An award winning WordPress ‘influencer’ who advocates the resurgence of good commenting.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
A. Someone suggested I created a blog to publicise a wedding stationery website I had created. This led me to investigate into WordPress, which I found was far more interesting than wedding stationery!
When I spoke to my friends about this, I was met with blank stares, which made me realise there was a gap in the market about explaining blogging and WordPress. Research revealed blogging instruction was produced by geeks who didn’t understand how beginners thought. Videos at breakneck speeds with very little explanation combined with instructions with huge assumptions how to fill in the gaps were not helping non-technical potential bloggers fulfil their expectations.
Eventually the Fairy Blog Mother blog was created to provide simple instructions, using ordinary, everyday words, on how to create a WordPress website, starting from Level 0 to provide a firm foundation towards building a successful blog.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
A. The Commenting Club (https://www.thecommentingclub.co.uk) in which I advocate the recovery of commenting by educating people it’s much more than just responding to a post. OK, it’s only a blog and a membership site, but I am working on a series of e-courses to boost the learning resources which aim to turn around the general thinking about commenting.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
A. No, I have not had the pleasure.
Q. What does your workstation look like?
A. Usually extremely messy. My husband despairs at it on a regular basis.
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
A. I am a great fan of Thrive. I find it is the most exciting WordPress system available to develop the digital marketing side of WordPress. It appears to be streets ahead of anything else I’ve come across at the moment.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
A. Not what is missing, but what has gone. WordPress used to be like Word, which mean many people could understand and use it easily. Now it has moved over to Gutenberg, and also to a mobile interface, it has changed beyond recognition.
Now plenty of young people welcome WordPress developing into the future, but the old users do not. Some could barely cope with the previous version. WordPress may think these people are not worth bothering with, and they have to jolly well learn to catch up. Fairy Blog Mother thinks otherwise, they need all the help they can get!
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
A. Thrive Architect, because it is so versatile and diverse in what it offers WordPress users. In fact all the Thrive plugins that accompany it only add to this.
The new Thrive Architect they are working on is a sophisticated version of the block system, which resembles Gutenberg, which will contribute towards my future plans in WordPress tuition.
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
A. SiteGround, because it does all the technical stuff for you! If you have a problem, a quick chat with their engineers usually has it quickly solved so you can get on with your WordPress stuff.
I do recommend this to my clients if they want to switch to a better hosting service. I particularly like their Grow Big package which allows more than one website with a month’s backup.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
A. Yes. I’ve worked with other blogging systems and they just don’t cut it. It’s like working with a Mac over a PC. However, since I hark back to the old ways, I have not embraced the new Gutenberg system yet. The new Thrive Architect plugin works with blocks, so I know I will have no problem coping, but I am thinking about my clients.
I have told them to use the Classic Editor plugins for the time being while I work out the simplest method to explain Gutenberg. It is a huge departure from what was before, which ‘mid-life’ bloggers are finding difficult to cope with.
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
A. Developing The Commenting Club. I may be beating my head against a brick wall, but if I am able to get through the concept of positive, kind, worthy, helpful, valuable commenting, rather then the usual drivel that is churned out, not to mention the huge quantities of hate and trolling, which seem to be superseding spam, I will have achieved something.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
A. Why not contact Shane Melaugh from Thrive? That would be one hell of an interview!