As you might have seen already, 2016 has brought some significant changes to my work life. After six and a half years of being a WordPress freelancer, I’m excited to announce the start of a new business and partnership – Highrise Digital.
I’ve loved freelancing. I’ve loved the freedom that it brings, both in terms of working hours and location, but in also in who I work with. Over the years I’ve managed to build up a reputation in the industry, and a great roster of clients. I’d say that the freelancing journey has been a success.
However, for a long time now, there have been niggling feelings that freelancing wasn’t meeting all of my needs. One of the recurring niggles is that I’d like to be able to focus a bit more on business development. I wanted more time to work ‘on the business’ rather than ‘in the business’.
Another of the niggles was teamwork. I love to work with people. As a freelancer I was working with clients, there wasn’t anyone on my team for the long-haul – someone with shared interests and motivations. As long ago as 2013 I stated that I was looking for a business partner. I wanted someone to bounce ideas off, someone with whom I could share the highs and get through the lows.
In late 2014 I met Mark Wilkinson at a WordPress London meetup event. Mark was giving a talk – on workflow I think – and soon after I needed some help with a large project. I got in touch with Mark, we started working together, and we’ve continued to work on projects together ever since.
A year later, in late 2015, Mark and I were discussing our careers and where we wanted to take things. I mentioned that I’d be interested in joining forces and starting a business together, and we decided to talk about it after the New Year.
So, in January 2016, we got together for two days in London and discussed our potential business. In those two days Highrise Digital was born.
(You can read more about the naming and branding journey here: What’s in a name or a logo?)
What is Highrise Digital
Essentially we’re a WordPress development agency. Our focus is on custom WordPress themes, plugins and support. In that sense not much has changed. So what has?
Broader, deeper expertise
Mark and I, although both WordPress developers, have slightly different areas of expertise. Mark is a master of customising the WordPress admin. He can make WordPress do what it’s supposed to do – i.e. make content management easy. Mark is also more experienced with API integrations and plugin development.
I’ve always been more comfortable in the front-end – primarily custom theme development. I’m also now able to focus more on marketing and sales, two areas that I’m really interested in.
By splitting our roles within the company, we’re able to focus on what we’re good at and go deeper into those skill-sets.
It sounds obvious, but we now have twice the capacity. Many projects have tight deadlines, and we’re in a better position to deliver on these as a team.
I’ve also aimed to be highly professional in everything that I do, and Mark is the same. Already though, we’ve started to take every little interaction and process more seriously. I think it’s because we are accountable to each other, that now when something needs to be done, it get’s done the right way, first time. We’re also working hard on processes so that we can deliver a consistently high level of service.
That’ll do for now I think. All I really wanted to do was to let you know about the change. What does it mean for you? Hopefully it just means a better WordPress development service.
If you’d like to talk to us, you can find us over at https://highrise.digital.