We are proud of our special features for WordPress. A lot of work goes into Dashboard from Raidboxes\. Marten supports our product development so that you can look forward to exciting features in the future. Learn more about his work at Raidboxes in our interview.
Raidboxes continues to grow - be part of it
Marten, what will be your first project at Raidboxes ?
I got a nice theme straight away: WordPress Multisites! If you use WordPress to create a website for a larger company or want to integrate multilingualism, you can do this very well with a multisite. As I have heard from my new colleagues, this is also a function 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 studying the existing multisite feature in detail 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 what the interface and usability for the customer should look like.
You have worked in agencies and as a freelance web developer. Why now Raidboxes?
For me, two points were very important: flexibility and the tasks I carry out in 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 realised 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 a lack of motivation and listlessness.
Raidboxes as an employer
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. I also work here with my colleagues at Raidboxes. And no longer on ever-changing client 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!
What is the biggest difference compared to everyday life at an agency or being self-employed?
The biggest difference to 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.
Difference to self-employment
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 my 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 challenges in hosting WordPress?
In my time as a web developer, I have had the privilege of putting several websites online and configuring hosting environments. All projects had 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 client systems were largely with the well-known large hosting providers and were not set up with the 1-click installations. So I had to log on to each system individually and install the updates by hand. A huge effort! It was just as difficult to keep track of which website was on which version. And to keep these lists up to date.
But not only the maintenance of the system, but also the initial set-up is extensive. If you want to take everything into account here, then this includes not only a web server such as Apache or NGINX, but also the configuration of the firewall, the optimization of the database server, the PHP processes, etc., in order to achieve the optimal performance for the website.
What a good host should have
If you have a client who commissions several agencies/freelancers, then you may also have to work with them on a project. Here, too, the question is how to regulate access to the project. There are certainly more points that I could list here, but that would go beyond the scope of this blog post 🙂
If I were to return to work as a freelance developer, my host would need 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 Raidboxes does with its Managed WordPress Hosting.
WordPress and TYPO3
You know your way around WordPress and TYPO3. To what extent does this knowledge help you?
TYPO3 is mostly used for larger corporate websites. During my time as a web developer, I learned what dependencies exist in such projects and how extensive the planning and implementation is. This helps me when planning new projects at Raidboxes, as I can contribute 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 last two years, I have been in an open-plan office consistently. 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 I also have the time flexibility to attend appointments that I would otherwise have to postpone to the morning or evening hours.
In the office, I can talk to my developer colleagues in person about project-related problems, hold meetings on site and maintain but also expand social contact, which I find very important.
How do you manage to concentrate on the job at home?
Since I have already worked in a home office for over a year and also had to organise my work completely on my own 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 workplace and a precise plan of which tasks need to be implemented.
Of course, a spatial separation between the private rooms and the workroom is another plus point. During my home office time, I also worked in a coworking space for a while. For me, however, this cannot be compared to a day in the office, but would only be the mental and spatial distance from the private sphere.
What do you do when you're not working for Raidboxes ?
In my free time, too, I can usually be found in front of the PC. Currently, I'm very interested - besides PC gaming - in game development and 3D modelling. 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 realise them with a 3D engine.
I also run a few virtual servers myself, on which I run services for myself and my family and friends. When I'm not sitting at my PC, I'm out and about on my bike, watching films and series or travelling.