Turning a Hobby into a Business
I started hobbying with programming when I was 11, with a book called ‘Visual Basic for Dummies’. It helped me to build a game where you had to catch bananas thrown by a monkey.
At age 16 I built my first website for my ‘street gang’ i.e. a group of 10 – 20 teens doing stupid things and looking for an easier way to share photo’s of our shenanigans and house parties. It also contained a forum, where we could send invites to eachother for birthday and house parties e.g. Halloween and New Year’s Eve. In a way, you could say I invented Facebook back in 2001. 🙂
Then I started blogging in 2009 — sharing poetry and short stories. More and more, I started to know WordPress.
Pingdom already existed back then, but having a speedy website didn’t consist of much more than having a VPS and using aggressive caching mechanisms such as APC — the A doesn’t stand for Aggressive, though. 😉
With the release of Pagespeed Insights in 2013 I started getting acquainted with the principles of Website Optimisation. I released the first version of CAOS in the summer of 2015.
I decided to share my knowledge in a blogpost in a year later.
That’s when things really started taking off.
Practice what you Preach
In that same year Google Fonts was revamped and the internet was flooded with the usage of Google Fonts. I started using them as well, but I couldn’t afford losing my perfect scores on Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom. Practice what you preach and all that.
I started looking for ways to cache Google Fonts and in the summer of 2018 OMGF was accepted into the WordPress.org repository.
As my plugins kept gaining notoriety, my blog started gaining visitors. I updated the blog post about WordPress optimization, which brought me my first actual client. Daan, the WordPress optimization specialist was born.
That project went well and I started carefully introducing my services to people who contacted me about optimization matters. And after a few clients, I decided I should turn my hobby into a business and because I love weird abbreviations, after CAOS and OMGF, WoOSH! was born.
Now CAOS and OMGF together account for over 40.000 active users!
What ‘WoOSH!’ stands for
Well, that’s really simple.
WoOSH! stands for speed. Obviously. A train passing by. Whoosh! A car speeding by you, when you’re trying to cross the road. Whoosh! A bird. A plane. Superman. Whoosh
Why lose the first ‘h’? Well, I tend to lose the ‘h’ every time when making abbrevations. The same thing happened to CAOS.
WoOSH! stands for WordPress Optimisation Super Hero! Cause your site should be fast. Like Superman! And I can help you with that. 🙂