This is now a 7 years journey and a lot has already happened since my first attempt at coding in PHP and try to make a living by providing web design and web development services.
November 2011, I started a freelancer carreer in web design and web development. At that time, my skill sets include knowledge of Photoshop, HTML, CSS, ActionScript 3 and basic PHP programming.
My main service was to provide a tailor-made website to clients where they can manage and own their content. In order to fullfill this objective, it was clear that I was in need of some sort of content management system, aka a CMS.
I tested 3 open-source solutions available on the market at that time: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. As you might expect, my preference went on WordPress. Why ? The first reason is the focus on the end-user (client) with an easy to use graphical interface and the second one is due to my basic PHP knowledge and the fact that, at that time, client requirements were low and WordPress generally provided everything I needed out-of-the-box.
But somehow, after developping 3 WordPress projects, I felt that something was going wrong.
Our WordPress development hit a wall
I built 3 bespoke websites and for each one of them I had developped a different code structure. Issues arise months later once I had to built new features or fix missed errors. It suddenly became hard to maintain. I had to document 3 different code structure for projects that were similar in the output and I was loosing a lof of time doing so.
I needed some kind of harmony in my development, especially when I had to come back on a project with a file structure I wasn’t able to immerse myself directly into.
The idea of reusing code for projects started to flourish in my mind. My first attempt at writing reusable code was by providing a common plugin with dozens of PHP functions. It worked but still felt like just having a snippet library and it wasn’t looking as poetry, at least for me.
Then I stumbled upon the Laravel framework, version 3.
A new hope
I started to learn the Laravel framework on the side. Its author, Taylor Otwell, brought a fresh look on coding with PHP. The code syntax of its framework is very elegant and really attracts lots of developers back to PHP.
After working with Laravel, I really miss the code syntax and structure provided by the framework when coding WordPress projects. Hence the idea, why not trying to provide a similar code syntax in WordPress and provide “true” object oriented development experience.
The Themosis project is born. The first goal is to provide me a standard project structure so I don’t have to document how everything is tied together. Then bring back development joice and, at the same time, PHP standards and scalability thanks to object oriented development within WordPress.
The Themosis framework
The Themosis framework was first a personal project to help me structure and manage my professional projects. But then I thought about making it open-source just like WordPress or Laravel are. I don’t know, it might appeal to someone else 🙂
In january 2015, a first release of the Themosis framework hit the interwebs. Its adoption is low. It is very hard to change developer habits but somehow it has its own success.
At the same period, I was still working as a freelance. But I always wanted to build my own web studio and grow with a team of passionate people.
The Themosis studio
I was fed up of working as just Julien Lambé, the WordPress freelancer.
In order to start to grow, I needed a company/studio name but I couldn’t find one. Themosis was already taken by the framework for months.
Then it strucked me, why not use the “Themosis” brand for my own studio as well ? I somehow show some expertise in WordPress and PHP development thanks to the framework, I could definitely merge the activities under one name… and there you have it: Themosis, a WordPress development studio and an open-source WordPress framework.
As of today, the Themosis studio provides services like design research and strategy, UI/UX design and web development. For every new projects, we build custom WordPress applications based on our framework but we also provide development, support and maintenance for any existing WordPress websites.
For agencies and developers, we give training and support for the Themosis framework.
2019 and beyond
Today, we’re preparing the Themosis framework for a 2.0 release. It is currently on a public beta testing. Regarding the studio, I had the chance to work on really interesting projects the past year. I was very close to hire our first employee but it seems that business growth is similar to the development of a framework, it’s a slow process.
In the following months, you’ll be able to read announcements about the framework on this blog but also articles regarding our experience doing WordPress development, code tips as well as some insights about our professionals services and future projects 🚀
Thank you very much for reading so far ! My best wishes to you for 2019 and beyond !
If you would like to start or continue the conversation, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below 🙂