An Interview with Adii Pienaar

He's a very smart cookie

Adii Pienaar is an entrepreneur, husband and very new father; the combination of these roles resulting in an epic & challenging journey. Unlike the bio’s of most “serial” entrepreneurs, Adii is (as at the time of this going to press) a one-hit wonder with his role as co-founder of WooThemes. That status isn’t for a lack of trying either; it’s just that the other attempts lost more money than they made…

In this interview Adii talks openly and honestly about building the Woo brand, taking criticism, Richard Branson and wanting to be a cool kid.

For your chance to win a developer membership to the WooThemes theme club currently valued at over $700, leave a comment below this video with a suggestion on a feature you would like to see in future editions of the Woo Framework.

Adii will be back in one week to award the prizes.

Update: Adii Pienaar has just released a new book called Brandiing. You can get it here: Get Brandiing.


Rockstar Business

19 thoughts on “An Interview with Adii Pienaar

  1. Hello and thank you for this interview.

    It helps to see people making it in the WordPress world in the face of millions of competitors and the Google Gods who do everything they can to weed out the sole proprietors. 🙂

    I use WooThemes and WooCommerce as well as the usual large bag of other premium theme and plugin suites.

    I use 2Member for membership sites and me I dream of a WooCommerce s2Member integration – especially so that my client sites could leverage all of the WooCommerce payment gateways.

    Thank you,

    Chris Eller

  2. I think the feature I’d want to see the most is an automated full-site back-up. I looked at Woo before I bought a developer kit for iThemes, but NEEDING BackUp Buddy was a huge factor. The Canvas theme looks very similar to iTheme’s Builder, which is a drag-and-drop responsive theme builder for custom site design, and getting Builder was the other huge selling point.

    Now, not a feature per se, but site organization makes a huge difference. Trying to learn about WooCommerce from the Woo site was a bit overwhelming, especially trying to figure out how much it would actually cost me to use. There were so many extensions it was confusing to sort them all and figure out “Okay, WooCommerce is free, but I know I’ll need XYZ gateway, so that’s $99, plus I’ll need ABC functionality extension for $29, but wait… what does that actually do? I thought that function was part of WooCommerce, so do I need the paid extension for my needs or not?”

    So when it came down to it, it looked like getting something working the way I wanted via Woo was going to cost me a lot more than using iThemes for everything, and that’s why I didn’t buy from Woo. Maybe I would actually have been better off going Woo for everything, or for some things, but it was so hard to tell that I gave up.

    I was also completely unable to tell what some of the plug-ins do. They link from the Woo site directly to the plug-in repository and the single screenshot available doesn’t actually show the plug-in live on a site, just the backend. So what do Features and Testimonials actually LOOK like? I don’t want to break working sites, so I’m always hesitant to try out a new plug-in just to see what the heck it does. Of course, having BackUp Buddy I can at least do a full back-up first in case I break anything!

    I still think Woo (themes, commerce, etc) looks nice, and I would love to try out Canvas and compare it to Builder (Elegant Themes is also developing a drag-and-drop custom editor, and their ePanel customization is already really nice and easy – Canvas looks like it could be a fantastic cross between ET and Builder).

  3. I agree with Patrick, I’m a big fan – not sure how feasible this would be – but some sort of plugin pre update check would be great (especially for WooCommerce) – I’m thinking in terms of a 1.x -> 2.x kind of upgrade.

  4. I’m currently investing all my time in learning how to use WordPress so this would be a great win for me! A budding entrepreneur, indeed! I watched the video and it is always interesting to hear how a business earns its wings and can grow and thrive in the WordPress/Web Design niche. The feature that I would like to see at WooThemes is the ability to register a domain, get hosting and install the WooTheme in one shot! It would be great to gain this immediate support and offer this type of package to clients in the near future. It would also be nice to have a drag and drop plug-in builder and/or a popular plug-in membership package. Hope to hear more about your future projects, WooThemes!

    • Hey Michelle,

      Congratulations! Adii picked your suggestion as the winner for the WooThemes competition and will be in touch regarding how to claim your prize.

      Thanks to everyone for your great feedback. It makes it all worthwhile.

  5. Amazing products by woothemes, I will be honest I don’t like there themes they are kind of out dated in design but the plugins are most amazing I have ever found in wordpress. Specially the woocommerce which allowed me to have a passive income on side.

    Brilliant work keep improving and gives us new features.

    As a suggestion take magneto ideas from magneto platform for more online store features you guys are there.


  6. I would love to see WooThemes include an easy way to customize the backend for specific clients. The Super User could set up access to certain areas for the other admins of the site. For example: Site A needs to give the admins access to Posts and Pages, while Site B admins need Posts, Pages, Slides and Portfolio.

  7. Salaam for you Adii from me Indonesian woocommerce lover :). Its amazing to meet a very useful program makers like you. It seems like now is the good time to deliver a great appreciation, and at the same time to give a little suggestion on a feature of the Woo Framework.
    A few weeks ago I tried some interesting program developed by wordpress developers. I really hope all that exciting programs could be developed in the next wootheme framework, which is easy for the user to adjust the layout and look of the theme design freely without any difficulties in code, simply drag and drop. Some people call it by the term design management system. With that way, the user can freely create a landing page, or even a sales page and marketing page for online business that sells only one or a few products.
    Well, thats my opinion. I would be very happy if the feature is already there in your plan.. 🙂

  8. Very inspiring to hear from Adii! It’s refreshing to see that in the WordPress space the success comes from those with actual skill and talent.

    I’d like to see Canvas theme (or any WooFramwork theme) have pre-built sections that can be dropped in to certain hooks to change how that part of the theme looks. These would then be activated from the backend to change things like: main menu position (side of logo, full width, fixed position); mobile menu display options; footer display options. Adding these layout options to the already extensive visual options that WooFramework has would go a long way to make each theme ever more powerful.

  9. I’m a big fan of WooThemes and the WooFramework so it’s not necessarily easy to suggest an enhancement.

    With that said, we’re all faced from time-to-time with the need to modify selected CSS. I’d love, when in admin mode viewing a page, to be able to highlight a site element and modify the CSS right there in a pop-up with the option of modifying just this single occurrence or all occurrences (ie: all H2 headlines).

    These CSS modifications would, of course, survive updates.

    Thanks for considering!

  10. WooCommerce is a great product and the code is nice and clean and well maintained.

    That makes a world of difference from a development perspective.

    Support and forums are awesome too – highly responsive community.

    Unfortunately we have a client on another large legacy WordPress eCommerce store.

    The code-base is a nightmare with reported bugs not being fixed and support is terrible.

    A+ for WooCommerce thanks!

  11. Great interview guys.

    Would love the ability to back-up my site using the Woo Framework… so I didn’t have to mess around with other plugins!

  12. I would be interested in a feature that would allow to automatically post a blog post on a list of pre-registered social sites like FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc…

  13. Working on a site now where we need products displayed to certain groups. All products to some people, a reduced list to others, and another reduced list to a third group. We’re working with another companies option however theirs, though it should do it, seems to function on the user but is not working based on the role. Unfortunatly they’re not responding to their support requests. So if you guys could come up with this fiunctionality for woocommerce that would be fantastic.

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