Vinodh David Vikraman the founder of the company Revmakx which has developed a number of very popular WordPress plugins see list below. We discuss David’s history with WordPress and some of the company’s new plugins.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP-Tonic Show, this is episode 538. I’ve got my great co-host with me, Steven Sauder with me, and we’ve got a fantastic guest. We’ve got Vinodh David Vikraman and hopefully, I haven’t totally destroyed pronouncing his name. For me, I think I’ve done a reasonable job. He’s being kind to me. He said I can use his middle name, David. He’s a great champ. You probably haven’t heard too much because I don’t think you’ve done too many interviews, David, but if I mentioned some of these plugins, like WP Capsule, I think WP Infinity, if I mentioned some of the plugins, I’m sure you’ve heard of the plugins. So David, would you like to quickly introduce yourself and your company to the listeners and viewers?
David: Sure. So, it’s great to be alive here, and thanks a lot for inviting me. So, we build WordPress products, so Infinite WP is our most popular product, and we built-in WP Time Capsule, and WP Merge is a merging tool for saving the connection without losing any data and right now we are building two new products as well. WP Cal which is a plugin solution, it’s like [inaudible] for WordPress with more control and power, and Cartimize, just like optimize, Cartimize is a tool to make your own Commerce check-out totally optimized hours of research and learning.
Jonathon: Oh, that’s great. Steven, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Steven: Yeah, my name’s Steven Sauder and I’m from zipfish.io and we are a hosting platform that doesn’t just host sites, but also optimizes the code so we can make WordPress blazing fast.
Jonathon: That’s great. And before we go into the main part of the interview, I just want to quickly mention one of our great sponsors and that’s Kinsta Hosting. And Kinsta, basically, they only specialize in WordPress hosting, they’ve been hosting the WordPress website for the past couple of years, been a great sponsor. And why should you be interested? Well, if you’re looking for a powerful hosting partner for your WooCommerce website, for your learning management, for your membership site, for yourself or for clients, you need better hosting and that’s what you get with Kinsta.
They use Google Cloud as their backbone, they provide a fantastic interface, all the technical bells and whistles that you’re looking for, and they’re really quick as well-read support. I suggest that you go over to Kinsta, have a look what they’ve got to offer for yourself or for your clients buy one of their packages and if you decide to do that, the main thing you could do for the show is tell them that you heard about them on the WP-Tonic Show. On with the interview, so David, it sounds like you’ve got a lot going on, so what is the history of yourself in your company? How did you get in into the WordPress ecosystem initially?
David: Yeah, so I got into WordPress, it was an accident actually, so going back in time, like I started our company when I was in college. I just wanted to do. I knew that I was not going to work in [inaudible 04:00]. So, in India you know like you finished college, you work on some servicing company like Cognizant or Accenture kind of companies. So, I knew that I didn’t want to do that, I want to build something for myself, but I didn’t know what I should be doing. So, I think now it’s called freelance, earlier it was called rent-acoder.com where they had some freelancing options. So, that was my first learning and I just bid on some jobs.
So, from there journey started and I was able to get bigger projects down the lane with help of few clients who became my mentor at some point. And there was one client who bought us a [inaudible] so that was the first time I’m actually developing a WordPress, like modifying a WordPress site. So, then it’s started and there was another project where they wanted to do something similar to Infinite WP, but it was more of a one-time thing where if I post one thing, I need to be posted to multiple pages. So, then we got thinking what if we could with that not just post? So, we always wanted to work on that product but with servicing it was always you have your projects and timelines and all that so we never got to it. At one point like I decided either we move from servicing to product by cutting off servicing at some point or we never do it at all.
So, we took that risk and before Infinite WP, we were trying to build a mobile skin for WooCommerce or Magneto, there was a thought process, but it never really materialized. So, at that point, I know, like felt Infinite WP was more like a needed product than what we were trying to build. So, we started moving that, in three months, we launched the free version and it was, you know like, so there’s a thing, but by LinkedIn founder, [inaudible] if you are you’re happy with your first version, then you haven’t really do the work. So, [inaudible] launch, we didn’t have SSL properly configured and we just wanted to get it out to the world and see what people talk about. And so, I started mailing to people, so I mailed Yoast and also [inaudible] about it and started to get on board.
Because it was like the system was not working and it was like, at one point we did feel a bit like this looks bad, but then we started launching updates like every day. And at this point we had no you know like contracts with servicing and we had no runway per se, beyond few months. But thankfully, the client that we had had a few projects which were extending and paying our monthly. So, this was a fresh product, like we have never created a product of not is really making money with, we did do some open source stuff. So we didn’t know what to expect. Like people are using it and people love it, people want this and that, so it’s all great for them, but then I’m not sure many people are going to pay. So, we spend almost… we launched, we spent almost eight months to build the premium features and we did a lot of thinking on the pricing.
So we were looking at Gravity Farm, they launched a lifetime license and we were new to the WordPress community so we thought we need to give them some more for them to put some trust on us and we launched with the lifetime license then from there like it took off and didn’t really pay our bills and then we were like totally dependent [inaudible] we decided, as we never took plenty of clients from there, we started to look at WordPress as our main source. And we started building the products on top of it. So, WP- Time Capsule was an idea that probably [inaudible] with Infinite WP take some resources and stuff and we created a lightweight version and genetic version, and WP Merge as a problem that came into [inaudible] using a phasing feature. But then they don’t want to get the production on data or the phasing in whole words. And so we need to fade away to Marge that sponsoring. Again, there were a lot of items on the particular product.
Jonathon: I think we will stop there because I want you to go on to the merge because that’s a really difficult problem. And I have used it while not posting, but some of my team have used it. But so over to you, Steven, maybe you want to discuss merge and know take over what I’ve just said. Maybe I don’t know.
Steven: Yeah. So merge solves a huge problem, especially when you have things like a WooCommerce store or forums where there’s data that’s being updated dynamical., And you’re trying to make changes over in a staging site, and then you want to sync everything back together which is almost an impossible problem if you’re just dealing with, out of the box WordPress. But WB merge has this really cool feature with how it reconciles the databases and merges that data together. How did you first start thinking through the problem and approaching that problem?
Because there’s been other people like that have tried to solve this before delicious brains launched a plugin and then eventually shut it down because they could never quite get it working. But just like, that’s the product a lot of people have tried to solve. No, one’s done it quite as well as you guys. So I just kind of like, what was your thought process going into trying to figure out how do you handle those logic problems?
David: Yeah. So I was excited about the problem, like a long back it’s a complicated problem, but delicious brain launched. And so I was following up cold, they were doing it. And what was the problem? So one thing that I felt was really challenging is to really write you know, like a rule for each plugin and like really building compatibly before each plugin, then it’s like the road, which never ends because you have one plugin, which is storing data in a, in what principles, stable or exploding in data in your separate table, you know, like you can never, and you rarely work with a question and the next question they launched, they changed something and you got to really go and fix it there. And it’s something, you know, like you can’t really give an answer if it doesn’t work and, you know, like another plugin just updated the version and we are not working with them anymore.
So from day one, I knew for sure it has to be a generic solution where I wouldn’t be going in, you know, like building compatibility with each plugin. So, so that was my thought process from day one. So we will look at many different ways of doing it. Can we require the query table, you know, like the inquiry function and what can we go about it? So then you know, like all of a sudden, because the light, you know, like light bulb moment where I was looking at triggers and it was like a concept where, you know, like you can update table, you know, whenever transection happens, you can do something with the transaction, putting it into different table stuff. So that’s, that was a whole you know, like based off the idea. So we started looking at with that point, so B so right now we create triggers across all tables and then triggers that’s. Most of the recording for us makes that, you know, like the changes and all that probably suctioning a different table, which we use it later on when the March, so that was really complicated to really structure that and understand the triggers the way we want it. But then we were able to achieve with a lot of RFPs on top of that. So it was a challenging problem for sure.
Steven: That was one of the most challenging problems that we can try to solve.
David: Yeah. Because we think of one solution and then we’d go to be kind of, you know, like almost like five, six times in our solution. So we go with that one day and then something happened. And then we have so many hosting environments that we have to deal with. So it’s a complete challenge and we totally enjoyed it.
Steven: It’s really cool. And anybody out there is looking for a plugin to try to sync their like local stadium environments, or whatever kind of configuration.
Jonathon: I would say the only, I’m making a big statement here, but I think it’s the only product on the market commercial product on the market that has any track records actually can do this. Isn’t it?
Steven: I mean, I’ve tested some other people’s solutions out there and nothing’s quite as elegant this.
Jonathon: What would you say as a success rate, if you’re using what are the chances that it will work actually? I suppose that’s a ridiculous question because you just said. There are so many variables you just said depends on the plugins you got. So do you give quite a bit of information on your site that supports that particular plugin about how you prepare the website? So there’s a chance of the biggest success. Do you give a fair bit of documentation and advice on that?
David: Yeah, so we, it’s not like inspect, so it was out of the box. So we don’t really have to educate them on the compatibility with their plugins that they use, but we do have set in ways like for example, they can’t move the Devon [inaudible] without using our managing tool because we have done certain things on the database. So the interesting part is we don’t touch the production and we are McFall. So that’s say if there, whatever we’re running there is, so we would do a lot of database changes here, so it’s never advisable to move. So we do give a lot of documentation around it, but in terms of compatibility, it’s out of the box, it works with any type of plugins they’re putting data on.
Jonathon: So that’s great. We’re going to go for a break now. We’ll be back. David and his crew got a couple of new plugins that sound really exciting. We want to discuss those. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. We’ve had a big dive of WP capsule. He’s merging in which is not to say if you’ve ever been involved in a membership site, you would come across what we’ve been talking about and you will be started pulling that. So your hair, especially if you have a understanding client that you’re working with. So you’ve got a couple new plugin projects on the right doors. So to want to tell the audience a bit about your two new plugins and what you’re trying to solve with what you see as the problems that they solve.
David: We really wanted to focus on one aspect, which is like booking meetings, you know, like with, one-on-one having call, you know, like, do you want to really make a booking? And, and also with people not in Tom housing, like no, like cologne shop or are any of those aspects. So it’s going to be really, really focused on just this one app. And we we’ve been working hard on doing so, so it looks really simple on the friend, but then it needs a lot of integrations and functionalities in order to get this going. So it’s like, so I think many of you would have Calendly. So it’s also set them on the app side of it, but then with WordPress without control, we want to own our data and you know, like we want all through our needs.
So that’s the trend. So we wanted to build Calendly for WordPress mare can customize the look and feel of it. You can put your own spaces and also your own data, which not like all the bookings and everything, is on your site. And it’s simple, straightforward with all our integrations. So we put all our learning suffers on like the last eight years we did with multiple products, we made sure is simple, easy to onboard and get it going. For users we’ve seen complete, on the front gallon need was happy that it’s WordPress and they don’t have to really go sign into another platform. So that is web count. And the next product is Kati mice.com. So w commerce has been that for years. And again, we love it though, you know, like there are a lot of SAS companies building stuff like Shopify.
We still love it because we can customize it and make changes and make it look and feel like the way we want it. But the checkout has been always you know, like back to whatever exists out there. 2020, it has been always not the best. It’s what we, we felt we could, we could help the community to improve that. And so we we’ve spent a lot of parts researching and understanding, like for example, when you’re giving them a phone number, you need to display you know, like a phone number, kind of a structure so that they mentally doesn’t feel like, Ugh, and then giving them you know, like check whenever they complete a small pot of the farms kind of mentally motivates them, that they’re progressing rather than, you know, like typing a huge farm where people abandoned the cotton bowl.
So these are all psychological ethics that happens with checkout. So we have taken those entire mind, you apply. So into the consideration and the TVB number should be projected well. And so all these tiny details are being put together. And we also reference Beaumont, which is which is an Institute specializes on running researches, and they have a lot of documentation on these things, which can work really well. So we’ve incorporated all that in doors where people just put it in stock and they could go on. And they don’t have to do anything on the whole checkout, whole checkout process goes from, you know, like a complete 3660 shipped and thinking also, you know, like make madman settings on top of it. But pretty much the whole changes. And it increases the conversion and the customers who is interacting and loves it, which increases the customer knows
Jonathon: Righty-O. So I’ll put it over to Steve.
Steve: No, those are both really cool plugins because I mean, you’re a hundred percent right with WooCommerce, the out of the box, kind of what you get oftentimes is not optimized for the whole checkout flow and getting somebody from the cart page to, through the payment page. So you’re right. That’s like a need that is definitely there. And also like Calendly, I use calendar link quite a lot, but I’m pretty excited to kind of look into what you guys have going on, because there is an element of control that you don’t have, right. When you’re using a third-party thing. And that’s why a lot of people have found a home in WordPress. That’s why I love WordPress is because you can go in, you know, tweak and change whatever.
Jonathon: It’s quite interesting where it is. And Steven David, there’s a lot of competition. There’s a lot of competition in that sector. But I don’t think anybody. One provider has found that product that enables them to dominate the market. I think it’s just the problem still hasn’t been fully like a say, I’m going to repeat myself. There just seem to be one product that really dominates it. And does it tightly satisfactory?
Steve: I think as you build out all these different plugins, how do you decide when to start a new plugin versus when to merge it with your existing? I mean, infinite WB, as it is a large plugin has a, quite a big user base that just follows that plugin, but then, you know, you spun out there’ll be time capsule as its own thing. And WP merged out IO as its own thing. And like, how did, how did you decide to like, create separate plugins where you could’ve put it all together? One big, massive management sort of login.
David: Yeah. So I think the whole discussion was about this with happened with WP, because that was the first product we were like doing away from [inaudible] like 23 ad-on’s, which ranges from Google analytics, integration, staging, cloning, and all that. So one thing that really located like is that a generic market, which is product would love. So for example if it’s a Google analytics extension, you know, like we want to bring different Google analytics into a single dashboard, so it should be inside internet NWP. So anything which is like a multiple, a management product or multiple management clients, but it goes to incredibly be without a question, because that’s how the whole product is structured. And we have the audience already for that. But with WB 10 capsules, we wanted to go really jarring because we were actually trying to build a question.
Oh, I know, like backing up only the changes. So incremental backup was existed only with few companies and I just buy like really expensive. So we wanted to build it for free and, and we wanted to build it for a larger audience. And, and that’s how whole idea started. So when we said, if we bring this insight into randomly B, then we bring it into a multiple management concept where again, we use the audience because say, if someone didn’t have a three event space to manage, but they just had one website, but they still have to get into the concept puppet IWP and then try WP, then absolutely. We should be pushing away some of the audience.
So the process was, if this product can be used standalone, then it needs to be a standalone product. So I’ve cracked different audiences, which permits, you know, like we can also show them our all lead them to implant WP which becomes, if they have to manage more, more than three or five websites, they can also be for the agencies, how it’s always challenging to really maintain the balance. But that’s, that’s how we have been seeing the product in general.
Steve: That’s cool. Can you manage like all of WP time capitals features inside of infinite WP, if you have WP time capsule and infinite WP installed? Or do you have to go over to a VP or, or WPI defense counsel, the change WP time capsule things at times,
David: And we don’t have an add-on for WP Capsules. So WP capsule users get it for free. And that would be where they could just manage three every features of WP time capsule, making sure the bags are going fine and manage. And also we also offer a bundle, which is like they get it for a really classic two price WP for 699, you know, like we get all these products as a, as a bundle. So we also want them to use all our solutions if their agency to integrate all these concepts.
Jonathon: Well, that’s cool. That’s fantastic. Well, we’re coming to the end of the podcast, the show David’s agreed to stay on for a little while for another 10, 15 minutes. And we’re going to be discussing how you monetize WordPress. He’s owned that his own journey, how you compete with SAS products when you’re in the WordPress ecosystem. If you’re interested in these particular subjects, it should be a great chat discussion. And you’ll be able to see the whole interview plus the bonus content on the WP tonic YouTube channel. So I go over to the channels, subscribe, give me a thumbs up. It really helps WP Tonic. So David, what’s the best way for people to find out more about yourself and about the company.
David. So you can check out our site for sure. Then if you want to reach me personally, can mail me at [email protected] And I don’t tweet a lot, so I’m not sure again, I do have a Twitter account, but then I don’t tweet a lot
Jonathon: Steven, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to? And what your company’s up to?
Steven: How we can make WordPress faster by optimizing the back-end and the front end of your website.
Jonathon: And I’ve got some fun news. Unfortunately Adrian has decided that he probably won’t be doing the webinars with me. He’s just so busy with his own fantastic product Groundhogg. So Spencer Forums agreed to jump in with me and we’re going to, I will be announcing the next webinar that we’re going to be having in November. It will be at the beginning of November. And we’re going to be covering all things, marketing atomization with emphasis on WP fusion, and Groundhog. So we have agreed. We and Spencer, we’re going to be doing a series of webinars. We going to show you if you’re the beginner, the how to utilize marketing automation from the beginning to the end, and I’m excited. We’ve got a number of fantastic guests in October light, David. I’m sure you’re going to be really entertained with the subjects that we’ll be covering. So we will be back next week folks. We will see you soon.
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