@PaulSonny is the owner/founder of Boopets.com - he's an amazing owner that knows how to code, and run a good staff team.
So who are you then, what’s your real name? Are you in education? Tell us about yourself.
Hello. My name is Paul Sonny Cook. I am no longer in education, I finished University about 2 years ago and have been working since. I completed a degree in IT at University, although it was heavily focused on web design and such activities rather than IT. I currently have my own place with my fiancee Aysha and our little Pomeranian dog Coco.
What inspired you to create a Halloween themed pet site?
To be honest there was no really inspiration behind the theme. I bought BooPets from a fellow VPL member and the theme was already halloween. I knew how popular the theme could be and decided to stick with it and take it further and see what I could do.
Why did you want to create a pet site?
Originally I didnt. I just happened to fall into the VPS Industry by chance. I was originally developing vBulletin Modifications for forum sites like VPL to use and I got involved in a project which was to do with Virtual Pets and I stumbled upon VPL. I got my first job on another petsite and found my passion for virtual pet sites here on VPL.
When did you start creating BooPets?
As mentioned previously I bought BooPets from a fellow VPL member. I bought the site on September 2nd 2011 and got it setup straight away. After reviewing the files for the site I decided it was best to scrap everything and basically start from scratch. I spent 5 to 6 weeks totally stressed out, coding night and day to get ready for a mid-October launch. The support I had from aritsts and writers was unbelievable. I rushed to launch before the 31st October because I thought with the theme being halloween I had to launch by then. I know personally if I missed that deadline and went for an October 2012 deadline I wouldn't of got the site launched as I would of lost interest or ran out of steam.
What stands out about BooPets that is different from the other pet sites?
I would say that the community of BooPets probably sets it apart quite a bit. We try to always listen to members and their suggestions and their concerns and improve the site where we can. Thought we are still quite small, everyone is friendly toward each other and helpful. The staff are respectful to the members.
I dont go on alot of pet sites to give a totally accurate answer.
From what I have seen, I haven't seen an event like the Fuzzballs since you had to farm and craft materials to get the Fuzzballs. I have also found that our Help pages are quite unique as I can't recall a site offering this much information about the site on their site, its normally only seen on fansites. I also think our daily rewards is different from the other pet sites, especially as you earn BooBux every 7 days.
Do you think you could ever be as big as some pet sites like marapets, subeta and aywas?
I can only dream. I certainly have the drive and determination to stick at it until it is. Luckily for me I code all of the scripts so I know exactly how the site works, can fix bugs fairly quickly and push out new updates fairly often. I know sites of similar size to BooPets really struggle because of lack of coding and the knowledge of how to do it.
Which is your favourite item/pet/pet colour?
Its really hard for me to pick just 1 item, but I would say the Farming Tools are my favourite. My favourite pet has got to be the Hopi. My favourite pet colour would be the Werewolf.
One of the farming tools
What is your next task to work on to make BooPets even better?
The two major things we are currently working on is a re-draw of all the pets to really bring the standard of the artwork on those up to scratch, and also we are re-drawing the whole human avatar system to bring the standard of the artwork on par with the rest of the site. We also have a few great features lined up, such as Mining, Fishing, Exploring, Mini-Clingable Adoptables, Battling, Covens - its going to be a great year for sure!
How are you going to grow BooPets in members wise?
We have just released our referral system to encourage members to refer their friends. As more content is added and I feel we have enough to keep members playing I am going to start looking at advertising. I have used Facebook Advertising before and found that quite effective. I have also looked up Project Wonderful as that seems to be a popular choice among other VPS owners.
How many staff members do you have?
We currently have 8 staff members. We are in the process of sorting out Moderator Applications so it will soon be 9/10. We also have a few temporary artists but as they are only temporary they do not appear on the staff list.
In a few years time where do you think BooPets will be?
I have no idea to be honest, I am just taking each step as it comes. Things change so fast its hard to imagine. Experience has taught me you can think up an idea and it can snowball into something amazing.
Regarding your staff members do you sign contracts with them; do you get your mods trained etc?
At the moment because the staff team is so small I do not require them to sign contracts, although as I bring in moderators to help I do think this will be something we introduce. Any moderators we bring on board will receive some form of training, but it will most likely be a learning experience for both parties.
How many users do you have? Do you prune inactive users?
As of now we currently have 895 members. Currently I do not prune inactive users. Once I reach the 12 to 18 months mark I will most likely start pruning on a 3 monthly basis.
What is BooPets biggest feature?
At the moment I don't think BooPets has a big feature as they all seem to feed into each other. For example you farm and harvest materials to use in the crafting feature. We are currently working on a battling system which I think will be a massive hit for BooPets making it the biggest feature.
As time goes on will you follow what other pet sites do?
Currently I don't really check on what other pet sites do. If I am developing a feature, for example when I did my farming feature I sometimes like to see what other sites have done on that front and try and improve it or make it a little more unique for BooPets. Other than that I don't really follow - I dont have the time.
Feel free to leave your comments