The WP Agency Journey with Sheryle Gillihan of CauseLabs-Post Status Draft

Sheryle Gillihan, CEO of CauseLabs, and Cory Miller delve into her incredible journey from experiencing poverty as a child to becoming a purpose-driven web agency owner. Sheryle’s story is both inspiring and empowering. Join us as she shares her insights on sustainable digital stewardship, the evolving role of WordPress in the ever-changing web landscape, and the potential of technology to make a positive impact.

Estimated Reading Time: 24 minutes


In this episode, Sheryle Gillian, co-owner and CEO of CauseLabs, shares her journey and the evolution of her purpose-driven web agency with Cory Miller. She discusses how her journey led her to prioritize making a difference through her work. Sheryle emphasizes the shift towards sustainable digital stewardship and the role of WordPress in helping businesses adapt and evolve. She encourages WordPress professionals to embrace the open-source ethos, attend WordCamps, and use technology as a force for good. Sheryle’s story highlights the importance of purpose-driven work and the power of community in the WordPress ecosystem.

Top Takeaways:

  • Embrace Sustainable Digital Stewardship: Adopting a long-term approach to website development and maintenance is important. Rather than considering a website as a one-time project, advocate for becoming a steward of clients’ digital investments. This involves continuously evolving websites to keep up with technology changes and client needs and offering ongoing support and guidance.
  • Recognize the Value of WordPress for Business Growth: WordPress provides a versatile platform for businesses to expand their online presence. Many physical businesses, such as yoga studios, had to pivot during the pandemic and realize the potential of their websites as an essential part of their operations. WordPress offers the flexibility and scalability necessary for businesses to adapt, evolve, and explore new opportunities.
  • Use WordPress as a Force for Good: WordPress professionals should leverage the platform for business success and for making a positive impact. Using technology and business for social and environmental good is valuable. By aligning with a purpose-driven approach, WordPress professionals can contribute to building a better world through their work.

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Post Status-Sheryle Gillihan of CauseLabs

Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody welcome back to Post Status draft. This is another interview in our agency journey series and I’ve got a dear friend, longtime friend in the WordPress space one that Lindsey and I love to spend time with and I’d love to follow everything she’s doing because she’s a cheerleader and this work.

And so I’ve got Sheryle Gillihan here from CauseLabs. And Sheryle, welcome to the 

Sheryle Gillihan: podcast. Thank you Cory. Love being here. 

Cory Miller: So Sheryle, could you tell us a little bit about one about yourself, cuz I could brag on you all day, but also one about yourself and then tell us where, what CoLab is today. 

Sheryle Gillihan: My name is Sheryle Gillihan. I am the c e o and Co-owner of CauseLabs. My other co-owner is Michael Gillihan. He is my partner in business and in life. We weren’t always the original owners of CauseLabs, however, I joined the company back in 2010. Started as a project [00:01:00] manager.

Really sat in a lot of different seats and roles in the company. I feel like most of the opportunities I was presented, I said, yes, I’d love to do that. But when I was presented with the opportunity to become the c e o of the company, I said, heck no. I do not wanna do that. And that was about the time that I met Cory, Lindsey and a few others in the WordPress space.

Michael was already very involved in WordPress. And and in the digital agency space. And they all encouraged me that this is something that I could actually do. We’ll get a little bit more into my story later, but where CauseLabs is today is a little bit different from where it started. Or maybe we’ve just revamped how we’ve approached things.

It started as a web agency back in 2003. And very quickly, it started to evolve into something different from that because the technical space was evolving by [00:02:00] 2008. IPhones were big and apps, mobile apps were a huge thing and we really just. Transitioned into a mobile app company both for Apple and Android.

And we did that for a number of years. And then went back towards web services and very custom web services, but then also playing with things like Raspberry Pie and s m s based apps and just going with wherever technology was innovating. But we’ve found our way back to web services a, in a different way.

And I’ll talk about that more a little bit later. 

Cory Miller: So today, can you talk about your team and most of the clients, I know a little bit of this, but I want to share, I want everybody else to hear too. So CoLab today who do you all end up attracting and also going forward[00:03:00] to find them and then, what does the team look like and what do you do today?


Sheryle Gillihan: So the team, I’ll talk a little bit about because it has transitioned since the pandemic. And also just the landscape of the tech space right now in hiring in the tech space and what people prefer or what I perceive people prefer. And so I’ll talk about that some in. The following questions.

But as far as who we attract as clients our brand kind of resonates with nonprofit organizations. And, we established our brand after the company was already going. I think I helped the company rebrand to CauseLabs in 2012. Is when we did it. 2003 to 2012, it was a number of different names mostly related to, to hi def.

But what we found when we started a [00:04:00] sales department and actually getting out there and doing sales and not just referral based work, is that people thought hi def was audio video and we didn’t do audio video. And so we looked at our. Core values and looked at what our team cared about and the best projects that we had and the companies that we wanted to work with, and we rebranded to CauseLabs that made a lot of sense.

The labs portion of it being related to that innovation that I was talking about and always driving forward with new tech. And the cause part really aligning with the type of work that we wanted to do and what impact we wanted to make on the world. In a couple years after that, I helped the company become a certified B corporation.

And again, that really attracted nonprofits, social enterprises, and the types of companies that are very purpose driven. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t worked with any for-profit companies. We certainly have, in fact, I think over my head here is Lego.[00:05:00] A brand that most people recognize. We worked with their girls line and their education department, so again, still very aligned with our values and we discovered in working with them that for-profit companies could actually have a great impact in the world.

For example, they were starting to look at sustainability in the plastics that they use for creating like o bricks. And We saw that any company could actually have great impact on the world, and we believe that business can be used to support for good. So it doesn’t matter what kind of business you are.

So we do work with all kinds of companies because of that. 

Cory Miller: Yeah, I remember. I think you were the one that really introduced me to be certified companies and I was like, oh, this is magic. This is the way business should be. And because I, and I love your personal values, infuse everything you do, and it just makes sense.

When I was reading it, I think I might have saw it on your website after we talked and I was like, this is cool. This needs to happen more and more. Do good [00:06:00] and do well. And I think so many times in today’s business environment, it’s focused on the, we wanna do good part, we wanna do well, very well to the detriment sometimes.

And so I love that’s a thing in business and I love that you and CauseLabs are leading that Where there’s, I know there’s many businesses that do that, but I love that in our space we have someone that is so proud of that. Okay. So you know that’s a transition, that’s a lot of evolution and that adaptability like you were saying in 2008 with the iPhone totally changed the planet than Android after it.

But I love that you’ve. It in the past, it seems like you’ve, you all have really adapted and moved with what the needs are and what you all can do. So tell me a little bit, also your connection with WordPress now and in the past, however you wanna shape that. But I know that’s not all you do.

There’s a lot of needs that you have for your clients that aren’t necessarily WordPress, but I [00:07:00] know you all prolifically use it throughout the business. But can you tell me a little bit of connection with WordPress? 

Sheryle Gillihan: Sure. I think I started with WordPress as a user, as most people do. Creating my own website, adding some blogs.

And then I was approached by my church because I had my own website and they said, can you do our website? I said, sure. I picked a theme. I don’t even remember where I picked it from. It was probably Theme Forest, and I customized that theme for our. Colors and our logo and started putting our contents on there.

And very quickly, because they could manage their content and actually manage their site, and it wasn’t in H T M L or P H P, I said I. There are so many things we’d like to add now, can we add scheduling for our childcare department? Can we add, these podcasts essentially before podcasts really were a thing.

But the sermon recordings so [00:08:00] that people could listen to them if they couldn’t make it to the service. And I think that through that I was learning a lot about what WordPress was capable of doing. I. At that time had no desire to really be a developer or be in an agency doing that kind of work.

I had a day job. I was really good at it. I was in the digital space, but it was more in mergers and acquisitions and I was, earning my title and a good salary and we were stable as a family and it was really great. But I was unhappy. The type of work that I was doing and the type of clients that I was working with, and I didn’t feel any sense of purpose.

I got into CauseLabs and found that purpose, and it wasn’t necessarily WordPress related work at first, but we were reco recognizing more and more that there was a thought that could be done with the partners that we were working with, where WordPress could be a good solution for [00:09:00] them and not just because it.

Made our lives easier as developers and that there was a lot of progress being made in WordPress and there was a community there and they’re building ways to enhance and improve it. And it was just a little bit more plug and play and we could still customize it as custom backend software developers.

We could still do a lot with it. But for our clients, it was a game changer. They were able to do so much with it when we handed over the site and said, okay, now you can manage your content and you can take your marketing and your organization forward. Sometimes I will say, We are not happy with what our clients do with their websites after we hand it over to them.

So we’ve questioned like, how much restraint do we put on their investment because they’ve invested [00:10:00] on us creating this look, this field, this template, this site for them, and all of these customizations. And sometimes they go in there and. What we would say is, maybe that wasn’t the best choice to make with your contents or with your website, but to each their own.

And if it works for them and it actually propels their organization forward and they’re able to make the impact that they wanna make in their communities, then more power to them. 

Cory Miller: So was Co Labs doing, or the agency that became cos Labs doing WordPress when you got there? Or did you all help introduce that?

Sheryle Gillihan: Not primarily. They had done a few WordPress websites. It really got more introduced when. We became CauseLabs and there were a few organizations that came to us once our brand became more known that already had WordPress websites and we said, of [00:11:00] course, sure, we can work on that. It’s PhD P based, we have PhD P developers.

We can definitely do that. It was challenging though to take a custom software developer and put them within the constraints of WordPress. If they don’t know WordPress very well, there are things that are done that are not the WordPress way, and not that’s a negative thing, but it just makes life harder on them and makes future development probably harder on that particular website and the maintenance of it a little bit harder.

Once we started hiring WordPress specific developers and those who really knew WordPress the maintenance of those projects became a lot easier. And so I think when Michael and I, when I took over as c e o, we started to make some of that transition. And when Michael and I purchased the company in 2018, we definitely have shifted more in that direction.

And. [00:12:00] The majority of our partners now are on WordPress websites and the plugins we’ve used, the tools that we’ve used, the integrations that we’ve used have definitely evolved because technology keeps evolving. And WordPress itself has definitely had some big changes in the last few years, but I think that.

This transition for us has been really healthy because of the community support for this platform, as well as just the prolific, ubiquitous nature of it. Like they honestly could not work with us anymore. And that obviously is not what we want, but our clients could not work with us anymore and still be able to successfully manage their sites.


Cory Miller: that’s huge for the clients where you get into a custom work and the ability for a long range of things. The post website has evolved, but thankfully it’s on WordPress, but okay. So I wanted to fill in some of [00:13:00] those details there about the evolution of CauseLabs and you with it now own becoming a C E O now owning it.

And then the WordPress connection there too where you all have been organizers, very prolific in the WordPress community for Word camps, particular d, dfw tell me a little bit. We mentioned team in the beginning, but tell me how that’s evolved to today. I love how you all have adjusted with the currents and needs and who you are too.

That’s a big one with the whole CoLab’s name and mission, which you live and breathe. Tell me a little bit about how that. 

Sheryle Gillihan: So the evolution of team is a really interesting one, and I think this is one that small business owners particularly struggle with and can definitely learn from other business owners.

And just the experience sharing of that. So when I joined the company, we were growing. But it was a scary, daunting thing because there was one primary client where 90% of the revenue came from one client, but that [00:14:00] one client had so many needs and was innovating so much that we were growing this large team around one client.

When that client had any kind of downturn and reduction of their contracts, then it was. Inevitable that we had to also reduce our team. So it’s like we were only staffing for them. Which is why we evolved into, okay, we need a sales department. We can’t just rely on one or two clients to sustain our company.

And as we rebranded, as we created a sales team, as we created some marketing and pr we were then growing our team in a more healthy manner. We had to scale back considerably, but then we started growing again in a healthy manner to recognize, okay, once. We don’t have any more capacity, and yet there is a pipeline for sales, and this is the struggle that I had stepping into the sales role was [00:15:00] well, Our team is completely booked and it takes us, three months to hire the right person.

And I can’t sell anything. Like my salary was, base plus commission, but I couldn’t make commission because I couldn’t sell anything because nobody wants to buy from you. When I say we can start on that project in three months, it’s just not. A world that exists when everybody wants instant gratification and they wanna start right now.

And they only come to us when they’re ready to do the project, not when they’re three to six months away from wanting to do that project. And so that was a challenge in figuring out, okay. Do we keep everything internal or do we start hiring contractors? And so that is the evolution of how we got into working with 10 90 nines and finding some trusted contractors that we could work with.

And understanding what it meant to work with someone outside of our company and [00:16:00] still have quality work. And then, we. Had some downturn again in, in sales and marketing. Had to scale our team back again. Grew our team again, scaled back again, grew our team again. When we took over as owners in 2018 we had already scaled back considerably as a company and then started growing like crazy.

And not because of one client, because we had a number of clients, probably more clients than we had ever had before. And Our team just grew to a point where we were almost 18 which is large for us cuz we’re small but mighty. And we really hadn’t, developed a system where we could have hundreds of clients.

We only accept about 20 per year. And in this particular time we were almost to 30 clients, which was a lot for us and not small. [00:17:00] Website rebuild clients, but very custom development, long-term project clients. And so we grew and the pandemic hit right after we had done a ton of hiring and hired some really excellent people.

And the pandemic not only affected our revenue because of canceled contracts because of the relocation of funds for those organizations and who can blame them. We were all in crisis at that time. But also the struggle of team morale during a time when we couldn’t be together and.

Everybody was dealing with their own stuff, even personally, in their own homes. And we, even though we were already a virtual remote team, we struggled to support each other through this because we were all going through it. And it wasn’t one person that was struggling. It was everyone that was struggling, and [00:18:00] we just didn’t know what was gonna happen next.

The world was spiraling in so many different ways, not just because of the pandemic. And we scaled back again some intentionally and some because of people finding other ways to find purpose and happiness in their lives, which I’m grateful that, we have that value that we can.

Gracefully accept that some of those were a little bit challenging and hard, and a few of the decisions were very critical team members that I wish that we could do over how that transition happened. However as we scaled back, we started to recognize that the world was looking different from a hiring perspective and.

During what I guess the world was calling the great resignation. Freelance jobs started popping up everywhere and the gig economy is huge [00:19:00] and people prefer to work their own schedule and work flex time and contract, and especially in the tech space, that’s huge. Either they’re working for a staffing agency that allows them to contract where they are an employee, but it’s a.

Contract with everybody else. Or they have their own L C or their own sole proprietorship and they’re just freelancing and working for multiple agencies. It is healthier for the developer, the designer especially if agency work is fester famine. And so when your agency is in famine, they’re always questioning, do I still have a job tomorrow?

And that’s a struggle. And when you can work with multiple agencies, it alleviates that, that stress. And so I understand why our particular industry has moved towards that kind of work. But it has posed [00:20:00] challenges for hiring core team members. Yeah, 

Cory Miller: I hear that across agencies that, a lot of the WordPress companies were remote like you all for a long time, pandemic if, a lot of other businesses got introduced to it real quick.

But that was also a benefit to working at some of the agencies in the past, I’ve heard. And then, yeah, that just shook. Every, I think all businesses and organizations felt all some ripple effects from the pandemic for sure. I hear that quite a bit. And then the new challenge, like you said is do I want, people going, okay, do I want to go into an office eight to five?

And then the shifting of all of that has had ripple effects, but I love how you all have adjusted and adapted to that. One thing that occurs that I want to talk, talk about is, I know you from a personal friendship, but also when you follow what you do, you have a very heart-centered approach to your leadership and your work.

And I want to ask [00:21:00] you about that. Tell me more. I hear the word when I think of you as obviously stewardship in the work you’re do not just the. Clients you have, but how you approach your work. And so could you tell me a little bit more about that? Because even the fact that it’s named CoLab is really, that’s not just a brand.

It came from your d n a, your values, your heart approach to everything you do. And it happens to be called CoLab, which I think is perfectly reflective, but could you talk a little bit more about that and your thoughts on. Everything from stewardship. We touched on a little bit with B Corp stuff, but there’s more to this and I want to give you some space to share that.

Sheryle Gillihan: Sure. So first I will say, Colabs was an internal program that we had for innovation as a team, and that’s where the brand actually came from. We as a team, were already using the word internally and we decided this should just be our public brand. So it evolved as a team effort, which was really beautiful[00:22:00] because we all believed in it and we could all support it.

And it was really easy to make the brand transition because everybody on our team was already in support of that and was gung ho about it. But to tell a little bit about, how we’ve gotten to where we are today. I have to tell a little bit of a story. As I mentioned, I was in a digital firm to helping with mergers and acquisitions and I was not finding my purpose in that work.

Michael said, I think I’ve found the perfect job for you, which was, hi def now CauseLabs, And as we were talking more about it, he said It’s over here on Craigslist. I was like, are you kidding me? That is such a scam. But apparently recruiters used Craigslist a lot in 2010, and every job was on Craigslist.

He, it checked all the boxes. It aligned with my faith. It aligns with the [00:23:00] skillset that I had. And it also was for a translation project, which prior to me getting back into the workforce, I was a Arabic translator for the military. And so I said, okay, I’ll take a look only because it looks really good, almost too good to be true.

So I had multiple interviews. I think it w, it landed somewhere around eight interviews, but primarily because I was interviewing them as much as they were interviewing me. And the clients also, not just CauseLabs, but the clients that they were going to be working for was a local organization here in Texas, and they got to interview me as well, which is really weird that a client gets to interview.

But I was going to be working three days a week in their office as their onsite project manager for this project. And it was translating the Bible into a language that had never been written before. And using technology to [00:24:00] crowdsource that translation, which crowdsourcing was this huge thing around that time with Kickstarter.

But also Wikipedia was just starting to do crowdsource translation of their pages. Facebook was starting to do crowdsource translation of their pages and using the community’s knowledge not only to translate, but also to check each other’s work. And so we said we can do that for other types of projects.

And scripture translation was the one that we were attempting to do it for in the work that we were doing. I was in India within. I believe a month of starting this project and really getting to experience what it was like over there in India. I’d never been to India before and went to some rural villages and went to AP orphanages primarily because we were testing how young could we go with translation.

The middle schoolers were very [00:25:00] tech savvy. They didn’t know the language as well, but they knew enough and could they translate words and then we could check and actually translate context and other things. While we were at the orphanage, we saw what. I learned is called semi orphans, and those are the children who have a mother but are still being served at the orphanage.

And I said, why are there so many mothers here? And then they explained it to me, in their country. There’s not a lot of capacity for women to support their children after a father has passed or a father has left them. Really depending on where they are, they may not be able to find work. They just don’t have any source of income.

They’re essentially orphaned like the children are because there’s no way to support them. And so the orphanage is depriving education and food [00:26:00] and healthcare, and. When I told my mother this story, she said, did you know you were one of these kids? And so my fa I knew that they didn’t get married until I was six years old.

I knew that my father, didn’t know about me at first and really didn’t become a part of my life until I was two and a half years old. These are all things that I knew and I also knew that we were experiencing poverty, but. You don’t really think about that as you’re growing up. And it wasn’t something that I thought it was like, oh, that’s how it was back then.

It’s not like that now. But then seeing it in person in a country, 30 years later, I’m like, how does this still exist in the world? And so I did not know that I was sponsored by the Pearl S Buck Foundation that we were living in poverty, that my mother was receiving, a few dollars a week for food.

And that when I was 18 months old, they provided lifesaving medical care for me. Like [00:27:00] these are things that I just did not know. And so in that I discovered my poverty story, I discovered my purpose, and I said I guess this is why I’m here. This is why God put me in this work. This is why I left my excellent paying job and my title and my ego, and I’m now a project manager for this project.

And so with that, I was all in. And that’s actually how I grew at the company. And that’s how, I got into the storytelling of the work that we were doing, not just at the company, but for our clients and being really motivated and being, all about their mission when I was a project manager.

And from there I led the project management team and then I led the marketing team, and then I developed a sales team because we didn’t have a sales department at all. And. And I didn’t wanna do that, but I discovered my love and passion for business development and sales and really helping people find [00:28:00] what is right for them to build.

And that eventually led to why the c e o and founder asked me to be the c e o of the company. And. Being the c e O for a few years is what made me recognize that I am capable of being a business owner. And so when that opportunity arose for us to own the company, it was a pretty easy yes. I would say the hardest part of it is that.

Michael also had his own web agency and it was called Purpose wp, and it was gaining traction in the WordPress space. It was specific to WordPress, it was specific to nonprofits. And while CauseLabs was also doing the same kind of work, we were doing that enterprise level custom development, not necessarily UN WordPress space.

And so we never had a conflict of interest and we were never competing with each other for clients. But if we were gonna be owners, this was a family [00:29:00] decision. And then, which brand do we carry forward with? How do we merge the two companies together? Do we merge the two companies together?

And really the logistical part of that and the coming together of what we wanted this company to become was the hardest decision. Not the decision on whether or not we could own it. 

Cory Miller: I love your story. I did not know all of that. But that’s, again, it just resonates cuz it’s heartfelt who you are.

But I know how you talk about your, the work you do who you do it for is very important to you. And making that difference in the world is absolutely critical. And that’s a key. You just shared the key connection for me and. And then yeah. Talking about Michael for sure. That, that part that’s so interesting.

And Michael needs his own interview too at some point, I think. But I knew you were here at CauseLabs. I didn’t know all you do. And then the connection for sure with Michael and Purpose [00:30:00] wp, so that’s fantastic. Okay, so now we’re in 2023. We wanna switch gears for a second just to ask you about where we are.

In the world, in the web. There’s a lot of stuff going and get your thoughts on all of that. Where does the future hold for all this? What are you seeing with your clients, for instance, where they’re going with their web work in particular, and any thoughts on that? 

Sheryle Gillihan: I mentioned earlier that we were doing anything and everything.

We were innovating, we were touching every single platform, doing all sorts of different code, had specialties in different spaces, and have really transitioned most of our work into WordPress. And part of the reason for that is because of the way that our clients can really carry that forward. The specific instances where we don’t use WordPress is where there isn’t really a blogging need or a news mechanism need or continuous content need.

And there’s other utilitarian things that are [00:31:00] actually needed from the platform and the. Kind of weight of WordPress doesn’t make sense from a content management perspective. And so we do have a couple projects that are still very custom software development projects. And there isn’t a lot of changes on those projects other than, patches for security and things like that.

And so I think that the reason that we’ve moved towards WordPress, as I mentioned, was because of our core values actually. And. To speak a little too, Michael and I merging our companies together and really finding what our core values were and evolving the company to where it is today. The challenges and transitions that we had to make during the pandemic for very custom work that you had to plan way in advance for, and these long-term projects and moving more towards.

We can start helping you more quickly [00:32:00] and the ways in which we do that and continue to do that with our partnerships, and I do call them partners, not clients usually because I do believe that it’s a long-term partnership. And just recently in 2023 Michael has helped me understand what we’ve been doing and what this has led to.

And I think that. What it’s evolved into is something that we’re calling sustainable digital stewardship. And it’s something that I feel like we’ve always done and we just keep getting better and better at it. And some of the training that we’ve had, some of the partners that we’ve worked with, including IDO and in training us in human-centered design some of the work that we’ve done in empathy some of the things that we’ve done with other clients and other methodologies and working in growth, different development, for example.

All of that has [00:33:00] culminated into what does that mean for us as a purpose-driven organization? And it really has become that we are stewards of our clients’ investments. And for us, because we’re a public benefit corporation, because we’re a certified B Corp Sustainable to us is not just everything is green and environmentally friendly or socially conscious.

It also means that there’s a sustainability for the organization, for the business, for the program, for the community that it’s serving. And WordPress has given us that capability to say, You can continue to evolve this project, this site, this program can continue to evolve as technology is evolving.

And what we have seen in the past with companies who failed to recognize that technology was going to shut them down is that they’ve gone bankrupt. And I can list those stories, but [00:34:00] we probably don’t have time on this podcast to go through those. However, those little iterative changes that you can do with an organization to continue to steward their digital footprint and their digital ecosystem to allow them to make minor shifts over time rather than doing a very expensive website one and done hand it to you.

Okay, go about your way. And just continuing to partner with them, helping them to understand and be the technical partner that says, Hey, by the way, right now, for example AI content is huge. There’s a lot of different tools. I’m not gonna list them by name. There’s a lot of different tools that you can use for that.

And helping our clients understand that landscape and say, okay. They’re not all created equal. What is it that you wanna use it for? How do you wanna use it? And they may not even understand how to prompt the technology to give them what they want. And so we can help [00:35:00] guide that and we can help them understand what kind of investments they can make.

And sometimes that investment is minimal, like pennies for some of these tools. And then other times it’s a larger investment for integration of their systems so that they can optimize their programs and their business. And Just stewarding that for them. And it’s more than just their website, because today I believe that a website is never just a website.

A website is essentially how you run your business. Are you doing e-commerce on your website? Are you delivering resources on your website? Are you filtering those resources? Are you delivering a con learning management system? For example, do you have memberships? Do you have a community? Are you building a network?

That’s not just a website anymore. You’re building a whole program and a whole digital business, but there’s so much that comes into that. There’s the security pieces that come into that. There’s the training of your staff that comes into that. [00:36:00] There’s the. Continuous investments that you make to maintain that.

There’s the things that you can eventually do and dream about because you didn’t know that was possible. But oh, by the way, there’s a plugin that helps make that possible. It just opens a lot of doors, but sometimes those doors are scary to open. And so having a steward that can help you understand that is really beneficial.

And I think that. Every agency essentially is a steward of that. I just think that not every agency is necessarily looking at it from the client’s perspective, and that’s something that we, I believe, have always done just because of our core values. And so now we’re just branding it. Now. I love 

Cory Miller: that too.

There’s two parts of those. One is, I love when you said website is your business, because particularly I’ve heard of it, seen it through Covid is so many [00:37:00] physical, brick and mortar businesses. Couldn’t operate. And were forced to do the classic example I hear a lot is like a yoga studio.

Someone that has, in-person stuff forced to look at in a good way. I think this is all a good thing that it pushed Business to see there is more to business just than just that brick and mortar. There’s so much more opportunity and that increasing value of seeing website as your business, as you said.

And then the second part, I think I didn’t fully understand it at first and now I do. But because if I just reflect back on all the Agencies and my own needs for website work. You think to yourself, there’s always a season, we start the website, we get it going, and then at some point what happens next?

There’s changes that need to be made and the ability to have something like WordPress that is gonna be there, like you said earlier, where there are thousands of. People that know way more than that [00:38:00] hundreds of thousands of people that know how to build with WordPress, what it is, the word kind of WordPress way too, and that the ethos of the open source software is incredible in keeping that going forward.

But back down to what you said is, Thinking about that, oh, we might be focused on launching this website or building this project forum, but at some point, there’s maintenance all along, but at some point things are gonna change. They’re gonna need to adapt and evolve. That too. And I love that thought and value that you all have as it’s not, it’s about the now, but it’s also about the later when things, when you wanna do something different or grow.

Or what are those things? 


Sheryle Gillihan: businesses evolve. My business is not what it was 10 years ago. Your business is not what it was. 10 years. We evolve, our businesses evolved. Technology evolves. We need to be able to adapt with that. Yep. 

Cory Miller: I love that. Sustainable digital stewardship.

Sheryle, thanks so much for sharing all of this. I’d [00:39:00] love to hear the stories cause they eliminate who you are, who I’ve seen you be. Anything else before we, we say goodbye? 

Sheryle Gillihan: I don’t think so. We will be at Word Camp us. So for anybody that’s listening that’s going to be there, we would love to meet you.

And I am a huge advocate for using business for good, but also using WordPress and technology as a force for good. Any questions on that? I’m an open book. I’m a huge advocate for any business doing this, and so while I want people to work for us, I want more agencies to look like us also.

Cory Miller: That’s a great way to end that. Thanks so much Sheryle, for being on the post status stress, and thanks everybody else for tuning in. We’ll see you all next time. Thank you.

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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