I am Andrew Palmer, living 24 miles West of London UK. I grew up in many towns and villages across England as we seemed to move a lot and I have no formal education. I was the last of 8 children and I have a half-sister. I am also a twin (Nightmare, right!)
The Journey Began
I used to build HTML and Flash Websites along with producing Litho Print and litho printed CD ROM. I used Joomla & Drupal in my early days of CMS to build my first website.
Mark Copeman, one of my close friends introduced WordPress and guided me with endless questions as I could not get hold of the WP concept – much like people are feeling with Gutenberg right now. Joomla got hacked back in the day and I nearly lost everything, due to this, it was obvious I needed a solution that was safer and more secure.
The Need for Divi Sorted
Divi Sorted Logo
The Divi blog module out of the box was always frustrating for users. My team and I came up with the solution just because we were also fed up with filtering and sorting Posts, CPT’s, Products, and Pages.
Divi Sorted is one of our first products – but, as one of the co-founders of Elegant Marketplace, we kind of know what users want. Our Agencies are pretty much exclusive Divi Theme although we are agnostic and can work with bootstrap, HTML, and every page builder out there.
I recently acquired All the Divi Plugins that Sean Barton a prolific Divi Theme plugin maker had, we also acquired Elementor Contact Form DB, so the future is both exciting and terrifying as we need to 1) get up to speed with all the plugin updates and 2) ensure that support is at the very best level which is something Sean struggled with as he is just one man!
Our team is very experienced in WordPress support and as users of all 23 plugins, we can make sure at the very least that all users are supported well moving forward.
Advice for Business Owners
Just start – you are as good if not better than the next person, have faith in yourself and your abilities and when choosing partners, choose wisely and if you can, find a mentor – it is invaluable!
As far as building a niche – well, you can, but, sometimes, that restricts you. Great niches to work in are Restaurants, Education, and Legal.
WordPress & Beyond
We are lucky that we sold 3 parts of our business in 2018/2020 – Elegant Marketplace to InMotion Hosting and Page builder cloud & Layouts cloud to Sitepressor.io so, we have funds to experiment, invest and grow our plugin development business over the next two or three years.
We also have a small hosting and web design business that keeps us busy with around 500 clients who need us every day too.
WordPress is getting a bit complex in its thought processes. I prefer platforms to be just that – building blocks. Sometimes, WordPress is confused with Automattic in as much as the same guy is perceived to be at the helm of both – and the lines are getting more and more blurred.
WordPress needs to retain its roots of being community-based, free at its core, and get control of dashboard advertising, upsells, and commercial plugins to stop any kind of crossover affecting administrators and users.
The threats I see to WordPress are cloud services like Wix, Weebly, Webflow, and Shopify. These systems are designed to appeal to the non-web developer and at a first glance seem more cost-effective (especially when just starting a business).
I see WordPress with full site editing in Gutenberg as a positive and indeed, this could be a jump start to WordPress providing user-friendly cloud services like the one mentioned. I think the threat to WordPress is less than the threat to WordPress core, plugin, and theme developers.
After all, if the perception is “anyone” can build with WordPress – where does that leave the thousands of dedicated volunteers, agencies, and freelancers? It is my view and it has always been my view that Web builders need to be less reliant on one particular platform and at least learn what other platforms, page builders, and themes can offer.
My Love for the WordPress Community
I love the WordPress community – although I have to say, after visiting a lot of WordCamps (when we could) I did tend to see the same people or type of people presenting and attending.
I think it would be great if WordCamps allowed at least a few commercial-minded presenters to speak – it would help others in finding their niche and indeed invigorate the community to strive for profitability so that we can all feed our children a little better.
Andrew Palmar at WordCamps
Sean Barton is my best friend in both life and WordPress, we developed many products and services together and he is one of the most talented people I know. Our friendship over the past 14 years or so is unbreakable and we have both tested it to the extreme. I am proud to say, I was his best man a few years back when he married the love of his life!
Andrew Palmer With Sean Barton
Vito Peleg of Atarim has become both a firm friend and a great mentor as he has, in my opinion, one of the best WordPress plugins out there and knows how to service his client base and how to market to them as well. We literally talk every day!
Andrew Palmer With Vito Peleg
Andrew Palmer With Hans & Donata
It would be remiss of me to not mention by name the people I regard as close friends and mentors too.
Melissa Love of the Marketing Mix, Rosie Robinson from Wuf Design, Michelle Nunan of Divi Soup, and the whole team of Big Orange Heart (feel free to donate or seek help, today!) – basically the list is endless – I have found the friendships I have made in the WordPress community to be the most wholesome, honest and supportive of any I have made in my life.
Of course, last but not least, my head developer Mahesh Pandey, we both have now worked and grown together day in, day out for just about 7 years and he has become a major factor in my WordPress success as well as his own. If I didn’t mention anyone, you know I am thinking of you daily! 😉
Andrew Palmer With Mahesh Pandey
How I Keep Myself Updated
I am at my computer for two full days a week and at least 4 hours a day every day. I surf, keep myself up to date by following blogs like Chris Lema’s and I am also on the panel of WP-Tonic podcast which helps me keep abreast of and comment on – all things WordPress.
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
I play golf every other day! We tend to go somewhere sunny as that is what my girlfriend prefers and if it has a golf course as well – all the better. Recent places visited before Covid were Albania, Germany, Boston, St Louis, Spain, and France.
I adore Albania and I love to play golf in Spain or Portugal. We have two dogs, Billy (the small one) and Dave a Working Cocker Spaniel. Both of them are my best mates too 🙂
Andrew Palmer Pets
I Reward Myself by
- Playing Guitar (badly)
- Traveling to other countries
- Eating at unknown Restaurants
- Donating to a cause
- I love to play golf as much as I possibly can