This is a great honor for us today! We have got the chance to take an interview with one of the well-known WordPress personalities and this wouldn’t be wrong to say that he is a WordPress pro, course creator, podcaster, and a great entrepreneur, Chris Badgett – the founder of LifterLMS.
Farhan: Hi Chris, thank you so much for taking out time for this interview. Could you please tell our readers about yourself and your journey before stepping into WordPress? How did you start your career?
Chris: Before WordPress, I used to run sled dogs in Alaska for almost a decade. I helped my boss train for the Iditarod sled dog race and managed a helicopter-supported dog sled tour business on a glacier in the summers.
Farhan: Since you are the founder and CEO of LifterLMS, we would love to know the story behind this and how you ended up creating LifterLMS? How do you see the future of learning management systems?
Chris: We were building custom LMS-type membership sites from scratch for high-end clients starting 7 years ago. From that experience, we decided to bootstrap an LMS plugin to solve several problems that no membership plugin or course plugin had addressed.
Farhan: You are also the co-founder and CEO of other reputable businesses like codeBOX and Organic Life Guru. What are your responsibilities there? How do you maintain multiple work roles and businesses while facing challenges?
Chris: codeBOX is my holding company. LifterLMS is a brand inside codeBOX so it’s really not a different business. Our agency work was originally done as codeBOX. Organic Life Guru was my first courses site built with WordPress. I am a course creator too! That’s part of the reason I understand so deeply what the market wants and needs.
Farhan: You’re an active member of the WordPress community and loves to host a podcast. What was your thought behind the LifterLMS podcast? Was it your passion or you felt that there is a need for this type of content in the community?
Chris: I always ask myself “how can I deliver more value than anyone else in the world to course creators and the WordPress professionals that serve this niche?” Our podcast LMScast is one answer to that question. We started that podcast over 5 years ago to help our target market with problems and opportunities they were having outside of the scope of what the LifterLMS plugin did.
Farhan: I’ve noticed that you have hosted many WordPress experts and entrepreneurs to your podcast. It would be great if you can share your experiences with our readers? Could you also tell us about your memorable encounters?
Chris: One of my most favorite moments on the podcast was when I got to interview one of my entrepreneur heroes Dane Maxwell, and he played a song at the end of the show:
Farhan: WordPress is one of the best CMSs to create websites. What are the tips and techniques you would suggest to those who are just starting with it? Can you also recommend your favorite themes and plugins?
Chris: My advice to beginners is to keep it simple. Focus on the jobs to be done that the website and its components are supposed to accomplish. Don’t get too distracted by design too early. Be a minimalist with plugins. Launch early and improve the website over time. Don’t wait to launch until it’s “perfect.” A few of my favorite themes are Astra and Kadence. Some of my favorite plugins that I use often are Beaver Builder, MonsterInsights, Redirection, and User Switching.
Farhan: LifterLMS plugin has a significant market share when it comes to building e-learning websites. Could you please tell our readers about your plugin that makes it different from others? Which features do you think are the best for users?
Chris: LifterLMS is more of an all-in-one solution for simple course websites up through multi-instructor online schools. From the beginning, we wanted to solve what I lovingly call the “Software Frankenstein” problem in WordPress. So with LifterLMS, you are not dependent on third-party plugins for memberships, ecommerce, and engagement, and what the market would consider a necessary core feature. You can still integrate LifterLMS with your favorite other tools, but it also has everything you need right out of the box.
Farhan: Most of the entrepreneurs are avid book readers and, in fact, this helps in developing their cognitive skills, decision-making, and other skills. Being an entrepreneur, which books you would recommend to our readers, and why?
Chris: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is an awesome book for aspiring entrepreneurs. My hack is walking or running every day for an hour in the early morning. During that time I listen to at least 3 different business podcasts. I’ve had that habit for a decade, which means I’ve listened to over 10,000 business podcast episodes. That’s a big part of my learning stack.
Farhan: Web hosting plays an important role in the performance and security of a website. What are your thoughts on managed WordPress hosting providers? Do you think it’s worth using for e-learning platforms?
Chris: In my opinion managed WordPress hosting is critical for e-learning platforms. Because the website is the business, and not just a brochure for the business, having a top-quality web host is mission-critical.
Farhan: You’re starting off an exciting project in partnership with Cloudways. Please tell us what you find most exciting about the project.
Chris: The most exciting thing about collaborating with Cloudways is the customer-centric focus of the project regarding removing friction in the evaluation stage of the hosting and WordPress LMS buying experience.
Farhan: How do you think this will reshape the experience of your users?
Chris: It will make it easy for people to see what it’s like to get started with LifterLMS PLUS hosting, and simply decide to keep going on the tech stack if they’re satisfied.
Farhan: Would you like to share an image of your workstation with our readers? That would be all! Thank you once again, Chris. 🙂
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Farhan is a community manager at Cloudways. He loves to work with WordPress and has a passion for web development. Mostly, he spends his time interacting with the people in the WordPress community. Apart from his work life, Farhan spends his time gaming and playing sports. Feel free to contact him at [email protected]