I am one who has always rolled with the changes for myself at WebDevStudios, and that hasn’t changed yet, as we’re well into 2022.
In March of 2015, I went Insane in the Maintainn and was moved out of the agency side of WebDevStudios and into the support and maintenance branch of our overall services. A position that I had held well in to 2021. More on that in a moment.
Some time in 2015, the higher ups at WebDevStudios decided to finally pull the proverbial trigger and formally start a products division for WDS, and it was named Pluginize. Not only were we delving into the world of premium products, but we were also continuing the development of our free products under that banner as well. Since I was already so ingrained in many of these areas, I was brought in as one of the developers and still lead support engineer with Pluginize. We had a products manager, dedicated engineers, and I had a lot of fire in my belly because I have always enjoyed helping make tools that help others make websites.
However, I wasn’t exclusively doing work on Pluginize. I was actually splitting my time between Pluginize and Maintainn. Over time though, the Pluginize side slowed down, and while we never shut down by any means, we weren’t as actively working within that brand. It went into “hibernation” so to speak, and the team was largely just myself, continuing to work on products as need arose and when able, adding in new features. I never stopped with the support and we were still getting enough trickles to keep my finger on the overall pulse. We still had Custom Post Type UI growing at impressive rates and it’s more popular than ever (No pressure Michael!).
So Pluginize was a team of me, with majority of my time still focused on Maintainn’s client base…until late 2021. That October, decisions were made and Maintainn’s team was cut in half. This was a notable shock for everyone involved, and definitely put a fair amount of stress on me as well since I was now the sole dedicated support technician for our workload at the time. Other engineers within the company were definitely available as able to help out, but in terms of longevity and client familiarity, it was largely just me for the on the ground development work. Thankfully we still had others helping handle all the routine tasks that we advertised as part of our weekly services. Thinks in our support world were evolving, and as always, I did the best I could going forward, and things evened out over time. As it was put, the separate brand was being moved officially back in to WebDevStudios and instead of being a “separate entity”, it was now all part of one.
March of 2022 ushered in the next notable shift in Maintainn and our support program. We let one more person go, reducing us from four people to three, but on top of that, we were being “split up” to a degree. We were all thankfully employed, but our positions and primary focuses were going to be changing. We still have a client base who purchase ongoing support and are able to buy hours for custom development, but that base has also been reduced down as well, as there have been services partings along the way. As things come up, I’m still the one providing estimates as needed and when approved, handling the work. Others are continuing to handle routine updates and sysadmin style work as needed. So the support team not dead, per say.
Internally I have been moved to a new team on the agency side, and I will once be helping with clients and retainers on the agency side. That’s going to be part of my week. The other part of the week is allowed to focus more extensively on Pluginize and our products there. To say the least, this has me excited, because that proverbial hibernation is starting to wake up. It’s still early in this phase, but I know I have already made some great headway with Pluginize in 2022, including Custom Post Type UI Extended and its first proper WordPress block. I am loving being able to dedicate more of my time to Pluginize and give it much more active care, along with being back in the agency fold to help with retainers that my new team is being brought in to.
I’ve been with WebDevStudios officially since the start of January 2013, “unofficially” since September 2012 with a long-ish trial period. That means my 10 year anniversary is not far off in the horizon and if all goes well, I’ll still be around to celebrate it. Until that day arrives, I’ll keep rolling with the changes.