Today we have interviewed Ilona Filipi, founder and managing director at Moove Agency, a London-based web development agency that builds and supports high-performing websites and applications and make global businesses succeed in the digital world. She has an extensive experience of 10 years in the digital field and a working relationship with clients such as BBC, O2, etc.
Cloudways: Hi Ilona, I’m glad for this interview. Thank you! Please share the highlights of your career, professional background and how did you start your career? How did you get motivated to make your career in the digital field?
Ilona: The tech industry is a very exciting space to work in and I was attracted to work in digital from the very beginning of my career. I studied both Computer Engineering and Multimedia and when I graduated I started out as a freelance web designer and I really enjoyed the work. As I became busier and busier it became clear that I needed more people to help and so I started Moove Agency back in 2010 and set out to design beautiful, high-performing WordPress websites. I’m motivated by producing high-quality work and we have always pushed ourselves further with every new project, ensuring that we build fast highly-optimised sites and now, 8 years on, we’ve worked with some of the world’s largest brands such as Sony, Toyota, Lexus and we’ve become B2B specialists offering WordPress support services.
Cloudways: You have been working in the web development business for more than 10 years. As a founder and CEO of Moove Agency, which frequent challenges you face either in project development or from clients and how do you resolve them?
Ilona: In the early days, from a business perspective, one of the challenges was finding new clients and building our portfolio. The space has become increasingly competitive – when we started out we were one of the few WordPress specialist agencies and now many agencies build with WordPress so there’s a lot more competition which we welcome as it raises the standards in the industry and also keeps us focused on producing our best work in order to stand out from the crowd.
From a project perspective, on large new build projects, it’s important to keep the balance of gaining insight, ideas, and feedback from key stakeholders but to also keeping focused on the project goals and KPIs to ensure the scope of the project doesn’t grow. We work with our clients to ensure a clear brief is in place and we go through a thorough discovery phase to ensure alignment from the very beginning of the project. We also work with clients in a more agile way, improving their sites and building out new features and functionality iteratively on an ongoing basis.
Cloudways: Since you seek to make “best-in-class” web development projects for your clients. What do you think is the best the way to do it? How do you satisfy your clients’ requirement? Which is the current trend being followed and why?
Ilona: Best-in-class for us means not only meeting but exceeding our clients’ very high expectations. We do this by providing exceptional customer service which means getting things done quickly for our clients, they really rely on us.
In terms of trends, many of our client’s B2B sites are important for lead generation so they have to be extremely fast and optimised, the code has to be the highest quality. Our clients are marketing teams who understand the importance of well-written code for SEO. We’ve also seen an increase in the awareness and value attributed to great UX; a site can’t just look pretty, it has to perform and the design has to be underpinned by data and insight which is what our UX Designers bring to the process.
Cloudways: Would you like to give some advice to the newcomers who are willing to join the digital agency business or web project development? Which pool of ideas should they follow? Which set of tools should they prefer?
Ilona: The tech space is very exciting and it cuts across all sectors, so there’s a lot of diversity and plenty of room to find your passion! A good place to start is to identify the sectors and clients that you really want to work with and that you want to help. Focus on understanding their business and what is important to them, what are they trying to achieve? What’s important to them and what are their pain points? From there, build your product or service around solutions to these problems. I don’t advocate any particular ideas or tools as such as I think it’s important that people follow their own path and find out what works for them.
Cloudways: There are many content management systems available in the market and WordPress is currently leading with more than 30% market share. How do you think what makes WordPress to lead the competition? Do you also prefer WordPress on other CMSs?
Ilona: We’re huge fans and advocates of WordPress, the wider open source movement and the democratisation of the Web. We’ve contributed to and invested in WordPress by sharing our knowledge at WordPress Conferences as well as releasing free plugins for people to use on their sites such as our recent GDPR Cookie Compliance Plugin.
As well as powering 30% of the Web, WordPress also has an impressive 60% market share of all CMSs and this is because it is so easy to use with no license fees and all software updates are free for life. We’re seeing more and more clients opting for WordPress I see it growing and taking even more market share in future.
Cloudways: Before making any project, it essential to choose a reliable hosting provider so your website could become accessible from everywhere. And nowadays, cloud hosting is taking over the web hosting with a boom. What do say about cloud hosting provider like Cloudways?
Ilona: I agree, a solid reliable hosting provider is essential. As most hosting suppliers have 99% uptime these days we look for other ways to differentiate providers such as customer service and responsiveness. In today’s globally connected world, users expect 24/7 access from anywhere so it’s great to see cloud hosting providers like Cloudways offering this service.
Cloudways: Just to acknowledge our readers, could you please share the images of your workstation. That would be all!
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