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This episode James and Jean are joined by Robert Abela, an EU based freelance IT consultant and WordPress Security Professional with WP White Security.
Robert is a major player in advocacy for WordPress security, and owns the No. 1 WordPress Monitoring & Audit Trail Plugin. Additionally, aside from his own security blog, Robert is also a guest blogger on many web-security blogs and websites.
- Robert’s journey with WordPress.
- It all started as a hobby.
- Robert developed on the side, but never considered himself a developer.
- At the same time he had a WordPress security consultancy business.
- He began working with a friend, but development was sporadic.
- After searching on a shoestring budget, Robert started working with a part-time dev.
- Started his premium add-on model.
- A multitude of competitor plugins were launched.
- His developer saw this as a sign of defeat and jumped ship.
- To make things worse, competitors knew popular people in the community and received a lot of coverage.
- Down but not out, Robert considered pulling the plug.
- Unstable sales resulted in a personal lost of $8,000 in the first year.
- Obligated to increase the sales – Robert sought to expose the add-ons without “in your face” advertising.
- His execution resulted in increased revenue, sales, and popularity. $30+k revenue this year.
- WP Security Audit Log is now the Number 1 plugin amongst its competitors (in terms of active downloads).
- Lessons learned:
- Never give up, but be realistic!
- Numbers/statistics are a good indication of how successful your product will be.
- Keep an eye on the competition, though don’t let that hold back a good idea or plan.
- It’s important to be first on the market, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re not.
- Success is not easy! If it were easy, everyone would be successful.
- The Plugin/Security:
- Blocking (firewalls, etc.)
- Control (privileges/permissions)
- Keeping a watchful eye.
- Easing the process of troubleshooting.
- Detecting possible attack attempts.
- Doing forensics work in the unfortunate case of a hack cleanup.