This week’s Finely Tuned Consultant hails from Austin, Texas.
Meet David Vogelpohl.
David Vogelpohl is the founder and CEO of Marketing Clique, an online marketing and web development agency which helps clients build websites, mobile applications and online marketing campaigns. Marketing Clique is a well established WordPress provider assisting clients with a mix of WordPress centric solutions.
David has 15 years of web development and online marketing experience across a wide variety of web technologies and online marketing channels. David is a published author in Feed Front Magazine, speaker at WordCamp, speaker at Pubcon and veteran of online business since 1996.
In David’s own Words
I was instantly addicted to the simple and elegant way that WordPress allows webmasters to manage websites. We chose WordPress as our primary CMS platform because of our team’s background and WordPress’ flexibility and popularity.
When was the first time that you really got excited about WordPress and at what point did you decide to make it your career?
In 2007 I started contributing to the top 10 online marketing blog, Marketing Pilgrim and became introduced to WordPress. I was instantly addicted to the simple and elegant way that WordPress allows webmasters to manage websites.
In 2010 I started Marketing Clique where we provide web development, mobile app and online marketing services. We chose WordPress as our primary CMS platform because of our team’s background and WordPress’ flexibility and popularity.
WordPress’ popularity means that it is easier to hire developers, our customers are more familiar with it and we can participate in the large open-source community working to make WordPress better.
Marketing Clique’s approach is to use the right tool for the right job, and WordPress fits the bill across a wide range of websites. Selecting WordPress as our primary CMS was an easy choice.
Where do you go first to get your WP news, insights, and updates?
In the early days, I spent time on WordPress.org among a few other sites, but most of my knowledge I gained by speaking with other developers using WordPress.
Learning about the problems they were tackling and how they went about it was a great learning opportunity.
What performance tips would you give to other pros (as related to speed, scalability, security, plugins, backup, etc.)?
My main tip would be to pick a powerful hosting provider like WP Engine. I made the mistake of hosting one of my primary sites on a cheap shared hosting account. I helplessly watched the host melt down when my site underwent a DDoS attack. The attack was generating 1.5 million page requests per hour at its peak.
After my site was down for 3 days, I called WP Engine. My site was back up within 3 hours and was loading 4x faster than before. The funny part is that initially WP Engine didn’t stop the attack, they *served* it.
To me this illustrated that my site was not only vulnerable to attack, but that the old host was ill-equipped to handle large traffic bursts. WP Engine not only eventually stopped the attack, they were able to serve the traffic it was generating just as if it were a traffic spike from Techcrunch, etc.
I cringe thinking that my site could have been down during a flood of positive traffic, and I’m thankful that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about any more.
Find a good host!
Confess to us your biggest moment of WP fail?
My biggest fail has to be pressing “publish” instead of “save as draft” on more than one occasion. Luckily, I use WP Engine’s staging area to help avoid this over site in the future!
What do you think is the biggest challenge that WP consultants will face in 2012?
I think the biggest challenge for WP consultants in 2012 will be further positioning WordPress as a viable CMS for enterprise customers. Many companies still see WordPress as a blogging platform and not as a platform for complex websites.
If you could change one thing today about WP, what would it be?
I would make it more intuitive to add custom fields to pages and posts. This is a powerful feature that many developers overlook. Making custom fields a more integrated experience with WordPress will lead to websites that are easier to manage for novice users.
Let’s face it. Tweaking a web page in the WYSIWYG is a great way for clients to get into trouble. Segmenting content into fields helps the end user update their website without accidentally removing that key div.
Where do you see WordPress going in the next 2-3 years?
I’m expecting a lot more support for mobile in the next 2-3 years.
We’ve found that many of our clients are seeing low conversion rates on their standard web pages when viewed through mobile devices. By deploying mobile optimized pages, companies are able to improve conversion rates and quickly add revenue to their bottom line.
Expanded support for mobile web pages will definitely be the next big thing in WordPress’ evolution.
Tell us a story where you saved the WP day for yourself or on a client project. What made the difference for you?
One of our healthcare clients had a complex site using the CMS platform Expression Engine. Migrating each feature of the site to WordPress was no small task.
We saved the day by creating a WordPress experience that was easy for the client to understand and manage. Now the client can update their physician search engine, add location pages with dynamic maps, easily update the Spanish version of their pages and much much more.
Because the new site is in WordPress, the development costs are lower and the client has an easier time hiring people familiar with their CMS.
What’s the biggest misconception you encounter about WordPress, and how do you clear it up for your clients?
The biggest misconception is that WordPress is just for bloggers or smaller websites. I help dispel this myth by sharing that 16% of the Alexa top 1 million websites use WordPress along with several Fortune 10 companies.
Many people still see WordPress as it was in its early days and not the powerful and widely-adopted platform it is today.
What did I miss? Here’s your chance to fill in the blanks and add something you want people to know about you!
We’re excited about working with WordPress to help people build better converting websites. To accomplish this, we use detailed analytics tracking to monitor conversion points like sales, leads and phone calls.
We tie this in with weighted goal tracking to help illustrate the true value of traffic sources like Adwords, email marketing and social media. Knowing what your conversion points are and how much they are worth sets the stage for all of your marketing efforts.
Integrating accurate conversion tracking into your site can be challenging, but will have a big return when you know exactly how much value you’re getting out of your advertising dollar.
You can check out David’s work and what they do for WordPress at http://www.MarketingClique.com