I am Vikas Singhal, the founder of InstaWP. I live in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. I am a Computer Science engineer by profession who decided to come out from the world of complex servers and work to improve WordPress.
You can consider me a small-town boy who made a big into the world of WordPress.
In my free time, you can find me with my family or sipping filtered coffee.
The Journey Began
Before I tapped into the realm of WordPress, I was channelizing my creativity into server infrastructure development. One fine day, my brother decided to build an eCommerce, and I joined him in his journey.
I helped him in developing the platform, and this is when I was exposed to the power of add-ons and plugins.
I was impressed seeing the functionalities that the right add-on or plugin bought to the table and eased down the development. The kind of appreciator I am, I praised these plugins in the communities and made them popular.
The more I learned about plugins and add-ons, the better I figured out the caveats in WordPress development workflows and the onboarding process.
As WordPress is the world’s leading web development resource, I saw an opportunity here. I thought, what if I address the pain points of this community and build a plugin that the WordPress world is lacking today?
Being a developer and an engineer myself, I know what relief a feature-rich tool like ours can bring during the process of development. So, I decided to work in this direction.
The Need for InstaWP
I will be honest here; the idea of starting InstaWP never came to me overnight. It shaped slowly and evolved as I started working more with WordPress.
As I worked closely with WordPress plugins, I learned the troubles an incompatible plugin or theme could cause to the live site. I also didn’t like how each staging setup takes so much time.
I eagerly wanted to shorten the WordPress onboarding process that makes professionals ignore testing in the staging environment.
I knew the importance of testing because I have seen many better-performing WordPress sites seeing doomsday just because of a wrong plugin/theme. I have seen many WordPress developers struggling hard to find troublemakers. This is what motivated me to come up with InstaWP.
After multiple failures, I successfully launched InstaWP in 2021. After that, I never looked back.
WordPress agencies, freelance developers, and other professionals felt a bit of relief with the launch of InstaWP, as now they have the 1-click creation and migration facility for staging sites.
Yes, you heard it right. InstaWP made staging site development so easy that it became child’s play. As time passed, we managed to develop a wide range of preset server configurations and staging site templates.
Developers need to enter the site information into the template of their choice, and voila! A feature-rich staging site was ready.
It felt unreal to many. But, those who used the product become our best marketers. Of course, the entire process was never easy, and it will never be.
We faced several challenges, such as, we were once banned by the registry due to targeting by spammers. InstaWP failed several times before its launch in 2021.
But, we never felt intimidated by these setbacks. Rather, we rolled up our sleeves and faced these challenges with pride. After the above-mentioned incident, we built our security system from scratch.
The result? We’re now one of the most favorite WordPress developer tools with impressive rankings and a business funded by WordPress’s creator company Automattic.
We offer aids like InstaWP Connect (a WordPress Plugin) and InstaWP Launcher (a Chrome Extension) too. Besides InstaWP, I have run another company that offers various other tools/plugins.
Myself with my Brilliant Team
Our team is connected remotely, so fetching a complete team picture will be tough. However, I can share a picture of my current setup for now.
Vikas Singhal Workplace
Advice for Business Owners
You don’t need a great idea; you need a pain point to hit upon. You need to understand the market and the features or capabilities that current products or services are lacking.
Many companies make phones. But, the kind of services, user experience, and features the iPhone offers are hard to match. The previous phones didn’t pay attention to data security. But iPhone did, and it clicked. Rest is history.
So, don’t do different things; do things differently.
About the particular niche – I think Block Editors and Block-based websites have a great scope in the near future.
Stay in Touch
WordPress & Beyond
In the WordPress industry, I am still a pupa who is waiting to become an adult butterfly and spread my wings. Currently, I am, along with the team, working to bring more capabilities to InstaWP, the WordPress Sandbox tool.
We are working on the InstaWP Connect plugin too. Its Beta version is out there, and we’re working on adding Iterative Sync capabilities to this plugin.
My future plans include simplifying WordPress sandboxing and staging further in order to make WordPress testing/development a seamless task. I am driven to simply the WordPress testing so much so that no developer will have qualms about trying it.
I understand that I am not the only one having this vision. But the good thing is that I am making efforts that one make to bring this dream to reality. I worry more for my customers than my competitors.
With a skilled team and an unwearied focus, I am confident that my dream will no longer be far fetching. Soon, the world will live it, experience it, and use it for real. In fact, 346,911 sites are already built using InstaWP.
My Love for the WordPress Community
I openly admit that I am a hardcore WordPress lover and don’t mind going the extra mile to connect and upgrade the community. If a WordCamp is happening, I make sure that I mark my attendance there. There is so much to learn.
I recently attended WCEU 2023 and loved it.
In fact, InstaWP is sponsoring WordCamp Banglore this year. I will also be going to WC US 2023. Talking in person and discussing real-time challenges directly has its charm.
I admire Matt Mullenweg, the Founder of Automattic. His one thought of offering free and open-source web software changed the face of web development once and for all.
How I Keep Myself Updated
WordCamp, Webinars, WordPress blogs, and newsletters of various WP products are a few ways to brush up on knowledge and learn a few life lessons.
Also, I am a subscriber of WordPress.com and read its blogs regularly. Where else can I find the latest updates about WordPress?
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
I hardly get any free time anymore 🙂 But when I do, I spend time with my family and friends. We go out to eat, to the park, and play football or any board games.
With friends, we have the rule to wake up early on Sunday and pick a new place every time and eat breakfast together. This rule has kept us connected in the busy world we live in.
Diwali is the biggest festival we celebrate. We usually go to our parents’ place in the central part of India. We make sweets, perform rituals, and, best of all – burst firecrackers.
It is one of those sweet childhood memories in which you get to re-live with your kids and parents at the same time.
I have traveled a lot due to the nature of my work. I really like places which are more calm and near to nature.
One of my favorite places is Goa. I also like South Africa, as they have still kept all the nature while living an urban lifestyle.
I Reward Myself by
Gosh, I am not even sure when I rewarded myself lately. I think I should do that more often, but when I feel great about something, I share the news with my family & friends.
I try to take a break from work and think about what the world has given me, and become very thankful at the same time.