Lawrence Ladomery, a veteran digital professional, embarked on his career in 1998 with web production at a digital publishing company. His career has since been divided between building and marketing websites for a variety of entities, from startups and larger businesses to government and banking institutions. Ladomery also has a significant consulting background. He has a keen interest in WordPress, open source solutions, and is increasingly exploring decentralized models.
Devrims: Tell us about yourself and how did you get started?
Lawrence: I’m originally Italian – I grew up there before moving to the UK to study Architecture. But I never ended up designing buildings as I fell in love with web design instead. My first job was in web production back in 1998, so before Google, Facebook and WordPress. The internet was very different then. I felt like a pioneer!
Devrims: You studied architecture. What was the inspiration that led you towards managing and marketing websites?
Lawrence: For the last project of the last year of my studies the brief was to represent a building design in any medium we wanted. This was 1997 and I chose to create a 3D VRML model and embed it on a website to present it. I fell in love with the process and decided to pursue a career in digital instead.
I worked as a Web Producer and Manager for around 10 years and pivoted to Marketing, thanks to Data.
I was implementing a Marketing Automation platform and had to learn about Marketing fundamentals to be able to deliver on the promise to ‘send the right message to the right people at the right time’. I also had to learn about Sales and their own processes.
I then joined an agency leading a small team to implement Marketing Automation. I loved working at the intersection of tech and marketing.
In 2017, I joined a local web hosting company as Marketing Manager. I was employee number 5 and their first non-technical hire. This is where I consolidated and refined my marketing skills and fell in love with WordPress and the ecosystem.
Devrims: You have built, managed and marketed websites. Which one of these did you like the most?
Lawrence: Twenty years ago, I co-founded a vacation rentals business in Rome called City Apartments. This was before AirBnB took over and started ranking on Google. We built our own booking engine and were the first business of the type to offer instant bookings for vacation properties in Europe. The business did well and lasted over ten years. I left after two because my co-founder and I could not agree on longer term goals. This was a time when I was still coding and using tables for layout, and websites were half the width they are today. We didn’t have to worry about mobile responsiveness either! My co-founder eventually closed the business down but you can see a copy of the website on archive.org.
Devrims: After working years in the industry, you have now started freelancing. How did this thought occur?
Lawrence: I was working for an agency and on projects for large organisations, including a bank and one of Australia’s leading travel operators. The idea was to package everything I learnt about Marketing Automation and offer it to smaller businesses. I set up automatico, which is still active today but not my focus. I still work with my first ever client, a local window cleaning business that has just recently won a major contract with a supermarket chain nationally. I’m proud to have contributed to their success.
Devrims: There are multiple websites for freelancing. Which one is your go-to website and why?
Lawrence: I was never a big fan of Upwork but they have evolved into a fantastic resource. Not just for finding work, but for finding people to help me with projects.
They have done a great job to help job seekers and employers through every stage of the process.
Devrims: You started WP BizDev. Tell us a little about it and what are your plans for it?
Lawrence: The main function is to promote Sales & Marketing jobs going at WordPress product businesses. There are many that list dev jobs but none dedicated to business roles, but I think that is starting to change as the ecosystem grows and becomes more competitive.
It’s also a place where I want to share my ideas about Marketing. I just need to find the time to do so. I’ve recently added a Consultancy section and put together a Marketing Foundation For WordPress Business package, which is what I have been doing a lot of in the last few months.
Other plans include:
- Launching a community
- Monthly online meetings for WordPress pros in APAC to discuss all things business-related
- Some kind of online learning offering
Devrims: What are the dedicator factors when you pick a Managed WordPress Cloud Hosting Platform?
Lawrence: I’m not a SysAdmin so I choose platforms that make it easy for me to manage the hosting environment. This is a key factor.
I have nothing against shared hosting but prefer a container-based or managed cloud hosting solution. I want to know exactly what resources I have available.
Support is also a determining factor.
I used to work for a WordPress hosting company. So I know products and the industry quite well.
Devrims: You are a big fan of WordPress. How did you like the new update and what is your favorite feature?
Lawrence: In all honesty, I still don’t quite ‘get’ Gutenberg. I think it’s an important development and believe that the block paradigm will define the future of WordPress. I’m following its development in parallel to other initiatives such as the Block Protocol but aren’t a user yet.
I’ve tried to learn Full Site Editing a few times but give up after 5 minutes because I find the UI clunky and unintuitive. I still feel that it’s not worth my time to learn it when I can do everything I need using Bricks Builder, which is what I have used for WP BizDev. For a non-dev like me with half-decent design skills, it’s a joy to use. And fast.
So, to answer your question: I don’t have a favorite feature out of the box. I have a number of favorite plugins and themes that I use regularly.
Devrims: AS Roma reached the finals of Europa League. How are your feelings about it?
Lawrence: There was so much drama following their defeat! Too much, in fact. I think reaching the final was an incredible achievement and we are very proud of that. There’s too much money in football, unfortunately. Unless your team is owned by a multi-billionaire you have little chance of winning, which is why I don’t follow it as much as I used to
Devrims: Can we have a peak at your workplace?
Lawrence: Sure 🙂
Devrims: What advice would you give to someone who is starting their business?
Lawrence: To develop a strong brand right from the start. It’s like a super superpower that gets and keeps people’s attention.
The market has become so saturated and noisy that a weak brand will struggle to cut through.
|WFH, Hybrid or WFO
|LinkedIn or Twitter
|Morning guy or Night guy
|Both, given where my clients are!
Devrims: Lastly, name two inspiring people that you would like us to interview next.
Lawrence: Igor Ligay, founder and CEO of Stylemix Themes.
I did some work for him recently and was very impressed with his products, team and operations. He’s been around a long time and is one of many WordPress entrepreneurs that you rarely hear about but has been very successful over the years. His plugins and themes have helped thousands of businesses succeed, which is a measure of his own success.
Amber Hinds, founder and CEO of Equalize Digital.
I feel as if someone has finally taken ownership of the accessibility problem and is doing something about it. Her Accessiblity Checker works very well and makes a difference.
That said, the WordPress accessibility team is working hard too, which we should all appreciate.
When I was studying Architecture, accessibility was a ‘must have’. If I had designed a building without accessible paths, corridors, doors, etc., or even forcing someone with a disability to have a different experience altogether (e.g. to use a ramp at the back of a building), my teachers would have given me a failing grade. Similar rules should apply to websites and apps.