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“There’s Never ‘Nothing To Build’,” Says WooTheme’s Bryce Adams

Updated on March 4, 2020

5 Min Read

WordPress was once for bloggers. However, with the passage of time, people started making great websites on it. WordPress offers plugins available for all sorts of functions. In the past one year, it has been noticed that WordPress is also being preferred for ecommerce websites.

WooCommerce is one of the most reliable plugins that has been suggested by many WordPress users, developers, and influencers if someone is interested in building an ecommerce store on WordPress.

Today, it is an honor to present my interview with Bryce Adams of WooThemes. He has developed several good plugins like Captain Team and Recipe Hero. Bryce is working on a new WordPress-powered app, It helps team work better together. In this interview, he has shared his opinion candidly on development, progress, and issues related to WooCommerce theme. He also expresses his love for Thailand, the country where he is currently residing.

Bryce Adams Interview

Cloudways: You have developed many WordPress plugins and you are handy with WooThemes. Why did you choose to be a plugin and theme guy when there were other opportunities within the WordPress itself? What’s the story behind choosing WordPress as your career?

Bryce Adams: WordPress is something that you just fall into. I don’t believe a career with it is something you actively seek out, at least initially. I started off like every other WordPress user, writing a blog and eventually wanting to customize it more and more. I took interest in theme development around the time Pippin Williamson released Easy Digital Downloads. He was looking for people to build themes and I decided to take the plunge even though the only experience I had was with client work. I was awful at it but Pippin was so supportive and I was eventually able to release two themes.

I soon got bored of theme development and to be honest, I wasn’t very good at it! I started playing with plugins and released several free ones through my brand Captain Theme on the Plugin Repository.

Since then I’ve been travelling and working on more plugins, both open-source and commercial. A few months ago, I joined the team over at WooThemes and have been working on the WooCommerce support team. I also develop WooCommerce extensions in my spare time ever since!

Cloudways: You have lived in Australia. Now you are living in Thailand. What’s the difference between the two countries? How do you see the tech industry—the CMS industry in particular—growing in the two countries?

Bryce Adams: Australia has a booming tech industry, there’s no doubt about it. However, I was never that actively involved in it while living there as I’ve been travelling for most of my development career. I’ve just recently settled in Thailand and have been discovering the tech industry here. It’s hard to fully immerse myself in the community as the Thai language is quite difficult. However, I was able to connect with a few other WordPress developers living here (from France, England, and Japan) and we’ve met a couple of times that has been awesome. We even got the chance to get together with former Automattic employee Philip Arthur Moore for an informal hangout!

Cloudways: WordPress 4.0 is out in the market now. It has a user friendly plugin search modal at the backend. What are your views on it?

Bryce Adams: I love every improvement in WordPress 4.0, especially the improved UI of the plugin search modal! It’s a huge step in the right direction, giving the plugins the attention I believe they truly deserve. There are so many great additions on their way in WordPress 4.1 and 4.2 that I’m very excited for, like the addition of the JSON API Plugin.

One of my goals for the remainder of the year is to contribute more to WordPress itself, so I hope to make a few patches to core whenever I can. (One down so far!)

Cloudways: WordCamps are always helpful to cater the ever-expanding WordPress community. You are planning one in Bangkok. What made you plan this event? When it will commence?

Bryce Adams: It was hugely inspiring to see Philip put together the WordCamp Hanoi event with the help of another Vietnamese WordPresser just a couple months ago. Since then, the thought of a Bangkok WordCamp has been deeply in my thoughts. The few WordPress developers I’ve met with here share the same feeling. So, we’re planning a couple small meet-ups first. Hopefully, it will lead to the chance to put together a Bangkok-based WordCamp event some time next year!

Cloudways: There are regular updates within the WordPress, and it has become a trend now. Plugin and theme developers are also coming up with new ideas. Where do you see the WordPress industry in the next five years?

Bryce Adams: Great question, but it’s the one I definitely don’t have the answer to! WordPress has definitely become more of an ‘Application Framework’ in the past year. So, it will be interesting to see what people come up with (especially with the introduction of the JSON API to core).

Cloudways: Ecommerce industry is booming, so is the usage of WordPress and WooCommerce. Are you certain that WooCommerce would keep meeting the high demands of clients and advance users? Will PrestaShtop and Magento keep the upper hand in ecommerce industry?

Bryce Adams: In the WordPress space, WooCommerce is definitely a clear leader with over 4 million downloads and thousands of custom themes and plugins built just for it. In the scheme of all things ecommerce, it’s definitely a growing competitor but there are also barriers we need to overcome. Users are still unfamiliar with the idea of open source software. Over time, people have either accepted or ignored that WordPress is open-source but I feel like with ecommerce, they tend to be a little bit scared that the code for their store is publicly available! However, open-source is a beautiful thing as it leads to thousands of developers improving WooCommerce on a daily basis. I think the future is definitely bright, just based on these stats by Builtwith alone where WooCommerce is now powering over 15% of ecommerce stores.

Cloudways: Other than WordPress, tell our readers about your interests in food and travelling (I love to travel a lot and I am a foodie too). Which food is your favorite and which places you have been to?

Bryce Adams: I love activities that go along with development! Food and travelling are the perfect companions, along with a great cup of coffee (with a serving of Wifi, of course).

Having spent most of my time abroad in Thailand and Laos, I love Asian food. Basically, anything spicy is perfect to me. I’ve been all around South East Asia, parts of Europe, and the Middle East. I will also be travelling to America for WordCamp San Francisco & Woo Trip 2014. I’m a very lucky guy!

Cloudways: Since the very beginning, you have been noticing the unprecedented growth within the WordPress community on different social networks and forums. How effective are these online forums?

Bryce Adams: As WordPress is open-source, the conversation around it should be too! It’s amazing to see strangers helping out strangers just because they all share a mutual love for the software they’re working with.

It’s also great to see people using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to help each other out, like in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group.

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Cloudways: You are an expert of WordPress plugins and themes. What do you suggest to those who have just started to develop a theme or plugin for WordPress?

Bryce Adams: Make MVP (minimum viable products). Don’t be afraid to release something that isn’t perfect. Read as much as you can and follow those you respect in the community. There is never ‘too much’ to learn and there’s never ‘nothing to build’, so just take a chance and try! You literally have nothing to lose.

You can follow Bryce Adams (@bryceadams) on Twitter.

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Waseem Abbas

Waseem Abbas was WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves to help people with their WordPress worries. He is a self-proclaimed "food explorer".


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