While WordPress, the content management system used by a little more than 43% of the internet, celebrates its 20th anniversary, WebDevStudios celebrates 15 years of WordPress experience.
What began as a small WordPress website development business operating from a coffee table has now evolved into a robust website design and development agency building amazing websites for big brands. Today, our client roster includes NBA, Care, Campbells, Paramount, and more. Our staff comprises over 50 talented team members from around the world.
As the co-founders of WebDevStudios (WDS), we are excited to celebrate not only our 15 years of WordPress experience but also our dedication to open-source technology, discovering customized solutions to meet specific needs, and the success of our clients.
Starting from Nothing
In April of 2008, Brad sold his house in Indiana and moved to the great state of New Jersey; thus WebDevStudios was born as an official company. We started with a few small clients and grew organically from there. Early on, we had a few key clients that really put their faith in us and helped us grow, including Margaret Roach and Pam Kueber.
As WordPress grew in popularity, so did WebDevStudios.
Lisa began working with WordPress in 2003 and started eWebscapes, a design and development shop, in 2005. By 2012, she was in over her head with her work in the WordPress space, including working for some large enterprise companies as a solo freelancer.
Lisa knew she wanted to continue doing this work for a long time. However, she was no longer able to do it alone. She could either hire a large team and grow her freelance shop into a full agency or look for another emerging agency which she could bring her portfolio of clients and skills to.
That’s when Lisa approached Brad to see if he would be interested in combining efforts. Both of us were heavily focused on the WordPress platform. In fact, as a freelancer, Lisa used to outsource some of her more advanced development needs to WebDevStudios because her background was primarily that of UX design and frontend development.
The two businesses merged with Lisa focusing on UX/UI design, and the WebDevStudios team focused on development and engineering. This move rounded out the service offerings we are very proud of today.
Making a Name for Ourselves
Early on, we learned the best way to bring in new business was to put ourselves out there. We started attending events, which led to speaking at events, which led to organizing events.
We founded the New Jersey and, eventually, Philadelphia WordPress Meetup groups and the WordCamp Chicago event. This helped grow local WordPress communities where we lived.
We spoke at events nationwide and helped spread our knowledge and experience in web development and design. Over time our name spread and the projects grew in size and complexity.
From the beginning, we were fans of open-source software. The idea of a community that was focused on building and supporting the software’s growth aligned very closely with our own path.
We decided that open-source software would be our primary focus. This included WordPress and other popular open-source systems like Drupal, ZenCart, Magento, and a few others.
It quickly became apparent that WordPress was our platform of choice. Not only for its endless flexibility, but WordPress was a more intuitive system for our clients to learn and manage.
User experience has always been at the forefront of WordPress, which was very apparent when training new users on how to manage their websites and content.
Very early on, we decided to go all in on WordPress. It would become our platform of choice, which at the time wasn’t as obvious as it is today. WordPress was still very much a blogging platform, and more advanced CMS features we use every day didn’t exist back then.
What seemed like a risk at the time quickly became a massive strength for us. We rapidly built one of the first agencies dedicated to expert-level WordPress design and development!
Over the years, we have partnered with amazing companies that truly help WebDevStudios and our clients succeed. This includes hosting partners like WP Engine, Pagely, and WordPress VIP, and plugin partners like Gravity Forms and Yoast SEO, to name a few.
We’ve enjoyed working with a wide range of amazing clients over the years. There are a few project highlights that really stand out over our past 15 years of WordPress experience.
First WordPress Site Launched Under Microsoft.com
WebDevStudios proudly designed and launched WordPress sites for:
First WordPress VIP Launch for TIME
WebDevStudios built TIME Healthland on WordPress VIP using a customized Twenty Ten child theme.
First Web App / iPad Application Built Using WordPress As the Framework
Our client projects for YMCA and DMA were the foundations for the AppPresser plugin used for building apps with WordPress. AppPresser is a premium plugin WebDevStudios built in partnership with Scott Bollinger and then sold in 2017.
HEB Central Market
HEB Central Market was the largest online grocery store at the time, with over 70,000 products in daily circulation. This particular client project included creating customized features for curbside pickup, online catering orders, and cooking schools, with an eye toward online ordering for delivery. This was all powered by WordPress and WooCommerce.
Intranets Built with WordPress
Not everyone understands that WordPress is powerful enough to use for an intranet system. Our largest and most impressive intranet client projects are:
- The Starbucks training platform
- Chaparral Energy’s internal team platform
- The United States National Park Service’s internal training and resource repository for park rangers
Projects That Make an Impact
WebDevStudios values all clients, but those that make an impact are especially memorable. Not only is our team proud to be a part of the team behind the scenes that fuel their mission, but the work that goes into building their platforms is also challenging and rewarding.
Some nonprofit organizations we have been proud to partner with over the years, helping them bring their digital strategy goals to fruition, are featured below.
On a mission to transform how our nation addresses addiction by empowering families, DrugFree.org is advancing effective care, shaping public policy, and changing culture.
Integrity House is building and transforming lives, families, and communities. This nonprofit group is known as the leading provider of integrated mental health, physical health, and addiction services.
A fund started by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Rebuild Texas was born to support families and communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Any company that has been in the business of WordPress for 15 years will likely experience a period of rapid growth followed by a period of stability. As such, it’s no surprise that WebDevStudios has changed our services and products, target market, and business model over the years. We’ve faced challenges and setbacks along the way, but we have also learned and grown from every experience.
Custom Post Type UI – The Crown Jewel of Our Plugins
Believe the hype. Custom Post Type UI is the most popular custom post type plugin. We can prove it.
- Over 1 million active installations
- Over 14 million lifetime downloads
- Ranked the 50th most popular plugin
Five for the Future Agency Participant Since Inception
We didn’t wait for Five for the Future to become a trend before we joined the initiative. We got involved the moment it was announced in 2014. Since then, WebDevStudios has contributed just shy of 12,000 hours to this important WordPress effort.
Every year during the winter holidays, our website agency gives back to select charities chosen by our team members. Over the years, we have raised thousands of dollars for different nonprofit organizations.
Other Noteworthy Highlights
- Founded AppPresser
- Merged with eWebscapes, which brought Lisa on as a partner, co-founder, and COO
- Acquired Maintainn in 2012, which was sold in 2022
The Future of WebDevStudios
Fifteen years for any business is a long time. Our longevity and success are a true testament to the amazing WebDevStudios team members, past and present.
Their passion and dedication toward client success shine through in every project. We are very fortunate to work with some of the brightest minds in WordPress development and design.
To all of our team members, clients, partners, friends, and family, thank you for your support over these past 15 years. We truly wouldn’t be here without you.
The future for WebDevStudios is bright! Our team will always be at the forefront of WordPress and web innovation.
We are constantly exploring new technologies and pushing the boundaries of what WordPress can do. We look forward to many more years of building the best WordPress experiences alongside amazing brands. At WebDevStudios, your success will always be our mission for years to come!