Today we are talking with Brad Touesnard, the founder of Delicious Brains. Brad started his career as a freelance web developer in 1999 and earned a degree in Computer Science in 2005. He worked for a few web development agencies over the next 5 years, but went back to freelancing in 2009, and started a software product company WP App Store Inc. in 2011. He believes in open source software and likes to contribute to the WordPress project.
Cloudways: Hello Brad, thanks for joining us today. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself and your entrepreneurship journey. Would you like to tell, who motivated and inspired you?
Brad: Sure, thanks for having me. I currently spend all my working time managing Delicious Brains Inc, a company I started in December 2012 to develop and sell WP Migrate DB Pro, a database migration plugin for WordPress.
Before that, I built web sites for a living. Working as an independent web developer, collaborating with creative agencies and independent web designers, I did frontend and backend development, working with SilverStripe CMS and WordPress.
I think I was mostly inspired by Steve Jobs and Apple when I started Delicious Brains, but these days I’m inspired by Elon Musk and Tesla.
Cloudways: Brad, you are the founder and general manager of Delicious Brains Inc. Please tell our readers about your services and how does DB helps WP developer community around the world?
Brad: Services-wise, we make awesome plugins for WordPress. Our flagship product is WP Migrate DB Pro, our database migration plugin for WordPress. But we’ve expanded beyond that since. We help you speed up your site by offloading images and other media to Amazon S3 with our WP Offload S3 plugin. And we also make the process of merging database changes easier with Mergebot.
Community-wise, we love contributing to the open source community. Each of our developers spend an entire day each month contributing to WordPress and other open source software.
Cloudways: You have developed WP Migrate DB Pro plugin. Please tell our readers know how it is beneficial for WordPress developers?
Brad: Sure. Copying your WordPress database from one install to another – dev to staging and back again, can be a painful process. I created WP Migrate DB Pro to make that whole process a lot easier. And by saving you so many hours per year, it effectively increases your hourly rate. I think it’s great, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out our site and you’ll see lots of wonderful tweets from fans of WP Migrate DB Pro. 🙂
Cloudways: Being a WordPress developer and designer, you must be aware of numerous plugins. Which are your favorite ones? And could you specify some of the tools you usually use?
Brad: Oh man, don’t make me choose! But if you’re twisting my arm, I’d have to say WooCommerce is a favorite & pretty essential for our own site. And who doesn’t use Yoast’s SEO plugin? Easy Digital Downloads and SearchWP are great ones too. Little plugins that are super useful that don’t get enough thanks include Public Post Preview, Limit Login Attempts, and User Switching.
Our team uses GitHub, Slack, Flow, and good ‘ol email for communication. The whole team is on PhpStorm nowadays, but I do so little development myself now that I haven’t bothered to switch over from Sublime. Iain Poulson, our resident PhpStorm evangelist likes to give me a hard time about it.
Cloudways: WordPress has now become the first choice for most of the bloggers and developers. What do you think about the vital role WordPress has played for both of them?
Brad: We’re obviously huge fans of WordPress at Delicious Brains and big supporters of open source. WordPress has been an easy way for beginners to get started with web development. It’s kind of been the Visual Basic of the web. You can start with tweaking themes, then on to plugins, then before long you’re writing your own custom plugins. The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing and I think that’s what it has been doing for bloggers.
Cloudways: How did you get started with podcasting? How do you come up with topic ideas of the podcast? Do you invite guests on the podcast?
Brad: I got really into listening to podcasts (I tend to listen to more audiobooks nowadays) right around when I launched Delicious Brains. I reached out to Pippin to see if he was interested in starting a podcast with me and he was in. It really was that simple.
The topics Pippin and I cover are usually whatever is interesting us most at the moment but we love talking about code and not worrying about annoying a non-developer audience. It has become a challenge for us to talk about code now that we each spend less time coding and more time managing a team and operating a business, so we’ve have guests on and ask our audience for topics to chat about. You can always submit an idea for us.
Cloudways: Can you tell our readers, how WordCamps helps WordPress community? How does speaking at WordCamps help your career? Do you have a group of buddies whom you love to hang out with at WordCamps?
Brad: I love supporting WordCamps. I actually just spoke at the local one here in Halifax. A lot of us in the WordPress community get to work remotely but things like WordCamps are a great way to get some social interaction with your peers.
Cloudways: On the lighter side of life, you share a lot of stuff on social media, which shows you are quite social in real time too. Do you have any interest in sports or food or traveling or anything else?
Brad: I’m Canadian, so I’m basically legally required to like hockey but I also enjoy tennis and ultimate frisbee. I love to compete. My wife and I love to travel too. We were just in Paris for the week after WordCamp Europe actually.
Cloudways: As we are in managed hosting business, what are some key factors that would attract you to buy any of our plans? What characteristics you need to look for in a reliable WordPress hosting service must have?
Brad: First and foremost, uptime. If your host isn’t at least 99% up, find something better. I’d also want an easy way to deploy changes to my site, either through a git push or some other kind of command line tool.
Cloudways: Thank you! We will surely meet again. What are your words to end our conversation here and any message or suggestion to the new WordPress users?
Brad: Thanks for having me! If you’re new to WordPress, I’d say we all were once and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our community is awesome and there are a lot of great resources for learning more (I know a lot of our own devs love the courses Wes Bos puts out).
Cloudways: Just for our readers, could you please send us an image of your workspace? 🙂
Brad: Funny that you ask as our team was just sharing these the other week in Slack. Here’s mine: