My name is Mizanur Rahaman Mizan (people call me Mizan, pronounced as Me Zaan). I am from Bangladesh, a beautiful country in South-East Asia. I am a software engineer (Post graduated in Computer Science & Engineering) who also happened to love digital marketing. I grew up in the port city named Chittagong and I had a great childhood doing a lot of crazy things!
The Journey Began
Being a Computer Science graduate, developing websites and applications wasn’t a tough job for me but definitely, it was taking ample time to make a simple website. Then I came to know Joomla and started creating websites using it. Back in 2008, I first explored WordPress and never looked back again.
I used WordPress for blogging initially then slowly I figured out that I can make any website using WordPress. From 2010, it became my primary arsenal for making a website. Simplicity, ease of adoption, and scale is the reason I choose WordPress.
Not only this, WordPress opened a great doorway for me as a freelancer to earn by providing WordPress-based services. I made 6 figure income as a freelancer and agency owner within a few years. So after figuring out what WordPress can do and what it did to improve my living as a whole, I stick to WordPress and the journey is now more than a decade. 🙂
The Need for Theme Rally
Theme Rally Logo
There is always competition in this first-moving world. So I never chased competition but always tried to find opportunities and market gaps. As I have started blogging from my college days, I know what bloggers and affiliate marketers want. So I decided we will go for a micro niche website theme made with WordPress.
We started creating themes for bloggers and affiliate marketers. Bloggers suffer from page speeds, complex theme structures, etc. So I decided to make a theme that is conversion-friendly, fast, and easy to use. This is how Theme Rally started and we are different from others.
Being a city that has a lesser workforce compared to the capital of Bangladesh, I struggled to find good talents. And, there is a saying, you are the average of people you hang out with. So I couldn’t figure out the bigger picture at the beginning.
It took a few years to form a quality team and at the same time earn for me and the whole team. So it was the worst experience. Then I migrated to the capital and started hanging out with Multi-Million dollar company founders like weDevs, WP Developers, Themeum, and some company owners from abroad.
I slowly figured out the golden rule of hiring and now I am proud of my team and what we are doing. Hopefully, within the next few years, we are going to be one of the best in the WP Industry.
Besides the themes for bloggers and affiliate marketers, we make Elementor page templates for bloggers, affiliate marketers, and small entrepreneurs. These are conversion-friendly items. You may be surprising, how do you know that? It’s because we provide digital marketing solutions to our clients and know their pain points.
Based on requirements we make our themes and templates. So it converts! We also provide one-stop digital marketing solutions to various companies. BdThemes, SmartDataSoft, StylemixThemes to name a few. Besides all of these, we also offer WordPress Site development and maintenance services.
Myself with my Brilliant Team
Here are a few pictures of myself and the team.
Team Theme Rally
Mizanur Rahaman Workplace
Advice for Business Owners
We often tend to do complex things while starting a business like we want to build a lot of themes, plugins, and other things simultaneously. But it doesn’t work best this way unless you have a lot of cash to invest/burn at the beginning. I have learned this lesson a hard way. So I would suggest starting small, finding one idea to build at a time.
Once you leverage it and get success, focus on bringing more ideas to capitalize on your business. I have plans to make some videos for beginners to kick start their business on my WP-based channel named WP Boffins.
Moreover, I would suggest making some micro-niche products first. Then offer all-in-one solutions/multi-purpose items. Like you can target making items for tutors, listing sites, etc. Once you are successful, you can make items like Astra, Elementor add ons, etc. Additionally, we’ve seen great opportunities in marketing & SEO-related plugins.
WordPress & Beyond
I have tried a lot of things, done a lot of R&ds over the last 3 years. We are now focused on making some addons for popular page builders and some plugins for the micro-niche industry. And for WordPress, I see it will continue to rule because of the Block based ecosystem and also ease of the REST API based development.
We saw a surge in the eCommerce industry due to which the related SMBs are being acquired by some big giants. Prestashop, Shopify is doing quite amazing and has seen lots of stores migrating from WordPress to these platforms and vice versa. But I think WP-based eCommerce solutions need to be more simple so it is adopted by SMEs easily.
As we have seen that the in-person meetups are being affected for a long time providing an opportunity to competitors to run their online campaigns. Being a community-run project, I think WordPress.org lacks in promoting it online as it requires a budget and all that stuff. But, I don’t think competitors are an extreme threat to us!
My Love for the WordPress Community
I love meeting people at WordCamps and small meetups. I have been to WordCamp in India, Nepal. For WordCamp Asia 2020, I booked an air ticket, got the visa but… you know what happened!
I plan to physically attend WordCamps in 2023 (if God permits). I am an international speaker, organizer of WordCamp Dhaka 2019, and the lead community meetup organizer for the WordPress Chattogram Meetup Chapter!
We never missed a monthly local meetup before the pandemic who pushed us to meet virtually. But now, we are back to the routine.
I have a huge list of people whom I consider friends in the WordPress Community. Mentioning just a few would be a crime! But as I have to say so I would say, Kafle from Nepal, Michelle from the USA, Olga from Russia, Maja from Serbia, Jose from Spain, Anthony from Australia, Julian from Malaysia, phew!
I have more to mention but I stopped thinking people might get bored reading my list.
How I Keep Myself Updated
I am regular to the slack-based WP communities. It helps me get the idea about upcoming changes and what Tech and policies we are adopting into WordPress. I am also a regular Codex (Developer site) reader to keep myself updated with the technical updates.
I read WP Beginner, WP Boffins, WPTavern to keep myself updated about what is happening in the community. I love the book digging into WordPress for beginners, but I hardly read that nowadays I wanted to mention it so anyone reading this interview can benefit from it.
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
I read a lot online and travels! I take my bike and randomly roam around the city and suburbs! I spend my holiday with my family. I mostly sleep on a festive day. Then I slowly start visiting friends and family on the holidays.
Being an avid traveler, I love to visit:
- Pokhara, Nepal
- Shimla, Kashmir (India)
- Bali, Indonesia
- Bandarban, Sylhet & Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh)
I Reward Myself by
I love to give myself gadgets when I achieve something as a reward and also do the same for my team, or surprise them with bonuses, refreshments, increments, etc. Besides this, I contribute almost 20% of my net profit for charity & social causes.