CreativeMinds is a leading developer of premium WordPress plugins and Magento eCommerce extensions that boost website performance, user experience and SEO. In this interview, Founder and CEO David Rashty discusses the story behind the company, the challenges it aims to solve, and the positive effect of 2020 on the future of web development.
Please describe the company’s story: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
CreativeMinds started in 2006. Our mission right from the start was to build the best WordPress plugins that would help website owners get the best experience with the platform.
We started out with WordPress development projects for local companies. Then in 2010 we published a free version of our Tooltip Glossary plugin. The Tooltip Glossary became one of the most popular WordPress plugins online and we realised there was scope to release a premium version – that was really the spark that lit Cminds into what it is today.
We now have three product categories: eCommerce plugins, Site maintenance / security plugins and content plugins. Content focussed plugins help website owners improve and organise website content – making it more accessible and easy to use for both them and their visitors. Our eCommerce plugins give business owners more ways to convert and help customers better understand their products. The last group of security related and maintenance plugins improve the website administrator ability to manage the WordPress site.
We actually stopped adding new products around two years ago. Our sole focus now is to continue developing our existing top WordPress plugins and Magento extensions. We maintain and improve them based on customer needs. We’re committed to providing the best possible support to our customers.
What’s unique about Cminds?
Put simply: we go above and beyond most WordPress plugin developers.
For example: A lot of plugin creators have one or two signature plugins. With us, you can buy a full suite of WordPress plugins. Other plugins have singular functionality. With our top WordPress plugins, you get a whole host of powerful features in one. Other developers often provide limited support and sporadic updates. Our plugins are well maintained and updated regularly across the board.
We also ensure quality by using every single plugin we make on our own websites. That way we know everything works, nothing conflicts, and the products are the best plugins for WordPress.
What are the current challenges that WordPress/Magento users struggle with, and how do your solutions help?
For WordPress, the limited nature of the WordPress core is an issue. Plugins are needed for almost everything. Knowing where to find the best WordPress plugins that offer good functionality, are well maintained, and don’t conflict with other plugins or themes is a challenge for anyone – especially complete beginners.
Our WordPress plugin suite is a great way to circumvent this issue. It keeps everything in one place, and customers can come directly to us for support 24/7. It negates the need to gather plugins from hundreds of different sources, some of which might conflict and break a website.
We make sure that all of our products are compatible with the most popular plugins and themes made by other creators. Plus, if there’s any functionality that isn’t included in our plugin catalogue, we offer bespoke development services to add whatever features customers might need.
For Magento, users often struggle because it’s a heavy-weight, complicated platform. People don’t realise how much technical knowledge is needed to build a good-quality website with Magento. This means that our Magento customers, on the whole, require more support.
Again – we help to solve this issue by providing round the clock support. We have a large team of web development experts who are on hand to help, and if our Magento extensions don’t provide exactly what is needed we offer a consulting and planning hourly service.
What are some common mistakes that people make when building a website, and how can they be avoided?
The biggest mistake people make when building a WordPress site is overloading it with plugins, particularly ones that are not the best WordPress plugins available or from multiple different sources.
Firstly, your website needs to be optimized, and bulking it up with plugins can restrict optimization and slow down your website. This isn’t good for anyone. Secondly, using too many outdated plugins can impact security. If you’re not on top of updating your plugins, or you choose a plugin where support has been discontinued, you leave your site – and ultimately your visitors and customers in the case of eCommerce websites – vulnerable.
At risk of repeating what’s already been said, choosing one or two plugin developers is the way to go for the best experience. This way you ensure you’re getting the best WordPress plugins available.
How has Covid-19 affected your business and industry?
In web development, we’re in a unique position because Covid-19 has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our business and industry. It’s really emphasised that the future is online. Work is online, education is online, retail is online.
Web development has become instrumental in the “new normal.” As a result, the market is booming. There are more customers and more purchases than ever before. The challenge is keeping up with demand – dealing with more traffic and more customers. These are great problems to have, though.
Which trends and technologies do you find intriguing these days, and why?
Following on from the last question – what’s most interesting is how we can use existing technologies to solve the new problems arising because of Covid-19. Our focus should be on eCommerce, eLearning, and remote working solutions.
How can we make eLearning tools better? How can we streamline remote working so businesses hit their goals? How can we help small eCommerce sites attract customers in such a saturated market?
We need to find solutions to people’s needs, and product development needs to be done in these key areas above all. We already have some great eLearning plugins for WordPress, but we can always do more.
How do you envision the future of web development?
This is a wide ranging question, so the answer is broad too. Largely speaking, the future of web development will be positive.
Demand will keep growing over the next decade. It was always going to happen, but Covid-19 has helped to accelerate this growth even further.
An increase in demand comes with its own challenges, of course. Web development will likely become more expensive, for one.
In addition, as demand for web development solutions continues to grow, so does cybercrime. Our lives are moving more and more online – so it makes sense that crime is too. WordPress is already a target due to its popularity, so keeping websites secure and optimized in the face of this will be a challenge, but one that users can overcome with the right tools.