Arjun Thakuri Interview

Welcome to another edition of the Pirate Interviews series here at ThemeIsle: Arjun Thakuri interview. Arjun – the CEO and founder of AccessPress Themes – talks about his professional goals and his involvement in the WordPress community.

Also, here’s the previous interview. Give it a quick read in case you missed it!

Arjun Thakuri Interview – The CEO of AccessPress Themes

Arjun Thakuri Interview

Arjun Thakuri is an entrepreneur by nature, with experience in multiple areas: web design, web development, implementation consultancy, tech entrepreneurship, and … WordPress, obviously. A lot of WordPress.

Arjun is deeply involved in the community. He is the CEO of AccessPress Themes, WPAll Club, and 8Degree Themes. And he is still not done, constantly aiming for more.

Currently, he also runs Access Keys in Kathmandu, Nepal – promoting small and medium size businesses on the web through the means of web design, development, and social media branding.

Let’s discover Arjun’s road so far and what’s on the plate for him next. This is our Arjun Thakuri interview:

When and how did you start working with WordPress? Is there an interesting story here?

I started working on the web in 2006. I worked on many technologies since then: classic ASP, PHP, JSP, Ruby, open source including Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc. We worked with thousands of small businesses on their website needs around the globe.

I founded Access Keys in 2010 and continued working on several PHP frameworks. Down the line, many of my clients started preferring WordPress because of easy and powerful content management system for them. I learned WordPress basics, probably checking out some YouTube videos. My team didn’t have much idea on WordPress, I gave them an hour of orientation (whatever I knew that time) on WordPress and they started rolling!

We started getting more projects in WordPress. We did a variety of projects in WordPress, mostly custom themes, plugins and some seriously large/vast ones. Hundreds of clients’ customized solutions in WordPress from 2010 to 2014 made us know more about WordPress, and we started enjoying it further.

In 2014, I decided to open up a separate company, AccessPress Themes, that deals only with WordPress themes/plugins, and started developing free and commercial themes/plugins. I knew the WordPress community was awesome, so I tried to find out the experts near us and took some advice.

Now, Access Keys does clients’ custom WordPress projects, and AccessPress Themes produces free and commercial themes/plugins.Arjun Thakuri

What do you think you’d be doing right now if WordPress didn’t exist?

I was initially a student in economics in my university. Later, computer and stuff attracted me, and switched into IT. I loved programming and coding ever since I started on it, so if WordPress didn’t exist, I would be doing web projects in some other technologies. But not far from the web, of course.Arjun Thakuri

What’s your technique for staying productive throughout the day?

There is not a fixed formula for this. I keep changing the technique quite frequently. Mostly, I divide the day into several clusters and work on different things. I never work on a single project/task for more than 3-4 hours, unless there is a deadline.

Working on the same thing for a long time makes me less productive – I feel. I switch to other tasks (mostly projects) and work with new energy. Switching between different projects in a day makes me fresh and full of energy to work on another project after working hard on the previous one. I take short breaks quite often. I do a lot of experimenting on myself! I don’t do it strictly, but I set daily priorities and targets by making a checklist in the morning.Arjun Thakuri

Arjun Thakuri

I divide the day into several clusters and work on different things. I never work on a single project/task for more than 3-4 hours, unless there is a deadline.

How do you define “being successful”?

Success has many dimensions, however in business stable profitability is one of the major factors. I think the end goal of success should be happiness.  

For me, remaining successful is more important than being successful. That’s why I believe in persistent performance of a business.Arjun Thakuri

What do you like to do when you’re not WordPress-ing?

I’m an entrepreneur by nature and have started few other ventures inside and outside IT, in which I believe I can do good. I spend time in them. I plan for the future of the businesses. I spend time on political and social campaigns as a part of my responsibility for the nation where I belong.Arjun Thakuri

What do you wish more people knew about WordPress?

I’ve come across many clients/website owners who haven’t used WordPress yet but think that it is not secure, that it gets hacked quite often, and they’re suspicious about the flexibility of customization. I wish they actually knew that WordPress is secure, easy and flexible to use. It is, sometimes, the particular website or webmaster who is responsible for the security vulnerabilities – not WordPress as a platform.

Also I wish people also knew more about probably the largest open source awesome community, where they get not only technical support but mentors, motivators, business partners, and friends!Arjun Thakuri

Arjun Thakuri

I wish they actually knew that WordPress is secure, easy and flexible to use.

Who’s doing things that are just cutting-edge and incredible in the WordPress space right now?

I’ll talk mostly about themes and plugins for now. I think most of the players are focused on revenue and quantity, some of them seem to be making a theme and then making several copies of it with some twist and tweaks and increasing quantities.

I believe there must be some research based value in each product that we offer, rather than simply following the flow. If we can think of something innovative, new and interesting, it will help us push the boundaries. We at AccessPress Themes have been trying to make some “different” themes than the regular flow in the community and trying to serve the value and difference to the users. For example, our themes AccessPress Parallax, ScrollMe, and Revolve serve different experience to the users.

It is hard to name, but a few who come to my mind are: AccessPress Themes, ThemeIsle, Tesla Themes, aThemes. I like the value offered behind their products.Arjun Thakuri

Describe the WordPress community in one word.

Arjun Thakuri


What’s the main threat to WordPress these days? Other platforms like Ghost, or maybe things like Squarespace?

I don’t see much threat from any other platforms really. However, it seems we’ve to be able to timely address some of the issues within. For example, the community has become more crowded now. The themes and plugins in the repo must be/remain of high quality. The community members must be encouraged to submit and contribute with high-quality products and value to the end users.

If I’m a newbie and don’t find a quality product even after trying several ones, I’ll give up. The biggest challenge I see in WordPress now is to make strong guidelines for all themes/plugins submissions, make sure that the repo isn’t flooded by too many items in a day, but that some useful and valuable products are added. Also, a separate repo for those who want to learn and submit their items might help to keep the main repo clean.Arjun Thakuri

What are your recommendations for a WordPress novice?

There is high scope in WordPress, but you can’t just be successful overnight, have patience. Understand the basics and work hard, innovate, and remain different. Put yourself in the community and get in touch with its members.Arjun Thakuri
Arjun Thakuri

You can’t just be successful overnight, have patience.

This concludes our Arjun Thakuri interview. I have to admit that Arjun’s advice on patience really resonates with me. Doing your thing, taking initiative, and not getting discouraged easily really is the key to success. But what do you think?