Phil Storey of Glow

Phil Storey – Founder of Glow

May 21, 2024 / Plugins / 0 comments

My name is Phil Storey, Founder at Glow. I was born and raised in Blackpool in England (maybe you’ve heard of their football team? They’re terrible, lol), a small seaside town not far from Manchester. 

Now, I live in the beautiful city of Lisbon in Portugal, having moved here from the UK in 2022. We have much more sun here than in England!

The Journey Began

My digital life began back in 2010. I’d recently finished university and having always had a keen eye for design, imagined that web design would be a good career to pursue.

So I taught myself how to write HTML and CSS, using Lynda.com … I owe so much to those guys!

Ultimately, when I felt I’d gained enough skills to build good websites, I had two choices … get a job in an agency or start a small business. I decided to take the plunge and started a small business.

I found WordPress on, you guessed it, Lynda.com. I told you I owed a lot to those guys! It just struck me as a game changer immediately. I’d been building basic, static HTML websites and WordPress opened me up to basically endless possibilities. I knew straight away that I’d be using it from thereon.

The Need for “Glow”

Glow Logo

I grew my small business into an agency, in the city of Leeds in Yorkshire. I ran the technical side of the business, while my business partner ran the marketing side. 

Website support and maintenance was a really good revenue stream for us. At our peak, we were managing 100+ websites for businesses across the UK.

During that time, we used a product called ManageWP (which I’m sure many of you know). It really helped us streamline our maintenance tasks across our clients’ WordPress sites.

However, maintenance was only one part of our ongoing service. The other part? Providing support to clients. And we were still doing this by email … sigh. Because ManageWP had nothing to offer from a support perspective.

So I signed us up for Freshdesk, a popular ticketing system. It was in using Freshdesk and ManageWP at the same time that something clicked for me… what if there was a product for WordPress agencies that combined maintenance tasks AND client support into one place? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Sure enough, there wasn’t one on the market. And in my research, there were plenty of agencies that wanted it!

So I decided to build it … and that’s when Glow was born.

There have been loads of challenges along the way. Think of the infinite number of ways that a WordPress site can be built … that in itself is a real challenge for us, to make sure websites stay connected, backups can be run/restored and updates can be performed. All from one dashboard. Not easy!

Overall, I’m genuinely very proud of myself and my team for introducing something of real quality into this amazing community of creators and innovators.

Myself with my Brilliant Team

Phil Storey Working Remotely

We’re still a small team at Glow, and we’re 100% remote, operating from places like Lisbon, Berlin, Kiev, and Manchester.

While most of the team works from home, I like to explore the different coworking spaces around Lisbon (so many cool ones).

Serhii, our Head of Development, is based in Berlin. He’s been developing SaaS applications for around 10 years now and has a deep understanding of how to build scalable and well-maintained software.

Serhii is joined by Yury and Rohan, both senior developers. We also have Tom on our board, who brings his many years of experience and technical brain to the project.

Advice for Business Owners

In my career, I’ve run a service business and a SaaS business, and there is one core value in both that I will never let slip … customer support.

I’m crazy about it.

If customers are paying you for something, whether it’s website development or a subscription to your SaaS product, make sure you provide them with an incredible level of support. So many businesses fail in this, either by providing rubbish AI-powered support or by having poor-quality human support.

And for me, there’s no excuses. It’s got to be one of the easiest things for businesses to get right, yet so many don’t.

I can’t tell you what the best niche to get into might be. This will be based on your experiences up to now. But I can tell you that if you’re starting, don’t neglect your customers at any stage. Setup solid support processes from day 1 and please, make sure it’s a human who is responding!

WordPress & Beyond

We have lots of exciting plans for Glow. You can check out the roadmap on our website for more information about what’s coming.

I’m very active on LinkedIn, and I see lots of people posting about AI’s threat to web development (which, of course, in turn, could affect WordPress). It’s no doubt moving at an incredible pace and so it’s hard to know what life will be like 5 years from now.

AI to one side for a moment, though, in the CMS market, I can’t see WordPress being overtaken anytime soon. The likes of Squarespace and Shopify have been around for a number of years now, and WordPress continues to dominate.

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My Love for the WordPress Community

It’s my personal mission to attend as many WordCamps as possible, and I’m really excited for WordCamp Europe in Italy in June 2024. I’ve met some great new contacts at WordCamps in the past, and it’s such a thriving and positive community.

Throughout my career, I’ve always been a big believer in networking, meeting new people and building relationships. So WordCamps suit me perfectly.

Kyra and Christiaan from MaxiBlocks (fellow Lisbon lovers) and Julian from Jellyhound, an agency in Scotland, are among my good friends from WordCamps.

How I Keep Myself Updated

I love The WP Weekly by Davinder. I’m also in the WordPress Slack community and spend (probably too much) time on relevant YouTube channels as well.

I Have a Life Other Than the Work

I’m a big sports fan. I like to play golf and have recently got into padel, which I love. Beyond playing sport, my idea of heaven is watching England play 5 days of Test Match cricket … I’m a purist lol.

Holidays for me are family time. My girlfriend and I usually go away somewhere local, or we spend time with her family or mine back in the UK.

I’m a big fan of travel and have been fortunate enough to go all over the world. My favourite part of the world? So tough. Probably New Zealand or Central/South America. Yorkshire is very beautiful too ;).

I Reward Myself by

Rewards for me are simple things. Like giving myself the afternoon off, or going for a weekend break with my girlfriend. Portugal is a beautiful country and there’s so many gorgeous little old cities/towns to explore. A nice little beer and some food in the evening sun. Doesn’t get much better than that for me.

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