Interview With Adii Rockstar From WooThemes


Today I interviewed Adii Rockstar. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Adii, he is the founder of the very popular and ever growing WooThemes, and also owns his own web design and development agency called Radiiate.

Did you study anything at school / college?

Yep, I did. I’ve got a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and a Honours Degree in Business Management from the beautiful Stellenbosch University. So all very corporate and not very digital, but both very helpful in running an online startup of course.

What got you interested in the premium themes market?

I guess initially I wanted to see whether I could do it, whilst I also wanted to add a passive income stream to my earnings (as I was doing freelance client work at the time). Now though, I see WooThemes as a fully fledged online startup and irrespective of the type of product we provide, we’re living the online startup life!

WooThemes is a catchy name. How did you come up with it?

The name was completely Magnus’ idea and he came up with it during the time when “w00t” was really, REALLY popular online. So WooThemes is basically a mashup of three different words i.e. “w00t”, WordPress & themes.


How long did it take you to develop the WooThemes system?

When we launched it for the first time mid-2008, the whole conceptualization & development process took around 3 / 4 months. When we redesigned it as WOO2 in June this year, we probably spent another 2 months redesigning and adding new features / functionality to the website.

Why did you decide to change your name to adii rockstar? Was it a hard decision?

Well, I was born Adriaan Pienaar, which I bet no one internationally would be able to pronounce. So initially I was “Adii – WordPress Rockstar” and when I decided to take a more general branding approach (i.e. not so closely linked to WordPress), I simply shortened it to Adii Rockstar.

And no – I don’t think it was an overly hard decision. One shouldn’t really chop-n-change one’s branding all the time, but if I need to revise my branding and marketing approach in 6 months or 2 years time, then so be it.

What 5 online tools do you use the most?

WordPress, P2, Gmail, Skype & Basecamp.


Did anything inspire you to get into blogging?

I don’t think so actually. Instead I’ve always had something to say and blogging allows me to share those thoughts / ideas with like-minded peeps.

I see you have recently started to VideoBlog. How is this benefiting your blog?

I dunno yet really… The videos are still a pretty new thing and I think I still need to figure out exactly what my blogging approach is at the moment.

As a sidenote… My blogging approach is set for a revamp pretty soon and those who follow me, would’ve noted that I blog on WooThemes + WooCamp much more these days, compared to my personal blog.

Where do you advertise WooThemes?

We sometimes advertise on a handful of sites via BuySellAds and have recently started using the awesome FusionAds. We do however prefer to keep advertising to a minimum and instead use more organic / viral methods to gain traffic to the site.

Do you look up to anyone in your field?

Collis Ta’eed from Envato & Ryan Carson from Carsonified. Both of them are awesome and supremely knowledgeable, which I admire a lot!


What is the next step for WooThemes?

We don’t really do much planning to be honest… Next step is supposedly to release themes on other CMS platforms, but we’ll probably take our time with that and see how it eventually pans out.

What advice would you give to the readers of WebDesignDev?

Online – personal branding is everything.

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16 thoughts on “Interview With Adii Rockstar From WooThemes”

  1. I’m sorry, but this guy is so full of himself… who on earth calls themselves a “rockstar”?

    Attitude adjustment needed.

  2. Great interview, more of these type posts please!

    Big fan of WooThemes, from all the premium themes out there, this one I first refer clients to.

  3. Great Article! Nice to see fellow South Africans making a difference! Well done boytjies! 🙂 You’re definitely an inspiration to aspiring South African designers! Keep up the GREAT Work!!

  4. Couple of good tips here. Liked the 5 favorite web tools and note about where he’s advertising online. Otherwise pretty fluffy.

  5. Love the Woo themes but never ever pay the subscription for support. Adii’s company actually do not provide support for any themes, one has to pay a subscription to get access to the forum. Then…get this…when you post a question, typically you get a reply from one their staff prompting you to employ the services of a Woo Worker to solve the issue for you. (I am 4 for 4 right now). Thus he is charging for support that doesn’t exist and also charging to send you advertising for the Woo Workers.
    He may be a gifted developer but he has a lot to learn about business. He needs to look up the term ‘sharp practice’.
    Love the themes, love working with them but be advised, you are on your own, don’t pay the subs for support.

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