Lars Koudal of WP Security Ninja Sharing His Success Story
Lars Koudal of WP Security Ninja

Lars Koudal – Owner of WP Security Ninja

My name is Lars Koudal, the owner of WP Security Ninja; I was born and raised in Denmark by two loving parents and a fantastic older sister.

I was introduced to computers at an early age. My mother’s computer from work sparked my interest in computers and programming. Her job allowed her to have a computer at home that I could use when she did not work on it.

Pentium 8086. It had no hard drive, just two x 5.25″ floppy drives, and a green 80×24 character CRT monitor that made more noise than the computer itself.

I learned GW-BASIC as the first programming language, and I was hooked. I knew I would be working with computers somehow in the future.

The Journey Began

I learned Pascal and Delphi while in school. After college, I studied media production, marketing, and design at Denmark’s Interactive Media & Marketing Academy.

Although always interested in coding, I had dabbled with 3D. After I found out I had a skill for it, I was fortunate to make a living working with CGI for several years, working on a movie & tons of TV commercials and instructional videos.

I had a consultancy in Denmark for about ten years doing 3D presentation material, web design, and development on many different platforms.

Around the same time, I also worked for Electronic Arts as a freelance Linguistic Tester. I worked on many different titles for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation for over seven years. I was fortunate to work and spend months in other countries, meeting many great people.

Around this time was when I started playing with WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, and a ton of other different platforms for different projects.

I gave up freelancing for a couple of years when I worked as an account manager for a media agency in Copenhagen. I worked with small SEO and WordPress projects in my spare time.

Although I loved the position and my colleagues, I always desired to travel outside Denmark. So in 2008, I was fortunate to find work as an SEO/PPC manager for a Danish affiliate marketing company setting up a European HQ in Barcelona.

Things went badly for the company very quickly, though :-/ The business went bankrupt about three months after I moved to Spain, at the end of 2008.

I had to decide what to do. Having just moved to a new country looking for new adventures, I was not ready to turn home just yet.

I went back to working freelance. I decided to focus on just WordPress and learn that platform well instead of trying to solve customers’ problems using different platforms.

I had six beautiful years in Barcelona, but I met “the girl” on vacation in Florida. I fell in love, quickly proposed, and moved to Florida. Today we are happily married going on seven years.

The Need for WP Security Ninja

WP Security Ninja Logo

WP Security Ninja Logo

I have worked on cleaning up many hacked websites in the past. Some of my websites were hacked, and many clients approached me to help them out after some malicious code got onto their websites.

By working on these cleanup projects, I learned quite a bit and got some experience using the different WordPress plugins and tools available at the time.

I noticed that none of them was very userfriendly, and all of them required some knowledge and experience with security phrases and terminology to use properly.

Later on, I discovered that the owner of an established security plugin was interested in selling, so I approached him to set up a deal.

Security Ninja has evolved and improved a lot since then. The focus is on improving the user experience to make it easy and painless to secure their website.

There have been a lot of rewrites to improve the plugin, provide more protection and add more features. We also overhauled the website and added a lot of documentation.

We also switched the payment and license system to use Freemius, which lifted a lot of admin work to improve the product.

Recently we released an extension for MainWP and have many other powerful new features in the pipeline ๐Ÿ™‚

There are other products in the security niche, and although they are competitors in the traditional sense, they are also collaborators in the fight against hackers and malware creators.

Although we are still smaller in size, it shows we are in a market with plenty of growth opportunities.

I also own cleverplugins.com, which initially had a lot of different plugins. Over the years, I have reduced it to just a couple of products, though, SEO Booster and Delete Duplicate Posts.

Recently I have also launched a video course on how to speed optimize your WordPress website for better Google PageSpeed scores, only in Danish – sorry ๐Ÿ™‚ Hastighedsoptimering – den sorte kunst.

Myself with my Brilliant Team

I work from my home with help from subcontractors and freelancers.

Lars Koudal Workplace

Lars Koudal Workplace

The only full-time support is our two cats, Coco (Chanel) & Calvin (Klein).

Lars Koudal Pets

Lars Koudal Pets

Coco is my most dedicated assistant, and she joins many of my video meetings.

Lars Koudal Working with Coco

Lars Koudal Working with Coco

Advice for Business Owners

Starting a business is a big decision, but not as complicated as many people worry it might be.

Start now, today – while you have a job or you are still studying. This will give you income and security while you prepare for going full-time. It is a process that can take longer than you expect.

Knowing where to focus your time is hard. There are hundreds of things you need to learn, keep an eye on and constantly improve. Set realistic goals for yourself and expect to have a few setbacks.

Don’t beat yourself up if things are hard or take longer than you expect – good things take time ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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    WordPress & Beyond

    Although I am obviously very dedicated to the WordPress ecosystem, it should also be clear that it is not the solution to every problem.

    I have turned down several projects and referred people over the years to other platforms because WordPress would be the wrong choice for their particular needs.

    Although I am starting WordPress projects, I also spread my business interests to other markets that do not involve WordPress directly.

    WordPress has been going strong for many years, but technology is evolving rapidly.

    I have spent hundreds of hours in the past studying and mastering software and technology I no longer use at all.

    In five years, I do not see a huge change in the strength of WordPress. But ten years from now? Twenty? Who knows.

    My Love for the WordPress Community

    I have been lucky to attend several meetups in Barcelona and a couple of WordCamps in Miami. In general, I communicate with my contacts via email and video chat.

    Looking back at over 14 years of working with WordPress solutions and products, I can say I am delighted with my choice to focus on WordPress ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have met many great people and learned a lot from being in the community.

    How I Keep Myself Updated

    I use a curated RSS feed list, and I have signed up for many newsletters that help me keep informed of much of what is going on in the community.

    I also have an excellent network after a couple of decades of working as a freelancer so that I can pick up on new ideas and products that way.

    I Have a Life Other Than the Work

    Being a freelancer for a couple of decades, I have learned to take care of my mental and physical state.

    I go to the gym several times a week, and at least a couple of times a week, I jump on my bicycle and go for a ride. I live in Miami, close to the beach with lovely places to enjoy.

    My wife and I share a love of hiking in the mountains, trees, and fresh air. Our favorite type of vacation involves a nice cabin in the woods, going on different hiking trails during the day with a jacuzzi to loosen our sore muscles in the evening ๐Ÿ™‚

    I also enjoy going home to see my family and old friends in Denmark.

    I Reward Myself by

    I always went towards the freelance career path because I was able to travel and take time to see my family when I wanted.

    I try to visit my family once or twice a year, and I usually go for a month at a time, combining the trip with a couple of days in Copenhagen on the way visiting friends.

    Connect With Me

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