Today we have Allyson Souza with us. He is the founder and developer at Haste Design. In this interview, he will share his experience working with WooCommerce, and the challenges developers confront while working with the platform.
Cloudways: Hi Allyson and thank you for taking the time out for this interview. Could you please tell our readers about yourself?
Allyson: Thanks for the opportunity. I started my career as a graphic designer, about 15 years ago. Anyssa Ferreira and I were both unhappy with our jobs and decided to start our own company, despite our age (19 at the time).
We started focusing on graphic design, but back in those days, it was already a difficult and bloated market. We realized that with the knowledge we had, we could develop websites. Changing our focus to web design and development led us to WordPress and WooCommerce and we found our main platform to work. However, we have preserved our original vision about the role of design and strategy.
Cloudways: You are the founder and Developer at Haste Design. Tell us something about your company? How do you manage the workload and workflows?
Allyson: Haste is a Portuguese word, that means “stem” in English. We choose it because of our love for typography – stems are the connectors between the two ends of a letter. The name still carries what we trust and aim to offer to our customers.
We develop projects that help our clients reach their objectives and connect to their audience. We try to build a solid partnership with our clients. We believe when a site goes live, it’s the beginning of the work, not the end.
Cloudways: What are the main challenges of managing a WordPress agency?
Allyson: As a WordPress agency, one of the challenges we have is to promote what we do differently than others, since everyone is using WordPress. We try to reach that differentiation not only with technical skills, but with the way we work and treat our clients, and our design and strategic marketing point of view.
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Cloudways: WooCommerce store speed is a hot topic for years now. What is your take on the issue?
Allyson: Performance is very important in ecommerce. When you’re developing a project from scratch (for instance, crafting a theme), you have full control over the code and can follow the guidelines to keep it lightweight.
But even if you’re using a custom theme, some plugins may slow down your store. You need to pay attention to the plugins and install only the most essential. If you have the knowledge of building a headless WooCommerce store, go for it.
My final tip is, whether you developed everything from scratch, the infrastructure has a great role in performance. Stick with a good hosting company that fits the size and traffic of your store.
Cloudways: You live in São Paulo, Brazil. What are some local WooCommerce meetups you like? Would you like to mention a WooCommerce developer to be interviewed next?
Allyson: The number one in my heart is the WordPress São Paulo community (meetup.com/wpsampa), which I’ve been helping since 2014. We don’t have a dedicated WooCommerce meetup (yet), but we talk a lot about it in our encounters, which for now are being done online.
Another one that I cannot forget to mention is PHPSP. I think it’s very important for WooCommerce developers to see the big picture of the PHP ecosystem. In São Paulo, we have a thriving dev scene, with dozens of meetups of varied technologies like JS, CSS, PHP, Python, Go, which I occasionally try to attend. I would like to recommend Vinícius Lourenço, who runs an agency focused in WooCommerce, and my partner Anyssa Ferreira, who have been working with WordPress and WooCommerce for a long time too.
Cloudways: Can you tell us how WordCamps help the WordPress community? How does speaking at WordCamps help your career? Do you have a group of buddies that you love to hang out with at WordCamps?
Allyson: WordCamps are essential to the community growth as they provide a place where professionals, learners, and people interested in the WordPress can meet and share different viewpoints.
I had problems speaking publicly, and still, have on some level, but the welcomeness of folks in the community helped me face that fear. The networking is fantastic and I’ve met a lot of people and had the precious opportunity to share what I’m doing. I’ve made real friends in the community and even a new business partner, Max who joined us last year.
Cloudways: In your opinion, WooCommerce requires a lot of careful optimization techniques on application level and also on the server level. What do you think about Cloudways in terms of being an optimized WooCommerce Hosting Platform?
Allyson: I think it’s awesome. For agencies and freelancers which don’t have specialization, or don’t want to deal with all the pain that comes with infrastructure management, that’s the opportunity to focus on what you do better.
Cloudways: It’s hard to take out time from work, but we all need to relax once in a while :). What do you like to do in your free time?
Allyson: I like to enjoy my free time with my family, getting together to have some food and drinks. At this moment, due to the pandemic, I’m playing video games, watching movies, and trying to read more books. I’m also planning to find some time and get back to learn how to play guitar and bass.
Cloudways: Finally, here’s your chance to freestyle. Write anything you think could be interesting or useful to our readers. 🙂
Allyson: Again, thanks for the invitation. The message I want to leave to the readers is: keep learning, but at times, it’s fine to take a break. Technologies evolve, but the core concepts remain.
Cloudways: It’s really nice to talk to you! Could you please share an image of your workstation? Our readers would be happy to see this. Thanks for this interview, Allyson!
Allyson: Well, it’s not my official pre-pandemic workstation. It’s just a simple and functional common desk 😅
Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at [email protected]