Topher DeRosia Twinterview with WPExperts

WPExperts has already conducted many twinterviews with WordPress business holder CEOs, founders, and community members. But today’s twinterview is quite special for several reasons. It’s our first twinterview after gaining WordPress VIP Silver Agency Partner status, and our guest also belongs to the WordPress VIP specialty.

Twinterview With Topher DeRosia

We’ve invited one of the DeRosia family members, Topher DeRosia, a Sr. WordPress architect at Camber Creative (WordPress VIP Gold Partner Agency). He is also the founder & curator of HeroPress. Topher has over 25 years of web development portfolio and more than 11 years of WordPress development experience.

Topher is a highly visible member of the WordPress community, and he is frequently seen at different WordCamps and WordPress events. WPExperts’ host (Zubair Siddiq) asked some rare questions related to WordPress VIP, and Topher DeRosia answered them wisely and with insights.

Let’s read what he said: 

Q1: Christopher, would you like to elaborate on the actual difference between WordPress. com & WordPress VIP platform for newbie site owners?

WordPress.com is primarily for individuals and small organizations or companies. The feature set and price point are aligned to best serve these groups. VIP is intended for very large, high-traffic sites. The features are quite different and it’s far more expensive than a normal .com site.

Q2: Do you think WordPress VIP pricing plans need more clarity for potential clients?

I don’t really. Once you get to the scale of VIP, every customer’s needs are unique, and there isn’t a good way to put out a price that’s going to fit everyone’s needs.

Q3: Does WordPress VIP partner agency GOLD or SILVER status matter to agency clients?

That depends on the client.  For some, I’m sure it means a great deal.  For others I don’t think they care, they just want a competent agency. I do think in the corporate world that certificates, labels, and awards matter. They don’t always mean the skill is there, but it’s easier to sell to aboard. I will say that Automattic does a great job of vetting agencies, and you don’t really get to be a Gold or Silver agency without being great at what you do.

Q4: Do ENTERPRISE clients behave differently than regular WordPress clients? Share any best or worst experiences with any client?

They do behave differently. They’re almost always a larger company, and there are layers of bureaucracy that a smaller organization doesn’t have to deal with.  Larger companies also often have larger legal needs, and those needs can take time to work through. Nearly everything is different. Agencies don’t tell tales.  😉


Q5: What are your day-to-day responsibilities at Camber Creative?

They’re quite varied.  At the moment I’m creating a great deal of content.  Blog posts both for the Camber blog as well at the VIP blog, Twitter takeovers once a week with follow-up blog posts, etc.

My sales work is usually at the leading edge of a sale, where I meet potential clients, hear their stories, their needs, and then work with our team to propose a solution. Once the client is interested in the solution I hand them off to someone else. I love hearing client stories.

Q6: Being a Sr. WordPress architect, tell us how WordPress VIP coding standard is more efficient than the normal WordPress coding?

It depends on how you define “normal”. The default WordPress coding standard defined in the docs is VERY similar to the WordPress VIP coding standard. WordPress VIP basically just has some additions that are particular to their platform. That said, following the standard makes coding more efficient because it’s easier for one dev to pick up where another left off because they’re already comfortable with the way things are organized.

Q7: How much do you trust WordPress VIP enterprise security? What extra majors do agencies take to secure clients’ sites?

WordPress VIP security is fantastic, and I trust it very much. There are some wonderful standard safeguards in place that prevent faulty code from getting through to production, and they work very well.  The systems in place aside from code issues have been in place and refined over a number of years now, and work very well.

Q8: Tell us about your role at HeroPress? How HeroPress efforts bring the WordPress community closer and more diversified?

At the moment my role is to manage getting new essays in place and be a host on one or two podcasts. I do some basic upkeep on the various network sites, and I also create a Tip Of The Week, found on the @HeroPressNetwrk site.

Without deliberate efforts, people tend to remain in safe spaces, with people like them. Through HeroPress I work to connect people across their boundaries and help them see the beauty and wisdom in people they would never otherwise see.

Q9: Why is the DeRosia family so popular? You and your wife belong to the same WordPress industry; how does it help you make critical career & business decisions together?

I think the success of our family comes from two places.  One is that we do things that are visible. We go to WordCamps, we speak at events, we run sites like HeroPress etc. That doesn’t make for popularity though, that’s simply visibility.  I think people tend to like us because we genuinely care about them. Helping people succeed and find a life they love truly brings us joy.  Apparently people like that. 🙂

As for working together, I can tell that there are definite advantages to working in the same industry. We often attend the same events for the same reasons, we have a more unified goal in career, etc. If we worked TOO close I think it would be stressful and hard, but fortunately the WordPress ecosystem is large enough that we can be in the same space with enough distance between us to make it comfortable.

Q10: Share your hobbies, favorite books, movies, and any particular activity with WPExperts followers?

WordPress really is my primary hobby. I work on HeroPress in the evenings and weekends.  At night before bed, I read novels. I like Louis L’Amour, sci-fi, and fantasy. I play video games a little bit, mostly on a Windows machine. I’m very particular there. I’ve recently started sampling whiskey, learning about where it’s from, how it’s made, etc.

Time To Say Goodbye!

At the end of the twinterview, We have shown our gratitude to Topher DeRosia for spending his precious time with us. It’s time to say goodbye until the next twinterview. Stay connected!

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