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Interview with Marius Padureanu, Co-founder - tagDiv

Marius Padureanu Interview on TopDevelopers.co

Marius Padureanu  linkedin

Co-founder, tagDiv
Give us a quick overview on tagDiv. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in web design and development? 

tagDiv is a team project with my friend, Radu. When I look back at the beginning, it's funny as we didn't plan to create WordPress themes and be successful with it. Between 2010 - 2013, WordPress and the theme's market were just emerging. Then we had the idea that a lot of people were searching for a newspaper theme. And, just like that, tagDiv was up and running. We identified and capitalized on a great opportunity in the news, blog, and magazine niche. Nowadays, we create WordPress news and multipurpose templates, we provide web development and web design on-demand services. We've also released an attendance web-based solution for companies called iFlow. In less than 3 years, we became a lead author on themeforest.net, and Newspaper Theme is the most popular and best-selling news theme since then.

What is your role in the management and development of tagDiv?

I like to think that my job is to create memorable experiences for website owners and their users. This has always been the central idea of our company. tagDiv is not about themes. I think that if you love what you do, your customers can feel the passion you invest in and appreciate your product. We are the first customers for tagDiv. We keep wearing the customers' shoes in every development stage from the idea throughout designing features, testing, releases, and customer support.
I work closely with a fantastic team of web designers delivering UX and UI on all our projects.

Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry

I think it was the moment when our Newspaper became the best theme selling on the Envato Themeforest Market. This month we've reached the psychological milestone of 100,000 customers on a product. We've also felt like we've done a great job when the business community welcomed iFlow, our digital solution. Because we've moved from solving a problem we were facing in our own company to providing an excellent solution to other companies.

How do you schedule the development phases of the web design and development projects to promise the timeline to your clients?

At tagDiv, we are asking a lot of questions that help the customers to define the problem. We have a multidisciplinary team that works together: web designers, web developers, digital marketers, and SEO experts.
We take our customers' needs, assess the possible solutions & the future implications for each one, and explain them to the customer. He makes the decision on the desired course of action. In this stage, our team already knows the necessary time and resources we need to deploy to deliver the solution. With our clients, we monitor the results and adapt the solution for the future.

Which framework, programming or scripting languages do you prefer for web development? How do you convince your clients for the same?

I prefer working in PHP, JavaScript, Vue.js because it just feels naturally easy for me.
We don't try to convince them. The technologies, frameworks, scripts we use are just tools to deliver the result. For the WordPress themes, we always keep the product updated to the latest releases on WordPress, HTML, CSS, plugins, etc. It makes the product easier to use and safer for our clients.
On the development and design services on WordPress, our customers come with a request that needs to be implemented. I don't think clients are really interested in the language or the framework. They want their problem solved in a reliable, scalable, and upgradable way. If the solution can be maintained for long periods of time, it's even better, and everybody is happy.

What would you suggest for a successful and profitable business progression, when it comes to web design and development? How do you define the factors that influenced you make this choice?

Keep an eye on the client's satisfaction and adapt. We are continuously adjusting to meet our clients' expectations and a bit more. In technology-related industries, the competition is very high, and it's easy to miss your growth target.
We are following the trends in web design and development and adapt to them. At the same time, we deliver solutions that work; that solve real problems for real people. If your client is satisfied, you'll do business tomorrow.

How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?

We're working with different pricing models on different products. For example, we have a flat rate on the themes, a "per active user" pricing on the iFlow software, and project-based pricing for web development services. On projects, we analyze multiple factors before setting up a price, like a request complexity, the number of required resources, the necessary time to execute it, and the project budget.

How helpful are the web design and development made by tagDiv for your clients in enhancing their business?

I think today we have more than 200,000 people - bloggers, journalists, web developers, web designers, IT and HR personnel, business owners - using our products to grow their business. There must be a reason why so many people appreciate our products and services. We've seen web developers become successful by creating websites for their clients. We've seen bloggers and journalists awarded for their online presence delivering exquisite experiences for their audiences and ranking very high in SERP. Companies are growing on the internet and are more efficient with our solution. It's nice to see that your passion and work is helping other companies to progress, and also changing people's lives.

What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction for web development?

 I think this is a long discussion as there are many theories out there. For us, the best practices can be summarised in a few verbs: listen, be honest, be useful, go the extra mile, don't stop, ask for feedback. Smile when you get negative feedback, make it right, and learn from it.

How do you update your business system to be in pace with the technological advancements?

We are continuously updating our infrastructure because working is more comfortable when your computer is fast, the internet loads instantly, and coffee is awesome. At tagDiv, everyone is passionate about what they do and follows what happens new in their field. We listen to them when suggesting improvements.
We are based in Romania, an ex-communist country in Eastern Europe, and we are determined to change this legacy. We encourage a growth culture in the team. We want our team members to become experts in their fields, working together in a friendly environment. Actually, we've created conditions for our employees to be more than co-workers, spend time doing things together, and strengthen the bonds.

What are your thoughts about material design, progressive web app and Internet of Things (IoT)?

We live in exciting times. If we look back and compare, we see that the technology is jumping the stairs, 5 at the time. The IoT concept is already implemented in multiple industries, and they are growing overnight. Yes, we all have personal assistants on our mobiles, voice control on the lights, and a smart little robot that cleans the house. I think today, technology is changing the way people live.
We are bombarded with information, and the attention span is rapidly decreasing. Let's face it, progressive web apps are the way to go for many businesses. They deliver content right on the device you are holding in your hand, without making any effort to surf the web and search for it. For the user-generated content and publishing industry, this may be the only way to keep the users a while longer engaged. Ten years ago, local newspapers were still selling their print editions. Now they are struggling to learn digital marketing or die. I think we'll see more and more PWA every day.

What do you think will be the future of web design and development technology?

It's difficult to predict as both web design and development are growing at an accelerating pace. We see more entrepreneurs getting confident to tackle challenges like creating a website without any experience. Now they have the tools to succeed. On WordPress, I think we'll see increased interest from service providers to deliver an all-in-one solution combining themes with plugins.
Serverless apps & highly-optimized websites, and cross-platform apps are looking promising.
As more and more smart technologies and augmented reality are growing, we'll see a change in what we know now, which is the traditional internet experience. I believe that in the future, all internet-related industries will need to become more creative. In the long run, I think we'll get to see artificial intelligence generating content dynamically on websites based on the users' behavior or preferences.

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