I am Vito Peleg, the founder of Atarim, originally from Israel and based in London, UK.
I was not the best student in school, but I was always curious, inventing little things from a young age – I always preferred to dive into a subject I am currently interested in rather than follow the traditional school curriculum.
I enjoy taking courses, reading, and straight up asking others who know more than I do about a topic.
The Journey Began
I built my first website at the age of 14, playing with FrontPage Express and learning HTML as I go along. It was a pretty cool website about the skateboarding crew we had as teenagers back in Israel.
I then continued to build websites for bands I played in and for friends who needed help here and there. Everything from custom HTML and CSS pages to Drupal, and I even dabbled with Wix for a while when it first came out before finally finding WordPress.
Being a broke musician in my early 20s I was looking for ways to generate some extra income online, so I signed up for an online course called Making money online haha!
They taught how to set up blogs to generate revenue from Google Ads (Adsense), which worked great back then, and suggested WordPress as the CMS.
From then on, I was hooked. It was simple as compared to the other tools I was using before and worked perfectly for that use case by using a few plugins recommended in the course.
I ended up building 10 of these niche content sites, improving my WordPress skills with each one. Diving deeper into traffic sources, doing SEO, and sharpening my coding abilities to stretch the abilities of the free themes I was using to match the designs I had in mind.
The creative process is what drew me in, the more I became familiar with the platform and how to manipulate it, the more I enjoyed its power and flexibility.
Between then, through my WordPress agency years later, we created 600+ websites using WordPress.
The Need for Atarim
When I was running my agency, we were juggling multiple projects and learning how to serve our clients efficiently as we were growing. It became obvious that we needed to realize that our team and our clients live in different realities.
While we, as web builders, look at a website, we see the layout, the color schemes, the user experience, we see the “matrix”, while when our clients are looking at a website, in most cases, they see a rectangular box with colors and text.
Starting from this point, we created a tool that was meant to simulate the experience of having the client standing next to you, pointing at different sections of the screen as they speak. As simple as it gets.
We found a similar solution with InVisionApp, which we used for a bit. We still needed to take a screenshot of each page and upload it for the client to leave comments, then retake the screenshot, re-upload, and move the tasks around after we made changes.
That created a bunch of extra work and contributed to the fragmented experience we were already giving our clients – Stating in Emails, moving to Docs for the content, using Invision for the revision rounds, then back to emails along with Trello for ongoing support.
It was a mess!
So we initially built it as a very scrappy tool for us to use internally. And, It worked like magic!
After a short beta stage, we learned that our biggest competitor is actually Emails. With more than 70% of the market still using emails for their main communication tool about bugs, content, and design changes.
An email is a 30+-year-old tool that was meant to replace physical letters. It’s far from being designed for our use case and that’s why we see some much back and forth, frustrations, and headaches trying to get on the same page as our clients as website creators.
We felt it was time for a designated platform for WordPress professionals to manage their entire project with the tools that work with you rather than fight against you.
So will find a suite of small features in our product that systemizes your day to day – From the automated screenshots, the Kanban views, the uploads directly to the media folder, or the automatic login when you open a new task. It works with you and, no other tools will ever do that as they are focused on serving multiple niches and use cases.
Luckily, Atarim has run pretty smoothly so far – Especially since the first few months were like a dream – We even made history being the first product by a new company to reach six figures in revenue in the starting 30 days. We’ve been growing steadily since the launch and it is exciting to start the day and do something I enjoy doing!
I do remember, during the agency days, a few rough patches, the least from the feast and famine nature of the agency model to an employee that left for the weekend and left the country over the weekend. Without telling me and any other employee that decided to delete a full client website on the day.
I took my first holiday in a year – Leaving me to deal with old backups and rebuilding lost features while waiting for the flight at the airport. haha!
Advice for Business Owners
Do it! It’s not easy but there’s nothing like the feeling of building something from scratch and making it a success, whatever the definition of that may be for you.
You have to understand that as the business owner you have complete responsibility for every single thing that happens within it.
So if you’re not a person that “takes ownership” of everything you touch, this game is probably not for you – But the best way to find out is to give a shot. Not “giving it a try” but “giving it all you got!”
When it comes to finding your niche or your business model, that is a very personal thing. The best way to look at it is like a Maze that you solve backward.
Starting from a solution and moving back to what the target audience and the right business model for this solution. It can also include your personal preference and depending on your skills or what you feel doing comfortable (or slightly uncomfortable).
For example, you can choose to build WooCommerce addons as sell plugins OR you can choose to create Woo shops and plugins for specific clients.
You create your own reality so, better choose something you enjoy doing!
WordPress & Beyond
We recently celebrated our 1st anniversary and, it’s been a he** of a year! I want to continue serving more and more freelancers and agencies through our platform, continue to grow the team and expand our solution further to tackle all aspects of the project delivery for WordPress professionals.
My dreams are big and we built a great foundation over the past year to keep scaling further!
I think that the reach and opportunities will only continue to grow in this space. I don’t think that WordPress has a solid competitor at the moment, at least from the professional point of view. Despite Wix and Squarespace and others, as they are more of DIYers tools.
I think that some substantial changes need to be made to the database and core to help speed up websites further through modern tech.
My Love for the WordPress Community
I do, well I did, before COVID hit, I was practically on tour last year and, I loved every minute of it. Either as a speaker, sponsor, contributor, and attendee, this has been a crucial part of our early success – Building solid relationships with other product makers in the space as well as making some good friends that we stay in touch with regardless of the business.
The depth and power of the WordPress community are rare and all that allow themselves to get closer and engage will discover how meaningful it is.
Wow! I met so many amazing people through WordPress. It’s hard to place a finger on it but, I can say that after last year’s WordCamp US, Andrew from Elegant Marketplace and Hans from Termageddon have become great friends that I talk to on a daily basis. 🙂
How I Keep Myself Updated
I always found a bit of a fragmented experience, collecting information, and staying up to date with changes in the space.
That’s why we have set up the Atarim network – Continuing on our mission to fix communication breakdowns for WordPress pros.
We’re collecting the latest news from the WordPress space in 1 place as well as allowing community members to collaborate and learn from each other. You can join thousands that are already with us here for free.
We’re even pulling articles directly from this website to help our community learn more about the founders in the space!
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
Wow! It has been a while since I took some time off.
I try to get away for about a week every six months. When I do take a holiday, it’s either going back to Israel to spend some quiet time with the family or my wife and will travel over to Europe to discover a city we haven’t visited before.
Though my ideal holiday is sitting on the beach or by the pool and soaking in some sun.
Now I can’t wait for the next time!
I Reward Myself by
I enjoy what I do so, I feel rewarded just by doing it well.
I don’t have any conditional rewards apart from ordering a pizza once in a while if I feel I had an extra good day.