David Lockie has done everything from working with world-class scientists in the Indonesian rainforest to contributing to knowledge of low carbon technologies to founding his own WordPress development agency. Mr. Lockie will be sharing his hands-on knowledge at WordCamp London on the Agency Panel. 34SP.com was able to get a few comments from David Lockie about his life and WordPress experience and his content for the upcoming WordCamp London presentation. You can also follow his company on Twitter @pragmaticweb.
You are described as a WordPress geek – How would you describe yourself and your experience with WordPress?
I’m a Zoologist. When I was growing up, I wanted to be David Attenborough. When I got older, I wanted to help conserve the world’s natural wonders. I fell into WordPress back in 2007 really just as a less frustrating way of building websites than writing lots of flat HTML files. When I realised I could have a better lifestyle doing that than my day job, I quit to start freelancing full time, building websites. Pretty soon it became clear that for most projects, WordPress was a great choice and I started doing less of anything else. Before I knew it, I’d been doing it 3 years and was working 12 hour days just to keep on top of all the incoming work. So, I founded Pragmatic in 2012 and over the next couple of years, the company grew to three of us, but I’d been diverting a lot of my time and energy into a WordPress start-up called wp.io (then FreelanceWP). By the end of 2013, I’d re-focused myself entirely on Pragmatic and for the last year and a half we’ve been working hard to be one of the world’s top WordPress agencies. This last year in particular has been super busy: we’ve grown 400% and really turned up the gas.
In 2012 you founded Pragmatic (a group of WordPress specialists). What are your core competencies? What exactly does Pragmatic do – and who is your ideal customer for your services?
We’re interested in almost any aspect of WordPress – from strategy and consulting through design and user experience, production and on to hosting, support and continuous optimisation programs. The majority of our team are experienced WordPress developers – we’re really lucky to have some amazingly talented, motivated and fun people on board. Our ideal customer is looking for a new website (whether it’s brand new, or a complete revision of their current one) and approaches us early enough in the process for us to help build out the brief and shape the strategy. We make a point of taking on projects of almost all sizes: we love working with diverse clients – often it’s the smaller organisations that have the most exciting ideas; having a high project throughput helps us hone our processes and systems; every project is different and we always learn something and keeping a broad business network of happy clients helps us attract more.
Your team also develops WordPress plugins. What has been your most successful plugin to date? Why do you think it was so successful?
Honestly, we’ve only got very limited experience to producing plugins as products. A lot of our bigger projects have custom plugins for specific clients, but finding the time and focus to turn these into consumer-facing products isn’t something we’ve done very well yet. As the company grows, we’ll be looking to divert more time and energy into producing products and services.
What are you going to be covering at WordCamp 2015? Who should be interested in gleaming from your expertise?
I’ll be speaking on the agency panel, so I’ll be answering questions about some of the challenges, highs and lows of running a UK WordPress agency.
Anything else you want to add or promote?
I’d just like to say a massive thanks to the awesome Pragmatic team and our clients. You all keep me learning, every day.