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Interviews

rtCamp – Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

Happy to present Rahul today who has about 2000 successful WordPress projects and counting, his WordPress startup, rtcamp is indeed doing great!

A geek, a blogger and an entrepreneur, that’s what Rahul calls himself! And rightly so… With

He also shares his list of must-have WordPress plugins and how he catches up with all that’s happening in the WordPress world.

And I bet you don’t know anything about technical debt or WPVeda. So here goes –

What’s the story behind rtCamp?

rtCamp’s story is summed up in it’s name itself. The complete name is Round Table Camp.

Round Table part is inspired by King Arthur’s round table. At round table, everyone has equal say irrespective of their designations or job profile.

Camp part is inspired by BlogCamps, BarCamp and PhpCamp. I used to attend many of them in 2007-08. I liked informal culture at these events.

Compared to traditional old-style conferences in colleges & corporate events, these camp events facilitated much better information & knowledge exchange. These camps also encouraged everyone to speak & actively participate.

What do you think works great for WordPress as a CMS?

The WordPress admin interface is simple to start with. There is abundance of free plugins and themes which allow everybody to customize their site without any knowledge of coding.

Community around WordPress is very huge and helpful. They are active on every famous community platform. They have also created plenty of tutorial in text/video formats present for every WordPress feature.

All this helps most people setup their site without much technical expertise or cost. This makes WordPress as a CMS very popular.

You have been actively involved in WordCamps. Attending, speaking, sponsoring – What does a WordCamp mean to you?

WordCamp helps in many ways. Well it’s hard to sum up in one line so I will explain each point separately.

Attending: On personal level, it helped me learn many things from other expert speakers. On professional level, networking with community help us improve quality of our work.

Speaking: It helps me give back my knowledge back to the community. The feedback about session helps me improve my presentation skills.

Sponsoring: We take a lot from free and open-source projects. We have a duty to contribute back a bit. So we always try to payback and contribute to open-source community. 🙂

In the upcoming Mumbai WordCamp, you’re speaking about one of your best offerings – EasyEngine. Tell us a little about it.

EasyEngine’s goal is to make setting up WordPress with Nginx “easy”. A user gets auto-optimized configuration, high performance caching and secure setup in less than 5 minutes by running just a command.

Nginx is very powerful server, but mostly used by top sites and companies with big budget available for system admins departments.

As VPS hosting now available starting $5/month, we want to make it easy for a home user to enjoy power of Nginx without spending any extra amount.

You have worked on about 2000 WordPress projects – If I asked you to pick the most difficult of the lot, which project would it be and why?

It would be better to say rtCampers have worked on more than 2000 WordPress projects of different sizes. I am involved in very few projects.

It’s hard to pick any particular project we did in past because difficulties we faced in past seems stupid mistakes when we look back.

I recently started a new community project which I am finding very difficult to take ahead, at the moment. The project is free and open book, rather handbook/reference book for people who wants to be WordPress Expert. We named it WpVeda.

WpVeda’s goal is to turn a person who did not used WordPress before into a WordPress expert. A kind of expert who can do things at lightning speed, without losing quality.

WpVeda project is difficult because it relies on people who are already experts in different areas to contribute back. As with any community project, it takes a lot of time and efforts to build momentum.

eCommerce solutions happen to be one of your most sought after services – What’s the most difficult part of such a project?

Scalability. WordPress scales very well for news and content-oriented sites, for which it was primarily created.

eCommerce project has certain areas like cart sections, checkout sections, “my-account” section. All these parts have user-dependent content, hence they cannot benefit from fullpage cache.

So scaling eCommerce kind of sites needs altogether different approach. I will be showcasing some of our methods, hopefully with live demo, in this year’s WordCamp Mumbai.

rtCamp currently only works around WordPress, any plans to include Drupal and Joomla? From a developer’s view, what are some things that are easier to implement in Drupal and Joomla as compared to WordPress? (On a very macro level)

rtCamp has a simple principle at its core. Only serve what you use yourself!

We use WordPress only, so we provide WordPress services only.

How do you stay on top of all that’s happening in the WordPress world? Any resources that you would like to recommend to our readers?

WP Tavern, Chris Lema, Yoast and WPMU Dev Blog are some blogs I follow and like to recommend.

I also follow make.wordpress.org sites. These sites help me peep into the future of WordPress.

There is one more blog, not related to WordPress, which helped me a lot as entrepreneur – Seth Godin.

What are some of the plugins that you would use on any WordPress site?

Plugin choice depends on purpose of WordPress site. Still some plugins are used more often than others.

  1. WordPress-SEO by yoast : I am not fan of SEO but this plugin setup many other things including sitemaps, breadcrumbs and social-media metadata.
  2. Akismet: If a site wish to use WordPress comments. These day’s I am shifting to Disqus-based commenting for some of our sites.
  3. Gravity Forms: If any kind of form is needed.

And lastly, if you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask yourself? 🙂

This interview has been pretty good so far and it really covered a lot. 🙂

I am not able to think of a question here, but I like to share a concept I came across recently called Technical Debt.

With projects spanning years, rtCamp also has considerable technical debt to settle. We have started actions on our open-source projects and own products.

In fact the attempt to settle this technical debt and resultant frustration from it was one of major factor starting WpVeda mission.

You can follow Rahul @rahul286.

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3 Comments


  1. sahil

    March 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Awesome interview

    WP is growing community

    And with Easy Engine , WP has become too easy to starts off for newbies

    Reply

  2. Sister Therese Ann Rich, OSU

    March 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    We are one of Rahul’s happy clients from the United States! rtCamp has the gift to graphically translate our mission into social media. Kudos to his entire team!

    Reply

  3. Anish

    April 14, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    A nice interview to read.I have heard about rtcamp before but never used their services.Looking at the comments i think they have many happy customers in the world.

    Reply

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