Spotlight on Visual Composer’s Raitis Sevelis (WordPress, Giving Back, and the Atarim Partnership)

Continuing our series of interviews with industry personalities, we are today speaking with Raitis Sevelis from Visual Composer.

Raitis has been in the industry for over 10 years, currently working as Head of Product at Visual Composer (and Indystack).

They are the creators of the original WordPress page builder plugin, WPBakery, and have now relaunched a completely new experience under the Visual Composer brand. In this Spotlight – we’ll dive into his background, what Visual Composer are focused on at the moment and more.

Raitis, in his own words:

Hi, everyone! My name is Raitis Sevelis and I work at Visual Composer, WPBakery, and Indystack. Sounds like a lot of things to handle! Indeed, my days can be pretty busy, navigating around products and meetings. 

Other than that, I really try to be active in the WordPress community for two main reasons.

First, I love the people of WordPress and enjoy my time in the community.

Second, with 10+ years of experience, I feel there is something I can give back and help others. I run a Facebook group WordPress for Business for people that run businesses around WordPress.

Being an active community member also gives me an opportunity to stay informed about all the things that happen around WordPress and connect with great people like Vito Peleg (CEO at Atarim), Aleksandar Savkovic (actually my teammate at Indystack), Davinder Singh Kainth (The WP weekly), Anne-Mieke Bovelett (accessibility expert and organizer of WordCamp Europe), and many others.

My personal life is very much similar to my career. I enjoy different things that may sound very opposite and hard to combine under one roof.

I have always felt passionate about design, this is why I started my UI/UX career in the first place.

At the same time, I enjoy boxing. To be honest, I haven’t done it in a while with plans to return there. Right now, most of my free time goes into doing homework with my kid.

Of course, traveling and cooking are on my list.

I enjoy WordCamps a lot since they combine traveling and meeting WordPress people. I consider myself blessed when it comes to my job.

For the food, I love to cook and also try new food. Being very picky during my childhood I came to the point where I try anything that comes to my plate. My philosophy is that if other people eat it there should be something about it. This is how spiders, scorpions, and even live worms got on my plate. I can’t say I liked it all but I know how it tastes not from the stories.

Ok, let’s jump back into my career and WordPress, otherwise, we can get stuck with listing my exotic menu 🙂

I started as a UI/UX designer and ran a small digital agency serving local clients.

The transition to WordPress for me looks natural – going from an agency to a product made for agencies. I knew exactly what we were missing.

I joined WPBakery and got familiar with WordPress on the same day. Back then, WPBakery was known as Visual Composer Page Builder. We started off with the very first live frontend editor and down to many more cool features, like loop builder.

As you may know, WPBakery is used by around 13% of all WordPress sites which makes it hard to implement groundbreaking changes just like that. This is how we got to what we now know as Visual Composer Website Builder.

As years passed and new technologies became available, we decided that WordPress needs a next-generation builder that is purely React-based and goes beyond the content area. This is how Visual Composer Website Builder was born.

People often think that building a product is the hardest part. I believe that we proved everyone wrong.

For us, branding became the biggest challenge. We wanted to keep the Visual Composer brand for the new product so we renamed what was known as Visual Composer to WPBakery. Sounds complicated and it is, but this is something that you understand once the damage is done. Fighting with confusion is still our biggest battle to win!

Other than that, Visual Composer has become the product to meet the expectations of developers and agencies across the world.

A modern tech stack combined with agency-grade tools, like presets, global templates, theme builder, and role manager allows agencies to deliver fully functional sites to their clients while configuring what clients can and can not do. I think that this can be described as our main advantage since we all have plenty of stories where content management goes wrong – with Visual Composer it is possible to reduce such risks.

In fact, I believe that the balance between flexibility and simplicity is the main challenge for WordPress and any products related to the WordPress ecosystem.

As a professional, you are always looking for flexible and advanced solutions to help you do your job better. When it comes to regular users, they want simple solutions and not to get exposed to all kinds of features.

At this point, we’re getting closer to our latest improvement – a partnership between Visual Composer and Atarim.

Most web agencies find it difficult to integrate change management into their workflow, especially if we have clients involved in the process. Our latest integration addresses this problem by making change management and collaboration a part of your web development process.

With the roadmap for 2023 focused on improving workflow for web agencies, our partnership with Atarim is a large step in making Visual Composer even more suitable for working on clients’ projects.

Talking about the future, there are more things coming from our camp. On February 2023, we made Indystack available for the public to address another need of web agencies.

And when I say “available” – I mean it.

Web developers and agencies have full access to enterprise-grade managed WordPress hosting completely free of charge. You pay only when you go live or transfer (deliver) the website to a client.

There are more things to share and I can talk for hours about products and WordPress but we can leave that for an in-person meeting at WordCamp Europe, where Indystack is a proud sponsor of the event!

Or, you can always find me online on Facebook, including communities – Indystack, Visual Composer, WPBakery, and WordPress for Business. Of course, LinkedIn and Twitter are on my list but expect a delay since I am less active on these platforms.

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