Sean Blakeley

I am a motivational leader and agile web professional with over 20 years of experience, 15 of which have been dedicated to WordPress. I have played a critical role in the success of a number of large-scale engagements, including SONY, Sage, and ITV. I have a passion for problem-solving and delivering success – with extensive enterprise-level strategic experience, overseeing large departments of technical and operational staff and creating teams capable of successfully delivering large-scale digital projects.

My multi-disciplinary background across commercial, operational, creative, and technical roles, provides a deep and broad knowledge base. My expertise extends far beyond technical knowledge. I am skilled in partnership building, team management, client relationships, technical consultancy, and sales and pitching. I provide clear leadership and direction in projects, with a strategic vision which enables me to steer projects towards successful delivery.As an experienced speaker and thought leader in the industry, I am regularly invited to speak at conferences and events, including WordCamp Europe and BrightonSEO. Over the years, I have overseen many projects which have received multiple awards, including BT Sport Industry Awards, Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards, and UK Blog Awards.

WordCamp Europe in Belgrade 2018

My journey began in 2001 when I founded an agency in Brighton, UK and oversaw the creation of dozens of WordPress websites – managing the full project cycle, including pitching, proposal writing, designing, delivery, training, and ongoing support. I worked with other commercial agencies and vendors and often managed outsourced development teams.

In 2016, I joined Pragmatic, a leading WordPress agency in Brighton and worked on an early headless site using WordPress as a REST API delivery system. Within two years, I became the Technical Director and oversaw a department of 30 engineers and designers, both onsite and remote. I moved the agency to agile delivery practices and managed the transition to the Block Editor. I managed training provision across the technical team, including an early collaboration with the core Block Editor core delivery team team – and created a React training program for the technical team.

During my time at Pragmatic, I pitched, scoped, and delivered multiple award-winning sites, including Sage, Danone, and National Lottery. I regularly worked with clients to provide effort estimates, negotiate investment levels, define programs of work, and identify new business opportunities.

In 2020, I joined American Eagle as Technical Director. I built a new enterprise WordPress team within the 800-strong agency – hiring and directly managing a remote team of 15 operational and technical staff. My key role and responsibility includes pitching, hiring, resource planning, scoping, architecture, key technical decisions, and escalations. I implemented agile practices within the team and worked directly with the CTO and Leadership Team on strategic focus.

I regularly deliver key commercial insights and suggestions to the leadership team and provide level of effort estimates across multiple large and complex sales opportunities. I have successfully moved from zero to $4m+ annual team revenue in less than three years. In that time, I have overseen a number of large Sitecore to WordPress migrations, architecting a large $1m+ headless project and overseen the running and maintenance of large-scale retainer engagements. I have delivered multiple presentations within the agency and beyond, spearheading the team’s contributions back to the WordPress community, and created and maintained internal products utilised across the team.

The Mecum Production Team 2022

I have introduced some new strategy partners to the agency, including Algolia, Cloudinary, Vercel, and WP VIP, generating substantial new revenue streams. In 2022, I fronted a national TV campaign, which played across major networks in the USA, and have been interviewed and invited to speak at various events, including Velocitize, WPEngine Panel and the WPTavern Podcast.

I have a depth of experience building successful teams, a deep understanding of our industry and a passionate commitment to delivering successful projects.