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“Trust your guts”, Isabelle Desouches on How to Pick WordPress Development Projects

Updated on December 8, 2020

4 Min Read
Isabelle Desouches

Cloudways: Hi Isabelle, Thank you for taking out some time for this interview with Cloudways. When and how did you start your career with WordPress? Is there an interesting story behind this?

Isabelle: I started my journey with WordPress back in 2016. It was the very first project my ex-partner had launched as a team agency (and not just as a freelancer) and I was actually in charge of the client relationship. Then we had a bunch of problems with the initial WordPress developer, who delivered an unfinished raw work. I was the only one that had enough time to finish. So yeah, I learned on the job and on short notice with Kallyas Theme, and that’s how it began 🙂

Cloudways: You currently work at Codeable as a freelance WordPress developer. What are your responsibilities there? Could you share any interesting stories?

Isabelle: I’m a freelancer Expert at Codeable. I help Codeable clients with their projects if they are in my range of work. As for interesting stories maybe the fact that the Codeable staff is very reactive and on point on sexism from clients, which is pretty cool. Once I had a slightly misplaced remark (a client who told me that their wife was jealous of my picture on the app chat) and Support has immediately taken care of it by advising me very well on how to handle it (first myself, and then intervene if necessary). They really take good care of both their clients and their freelancers 😉

Cloudways: We all know that there are a lot of CMSs available in the market. Why do you specifically choose WordPress for developing your projects? 

Isabelle: It’s the one I learned to develop websites with. It’s very versatile, and there’s a lot of support out there to find solutions to a very large number of problems in the development community. It’s pretty rare to come onto an issue no one has ever had before. I like this safety 🙂

Plus the fact that there are constant updates which I can rely on, and a user interface accessible enough for my clients to be able to use them without having me do all their small stuff for them, which they appreciate a lot and usually makes them pretty loyal to me.

Cloudways: The WordPress repository has more than 50K plugins. Why do you think some are better than the rest? Is there anything common in them?

Isabelle: The most popular plugins, all categories mixed, have in common that they are well written, with a good UX design on the admin panel, strong FAQ and support forums, and very good communication about them.

Cloudways: Can you describe your dev workflows and the tools you use during your work?

Isabelle: As I mostly work on designing first websites, I work directly live on the client’s server. I usually first set up WordPress themes, then make a few variants of the home page I imagined, to have the client choose between them, and once he has validated one, I go and design the interior pages. Once all of that is done, then I fill in the content and optimize everything for SEO.

Cloudways: Would you agree that web hosting drives the internet? What are your thoughts about cloud hosting? How do you compare/contrast it with traditional shared hosting for businesses?

Isabelle: Of course, web hosting drives the internet! I’m happy Cloud Hosting is a thing now, it is definitely a very good tool for growing businesses that always need to adjust to today’s expectations. Whereas traditional shared hosting is good for small and medium businesses with a slow growth because it’s a solid solution for an accessible price, Cloud hosting really does wonders in security and stability of the service, as it is not dependent on one server only. If any issue pops up, it takes a few minutes to solve it (from the user’s experience) in Cloud hosting, which is not the case for traditional web hosting. Plus, if you have a very large site with a lot of resources in the back end and are experiencing problems with speed, cloud hosting is a good option. And we know that now Google SEO’s rankings take speed into account 😉

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?

Isabelle: I’m a mother, so I don’t get that much free time haha. But when I do have some, I usually take pictures (I’m an artistic photographer, and was published a few times on PhotoVogue Italia) and watch Netflix 😉

Cloudways: Finally, here’s your chance to freestyle. Write anything you think could be interesting or useful to our readers.

Isabelle: Never, ever, ever, ever hesitate in saying no to a client who you are having the slightest doubt about. Learning to say “no” is the most important thing I learned in my career. Trust your guts when they tell you “this is going to be a long and complicated project” or “this client will definitely try to creep out of the scope” or “this client has a pretty toxic way of communicating and it will impact my mental health”, and just say no. You’ll see other better, healthier clients will come along, and you’ll be happy no to have lost time and energy (and often also money) on bad projects with bad clients 😉

Cloudways: Can you please share the images of your workstation?

Isabelle: Please don’t judge! I usually work in a coworking building but with those times, I’m most often at home, so here you go 😂

isbelle workspace

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Saud Razzak

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]


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