Hello and welcome to a new interview as part of our monthly series! Today, we’re talking with Pavel Ciorici, the founder and CEO of WPZoom. Stick with us for your dose of insights into WordPress and online business.
Before diving into this month’s chat, make sure to check our previous interview with Lindsey Miller from Post Status. Or go through our full collection of interviews with many more professionals from around the world.
He started the business in 2008, during which he gathered together a remote team of people from Moldova, the USA, The Netherlands, and Serbia.
With time, the WPZoom products reached over 100,000 customers from 150 countries.
What’s impressive is that, over the years, Pavel and his team have built more than 100 free and premium WordPress themes, ranging from business to portfolio, blog, magazine, and WooCommerce, just to name a few. Their flagship theme is Inspiro – a theme that comes in many flavors and variants, based on user needs and the complexity required.
Let’s hear more from Pavel himself:
Pavel Ciorici Interview – “A New Business Entering the Online Space Should Release a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as Soon as Possible”
When and how did you start working with WordPress? Is there an interesting story here?
I started working with WordPress about 17 years ago when I started to blog about random stuff from my daily life as a student. My curiosity immediately drew me, and I began trying new themes and modifying them in my free time. Eventually, I started building my own themes for WordPress, and that’s how WPZOOM was born.
My blog circa 2007:
The first theme, released in 2009 (Yamidoo Magazine):
What’s your favorite/must-have WordPress plugin and why?
That’s a tough question, because there are so many great plugins out there for WordPress! If I had to choose just one, I would say WP Rocket is my must-have plugin. It’s an incredibly powerful optimization plugin that I use on just about every website.
What do you think makes WordPress the most dominant CMS?
I think there are a few things that make WordPress stand out as the most dominant CMS. First and foremost, it’s the fact that it’s open-source and freely available to anyone. This has allowed it to build a huge and passionate community of users and developers, which in turn has led to a vast ecosystem of themes, plugins, and resources. Additionally, WordPress is incredibly user-friendly and easy to customize, which makes it accessible to people of all skill levels.
Describe the WordPress community in one word.
The WordPress community is known for being very supportive. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out with WordPress or an experienced developer looking to extend its functionality, you’ll find that the community is there to help. There are many places where you can ask questions, share knowledge, and find solutions to problems.
This supportive spirit is one of the key factors that make the WordPress community so successful and widely loved.
Pictured: My WordPress Mastermind fellows: Ionut (Themeisle), Me, and Adi (TranslatePress/Cozmoslabs) @ WordCamp Porto, 2021.
How do you define “being successful”?
To me, being successful means feeling fulfilled and satisfied with the work I’m doing, and being able to make a positive impact on the world around me. It’s also about achieving balance in my personal and professional life and feeling like I’m making progress towards my goals.
What does “a good day at work” mean to you?
A good day at work for me is when I feel like I’m making progress on meaningful projects, and when I’m able to collaborate and learn from my colleagues. It’s also important to me that I’m able to have a good work-life balance, so a good day at work also involves feeling like I have time to pursue my personal interests and spend quality time with my loved ones.
What’s the no. 1 thing a new business entering the online space should do?
In my opinion, the number one thing a new business entering the online space should do is to release a minimum viable product (MVP) as soon as possible. The sooner you release, the sooner you can start collecting feedback from early customers and making improvements to your product. Perfectionism can be addictive in the early stages of a new business, so it’s better to get something out there and iterate based on customer feedback. This approach allows you to make faster progress and stay ahead of your competition. By releasing your MVP sooner, you’ll be able to start learning about your market and your customers and use that information to make informed decisions about the future direction of your business.
What are some interesting ways to gather people around your brand and keep them engaged?
I think it really depends on your business and your target audience. A simple but effective method would be to engage with your followers and customers on social media and other channels they use. Offering rewards for loyalty (such as giveaways or exclusive discounts) could also help a lot to keep people closer to you. Even a simple gesture like sending postcards to your loyal customers (assuming you know their address) would make a big difference. Just make sure it’s handwritten 🙂
What is your company’s culture? What does WPZOOM stand up for?
At WPZOOM, we value creativity, innovation, and a positive work-life balance. We encourage a collaborative and transparent culture where everyone’s ideas are valued and appreciated. We also stand up for high-quality and user-friendly products that help our customers succeed.
What is driving you to keep doing what you’re doing? What’s your personal mission?
Personally, I’m driven by a desire to create and build things that make a difference. From time to time, we like to challenge ourselves with complex ideas only to discover that in time you gain a lot of knowledge with such experiences, and nothing (almost) is impossible.
My personal mission is to continue learning and growing as an entrepreneur and hopefully improve my managerial skills.
That sums up our Pavel Ciorici interview. If you enjoyed it and want to learn more, please leave your comments in the section below. Also, if you have any ideas for who we should talk to next, feel free to share your suggestions with us!