We are excited to introduce Andriy Andreyev as the guest in our WP-Professional of the Month series. He’s from Ukraine and is the CEO of the much-loved brand ‘Crocoblock’ which helps you build dynamic WordPress websites with no code.
Andriy Andreyev has played a crucial role in the growth and success of Crocoblock. Today Crocoblock is a leading provider of WordPress tools and plugins with a focus on the Elementor page builder. They offer a suite of products and services, including a collection of premium Elementor addons, that help users enhance their WordPress websites and create stunning designs.
How did you get introduced to WordPress? Can you please explain the journey, especially the beginnings of Crocoblock?
WordPress came into my life unexpectedly. As a child, I dreamed of being an astronaut, not a programmer. Like many IT professionals, I worked as a freelancer at the beginning of my career. At first, I wrote a little code, tried to work with HTML, JS, then CSS, and participated in developing various projects. But I realized this was not enough for me at some point. I wanted something more, and that’s how I got interested in PHP. Then it became my main activity, and I started working with WordPress.
WordPress has great potential because it allows you to develop anything according to the constructor principle.
But previously, it was a platform for blogs with somewhat limited functionality. And to add something, you had to write code.
In 2014, we started creating themes for WordPress. At first, they looked like separate codes which could be visualized. That is, clients could picture how their site will look if they use one or another theme, but a particular code is not always convenient. Therefore, over time, we switched to Elementor-type constructors, collected the same functional elements, and this is how our first plugin appeared (for the record, it was JetElements).
Now Crocoblock includes 20 plugins, 200 widgets, and 60+ templates.
What’s the story behind the interesting name “Crocoblock”?
We decided our logo would be a crocodile when we started working. In ancient Egypt, this animal was a symbol of strength and wisdom. And it is also very ambiguous and a wild predator.
Therefore, we took the first part of the name from this incredible animal. The second part is a reference to the block, the main element of plugins and websites. It turned out to be very symbolic.
Where are you based? Does your location influence your work?
The main office is located in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. But the team works from different parts of the country and the world. Everyone has long been accustomed to the remote work format in the modern world, so the location does not affect our work. Clients reach out to us from many countries worldwide, and we provide everyone with the best product and services.
What makes WordPress so special to you?
I believe that WordPress is the best platform for creating websites and applications. It is not for nothing that millions of websites, including the world’s largest brands, have been built on its basis. With its help, you can create anything because WordPress is very flexible and easy to use. It is like a canvas on which you, as an artist, paint your picture with the help of plugin paints.
WordPress has a massive potential that we are not yet using to the full extent.
What is your favorite a) Plugin b) Theme c) Hosting and why? (other than your products)
As the owner of a plugin company, I have used a lot of different plugins, themes, and hosting providers over the years. Regarding my favorite plugin, I have to say that Elementor is definitely at the top of my list. Not only did we start using it from the very beginning, but it has proven to be an incredibly versatile and powerful tool for building websites.
As for my favorite theme, I have to give a shout-out to Astra and OceanWP. These incredibly flexible and customizable themes allow us to create unique designs for our clients. Plus, they are lightweight and fast, which is always a plus.
When it comes to hosting, Siteground is definitely my go-to. They offer exceptional uptime and speed, and their customer support is top-notch. Plus, they offer various hosting options to fit every budget and need. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with Siteground as our hosting provider.
What do you think about the future of WordPress?
I am very optimistic about the future of WordPress. The platform has already established itself as the leading content management system and continues to grow in popularity. With the introduction of new features and improvements, WordPress is poised to remain the go-to choice for website builders and bloggers alike. As more and more businesses move online, WordPress will continue to be a valuable tool for creating and maintaining professional and engaging websites.
Overall, I believe that the future of WordPress is bright, and I see the future of WordPress as an all-in-one platform with everything you need for website building created by the community. The focus on performance and accessibility will continue to be a top priority for site owners and developers, and the rise of headless WordPress and static websites will offer new opportunities for maximum performance and security.
Additionally, the emergence of block themes directly in WordPress and new SaaS solutions based on WordPress will provide added flexibility and interaction for users. Overall, the future of the platform looks promising, with continued advancements and improvements on the horizon.
If you could change one thing about WordPress, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about WordPress, it would be how it handles updates. The update process can be cumbersome and time-consuming, especially for users with multiple WordPress sites to manage. WordPress could streamline the update process, perhaps, by automating it or making it more user-friendly.
It would save a lot of time and effort for WordPress users and ultimately make the platform even more accessible and user-friendly than it already is. The Ideas section on WordPress.org is a bit abandoned, except for Gutenberg, and I think it is one of the improvement possibilities.
What do you think about the latest acquisition saga in WordPress?
I can’t say I haven’t been following it. From my perspective, it’s understandable that some people are concerned about the implications of such a significant acquisition. However, it’s important to remember that change is a natural part of any industry. I think the acquisition could bring new opportunities and innovations to the WordPress community, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
What are your thoughts on WordPress meetups and WordCamps? Is the community active at your place?
The WordPress community is very active. And I believe that such events are a great place to look for new ideas, partners, and solutions. For instance, our team has just attended WCEU 2023 – it’s been exciting and productive. But even if you don’t attend WordPress meetups and WordCamps, you can find support and partners for almost any issue in the WordPress community. It’s exciting how many WordPress specialists are ready to help and support each other while implementing different projects.
What tips can you share as a CEO, especially about marketing and finding funds for your dream projects? How do you get inspiration for new products?
First, I advise everyone not to be afraid to experiment and try. Because even if you fail to realize your idea, you will get experience that will lead to success in the future.
Second, listen to the needs of your customers. It is how almost every plugin of ours was born. We listened to our customers and gave them what they needed.
Third, do not stop your creativity. Creativity helps to innovate and develop something exciting.
Life has both success and failure. Please share one mistake that you made early in your career.
I believe that every mistake is a stepping stone to our next achievement. You find another method that doesn’t work and try another way. All my experience shows that errors are indicators where you need to pay attention and improve something.
What is Andriy like away from WordPress? What are your ways of chilling?
For me, rest is one of the components of successful work. So I always find time for a quality rest. Usually, it is time to go for a walk with family or friends. I really like to walk and run. It helps to structure thoughts.
The WP-Content team wishes Andriy all the very best in his future endeavors and hopes to see him make more contributions to WordPress.
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