Our mission at WP Academy is to provide high-quality, affordable training on website development and internet marketing to entrepreneurs, small business and social media professionals. Website development and internet marketing is no longer a rare, highly technical and expensive skill — hundreds of people from all walks of life have had their businesses and lives transformed by our courses. We also believe that while books and training videos are valuable, there is no substitute for direct one-on-one and group coaching by an expert.
Marc Beneteau, Founder. Marc is a trainer, software developer, internet entrepreneur, website developer, and internet marketer. He ran a successful web design business for 3 years prior to starting WP Academy, and was Chief Technology Officer of an internet startup before that. His full professional profile on Linkedin. When not staring at a computer screen or teaching, Marc enjoys playing the banjo and international adventure travel.
George Plumley, Instructor. George Plumley is a respected WordPress author, trainer and coach. He is the author of WordPress 24-hour trainer and Website Design and Development: 100 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website, and also writes articles and shoots videos from his popular site SeeHowTo. George has a background in philosophy and broadcasting and lives in Western Canada.
Christopher Staser, Marketing Director. Christopher is a brand strategist, visual designer, graphic artist, WordPress developer, and social media / PR consultant. He has worked with 40+ startups, non-profits, as well as more established companies developing marketing collateral and websites, and he has won numerous awards for his designs and videos. You can review his work at Brandweaver.tv. Christopher loves to dance and to travel and he is fluent in Chinese.
Pamela Bey, Instructor. Pamela is a WordPress developer, consultant and trailer. She has a love of teaching, with a particular expertise is in customizing templates and creating E-commerce sites using either WP-Commerce or Woo-Commerce Plugins. When not working, she can often be found participating or assisting at 10-day silent meditation retreats.
In 2005, after a 25 year career as a software developer, project manager, and entrepreneur, Marc started a web design and development business “from his basement”. We hired a bunch of offshore web designers, sent out a few emails (Marc was always a big networker and community-builder), and we were in business. The business ran for 3 years and during this time we produced over 150 attractive, affordable web sites for small business and self-employed professionals. We particularly specialized in business- and life-coaches, which fit in well with Marc’s interest in human development and spirituality.
The way websites were designed in those days (not so long ago!) — and is still the way that higher-end websites are designed today — is that the web designer produces what’s called a “mock-up” in Photoshop, which is a snapshot of a website. The customer suggests changes and the design goes back and forth until it’s finalized. Then the customer sends in all their content, the mock-up is “sliced” (converted to HTML), and the designer applies the content. Finally, after quite a bit more back-and-forth, the site goes live. The entire process is expensive, cumbersome, and fraught with possibility of errors and miscommunication.
Fast forward to 2009…
In early 2009, Marc started blogging and got re-acquainted with WordPress. WordPress had gone through dramatic development during the intervening years, with an estimated 26 million websites being hosted on WordPress by 2010, thousands of themes and plugins (many of them free), and a very active community. Marc had the kind of “aha” experience that many other users and developers felt when first meeting WordPress — this was the “shangri-la” of website development. This was “power to the people” in terms of developing websites and marketing products or services online. While web designers were often still needed, they no longer held a monopoly over the web.
We immediately got to work and put together our first webinar series. Within two months, we were in business. The first webinar was very successful, and we continue to develop more accurate, targeted and valuable content with each course iteration.