After nearly two years at WebDevStudios acting as a development lead, Brian Richards is stepping down to spend more time on his side project, WPSessions. Richards is the lead developer of the Startbox theme framework and is one of the organizers of WordCamp Grand Rapids set to take place August 15-17, 2014.
WPSessions was launched in 2013 and provides high quality content to help train the greater WordPress community. Richards pays presenters for their expertise and time to give high quality presentations on an ongoing basis. Since the launch, there have been sessions on how to be a better presenter at WordCamps, working with BuddyPress, and security for developers.
The success of the site has even surprised Richards, “I had no idea WPSessions would catch on like it has. I thought it would just be a fun little thing for me to do on the side and learn lots of cool things.” The site generates revenue by selling tickets to each session. The majority of sessions are priced at $30. However, the site offers a VIP membership account that allows members to download the entire library of sessions, participate in the community, and learn directly from professionals. VIP membership is $24.75/mo, making it cheaper than purchasing tickets to each session.
A Chance To Win A Trip To WordCamp San Francisco 2014
To thank VIP members that have supported the site, Richards is hosting an incredible give away. He will give one lucky VIP Member a $2,000 USD cash prize specifically so they can join him at WordCamp San Francisco 2014. Richards describes his first time at WordCamp San Francisco as “beyond amazing” and wants to pass on the opportunity to someone else. He’ll also purchase three VIP’s a full-year membership to any other training site of their choice, up to $350 per membership.
The giveaway is exclusively for VIP members. WPSessions has a maximum of 100 VIP accounts available. Richards told the Tavern, “only half of those are filled.” Even if all the VIP slots are filled, the odds of winning a prize are 1 in 25.
The drawing takes place on August 1st but everyone who registers as a VIP Member by 11:59pm PST on July 31st, 2014 is eligible to win.
The Future Of WPSessions
WPSessions continues to evolve and will soon offer courses. “So far, most presenters have been almost as excited about this as I am,” Richards said. The first of these courses is Writing Your First Plugin by Pippin Willamson. In the future, a members only forum will be created to discuss courses, sessions, and client work. It will also be used to generate ideas and provide insight into what type of material members want to see. There’s also a members only discount section in the works.
When asked what he thinks is his competition, Richards said, “I don’t know if I have any competition, to be honest. I think of WPSessions as more of a compliment to things like WebDesign.com, BobWP, WP101, etc, not a competitor.” The site has the support of several thought leaders in the WordPress community such as Chris Lema.
WPSessions has a simple focus – to educate you by bringing incredible talent together to focus on specific topics you need to know. They could charge much, much more, but their focus isn’t on money as much as it is education.
Richards left a senior position at one of the most well-known WordPress development firms to focus on WPSessions. Despite not making the same amount of income, he’s committed to making sure the site becomes the best education resource for new WordPress users and developers alike. What started out as an experiment is turning into an opportunity for Richards to achieve one of his lifelong dreams.