A WordPress developer, an avid reader, and an exceptional writer – C.Bavota talks about his life and work experience being the pioneer of Alphabet Themes.
Cloudways: Chris Bavota, it’s great to have you here with us today. Please tell our readers a bit about yourself. When did you start using WordPress and why did you choose WordPress out of all the CMS platforms available?
C.Bavota: I’m a WordPress developer from Montreal who focuses on premium themes. My shop Themes by bavotasan.com has been around since 2009. Recently, I’ve created another shop called Alphabet Themes that has a slightly different approach. Every WordPress theme is free, though there is a premium plugin available which works as an add-on feature to all our themes. The big plan is to have 1 plugin that upgrades the features for 26 themes. You can learn a bit more about it here.
I started working with WordPress way back when version 2.0 came out. I was hired to develop a university website on WordPress. I didn’t know anything about it at the time but quickly fell in love with how easy it was to work with WordPress.
Cloudways: Tell our readers about your experience as a theme & plugin developer, what plugins and themes would you like to share with our readers?
C.Bavota: It has been a pleasure for me being able to help people and businesses create their website with one of my themes. I’ve been doing this for a long time and have seen some amazing sites built from the themes I’ve developed.
I’m really proud of the first (official) release from Alphabet Themes called Collect. I spent a long time developing the functionality and I think many different types of sites could benefit from what it has to offer.
Cloudways: I was going through your blogs in bavotasan.com and I was wondering if you write because it is one of your hobbies. I am also curious why you haven’t posted anything lately?
C.Bavota: I’ve been a writer since I was young and still do it almost every day, though not so much for web development.
When I first started working with WordPress, I decided to share what I learned through my website. It was originally intended as a way for me to collect bits of code and information for myself. A lot of other people found it useful, therefore, over the years I did my best to create more in-depth tutorials and articles on developing WordPress websites for the internet community.
Cloudways: There are two sides of a coin. There are stories of people succeeding at freelancing and there are those who says freelancing isn’t a reliable source of income. How has your experience of freelancing been by far?
C.Bavota: Freelancing is great if you’re the type of person who can thrive living that kind of lifestyle. That means you don’t mind looking for jobs, working long hours, and/or tightening up your wallet when certain months provide fewer clients. I’ve been lucky over the years and have had steady work since the beginning, but I understand how it might not work for everyone.
Cloudways: Correct me if I am wrong, I learned that you are the founder of two film festivals, and you are a hardcore fan of psychological and slapstick comedy movies. You have earned five different awards including the Best screenplay and short filmmaking award. So may I ask how did you manage to develop an interest in filmmaking? How did you initiate your career and what drove your motivation?
C.Bavota: Actually, I was a filmmaker before I became a web developer. Actually, one job led me to the other. After working in the film and television industry in Vancouver for a few years, I opened up a video store and taught myself code in order to build a website to promote the shop. After I sold off the business, I took the little knowledge I had about websites and started developing them for other people. Soon, I was able to convince someone to land a freelance project for a university job that I mentioned before.
Over the past two years, I’ve returned to filmmaking and that is the real reason why I don’t publish as many posts as I use to on bavotasan.com. I still work as a web developer but all my extra time (and writing time) is spent working on films.
I have a short film that I co-wrote and co-produced available now as part of a compilation called MINUTES PAST MIDNIGHT.
Cloudways: Who do you consider your best buddies to hang out within the WordPress Community?
C.Bavota: Being based in Montreal, I’m very lucky to have an amazing WordPress community close to home. Through WordCampMTL or the monthly meetups, I met Michal Bluma, Brian Rotsztein, Sonia Gaballa, Jeremy Clarke, Richard Archambault, Kathryn Presner, Carl Alexander and tons of other amazing people.
Cloudways: Have you ever attended any WordCamp event & what do you think how these WordCamp meetups help the WordPress community?
C.Bavota: I’ve been to Montreal and Ottawa and both the WordCamps were amazing. I’ve made some good friends and learned a lot. Well, it was worth it.
Cloudways: Everybody needs to have some time off from work to relax. What do you do in your free time to unwind yourself? Are you fond of traveling? Which is your favorite place to travel in the world?
C.Bavota: I don’t travel very much though every once in awhile, I take my family to the countryside so that we can be closer to nature. It’s a great way to reset my mind and relax my conscience. Oh, by the way, it’s a good place to write.
Cloudways: WordPress is being used to handle bigger projects and a lot of requests from visitors. Would it be better to refer platforms that specialize in providing WordPress hosting such as Cloudways? Have you tried Cloudways’ hosting offer yourself?
C.Bavota: I haven’t tried Cloudways, but I do believe that specialized WordPress hosting platforms are extremely beneficial. The fact that they focus on WordPress means that they know the intricacies of WordPress and best ways to optimize a user’s server.
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Cloudways: Finally, just for our readers, can you please send us an image of what your desk or workspace look like! 🙂
C.Bavota: This is an old picture, but it gives you an idea of what’s around me when I work.
Thanks for the interview!
Danish was a WordPress Community Expert at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform. He loves helping out WordPress beginners and solving their problems. His passions takes up his free time as well and he spends time designing, developing and learning new stuff. You can email him at [email protected]