Working together in such a trusted relationship is a huge benefit for us. We can really understand all the different approaches and opinions everybody has.
Alexander Frison is the CEO of Inpsyde, Germany’s largest WordPress agency. Founded in 2006, Inpsyde is one of the biggest agencies in the world specializing in WordPress. During its early years, they worked to spread WordPress, translating, helping to design, extending and using it for many challenging use cases. Frison was project manager at Inpsyde for six years before he became CEO at the end of 2018.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Frison shares how he imbues values and action, custom websites and WordPress Multisite.
The Speed of Trust (0:30)
We are a family business. We trust each other and know our strengths and weaknesses and always had the goal to build a strong company; not only for ourselves, but also for the people around us that have trust in us.
In order for a team to perform, innovate, and effectively communicate, there must be trust. There are three key ingredients: care, integrity and intention. Best-selling author Stephen MR Covey says teams can only move at the “speed of trust.” This plays out with the Inpsyde team. Frison points to how creating trusting relationships has been a huge benefit as well as an important company value for Inpsyde.
“We can really understand all the different approaches and opinions everybody has and make the best out of it,” says Frison. Trust also extends beyond the company walls to Inpsyde’s clients. In an effort to be completely solution-oriented for clients, Frison points to his team’s unique ability to be grounded and know their capabilities to help people. They trust each other and know they will figure out a way to solve their client’s problems.
WordPress Multisite (2:41)
Multi-site is simply the best way to build professional websites with WordPress.
WordPress Multisite is a feature that allows a company to manage multiple sites under the same WordPress installation. It can create a network of websites that share the same technical foundation with all sites within that network. Multisites can scale up a website without performance loss, which results in a great user experience in managing the sites. Multisite is widely used by corporations, universities, and newspapers where they have dedicated sub-sites for each department or school managed from the same WordPress admin panel.
WordPress Multisite is also used for multilingual sites where there is a dedicated site for each language. Inpsyde worked with ANOUK, a Swiss multi-brand chain for women’s fashion, to implement a multisite with three different languages. Some of the advantages of multisite implementation are using the same design and plugins for the three different websites; all while maintaining independent languages, functionality and content on each site.
E-Commerce and WooCommerce (4:15)
The failed product management of traditional platforms and systems make them want to change. And they really like the idea of not paying, for example, for licensing fees for standard functionalities they maybe don’t even need, but rather pay for customization to the particular needs.
In 2020 the world witnessed a huge growth in e-commerce due to the global pandemic. Offline businesses have pivoted to digital solutions in order to sell their products. There are different types of e-commerce options out there, including self-hosted platforms and plugins.
For those on WordPress, the #1 e-commerce plugin (with 80+ million downloads) is WooCommerce. WooCommerce powers approximately 30% of stores online today. Frison recommends WooCommerce as a very accessible platform for all sized companies. For SMBs it is easy to get up and running quickly with WooCommerce. He also sees an increasing interest of multi-million dollar shops to switch to WordPress, especially, for example, from Magento, due to the customizable options provided by WooCommerce.
Remote Control (6:34)
The biggest learning for businesses from the last year was to think processes and business models remote first. This is the smartest thing you can do because remote processes still work in non-remote environments, but oftentimes not the other way around.
Covid-19 has accelerated digital remote-first transformation in companies of all sizes around the world. Building a remote-first culture creates remote work as the norm rather than something approved of only in certain circumstances. Frison points out that the companies who are handling it well see remote first more as a chance and try to create new ways to work as well as be prepared for what’s next.
One example Frison gives is the travel industry. They had to pivot their business completely overnight due to travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing requirements. By offering at-home walking tours, online experiences, unique destination gift boxes as well as transparent information about travel restrictions, the industry has built an additional business model that can bring in new revenue.
The 90%-ers (10:32)
I’m always saying life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent what you’re doing with it.
As everyone knows, life is unpredictable and Frison acknowledges it’s important to just act sometimes even though it’s critical or it’s difficult. Ignoring, pushing away or sticking your head in the ground is not an effective problem-solving strategy. “You have to be flexible and spontaneous,” Frison says. “You have to be positive. It’s an attitude.” And it’s an attitude that has helped Frison from his first days as a web developer to continually be committed to taking action, valuing mentor’s advice, and having fun along the way.