I’m Mustaasam Saleem and I work for Cloudways as the WordPress community manager. I have been associated with the WordPress community for the last four years and I have loved every second of it!
I live in Karachi, Pakistan. It’s mostly hot and humid here but I love tropical weather. It’s a great experience for me to be here in Pakistan and still be connected to all the wonderful people of WordPress. I love what I do and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
A. I graduated back in 2015 as a Software Engineer and in early 2016, Cloudways thought I might be a good fit for their WordPress community team. I tried not to let them down.
As a student, I was never a nerdy kid so I spent a lot of time creating and maintaining Facebook groups for my school, college, and alumni.
From there, I developed a strong affection towards building and nurturing communities. I wanted to create an environment where members of my community help each other out in solving their problems.
I think this is what got me in Cloudways.
Q. Whatís the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
A. I remember March 31st, 2016 when we were a bit behind our quarterly targets. It was only two months since I joined Cloudways. Everyone was trying hard to achieve but all of a sudden, I had an idea and executed. Within a few hours, we got 300% more than the usual and in the end, we were up with a single digit. That was a great success for me.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
A. As I mentioned, I live in Karachi. Though there is not a lot happening here in terms of WordPress events but I try to make most of whatever takes place in my country.
I had the honor of attending the first-ever WordCamp held in my country, WordCamp Karachi. The event was surprisingly amazing, considering this was the first of its kind in this region.
Then in 2019, Cloudways gave me the opportunity to attend WordCamp Europe and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I think it’s fair to say that those 3 days were the best days of my career. I met with our customers and received priceless feedback.
Yes, there were many star-struck moments, especially when I met Matt Mullenweg.
The most valuable takeaway from these events is that nothing can replace physical interaction. No matter how much you stay connected online, you would never really know a person unless you meet them in person.
Q. What does your workstation look like?
A. My workstation is simple, just a laptop and headphones to avoid distractions.
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
A. So my job requires me to use a lot of tools otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Here some of my favorites:
- Google docs, spreadsheets, etc.
- Sublime as a code editor as well as an alternative to old-school Notepad.
- Slack & Skype for communication.
- Ahref & KWfinder.
- PowerBI, MixPanel, and the list go on.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
A. Well, this one’s tricky. So WordPress is great but it isn’t perfect and neither are most things. There are some things that I always wanted WordPress to have and I have been vocal about them as well.
After installing WordPress, most of the WordPress users install a caching and a security plugin. Considering this, I always wonder why WordPress does not provide them natively? There are obvious reasons for this, some say keep WordPress as basic as it can be and let the users choose their own. Anyhow, fingers crossed.
Additionally, I would love to see a system that notifies if a vulnerable plugin is found in my existing WordPress website.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
A. Usually, my WordPress setup comprises of:
- Astra, GeneratePress, or OceanWP
- Elementor – All in one solution to my needs
- LiteSpeed Cache, Autoptimize, or WP Rocket
- Rank Math SEO
- iThemes Security, All In One WP Security, or Malcare
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
A. Well, since I work for Cloudways, I don’t have much of a choice, do I? But even if I did, I wouldn’t use any other hosting provider. Why? Because unlike any other hosting solution, Cloudways has partnered up with 5 different infrastructure provides:
1. Amazon Web Services
2. Google Cloud
Cloudways ensures that by partnering with these infrastructures, it provides hosting that is not only high in performance, but is also scalable and secure.
Cloudways acts as a mediator between YOU and the cloud server to manage hosting hassles so that you can focus on growing your business while enjoying the benefits of cloud hosting.
For anyone choosing a WordPress hosting provider, I always ask them to consider web hosting as their business partner. It should be reliable and scalable so that you can easily scale it as your business grows. Here are a few suggestions to consider while getting a WordPress hosting:
- Is it scalable, flexible, and highly available?
- Offers data-center in your targeted audience country with maximum uptime.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
A. It’s been more than four years since I’ve been working at Cloudways as a WordPress community expert and, as I mentioned above, I have loved every minute of it. Much of my love for my work has stemmed from the work culture at Cloudways. Our roles are not restricted to our job titles so we are always asked to innovate and come up with ideas to not only grow Cloudways but to grow ourselves as well.
Just to mention, I maintain a Facebook group “WordPress Nerds” having 7.5k+ WordPressers. So take a few minutes of your time and join the fun. 🙂
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
A. Currently, I enjoy being a part of the WordPress community. I love the fact that people know me for the work I do and associate me with Cloudways more often than not. I plan to keep contributing to the community but maybe in a different way in the future. Let’s see 🙂
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
A. Well, there are a number of people who I can nominate but since I am allowed to nominate just one, I would like to mention Mohammed Moeez, owner of WPblog, one of the most emerging WordPress blogs actively contributing towards the WordPress community.