Brandon Yanofsky is the go-to-geek for his WordPress clients. With more than five years of experience in WordPress development, he is one of the most sought-after WordPress entrepreneurs and solution providers in the United States.
As a seasoned WordPress developer, he maintains his own blog myWPExpert that provides tutorials, tips, and advice for newbies who want to start a career in WordPress. He also contributes on different blogging websites as well. He is a solution provider in the truest sense of the word.
Continuing with our most popular interview series, we are happy to welcome him on board. In this interview, Brandon Yanofsky discusses customer expectations, WordPress security loopholes, customization issues, hosting concerns, and much more.
Cloudways: Tell us a little about yourself. When was the first time you got introduced to WordPress? What led you to decide on making an earning from it?
Brandon Yanofsky: I was first introduced to WordPress back in college when I started my first business, which surprisingly was a clothing business. I needed a website and didn’t know what to use, and one of my professors recommended WordPress.
Fast forward one year out of college, I was blogging about Internet Marketing and wrote a simple eBook called, “How To Get Started With WordPress.” From that, I started getting WordPress clients, providing troubleshooting and phone support.
Cloudways: There are thousand others offering the same service as yours. What makes your offering different from theirs?
Brandon Yanofsky: There are two things I like to consider that set me apart. Most importantly, coming from a business background, I understand the implications of what I am designing and developing. When I meet with my clients and consult about the design of their site, I’m not looking at it solely from a visual perspective, but what would help them accomplish their business goals.
Secondly, in my spare time, you’ll either find me at some WordPress meetup, or at Starbucks taking online courses to continually hone my skills.
Cloudways: Clients come in with all sorts of demands for their websites. Do you think WordPress is well equipped to handle these demands with ease?
Brandon Yanofsky: I think WordPress can handle the demands of more than 90% of the clients out there. However, some of those demands require custom development.
Some clients come in thinking they can spend a couple of $100 dollars and walk away with an ecommerce store as powerful as Amazon. I have to remind them how much Amazon spends to build out that capability. I always work with clients to balance their expectations with their budget.
Cloudways: One major concern clients have with WordPress is the lack of security. In such a case, how do you convince your clients to use WordPress?
Brandon Yanofsky: Recently, Matt Mullenweg published a post about how WordPress is powering a bank website. I point clients to that as one example of WordPress’s security. I also bring up something Mika Epstein mentioned at a meet-up.
The core WordPress software is quite secure. It’s the themes, plugins, and hosting which can lead to security issues. The best plugins, themes, and hosting handle security issues fast, as we’ve seen this week. Clients usually have problems only when they don’t keep their site up to date.
Cloudways: One of the best things about WordPress is its customizability. Do you prefer building your own custom themes or to go with the available themes in the market?
Brandon Yanofsky: For me, it usually depends on the budget. But the majority of the sites I build I do so starting with the Genesis framework. I’ve found it the most robust when it comes to making custom child themes.
Cloudways: Website speed has been a hot topic among SEOs for years now. What is your input on this? In your experience, is it a good choice to build lightweight WordPress themes?
Brandon Yanofsky: I am completely in favor of building lightweight themes. It makes total sense. The more “stuff” you add to a theme, the longer it takes to load.
Ideally, you would only want to load resources if that specific page is using them. But many themes that are resource- heavy will load a bunch of files on every page, even if they aren’t being used.
Cloudways: There are many popular WordPress frameworks available. Is there any particular framework you prefer working with or do you prefer the WordPress core?
Brandon Yanofsky: As mentioned, I really like the Genesis framework from StudioPress. Most of the time, I’m building my own custom child theme or customizing one of StudioPress’ existing child themes.
Cloudways: WordPress Hosting space is getting saturated daily. What suggestions would you like to give to someone looking for new web hosting for their website?
Brandon Yanofsky: My first piece of advice is: you get what you pay for. There’s a reason some web hosts are more expensive than others. They offer more features, better performance, better reliability, and better customer service.
Hosting should be considered an investment. It’s the foundation for building a great site. Great hosting will give you better load speeds, better uptime, and you’ll have someone to call when you have issues who can actually help you out.
Cloudways: WordPress requires a lot of careful optimization techniques on application level and also on server level. What do you think about Cloudways in terms of being an optimized WordPress Hosting Platform?
Brandon Yanofsky: What I like most about Cloudways is the level of customization available when setting up a hosting platform. There’s no “one server fits all.”
Every website has different needs. And Cloudways is great at providing that level of customization. They also pay attention to details, which you don’t see in many other hosting companies doing.
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