New in Product Development: 9 Questions for Marten

Michael Firnkes Last updated 07.07.2021
6 Min.
Last updated 07.07.2021

We are proud of our special features for WordPress . There is a lot of work that goes into the dashboard of RAIDBOXES . Marten supports our product development, so you can look forward to exciting features in the future. Learn more about his work at RAIDBOXES in our interview.

RAIDBOXES is growing – be part of it!

You want to help to realize the best WordPress hosting worldwide? Then become part of our team now! You can find open positions on our jobs page - on-site in Münster and remote in the home office. Read all about the many advantages you have as an employee of RAIDBOXES .

Marten, what will be your first project at RAIDBOXES ?

There I got directly a nice topic: WordPress Multisites! If you want to create a website for a larger company with WordPress or integrate multilingualism, you can do this very well with a multisite. As I have heard from my new colleagues, this is also a feature that is often requested 🙂 The feature already exists, including multisite domain mapping. But we want to make it even more convenient.

For me, the preparation for the project consists of taking a detailed look at the existing multisite feature in order to exhaust the possibilities of the system. And to see how we at RAIDBOXES can optimally implement the feature for our customers. This involves testing all possible multisite types and understanding how they work (subdirectory, subdomain, multidomain, multinetwork). Then we have to plan how to integrate these functions into our system. And how the interface as well as the usability for the customer should look like.

WordPress  Multisite
WordPress Multisite at RAIDBOXES

You have worked in agencies and as a freelance web developer. Why now RAIDBOXES?

For me, two points were very important: the flexibility and the tasks I perform at the company. As a freelance web developer - but also as an employed web developer at agencies - you are dependent on the customer projects. Over the years, I realized that these no longer appealed to me because I was developing someone else's idea. I lost interest in these kinds of projects. This was not only reflected in my work, but also psychologically - through lack of motivation and listlessness.

When I applied at RAIDBOXES , I didn't have a clear idea of what to expect. However, after the first conversation with Matthias and Johannes and after the trial day, it was clear that I wanted to start at RAIDBOXES . I was convinced by the flexibility, the flat hierarchy and the concept. Since I live in Osnabrück, I now have the option of working in Münster in the office or in Osnabrück in the home office. In addition, I work here with my colleagues at RAIDBOXES. And no longer on ever-changing customer projects.

What is your first impression of RAIDBOXES and the team?

My first impression is very positive! I was very well received by the team and already feel very comfortable after the first week. The time and effort that is put into making all employees feel comfortable is more than exemplary. I am already looking forward to the coming time!

RB Team
Part of the team of RAIDBOXES

What is the biggest difference compared to the daily routine at an agency or being self-employed?

The biggest difference with the agency is the flexibility due to the Holacracy . This results in the possibility to contribute much more intensively, to bring forward ideas and to discuss them. You can take on more responsibility for your own area of work. In an agency, the client decides what is implemented. At RAIDBOXES , decisions are made by the team.

If I compare the work here with my work as a self-employed person, then of course I have the security as an employee that I get my salary transferred to the account on a fixed monthly basis. I don't have to acquire customers, but I still remain flexible. In addition, I have colleagues with whom I can discuss current projects.

With your clients: What were the biggest hosting challenges for WordPress ?

In my time as a web developer, I've had the privilege of putting a few websites online and configuring hosting environments. With all projects there were the same problems:

  • Updating the software
  • The initial setup of the system and
  • The handover to other agencies/freelancers

Whether WordPress or TYPO3, as soon as a security update is released, the system should be updated. My customer systems were for the most part with the well-known large hosting providers and were not set up with the 1-click installations. So I had to log into each system individually and apply the updates by hand. A huge effort! Just as difficult was keeping track of which site was on which version. And to keep these lists up to date.

But not only the maintenance of the system, but also the initial setup is extensive. If you want to consider everything here, then this includes not only a web server such as Apache or NGINX, but also still the configuration of the firewall, the optimization of the database server, the PHP processes, etc., to achieve the optimal performance for the website.

If you have a client who hires several agencies/freelancers, then you may have to work with them on a project. Here too, the question is how access to the project is regulated. There are certainly more points I could list here, but that would go beyond the scope of this blog post 🙂

If I were to go back to work as a freelance developer, my host would have to offer the following:

  • Quick and easy installation and setup of WordPress .
  • Automatic updates for WordPress (security updates and optional functional updates).
  • Simple access management (access to WordPress , the hosting portal, the database and the file system).
  • Simple backup system in which backups can also be installed locally on the developer's computer.
  • A focus on security. Not only for the host infrastructure, but for the servers of the WordPress installations themselves.

Just as it is lived at RAIDBOXES with its Managed WordPress Hosting.

You know your way around WordPress and TYPO3. To what extent does this knowledge help you?

TYPO3 is mostly used for larger corporate websites. Through this I have learned in my time as a web developer, which dependencies are present in such projects and how extensive the planning and implementation is. This helps me in the planning of new projects at RAIDBOXES, because I can bring my experience.

You work partly remotely. How will you still be close to the team and the sprints?

My home office experience has taught me what matters to me at work. For the past two years, I've been consistently in an open-plan office. Before that, I spent a year in a home office and went to the office every second or third month for a few days for important meetings.

An open plan office and the home office are two completely different worlds. For me personally, a mix of both is the best mix. In the home office, I can work on projects effectively and in a concentrated manner. But it also gives me the time flexibility to attend appointments that I would otherwise have to postpone until the morning or evening.

In the office, I can talk to my fellow developers face-to-face about project-related issues, hold meetings on-site, and maintain but also expand social contact, which I find very important.

How do you manage to focus on the job at home?

Since I have already worked in a home office for over a year and also had to organize my work completely by myself as a self-employed person, I was able to develop a system for myself to work effectively and productively at home. Self-discipline is of course one of the biggest factors here, along with a tidy workspace and a precise plan of which tasks need to be implemented.

A spatial separation between the private rooms and the workroom is of course another plus point. During my home office time, I also worked in a coworking space for a while. However, for me this cannot be compared to a day in the office, but would only be the mental and spatial distance from the private.

What do you do when you're not working for RAIDBOXES?

Also in my spare time I can usually be found in front of the PC. Currently I am - besides PC gaming - very interested in game development and 3D modeling. Back then, I already wrote down my game ideas in a text file on our 486 and tried to run them as a file. Now I want to implement them with a 3D engine.

I also run a few virtual servers myself, on which I run services for me and my family and friends. When I'm not sitting at my PC, I'm out and about on my bike, watching movies and series or travelling.

Working at RAIDBOXES: Your questions

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