Hi, I’m the lead (only) developer of the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin for WordPress. Maybe you’ve heard of it? The plugin was released on June 7, 2012. With over 500 downloads the first week, it is now active on over a million websites worldwide, translated into over a dozen languages, and keeps growing beyond my wildest dreams.
But how did we get there?
I was born in Glendive, MT and lived there all through high school. I started college as a Computer Science major at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. After completing three semesters, life had a curveball to throw. I ended up back home for a little while and then transferred to Trinity Bible College where I completed a degree in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry. I met my wife there, and stayed on at the college for a while working in the I.T. department fixing computers and managing servers.
After a time, we moved back to Glendive, where I did consulting work for the local BOSS Office Products. That was short-lived (because I’m too much of a control-nut), and I landed back in higher education a few months later as the Director of Technology. The higher education environment was always a challenge, trying to make the most of the money you had, while not allowing anything to blow up.
While I was working there, we had two children, and I had started to try my hand at building websites for folks. I always enjoyed web technology, and it seemed like it would be a good fit. I called it Exactly WWW, because I’m a very precise person, and the WWW is a bit self-explanatory. Things were going slow, but I still had my day job. However, during my paternity leave after the birth of our son, I forked a little plugin for WordPress called the CW Image Optimizer. I rebuilt it to use different tools that worked better on shared hosting, and released it as the EWWW Image Optimizer.
EWWW was short for Exactly WWW, and also a bit of a joke. As in “EWWW… are those YOUR slow images?”
It took off like wildfire, but it was free, and I still had my day job. After a couple years, I decided to try and setup an external image optimization service for those who couldn’t use the local optimizers due to hosting restrictions or compatibility issues. I hoped that it would raise enough money to pay for itself at least, and didn’t know what to expect. I was in uncharted territory here, forging a new path.
Well, it paid for itself, and then began to grow, and grow, and grow some more. Within a couple more years, it had grown to the point of sustaining full-time development on EWWW IO. After eight years, it was time to leave the college and focus full-time on EWWW IO. Today I enjoy a variety of tasks related to EWWW IO: web development, programming, customer support, accounting, server administration, etc.
I do this all to help folks make their sites faster. That was the goal over 7 years ago when I started Exactly WWW, and it remains the goal today. I wake up every day intent on helping others, and making change in their lives (and businesses).
My personal mission is to use my skills and abilities to serve Christ, His Church, my community, and especially the youth of my community. I will do this with an attitude of humility while striving for excellence and precision. I will seek to meet the needs of others that the love and compassion of my Savior would become evident in their lives, producing hope for a future beyond this earth. I will use and strengthen my gifts in music, technology, oratory, and writing to further His Kingdom and show generosity to those around me.
Community of course extends to the WordPress community, so don’t feel left out if you don’t live in Glendive! If you use WordPress, I invite you to become a part of the EWWW IO community.
To that end, Exactly WWW exists to serve website owners in the capacity of improving the performance of their web presence, thereby increasing their revenue potential through high-quality image optimization techniques and an outstanding support experience.
So now you know what I’m about, and I hope I can make an impact in your life too!