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A new challenge

After almost 11 years working for a diverse range of clients, I have decided to start a new adventure. Starting April 1st, I’ll be working full-time for Kinsta – Managed WordPress Hosting, as Marketing Manager Dutch Market.

Why did I take this step?

In 2009 I decided I wanted to serve my own clients and left my employer to start nostromo.nl. Since then I have served many clients and helped them improve their publishing workflow, developed new websites and grew their revenue. And now, I’m ending that.

I’m ending this because I feel like I’m loosing enthusiasm. As I have learned from the past, when I loose enthusiasm for my job, I’m going to postpone or even prevent certain tasks. And that will definitely not help my clients. They deserve the attention and enthusiasm they are used from me, nothing less. Also, I have been looking to get employed WordPress related companies, just talks, but the option of me working for another company than my own crossed my mind. That was a confirmation of my declining enthusiasm to run my own company and serve my clients.

Another option I had thought about was scaling my company. I have been working with numerous partners to deliver what clients wanted. Sometimes my own two hands just could not complete the task because of lack of time, technical challenges, or without me knowing enough about it the task. Hiring people/companies on a project basis to get more skills in certain areas worked great but just did’nt work out all the time. Sometimes (to be honest, most of the times) partners had no time because they were already involved in other projects. When that happens, I cannot close a deal with a client, because I simply can’t handle the extra workload.

And then, the final option I have thought about, hiring people. So nostromo.nl would not be a one man company anymore. Most of the times I have thought about this it only lasted a few minutes, then I stopped considering this to be an option. Mainly because I really like the flexibility of hiring partners on a project basis and do not like to have fixed employees.

So, all options I thought about did not spark my enthusiasm in a way that I wanted to seriously pursue them. Except one. The only option that gave me positive vibes, was working for an employer, or as a contractor.

Let’s go back to May 2019. I was walking to Berlin to raise funds for DonateWC, and I named it Walk To WordCamp Europe. Do you see who was the Golden Shoe sponsor (or in normal English, the main sponsor)? Yes, Kinsta. For many reasons the conversations before the adventure, and on WordCamps where Kinsta was sponsor, really gave me a good feeling about them and their services.

So, in December 2019 I decided to contact Kinsta to explore the possibility of me working for them. Well, the result of that is now known. I’m very happy that Kinsta allows me to start this new adventure and I’m looking forward to start the new job.

About Kinsta

Kinsta was founded in 2013 and their goal is be the best WordPress hosting platform in the world. Their team is remote-first with local hubs.

Performance is Kinsta’s obsession and by fine-tuning their servers they deliver maximum speeds. Only the best technology is used at Kinsta, from their server hardware to the software they run. No matter what development stack you use, they will always have the latest framework versions installed and up to date. Servers are powered by the Google Cloud Platform in 22 global data centers. Everything is interconnected over their premium tier network, designed to minimize distance and hops, resulting in fast and secure transport of your data.

These and much more features give customers an automatic scalable (when traffic spikes), easy manageable (with MyKinsta) and isolated (no performance impact of other sites hosted at Kinsta) WordPress hosting environment.

Take a look at the complete Kinsta Managed WordPress hosting features here.

What about nostromo.nl?

Since I’ll be going to work for Kinsta on a full time basis, I have no room in my schedule to deliver the same amount of service to my clients. As of March 1st, clients with a WordPress maintenance contract have been transferred to Buro Staal.

Rosanne and Annemieke from Buro Staal welcome their new clients.

Projects that are in progress will be finished as agreed upon and I will not accept any new projects. So basically, all services delivered from nostromo.nl will be stopped.

I want to thank all my clients for choosing me and nostromo.nl for their WordPress related challenges. (Of course I have already informed and thanked all my clients of this career move).

Wrapping up

Thanks for reading this post about my new challenge at Kinsta. I am looking forward to working for them, getting to know the team, meeting new contacts and making clients happy with the best Managed WordPress Hosting the world has to offer.

If you want to chat with me about Kinsta’s offerings, please consider this an invitation to reach out to me.

(Featured image by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash)

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WordCamps and sustainability


TL;DR;

WordCamps generate waste. Since I have been organizing several WordCamps (the latest was WordCamp Rotterdam 2018), I have realized it is possible to reduce that stream of waste and make a WordCamp more sustainable and less damaging for the environment. 

Assist sponsors with their choice of swag, make clear agreements to only use products that are re-usable or recyclable. Make banners re-usable, print only what’s needed, use organic clothing. Find many more tips below.


Where to start?

Every event starts with planning. A date, a location, number of tracks, food, drinks, sponsor area, are some topics event organizers need to think about. 

Let’s compare the planning of an event to a coding project. All kinds of decisions have to be made, what framework to use, what privacy restrictions should be considered and what’s the impact of certain accessibility rules we should comply to? A project will be easier to manage if all (or most, depending on project management-style) of these requirements and rules are set in the beginning.

Same goes for planning a sustainable event. Think sustainable for every decision made.

Tips for organizers

The following tips are categorized, and give organizers information about the different focus areas where sustainability improvements can make a difference.

  • Meet online
  • Register all decisions and motivations for those decisions. This helps everybody to understand these decisions, and what their environmental impact (or lack of that) are.
  • Share lessons learned with other organizing teams.
  • Choose a venue that’s close to public transportation stop/stations to allow people to use public transportation and leave their cars at home. 
  • Discuss catering details with venue and make sure waste is recycled, or even better, reused on site. 
  • When supplying branded clothing, choose clotting from sustainable sources.
  • Print badges on sustainable, organic or recycled paper. Or use paper with a secondary function, like embedded seeds to grow some flower with the badge.

Tips for sponsors

  • Sponsor locally.
  • Send local employees if available.
  • Invest in sustainable swag.
  • Use reusable exhibition material (exhibition stand, banners, flyers, etc)

Tips for attendees

  • Travel by train if possible
  • Bring your own lanyard.
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle

If you read this, and have more tips, please drop ’em in the comments. Thanks.

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Why this picture makes me happy

IMG_20150607_142743

Today, I posted this image of our son Noam. After posting it, I realised this picture really makes me happy. I’ll tell you why.

Freedom

This weekend was a weekend of freedom. Freedom to have scheduled appointments. Freedom to do what we like, when we like it. So we went on a tiny little trip, rented a rowing-boat and got away. Just the four of us. My wife, our son Noam, our daughter Mila and me. We brought sandwiches, drinks and had little picknick in the boat. We anchored the boat on a location where no other people where and climbed out of it. We ‘landed’ in a freshly mowed stretch of grass, ran down the hill an had fun for just a few minutes. Noam decided to walk up again and right at that moment is saw this picture in my head. So I grabbed my phone and took the picture. This picture really captures how we all felt yesterday. Free.

Happiness

We had a nice day with the family and although the kids got a little cranky at the end, they were happy too, just tired of a great day, together with their parents. This is, in my honest opinion, what happiness is all about.

I just wanted to share with you how happy and proud I am to be part of this great family.

 

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Leaving the home office, one day a week

This year, 2015, I will start working more outside of my home office. You might ask yourself, why? Well I will explain here.

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WordPress makes me, and a lot of other people, very happy

This past weekend, WordCamp Europe 2014 was held in Sofia, Bulgaria. A great event which underlines what makes the WordPress community what it is today. In this post I will try to share my story with WordPress, and how it got me happier.