of them, in fact all of them have been very happy, like, oh, I didn’t know that there’s such a domain, such an amazing domain existed and I had to pay just $12 and not $2,000 for it.

[00:53:56] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, that’s the hard part, right? It’s like the more domains get purchased, it becomes. It’s almost like that puzzle solving or kind of thing that you. And when you find it, don’t you feel like you just want to like jump up and down and like, yes, it’s, I love it too. It’s fun.

[00:54:12] Speaker B: And you’re saying, oh, how is this domain available exactly?

[00:54:18] Speaker A: I think there was, when I was doing agency work myself, I had just freelancing like ten years ago, I had somebody come to me to build them a website who did h vac work and also was electrician and Was just available as a regular $12 a year website. And I was like, seriously, how did nobody already have that, right? And I was just like. And they ended up not going with me and I just relinquished the domain of its $12 investment. Right. But I was just like, man, somebody’s gonna be so happy to have that on that website site after a while.

So how can people find you online? Find and find your resources wp weekly. How do people find you? And the newsletter online and on socials.

[00:55:10] Speaker B: So if you are into WordPress, go to I couldn’t find, so I had to add the and if you want to know more about me, I’m I the winder I as in iPhone, followed by Davinder d a v I n d e R. That website needs an overhaul, so don’t get scared if you see a very but I’m either vendor on everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, anyone on Instagram. So yeah, DM’s are open on Twitter. So if you want to say hi, hello. Happy to connect with.

[00:55:43] Speaker A: Excellent. Well, thank you for taking time out of your evening on a weekend to, to meet with me. And it’s been fun to get to know you a little bit more. We of course, DM, every once in a while I send you things that I think you might want to know about and include you in circles that I think you should be part of. But it’s nice to actually spend an hour and get to know you a little bit better too. And it was so nice to see you in Asia recently. So looking forward to continuing our friendship as we continue in WordPress.

[00:56:12] Speaker B: Thank you for inviting me. It’s always fun to talk to you.

[00:56:15] Speaker A: It was my pleasure. Thanks for being here. And we’ll see everybody else on the next episode of WP Coffee Talk.

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