The WordPress community owes its growth in Germany to the unwavering efforts of Robert, who has been a part of it for over 16 years. As an active contributor to the development of WordPress, Robert’s expertise in coding and servers led him to become a key player in the community.
His passion for helping clients with their WordPress needs led to the formation of his company, Inpsyde, which now has a global presence with a team of 120 people. The company serves many large clients, including Fortune 500 companies, and has a presence in different time zones to cater to their needs.
Through this interview, we can learn how COVID-19 impacted his business and life, and how he successfully built and managed a remote team during these challenging times. Robert’s journey is a source of inspiration for all those who aspire to make a difference in the WordPress community.
Known For: Robert Windisch is the founder of Inpsyde, the largest WordPress agency in Europe. His enthusiasm for assisting customers with their WordPress requirements was the catalyst for the inception of his enterprise, Inpsyde. The firm caters to a broad clientele, including Fortune 500 companies.
Audio Podcast WithRobert Windisch
Video Interview with Robert Windisch, Co Founder of Inpsyde
Robert Windisch Interview – Co-Founding Europe’s Biggest WordPress Agency
For the people who don’t know you, can you give us a brief intro about you?
Robert: I am Robert, coming from Germany. I started with WordPress in 2005 and joined the German WordPress community. Because I could code really fast, I jumped up the ranks to be in charge of servers and stuff.
This was before WordPress could take off for the language sites, so we simply had our own forum in Germany. I was in charge of servers and helped build up WordPress in Germany by providing a platform and making WordPress releases.
We then formed a company called Inpsyde, and now we are 120 people globally, providing WordPress services to clients all over the world. We simply picked our clients in Germany by helping them with WordPress. Soon, we had a track record of companies that trusted us because they knew people from the community. So we simply grew from that.
How many clients do you have now? And who is your biggest client?
Robert: Sorry, I cannot disclose that information due to confidentiality agreements. Our biggest clients are B2B Enterprise clients who have websites that are just business websites. So they almost have no blog content. They use the CMS side of WordPress with block editor as their content engine to deliver content worldwide.
Can you tell us more about the services your company offers?
Robert: We offer a wide range of services, including WordPress development, hosting, and maintenance. We also provide migration services and support for clients who need to move their websites from one platform to another. Additionally, we offer custom development solutions tailored to our clients’ needs.
How do you see the future of WordPress and your company’s role in it?
Robert: I think WordPress has a bright future ahead of it. It’s already the most popular content management system in the world, and its user base continues to grow. As for our company, we plan to continue offering top-notch services to our clients and expanding our reach globally. We also plan to stay at the forefront of WordPress development and contribute to the WordPress community whenever we can.
We have a big client with WordPress support in terms of using WordPress, so we help them with user problems, password problems, and development for plugins, extensions, and themes. We also do our own plugins, for example, one of the biggest backup plugins, Multilingual Press, which is used in the White House.
How did you get your first major clients? How did you convert your clients?
Robert: Our first major client came to us because one of us had visibility for them. They worked with us because they had read our content and needed someone they could trust. We tried to be approachable along with delivering high-quality content. This continued and we kept on getting more clients.
Can you tell us about a turning point in your business? When did you start seeing good revenue and clients?
Robert:The biggest turning point for us was when we decided to raise our prices. We started off with reasonable prices, but we realized that we weren’t able to deliver the quality that we wanted at that rate.
When we raised our prices by 50%, we did lose some clients, but we were able to keep the ones who were sustainable and good for us. We also started looking like professionals and attracting new clients who were willing to pay for the quality we delivered.
Raise the Prices To Grow Your Business
Can you tell us more about how you were able to convince clients to stay and attract new ones with the increased pricing?
Robert:We categorized our clients and talked to them about the price change. We convinced the good ones to stay and let go of the ones who were causing too many issues and questioning our way of work. By delivering high-quality work consistently, we were able to project confidence and attract new clients who saw us as professionals.
Can you tell us about the best advice you’ve ever received?
Robert: The best advice I’ve ever received is “Done is better than perfect.” As a highly sophisticated business, it’s easy to get caught up in over-engineering and perfectionism. This advice reminds us to focus on doing things well, but not to get too deep into overthinking or overworking a project.
Over-engineering and perfectionism can be pitfalls for a highly sophisticated business.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
Robert: The worst advice I’ve ever received is that “You should not change your prices.” This advice was given to us when we were struggling with delivering quality work at a reasonable rate. We realized that raising our prices was necessary to deliver the quality we wanted and attract good clients. This decision was crucial to our success.
Can you tell us how COVID-19 has impacted your business and personal life?
Robert: When the lockdown was imposed in Germany in March, I was actually on my way to attend a physical meetup for my business. However, due to the lockdown, nobody was present, so I quickly switched gears and connected to a virtual meetup in a different city in Germany.
From that point onwards, I stopped traveling for conferences and switched to attending online meetups and WordCamps. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, I was able to connect with new people and maintain relationships with existing contacts by leveraging online platforms.
From a business perspective, we were fortunate as we closed a deal with a Fortune 500 client just before the pandemic hit. While everything shifted online, our client still needed websites, so our business was not adversely impacted.
In fact, we were hiring during the pandemic. When restrictions were lifted, we organized a physical meetup in Barcelona for our remote team, bringing colleagues from around the world together for the first time in person. It was a memorable experience as some team members hadn’t seen each other in years or had never met in person before.
How did you go about building and managing your remote team during COVID-19?
Robert: Building and managing a remote team during COVID-19 required a different approach compared to traditional in-person teams. Firstly, it was crucial to understand my management style and adapt it to the remote setting.
Secondly, I made an effort to know each individual team member and their strengths, as our teams were self-organized. I would set goals for the team and the projects we needed to work on, and they would organize themselves to achieve those goals.
Communication was key, and we relied heavily on virtual tools such as Zoom and project management platforms like Jira. Team members would often reach out to me for clarifications or feedback, and we would schedule Zoom calls to discuss any issues or challenges. We would create Jira projects and add issues to ensure we were aligned and working towards the same goals internally.
Managing a remote team during COVID-19 taught me the importance of flexibility and adaptability.
What were some of the challenges you faced while managing a remote team during the pandemic?
Robert: One of the challenges of managing a remote team during the pandemic was the lack of in-person interactions. Building personal connections and fostering team camaraderie can be more challenging in a remote setting.
However, we made an effort to organize virtual team-building activities, such as online games and virtual happy hours, to maintain team morale and foster a sense of community.
Another challenge was managing different time zones and ensuring that team members were able to collaborate effectively despite being located in different regions. Clear and timely communication was crucial to ensure everyone was on the same page and aligned toward the common goals.
What were some of the lessons you learned from managing a remote team during COVID-19?
Robert: Managing a remote team during COVID-19 taught me the importance of flexibility and adaptability. It was essential to be open to new ways of working and finding innovative solutions to challenges that arose due to the pandemic. It also reinforced the significance of effective communication and regular check-ins with team members to ensure they had the support and resources they needed to succeed in a remote environment.
Additionally, it highlighted the importance of prioritizing employee well-being and maintaining team morale. The pandemic brought about increased stress and uncertainty, and since the advent of AI, a lot has changed, and recently, with the advent of ChatGPT, it’s now easily available to general consumers.
What are your thoughts on that on AI and ChatGPT?
Robert: AI is changing the way people learn things, and self-learning and imparting knowledge will be forever changed. In the future, students will learn how to write good prompts in class, because the current problem lies in the inputs. Hopefully, people will learn how to detect when the machine goes in the wrong direction.
The chat engines project confidence, which is a problem. They say things like, “Sure, this bird is the fastest water mammal.” It’s not a water mammal; it’s just a mammal close to water. The machine does not do it on purpose; it simply doesn’t care. It’s up to the user to fact-check it. If you copy-paste it into your WordPress, for example, your site may crash. Developers will have to adapt to that.
How will the industry be impacted, and how will content writers adapt to that? What will be the content tools for them, and what will they look like?
Robert: The industry will be impacted in several ways. Content writers will have to adapt to the new technology and tools. There will be new content tools that will make their work easier and faster. For example, an engine that learns from their code could be a solution. However, the code is dependent on what they want, and they are not the target audience. It’s still a work in progress.
How are you using it right now? Are you using the ChatGPT AI automation API?
Robert: We are tinkering around with it, and we have some developers working on it. However, the code looks different in some parts, so we are still checking it out to see if it really saves us time. We need to leverage AI and ChatGPT to make them productive. If we can tackle the two things that they lack, it will be a great productivity tool.
What about legal issues? Do you think the code that the ChatGPT AI automation API writes is still GPL-compliant?
Robert: That’s an interesting question. If it’s learned from GPL, the code is still GPL compliant. We need to sort out the legal issues and what is allowed. It will be interesting to see how the law will decide on this.
What are your goals for 2023?
Robert: My goals for 2023 would be visiting WordCamps. Like now it was WordCamp Asia, WordCamp Europe, and WordCamp US. Apart from that, meeting interesting people, talking with them, seeing how we can help in improving WordPress, how we can help the ecosystem, and business so that new people will join us in a few months that they are like being like very good welcomed that our internal event we want to have in October this year will also be a success so that’s why all the things that just like that we slowly move forward.
How was your experience here at WordCamp Asia?
Robert: Very good, so it was very well organized, and it was really interesting to see the small differences.
What do you think, who should attend these WordCamp events?
Robert: If you earn your living with WordPress, the question is not who should attend, the question is only what is the reason you don’t attend. There can be family issues. But it’s not like you are forced to be here. These flagship events are the best way of exchanging ideas, and the best way to connect with people.
And speaking of connecting to people, I have one thing I always tell people who are new to WordCamp or just had a few of them. I tell them to not go from session to session because then they miss out on the hallway track, the conversations you can have with other people you maybe never meet again because they have different trajectories in their life.
So it’s the experiences you miss out on the hallway tracks. You can pick a few talks that you really want to see, and otherwise, try to connect with the people that are at the event.
Can you tell us more about your involvement in the WordPress community?
Robert: Sure. So, we are very active in the community. We attend many WordCamps around the world, we sponsor WordCamps, and we also organize internal events to help our team members grow and learn.
We also contribute to the WordPress core, and we develop plugins and themes that are used by thousands of people. So, we are very invested in the WordPress community, and we believe that it’s one of the most supportive and collaborative communities out there.
How do you see the future of WordPress?
Robert: I think the future of WordPress is very bright. WordPress has been around for almost two decades now, and it’s still growing and evolving. With the rise of new technologies like AI and machine learning, I believe WordPress will continue to adapt and innovate.
I also see WordPress becoming more accessible to non-technical users, with more drag-and-drop page builders and easier-to-use interfaces. Overall, I think WordPress will continue to be the go-to platform for building websites and managing content online.
Robert has been a part of the WordPress community for over 16 years and has contributed significantly to its growth in Germany. He has been involved in the development of WordPress and has helped many clients with their WordPress needs, which led to the formation of his company, Inpsyde.
With a team of 120 people globally, Inpsyde serves many large clients, including Fortune 500 companies, and has a presence in different time zones to cater to their needs. Robert’s journey is an inspiration for all those who aspire to make a difference in the WordPress community.
To stay updated on Robert Windisch‘s insights and latest developments in the field of WordPress, you can follow him on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments regarding WordPress or his journey, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Kripesh Adwani is a digital tool expert who buys, tests, and reviews SAAS tools for small businesses. Based on 10+ years of experience in tech he provides insightful reviews. His content is widely consumed, serving millions of users each month. Kripesh has also been featured in more than 50 publications, including The Economic Times, The Free Press Journal & Cloudways.