Interview with Miriam Schwab from Strattic

Miriam is an active WordPress community member from Israel and also the CEO and Founder of Strattic. We sat down with her at WordCamp Europe and talked about the future of static websites and the future of Strattic.

Hi everyone! We’re here today at WordCamp. And we’re with Miriam, an active WordPress community member from Israel and also the CEO and founder of Strattic. Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I founded Strattic a few years ago – static publishing for WordPress. But before that, I managed a WordPress development agency in Israel for like twelve years. And built it up to be one leading ones in Israel and became increasingly active in the WordPress community me I organized five work camps in Israel. So that was fun. And, yeah, That’s me and WordPress.

And how did it all start, your relationship with WordPress?

I realized I wanted to be like an independent contractor, not an employee. And so I thought I’ll just provide content services like writing. And then I was like “but that goes with websites, let me explore that”. And I started to teach myself to build websites. And then I thought “well, I need a content management system because I don’t want to have to edit everyone else’s content for them”, right? So anyway, I started testing out CMS’s and I really fell in love with WordPress. And that was before it was seen as a real website content management system. Then it was just seen as a blogging platform. But then version 3 came out and people started to look for it including companies and so I got in early and they started to come to me and I’ve worked with great companies over the years.

If we look at WordPress and Israel, it seems like there are a lot of successful companies there. So what do you think is the secret there. Is something in the air?

I know, it’s funny. When I started out with WordPress it was a very small community in Israel. Most of the people there were doing it for personal reasons. And then through years more and more people started setting up these companies. So you’ve got Elementor obviously. Just doing amazingly well. WPML is not an Israeli company but one of the founders is Israeli. And yeah, Freemius. Vova is based in Israel. Yes, people are doing really well there. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the hummus and the falafel.

Of course, if we’re talking about successful companies, one of them is Strattic. So would you tell us a little bit more? What do you do? What’s the company, how did that all start?

I mentioned that I was in the agency right. And we provided maintenance service for our clients to keep their sites secure and updated, backed up, fast. And over the years it became harder and harder to do that. It just became frustrating. Not just for us as an agency but for the industry in general. If you look at forums, everyone’s talking about security and performance. You know “oh my site was hacked, Oh my site is slow”.

So I started exploring this world of static site generators. And I love that concept where the output of the site is all pre-rendered and there’s no underlying processing server, no database query. So it’s the fastest it can be and you can’t hack it.

WordPress is still an awesome platform. So I thought why not bring these two worlds together. And then users can continue to use WordPress as they’ve used to. They just click a button and they get a static website that looks and acts exactly the same. So I started to explore that, try to make that work. It wasn’t so simple at all. But now we have a working platform. Where in beta. And we have customers who are using it well and happily and we’re showing great results. The sites are anywhere from two to 20 times faster. And you basically can’t hack these sites even if the original WordPress site has vulnerabilities they’re not on the static site, so it’s going well. We’re now a team of twelve. We have two remote people on our team – Australia and here actually in Berlin.

Would you say it’s not a website is for everyone? When should people really consider ‘going static’?

It’s a good question because static gives you a lot of power but it also limits you in terms of using some database functionality. For example, we don’t support WooCommerce. We do have it on our roadmap to support it. And there are other ways to do e-commerce on WordPress that are like third party headless types of e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce.

What we did so far is we rolled out support for search, forms, and comments. Those sites are fine with those. And then we have on a road map to realize support for other ones. So at the moment, we’re in beta and our users tell us “OK we’re using WooCommerce”, we say “sorry”. But if a site is a standard content site, even a very big blog or news site we have a very large media company our platform, for example. If that’s forms and search and just standard content, you can totally use Strattic. And then you don’t have to have the headache of dealing with any servers and security. There’s a quite a large addressable market in our current state and it will grow as we go forward generally.

What would you say is the future of Strattic? What’s something that you can share, apart from WooCommerce.

We’re going to be rolling out a very unique security solution. That has to do with frontend security. Our users,  their sites are secure from ninety-nine percent of vulnerabilities that are related to the processing server and databases. So even though it’s a completely fronted run website, it can still be vulnerable in certain ways. So on our roadmap is something that we plan on rolling out that’s very unique. That will then provide that last mile of security. So sites running on Strattic will be the most secure.

Also, we make sites faster in many ways. When the users click our button, we optimize them anyways. So what I’m very excited about, that’s our roadmap is accessibility. So the idea is that accessibility is hard to implement. But if you come on to Strattic then when you click the Strattic publish button it creates a static website that’s also accessible. So I’m excited about this. And we have all sorts of plans.

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