Shardul Pandey Talks To Internet Entrepreneur Luis Alejandre Who Created WordPress Theme Detector

Shardul Pandey interviews only those who own their domain in webspace for doing business on Internet so if you too want to get interviewed please examine your domain at sangkrit.net before to e-mail all results to freedom@sangkrit.net.

[quote style=”1″]When with some of your unique idea about enhancing utility of Internet you create a website on your domain and stay focused on it, I become more than willing for interviewing you as a freedom fighter whether you think so or not but you certainly become one for establishing Internet world order.
That’s why I appeal you to bring most of things at your domain under GPL as it is the very nature of Internet that must be left open, free, fluid and live for the rest of humanity

Shardul Pandey[/quote]

Luis_Alejandre_400x400I welcome you in the Kingdom of Freedom Luis, please tell our netizens about yourself?

My name is Luis Alejandre and I´m from Spain. I´m a Telecom Engineer and I´ve been working throughout my professional life in various technological fields. I studied in Madrid and started working there, but when I was 24 I went to the United States and lived in Los Angeles for a year and a half, working on radar engineering for a large American company. Back to Madrid I switched to laser technology, and later on I moved back to Caceres (my home town and where I live since then), involved in a Business Innovation project.

My relationship with Information Technologies dates back to 1993, almost 20 years ago and before the Internet burst-out, when after attending some courses in ESADE Business School at Barcelona I started a service intended to find marketing, technological and business trends information for small companies through the then available networks, like Dialog or DataStar. That was a time when connections had to be made by means of regular telephone lines and old fashioned and very slow modems, everything was on plain text only, and you had to pay for the information. Doesn’t it seem like ancient times? Well, they really were as compared to what we have now!. But then I organized a series of courses for small business owners and the attendants were really impressed by what could be achieved, so I think that somehow I planted the seeds in them to become active internet users a couple of years later.

At this moment my day job is in the acoustical engineering field by means of my own two companies. But little by little I´m getting more involved into several WordPress projects. If they are successful enough I plan to make them my mean job and, if that success goes a little further, chances are that they´ll become my full time job.

I´m happily married and father to two girls. I enjoy reading, listening to any kind of good music, being at the countryside and playing the electric bass.

How exactly your idea sparked?

The idea for the development of WPThemeDetector first came to my mind while I was creating a WordPress child theme for a client´s site. I noticed how easy it would be to find out what theme is used by a remote WordPress site, even detecting the parent theme details if a child theme was found, and that it was also possible and relatively easy to detect some of the active plugins for that site, though maybe not all of them.

I started thinking about developing a free tool to offer this service online, since it made sense to me that people might be interested in getting to know how some WordPress sites were created. It also made sense to invest time and money on it because development and maintenance costs of such a tool could be paid for by using affiliate links to theme providers, since many WordPress themes are premium.

When I began developing it, however, I found out that a couple of such tools where already launched, which was kind of disappointing at the beginning. I thought that none of those tools were being monetized but later on I realized that one of them was indeed, its affiliate links were just hidden. But, since I observed that those existing services were lacking some of the features I´d decided to include in mine, I went ahead with the development of WPThemeDetector. Now, after our website was launched, that monetized site I mentioned has followed us and copied some of our features, like the parent theme detection, the way we provide access to plugin details, the screenshots display, or the use of the theme providers favicons as a small logo for them.

As I´ve already stated on other articles as well as on our own blog, I believe this just means good news for the WordPress community, since we all will always be more motivated to improve our services one step further. I feel like somehow we´ve awakened something that was at a very preliminary and basic stage.

Do you work alone or you got people associated for working together?

Most of the work to develop WPThemeDetector has been done by myself, but I had some help from a friend of mine on the coding side. Although he is quite busy right now working on other engagements, I´m trying to convince him to become a regular part of our team, and I´d like to enroll him for some of my next projects too.

Luis_working_at_home_900x626

I´m also working with a graphic designer and artist on the design and user experience side of our site. We may implement some ideas we´ve worked out together, but I won´t be sure about it until I see the preliminary drafts and demos.

I enjoy working with teams and I´ve always done it, but now that I´m getting more involved in internet projects I´m also enjoying a lot doing my part all by myself, because activities like blogging and coding can be done anywhere as long as you have a connection to internet. For instance, I own an office where I´ve been working for the past 15 years, but it its placed on the ground floor of a building in a not too wide street, so I don´t have great views from my desk: just some shops, a bar and a plastic surgery clinic on the other side of the street. At home, on the other hand, I enjoy a lot of natural light and very wide views, so now I´m very pleased to work alone at home whenever my duties allow me to do so. And even better, when the weather is nice, I love working on the balcony or by the countryside.

What philosophy drives you for doing this?

As soon as I discovered WordPress I knew that I had found something that will become a part of my future life. As simple as that. It was like love at first sight, it did happen and I didn´t even cared to analyze the reasons for that. I just believed in WordPress from the very first moment I started working with it. And so far it has not disappointed me at all, quite on the contrary.

Then I consider myself quite an entrepreneurial person, so since I discovered WordPress I also felt that I would eventually become involved in the development of new ideas to offer something back to the WordPress community. And I´m not talking just business, I´ve also got some other ideas centered on WordPress which have nothing to do with business.

What makes your endeavors unique on Internet?

Concerning my recently launched WPThemeDetector website, I would say that most of the news about WordPress come from the huge worldwide activity about new plugins and new themes being developed, but I considered that there was a lack of online tools that was interesting enough to give it a thought.

As far as my other future projects are concerned, for the majority of which I shouldn´t unveil too many details at this moment, only time will say to what degree they´ll be unique, but I´m quite confident about some of them being quite special.

How can you make Internet a little bit more interconnected? Are you working on some other projects also?

To answer the last question first, yes, I´m already working on several other projects as I mentioned above, and all of them will be either related to WordPress or at least running on WordPress.

About the first question, some of the ideas I´m considering to become a real project have a lot to do with connecting people together.
For example, I´ve been thinking a lot lately about a possible internet service intended for seniors, or elderly people. I have to admit that I don´t know too much about this subject (maybe it calls my attention because both my brother and one of my sisters are working on this field of society, or because I´ve seen my parents getting old until I recently lost them), but the thing is that I believe they´re some aspects yet to be developed, and that they can be accomplished via internet and, more specifically, with WordPress.

In this sense, I would like to point out something that might illustrate what I´m talking about: I´ve had a great experience during last week and this weekend. My aunt was getting 73 years old, and it occurred to me that a good present for her could be a self-hosted WordPress blog. So I went ahead, registered a suitable domain and developed a WP site with a beautiful but not too sophisticated theme; then I got in touch with members of our family, relatives, old friends of her, etc. I phone them and sent them an email asking them to answer with one or more photographs, videos or links and some congratulation text. It was a real success; I got a lot of warm responses. With that material I published on her blog one post for each person, deployed the blog to a live server and then asked all the participants to freely send comments about each other´s posts. And then the magic started. People that hadn´t seen each other or even talked to each other for years began communicating and interacting through my aunt´s blog. When I showed it to her during her birthday party, see could not believe what she was seeing on that screen and, let me tell you, was it emotive! Four hours later she was already publishing a thank you post and commenting back to every post like crazy, and she already has a lot of plans about future posts and categories for her blog. For everybody this blog was considered the best birthday present ever.

Now, I´m not saying that every senior citizen should have a blog or should receive a blog as a gift, but I think that this little example about something I did on the side can be very revealing about the benefits for this people which could be achieved by taking advantage of what internet has to offer.

What is your ultimate message for netizens?

What could I say but “communicate and interact with other people as much as you can, get involved and participate in other people´s projects if you think they´re interesting”?

This morning I heard on the radio that today, December 2, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was being observed to remind people that modern slavery works against human rights. I could not believe what I was hearing. I mean, do we still have to remind people about that? To me, that means that internet has just started, and that we still have a lot of work to do…

Thank you very much Luis for opting Internet as your place of doing business. I wish you success in upgrading humanity!

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