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I am Vladimir Prelovac, founder of ManageWP, ask me anything!

Aug. 3, 2015

When not dreaming about sending a rocket to the moon, I run a WordPress business called ManageWP. I have been contributing to the WordPress movement since 2007; I've built popular plugins, developed themes, started a successful WordPress SaaS, talked at WordCamps and published a first book on WordPress development, back in 2009.

It is noon CEST (6 AM EDT) and I will be checking this for the next 10 hours. Thanks for your questions.

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28 votes   Flag
Ryan Love

Super excited for this! Thanks Vladimir for being willing to give up some of your time. Now onto the questions... ;)

How did you come up with the idea for managewp.com?

How long did it take for you to get the first version of the product out there? And what did it look like?

Looking back over the last five years of managewp, what have been some of the biggest mistakes you've made and how would you change them?

Hope that's not too much!

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Vladimir Prelovac

1) The idea was given by a friend of mine who was managing several WordPress sites (hey Dave). Interesting how it still stands.

2) It took about 6 months. I actually managed to find how ManageWP looked like in 2010 :

s4.postimg.org/dq6qogqt9/image.png

You can compare that to ManageWP Orion (our next gen version) in 2015 managewp.com/design-decisions-behind-managewp-orion

3) I should have probably started working on Orion earlier. But was busy learning all the 'how to run a company stuff' and making beginner mistakes along the way.

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Ryan Love

Love the contrast between 2010 vs 2015

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Nemanja Aleksic

If you were able to implement one major change to the WordPress project, what would it be?

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Vladimir Prelovac

I think that the size and the nature of this project is currently more suited for the Advisory Board style of leadership (covered it in more detail here managewp.com/wordpress-advisory-board )

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Claire Brotherton

Hi Vladimir

Loved seeing the screenshot from 2010. :)

My questions are:

1. What challenges have the variety of different hosting environments posed for the ManageWP service?

2. Have you thought of producing a guide to choosing a compatible host for ManageWP? It would be good to see what features the optimal host has. I've come up against issues with backups etc. a number of times.

Cheers

Claire

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Vladimir Prelovac

1) This has been a huge challenge and still is. Luckily we now have 5 years of experience under our belt which is allowing us to take things slowly and rebuilt every feature in Orion from scratch with that knowledge in mind. There will always be challenges with certain hosts and we will always keep trying to reduce the hassle for our users.

2) There is one such guide available here managewp.com/user-guide/faq/optimum-site-server-setup-need-order-experience-full-power-managewp

The best would be if we built a WordPress hosting product ;)

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Claire Brotherton

Thanks! ManageWP hosting would be awesome!

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Ryan Love

As a person who's done their fair share of hiring developers, what are some of the most important skills you look for?

What should a developer who's just getting started in the career be focusing on?

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Vladimir Prelovac

1) Skills can be easily learned so I'll focus on character traits instead. Persistence would be number one. Kindness and humility second.

2) Setting up an ambitious goal for themselves and improving their persistence.

If you are interested in our hiring process devana.rs/blog/hiring-process-devana/

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Ahmad Awais

Hey Vladimir,

A few questions;

1) How do you hire WP developers nowadays? What do you look for?
2) Do you think working for WP is profitable if one doesn't get to sell his products and stays in Freelance/Agency business? Agencies pay pretty less for Full Stack Devs, they are known to not even cross $100K per year, even for developers with 5+, 10+ years of experience?

3) I'm sure there must be a time when you were not that successful, but being an entrepreneur how did you cope with the questions, problems and issues of being left alone (living only with self-belief)? If you ever did, how did you cope with that?

4) What are your future plans with ManageWP.org, do you ever plan to build an API for it? With which we can embed our recent readings/shared post of MWP.org at our own blogs?

In the end, I'd like to thank you for doing all that you have done for the WP Community.

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Vladimir Prelovac

1) See the answer above

2) It depends how you define profitable. I remember how $500/month at one point in my life seemed like profitable work. One thing I know is that products are scalable, services are not.

3) I went through some pretty tough things in life when I was a teenger and that taught me an important lesson on persistence. Everything is easier when you learn to always get up.

4) I have a lot of plans for ManageWP.org and some of them you've seen through Plugins/Events modules. However these things demand resources, and since this is a non-profit project it moves slowly. I'd very much like to open-source the platform but am embarrassed with the current state of the code to do so right away.

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Ahmad Awais

Thanks for the answers.
I can very much understand 4th point :P

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Donna Cavalier

Has to be asked... When can we expect to see Orion go live to the public?

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Vladimir Prelovac

October 26th!

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Donna Cavalier

Sweet!

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Jay Wasack

Hi Vladimir,

Can you say when the some of the more desirable features in the "old" platform are going to be turned on in the BETA version of Orion? All I see now is backup. When is clone, plugin update, etc going to be released for beta testers?

You have a great product and a top-notch support staff.

Jay

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Vladimir Prelovac

More features will come after the release, obviously we plan to introduce lot of most useful ones until the end of year but we will not rush. Quality of the introduced features (its reliability, performance and ease of use) is the top priority for us, and the main philosophy of Orion.

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Ahmad Awais

Cool!

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Tom Harrigan

What have been the biggest challenges from a community management/growth standpoint in creating managewp.org? What's been most effective in producing desired behaviors? (voting, quality sharing, commenting)

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Vladimir Prelovac

Keeping the quality of content high. This is particularly challanging in the era of Internet/seo spam. So we developed a system which made the site a 'fortress', kind of hard to get into. This probably slowed growth but it helped deal with this problem quite effectively.

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Ryan Love

What does a typical day look like for you? (If there's ever a "typical day") Perhaps a better question is, what tasks are you currently responsible for and how do you manage your day/limited time?

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Vladimir Prelovac

6am: waking up, business email
6.30: running/swimming
8.00: making breakfast for my daughter
8.30: taking her to kindergarten
9.30am - 4.30pm - office time, work on ManageWP, our numerous R&D projects, company culture, meeting with team leads, future plans.
5pm - picking up daughter from kindergarten, family time until 8pm
8pm - 11pm; more email, reading blogs, articles. I use zite and reddit.com/futurology for most inspiration.

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Dan

Hi Vladimir,
I'm very much looking forward to Orion like everyone.
I'm setting up my maintenance service and am very keen to get an indication of pricing for the new service. Is there any way, publicly or privately I could get an indication of price before October 26th, as then I could prepare to build expectations with my clients for the prices moving ahead. That would be incredibly helpful to help us all prepare over the next few months.

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Vladimir Prelovac

Orion will be free for unlimited number of websites. There will be couple of premium addons, but unlike current ManageWP, you will be able to enable them on certain sites only. Example of a premium addon would be the real time incremental backups with our storage on Amazon S3 with an expected price of $5/month per site.

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Dan

Thanks, that gives me a better idea of what to expect. Do you expect to offer bulk discounts for premium addon subscriptions on multiple sites like is done at present? I guess it would be more complex when each individual addon can be enabled per site.

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Sunjay Kumar Aryan

I started loving managewp. My day just can't start without it. I agree to your point that products are scalable but services not though I also believe to put in that effort and time that goes in making a product is not possible for everyone. I have experienced it myself as my products are giving me results after 3 years of continuous putting in money and hardwork. Wish you all the best!

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Scott Carter

I've been a customer for over a year now. In that time I've never had 100% reliable backups on the few dozen sites I manage with your product. They routinely fail, without errors for debugging, and sometimes simply don't run at all. I've opened seven tickets regarding these issues and still, to this very minute and despite quite a bit of work on my end, backups are failing. In the past few months your technicians have been pushing me to try Orion, which I did, but as you mentioned above it's not feature complete and even the backup functionality isn't 100% ready. Orion is still in beta and I don't understand the logic in asking customers to beta test products on production sites, especially when you can only use the ManageWP plugin with the live product or Orion, not both. Even when Orion launches you say some features won't be there, so people like me will have to wait to switch.

So, my question is this: What are you doing to improve the backup rates in the mean time for your current paying customers?

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Vladimir Prelovac

There is a technology limitation when doing backups the 'standard' way and this shows as problems you have been experiencing. ManageWP still has probably the best success rate in this setup, beating BackupBuddy and other popular WordPress plugins in our internal testing. But this is not enough, we wanted our users to turn them on and forget about them. I wanted to have an equivalent of OSX TimeMachine for WordPress sites.

That is why we rebuilt the backups from scratch in Orion and went with a dedicated service route (similar in a way to VaultPress). This way we can have near perfect success rate which is something I am obsessed with. We built all kind of technologies to faciliate this goal like incremental backups, versioning, checksums, secure storage. Orion backups are each day nearing the target goal of 99.5% success rate across all hosting environments. This is incredibly challenging and takes time to get right. But we are getting there. Many customers already reported how some sites that would not backup with anything, finally did with Orion managewp.com/managewp-orion-developer-diary-3-bulletproof-backup-solution

The solution we implemented is very robust and we can tweak it to work with every kind of WordPress/hosting setup, which is not possible with the od way of doing backups.

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SDCphotos NY

Hi, Vladimir - thanks for this great service! I'd really like to continue using ManageWP, however I want every single solitary plugin and theme to be able to be updated through the dashboard, but for some reason that's not happening. When I go to the dashboard, it says No updates available, however when I go to the dashboard of individual sites, some of them show certain plugins (revslider and udesign woocommerce integration for example) that need to be updated, and some of them show that my theme (udesign) needs to be updated - but the mystery is why on some of the sites those very same plugins and themes are already updated. Can you help me solve this mystery and is it possible to have ManageWP detect every single update that is needed rather than having some slip through the cracks? Thank you!!

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Vladimir Prelovac

I think we solved this by now, please contact st@managewp.com to get further assistance.

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Bryan Conrad

Hello Vladimir and congratulation on the success you are having with ManageWP. I remember learning about MWP and using it years ago when I was learning to create WordPress blogs and websites.

Okay, my question is two fold. First Have you given any thought on updating your long lost Smart YouTube Pro WordPress plugin. Second if not would you at least think about it, lol. You could make it part of the ManageWP addons and I would be willing to pay to have that plugin back.

Thanks Bryan



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