My name is Ivica Delic, the Co-founder, and CEO of Freelancers Tools, #1 Hand Curated Software Portal for beginners & professionals with 4,000+ manually collected applications. Portal is created for helping freelancers, startups & others to choose the right & affordable software for their digital businesses.
I’m also known in the WordPress community for volunteering & helping members in the 25+ Facebook groups with more than 200,000 members as an admin/moderator, and in many other Facebook groups as a member. I am also actively helping people on Quora, too.
I was born and have been living in the town of Split, Croatia (EU). I have a Master’s Degree in Economics and have been working in the Banking industry for 21 years where I have been Project Manager and Card Centre Director for 13 years. During the years I gained advanced Management & Project Management business knowledge as well as various IT skills. My interests are planning and organization of our business activities so that we become more productive & efficient.
I had a lot of life challenges and tough moments during my childhood:
- I lost my brother and afterward my mother, too.
- Around that time a 5-years independence war started in my country.
- My father and I had a difficult time as we didn’t have enough money, so I had to find a way to earn it and at the same to finish my studies.
- I started to work as a private tutor in a few subjects which helped us a lot financially. It became a real asset to me as that experience helped me in my banking career as well in supporting the great WordPress community.
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
The Journey Began
I was always interested in technology. The first time I accessed a computer was back in the 90s, in High School. I started to use PC’s Seriously in 1994 during my faculty days as an assistant to my IT professor in the Computer Lab.
I started to use the Internet and build HTML websites and online businesses in 1995. In 2011 one of my acquaintances asked me to create a Facebook business page for his family business. He was so pleased with the business results that he asked me to create a website as well. I discovered WordPress and we are still in love. 🙂 We tried Joomla before starting with WordPress – but nothing comes even close to WordPress.
In July 2019. I left my banking career to replace it with the Digital Marketing career and to further develop my WordPress knowledge and on-line business.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
The Need for Freelancers Tools
Freelancers Tools Logo
In our Freelancers Tools Facebook group and other Facebook groups we manage, one of the most common questions is:
“What is the best plugin/theme/software for (something)?”
As I have been using and discovering software applications for years, I wanted to organize them all and put them in one place (my “hamster” characteristic 🙂 ). Freelancers Tools idea was “born” primarily out of my desire to help people not to waste time searching for affordable software.
When we do our collecting, testing, and using various software tools and put them all in one place, we can help people in the best possible way, very fast and easy by recommending various software for satisfying their business needs.
Freelancers Tools Portal is unique for its software applications manual curation on the basis of 300,000+ members’ input in the numerous Facebook groups. Detailed categorizing and application filtering plus many decades of software usage experiences of the whole Team.
This whole and detailed qualification process is based on the desire to help as many people as possible, and it is not commercially motivated: that’s what separates it from many other similar projects.
A huge number of collected software tools (4,000+) was a big challenge to put on the WordPress site without slowing it down as WordPress databases aren’t quite suitable for so many items and fast loading/search. However, after some investigation, we found a perfect solution for it: wpDataTables plugin which supports MySQL searching thus maximally reducing searching time.
That is the core of our website, the base for successfully building the Freelancing Tools platform on WordPress. We were very proud of being able to solve this big obstacle and proving that WordPress is capable of (almost) everything!
We have now another challenge for making a more simplified searching/filtering system for the appropriate software tools. Therefore, we started the website’s rebuild and we found additional plugins that are better for organizing basic software collections per category.
This is a big endeavor that is ongoing, and we still don’t know how much time we will need for that. Once when we finish with all the ongoing processes – Freelancers Tools Portal will be much more usable and content-rich for the beginners but also for the professionals.
“Be in the business of helping others and fortune will follow”
Myself with my Brilliant Team
We are a fairly distributed team, with the majority of team members located in Croatia. As we work from our homes, here is a combined picture:
Team Freelancers Tools LtR (Myself, Ante Parada, Nives Delic, Scott Schiesel)
Ivica Delic Workplace
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Advice for Business Owners
My top three pieces of advice for those who want to start their own business:
- Pick up an area where you are passionate to work in and simply enjoy doing it – otherwise, you could give up pretty fast.
- Assemble a good and reliable team ‘cause you can’t do it all by yourself – well, at least, you can’t do it with high-quality output.
- You need to start business activities at some point, no matter how much you think the timing isn’t perfect enough.
“Think big, start small.”
WordPress & Beyond
Our objective is to grow Freelancers Tools to be the central point for all software tools recommendations for freelancers, startups, and small/medium companies.
Besides services we already offer like social networks consultancy services, web design, and websites building, content writing, SEO, website maintenance, we plan to introduce regular tools reviews, to build an education platform, to provide consultancy on improving various existing products (plugins and web tools) in order to increase companies’ incomes.
I’m very optimistic about the future of WordPress in the next 5 years and beyond. WordPress’s market share is constantly growing, and more and more amateurs and established businesses choose WordPress for their website’s engines. Very important is that WordPress is already in the process of simplifying its usage.
What I simply love about WordPress is the fact that even non-coders all by themselves can create beautiful websites full of features. I also believe that the WordPress plugins concept allows WordPress to expand its features and possibilities.
Those two processes alone, with the huge WordPress Community, should be enough to keep WordPress in front of their competitors for many years to come. This WordPress open source spirit is amazing and so inspiring to all of us working with WordPress!
“The future depends on what you do today.”
My Love for the WordPress Community
So far I have not attended any WordCamps, I was planning to do it this year in Portugal, for WCEU, but this pandemic changed our initial plans. I hope it will be possible sometime in the future.
However, I did attend some Meetups, here in my hometown. It was a very enjoyable experience, I liked it a lot – learned some new stuff and met some nice people. I was even giving lectures on speeding up WP sites as well as I am always happy when I can pass my knowledge and experiences to others.
“Sharing is caring – by helping others to achieve their dreams you will achieve yours.”
In the WordPress community, there are so many great people that are incredible! I can’t list them all here as there are many, just to mention some of them: Scott Schiesel (also one of my closest Freelancers Tools associates), Dennis Dornon, Gordan Orlic, Kruno Ris, Hristo Pandjarov, Vito Peleg, Todd E. Jones, Tina & Dejan Todorovic, and many, many others!
A lot of them I still didn’t meet in person, but I hope it will be changed in the future…
How I Keep Myself Updated
I try to follow many resources, more or less regularly, depending on the available time, but mostly the ones I follow more or less regularly are WP Tavern, wpMail.me Newsletter, Medium Digest, Search Engine Land, various Facebook groups curated news, etc.
“News is only the first rough draft of history.”
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
It’s very hard to “make peace” between professional and private life. However, in my free time, I enjoy some quality time with my family and friends. I like exercising, running, walking in nature/mountains, traveling around my country/Croatia, reading, etc.
“You will never feel truly satisfied with work until you are satisfied by life.”
I Reward Myself by
I like to “reward” myself with going out for a drink/dinner with our friends, by watching movies with my wife and I also like, for myself and my team, to “hunt” and buy some useful software tools when they are on the LifeTime Deals (LTD = one-time software payment for life).
“Your mind is a gift. Your heart is a prize. Your soul is a blessing. Your life is a reward.”