I am Igor Ligay, the founder of “Masterstudy”, one of the most selling WordPress Education themes. I was born in Uzbekistan on January 11, 1988. By nationality I am Korean and my native language is Russian 🙂 I am married and have two kids (boy & girl).
The Journey Began
Back in 2007, we started building websites using our self-developed Stylemix CMS for our customers. This became our routine job for almost two years.
In 2009, we started building websites with WordPress and saw a big opportunity on Themeforest where authors (developers) sell copies of WordPress themes and plugins. We explored it a bit in detail and found it to be a good fit. So we decided to give it a try by submitting our first WordPress theme to Themeforest.
We worked on Elance.com (currently Upwork.com) and I saw that several clients requested WordPress theme customization. We considered WordPress as a free open-source blog CMS and didn’t think about all WordPress possibilities and features.
And one of our clients – Peter Hattingh advised me to check out the Themeforest marketplace. I wondered how many developers have their WordPress themes on the marketplace and sell copies. It was a dream job to have our own WordPress product because we felt tired searching for new customers, jobs, etc.
The Need for Masterstudy
The LMS system is growing in popularity. Distance learning is a very promising role and learning has always been a cornerstone in almost every field. So for me, the most interesting project is Masterstudy LMS – our Learning Management System plugin for Education. It is all about online education offering many advanced features to easily create a website with online courses for private instructors, coaching, tutors, or organizations.
During this pandemic, we wanted to help the community to spread knowledge by developing such products so that everyone could build an online training platform like uDemy and Lynda. Higher educational institutes can implement the top-notch learning technology of LMS and create a perfect workflow within any educational institution.
The feature-rich Masterstudy LMS Plugin gives you unlimited possibilities to create any kind of educational content, form courses, and present it online, in the most demanded and convenient format. These are a ton of features, which every user definitely need to use:
- GRADEBOOK – Analyze student statistics: enrollments, attendance, course completion, quiz passing rate.
- TRIAL COURSES – Allow users to experience the flexibility of learning, make the first lesson free, and open to the public.
- CO-INSTRUCTORS – Easily assign a second instructor to the course, work together and share responsibilities.
- COURSE BUNDLES – Increase your revenue and provide advanced offers to learners by selling courses in packages.
- CONTENT DRIP – Lock the access to the second lesson unless the student completed the first one or customize your sequence.
- CERTIFICATES & BADGES – Create beautiful certificates and award students for successful course completion.
- ASSIGNMENTS – Add assignments to the lessons. Check students’ work, grade their performance and leave notes.
- POINTS REWARD SYSTEM – Award points to students for different activities and allow redeeming them for courses.
- LESSONS LIVE STREAMING – Conduct lectures in real-time, stream lessons, communicate with the students, take Q&A.
- GROUP COURSES – Sell courses to companies and organizations, create groups, and assign the course to each member.
- EARNING & COMMISSION – Distribute commission, set commission percentage, and effortlessly manage the whole process.
- ANNOUNCEMENT – Post interesting topics, news, and communicate with students via Announcements.
So, in a nutshell, it is a complete package that a learning management system should have.
Myself with my Brilliant Team
Igor Ligay Workplace
Advice for Business Owners
Business owners today must understand that their website has to sell and bring direct revenue. Every business niche requires its own approach, but the main idea is simple – develop a system (business process) inside. For some businesses, it would be useful to have a direct booking/appointment tool on the website (see Bookit plugin) or have a services cost calculator in front of the customer (see Cost Calculator).
For people who are doing business around WordPress, I would recommend reading my book ‘How I made 1 million-selling WordPress themes’.
In our company’s strategy, we pursue a goal to help business owners make their website useful for visitors and bring direct revenue.
Stay in Touch
WordPress & Beyond
In the coming years, I see my company as a SaaS provider. The plan is to keep the WordPress department as well until the WordPress market will stay in demand. But we would like to move forward with SaaS solutions like the LMS platform or Listing Directory platform. Because in my opinion, WordPress doesn’t fit functional websites and it can not stand the big amount of requests with the database.
In short, we don’t stop on WordPress. We are considering transforming our WordPress products into bigger SaaS products.
Moreover, I think the platforms like Wix or Shopify are making big trouble for WordPress. We are trying to analyze the traffic around WordPress and we have seen a traffic decline since April 2021 to all WordPress-related topics. Even the big blogs about WordPress dropped significantly. I think there might be several explanations for this situation.
- In 2020 when the COVID pandemic started, everything moved to update, enhance and customize their websites, so demand, traffic, and sales have been 2 times higher than before. So now, this year, not many people are in need of website refreshment, redesign. And it should become better in 2022.
- People are looking for all-in-one solutions with hosting and theme at the same place. So that’s why services like Wix and Shopify are having success today in 2021. Customers don’t want to manage and carry about WordPress security, update plugins (if not they will get a virus on their website), and theme. They don’t want to hire a developer who can customize the website and keep it updated.
My Love for the WordPress Community
Stylemix was presented as a Speaker at the Envato Meetup in Moscow 2018. Many attendees asked us about our success on Themeforest. How did we achieve Top-20 on Themeforest, how do we manage our item development, etc. And I decided to write a book about doing business on Themeforest, which I mentioned above.
Elegant Themes and Learndash inspired me the most. I also like the Divi approach when they build their subproducts and services around the Divi builder. Learndash doesn’t have a Free plugin on wordpress.org and for me, it’s difficult to understand how they market a WordPress-related product without a WordPress org repository.
How I Keep Myself Updated
I keep an eye on many WordPress related resources to stay updated, here are a few to name:
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
I like playing FIFA on Playstation. I even won a few tournaments in Uzbekistan in 2016-2017. And I play Counter-Strike GO on PC and even supported a professional Uzbek team for CS GO.
For vacations, I usually spend Christmas and New Year with my family and parents at home.
I’m fond of traveling too, the United Arab Emirates and the United States are two of my favorites. I like to have a short chill in Dubai after stressful months of work. In the United States, I look for inspiration to create something new in our business.
Moreover, I have two dogs and a cat.
Igor Ligay Pets
I Reward Myself by
When I’m happy, I usually:
- Reward my employees
- Buy gifts for my family
- Spend time with my family
- Travel to other countries