One name that stands out in the dynamic landscape of web development and content management is Vikas Singhal, the visionary founder and CEO of InstaWP. Hailing from the vibrant city of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, Vikas is not your typical Computer Science engineer. He’s a trailblazer who decided to transition from the complexities of server management to a mission of enhancing the WordPress experience for users worldwide.
Dive into the mind of this WordPress maestro as he shares his insights, experiences, and the story behind the evolution of InstaWP. Join us for an exclusive interview with Vikas Singhal as WPExperts unravel the brilliance and innovation driving the WordPress revolution.
Q#1 How Long Have You Been in The WordPress Industry?
I tapped into the WordPress industry in 2017 and never looked back since then, so you may say I am quite new to the WP world.
In this six-year journey of learning and uplifting fellow WP developers, I tried to understand WordPress development and the plugin market as much as possible. InstaWP happened in 2021 (after multiple trials and errors), for which I also utilized my previous experience related to infrastructure, servers, network devices, operating systems, web technologies, and security.
Q#2 How Did You Get the Idea of Building InstaWP?
It got shaped slowly after my first encounter with WP development, which I experienced while helping my brother build his eCommerce store. During the process, I learned about the massive gap between WordPress plugins related to WordPress sandboxing.
Even though WordPress sandboxing is crucial and hectic, not much was offered in this regard. This irked me greatly and compelled me to fill this gap.
Q#3 What Are Your Real Challenges As A CEO Of InstaWP?
Challenges are there, and they never stop me from moving forward. The biggest challenge I encounter is making others believe in our beliefs. When we launched InstaWP, we faced rejections, and the industry had no faith in it. However, we improved our pitch and product and got seed-funded by Automattic later on.
Q#4 InstaWP Is Partnering with Other WordPress Brands at Lightning Speed. How Are You Managing Such Partnerships and Collaborations? Do You Take These Partnership Decisions Solely, Or Does Your Team Help You?
I see InstaWP growing exponentially; therefore, we are trying to satisfy our customers the way they prefer. We have recently launched InstaWP Connect, WaaS, and 2-Way Sync-like capabilities. Partnerships are also a part of this process.
Partnerships help us improve our product’s ability, serve a more significant user base, gain visibility, and build amazing business relationships. Though most of the partnership decisions are mine, InstaWP’s sales and marketing teams help execute the related ideas. I also get suggestions from my team members about whom we can partner with.
Q#5 How Many WordCamps Have You Attended? Is WordCamp the Best Platform for Networking? Any Interesting Memories from A WordCamp You Want to Share with Our Readers?
Six, I guess. Oh, I love participating in WordCamp, and sponsoring them helps me feel like I am doing something for my community. We recently sponsored WordCamp US 2022, WordCamp Asia 2023, WordCamp Bangalore 2023, WordCamp Europe 2023, WordCamp US 2023, and WordCamp Kathmandu 2023 in a row. I learned a lot of things each time.
I would like to share the most interesting and recent memory from WordCamp US, which I couldn’t attend because of visa issues. InstaWP’s 6 partner companies came forward to help us manage our booth for 2 hours each. We renamed our booth to a community booth, and it was quite successful. It also tells how partnerships can help you in various expected and unexpected ways.
Q#6 You Are Also Interested in Shopify and SaaS. Do You Think WordPress Has Any Threat from Other CMS Like Shopify, WIX, Magento, And No-Code Solutions?
I am definitely interested in them, but in a different way. I want to position InstaWP the same way Shopify has positioned itself among eCommerce businesses, and WIX has positioned itself among people willing to design their websites on their own. I do not think there is any threat to WordPress from other no-code solutions because, just like the competition, the market is also expanding at a good speed.
Q#7 Where Do You Envision the Future of InstaWP in The WordPress Ecosystem for The Next Five Years?
I believe in taking a few small steps at a time. So, I am not thinking about the next 5 years in advance. But to answer your question, I would say I want to establish InstaWP as a top-notch no-code solution in the coming years and grow our recently launched InstaWP template store to a full-fledged marketplace for the WordPress community. Our focus on improving our product for agencies and developers will remain as is.
Q#8 What’s Your Opinion About the WordPress Community? Is The WordPress Community Going in The Right Direction?
The WordPress community is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s a good thing. The community is actively engaged in arranging WordCamp now and then. The community takes technical discussion to whole new levels, and this is the real fodder for the WordPress community.
Q#9 Do You Have Any Suggestions for Newbie WordPress Business Owners?
Just have faith in your idea, which should be focused on solving an issue rather than offering a product. Don’t feel dejected by the rejections, but don’t ignore the feedback. Work on them and make them your strengths.
Q#10 What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
Of course, I do. I travel with my best buddies and family to beat the mundane routine or break the monotony. At times, I just prefer spending the weekend playing with my kids at home.
Time To Say Goodbye!
At the end of the interview, we’d like to thank Vikas Singhal for spending his precious time with us. It’s time to say ciao until the next interview. Stay connected!