I Discovered The Joys of WordPress in About 2007

barbara

Barbara Saul

barbara saul
Today we are going to conduct the interview of Barbara Saul from Kent, United Kingdom. She was a Speaker at WordCamp Brighton 2016, WordCamp Manchester 2017, MC at WC Brighton 2019, volunteer at WC London 2016, Volunteer Organiser at WC London 2017, Deputy Lead Organiser – WordCamp London 2018 and Co-Lead in 2019 and 2020!

Introduction

Starting with tables and Dreamweaver in the 1990s I then discovered the joys of WordPress in about 2007. I did not like it to begin with but soon came to love the ability for my clients to update their own content, and more. I’ve used most themes out there but settled with Genesis and came to the WordPress community through that Slack group.

I live in Kent in the UK though was born in the west-country, have one cat, one teenager at home, one at uni, and a husband 😉

Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?

A. When I had to stop commuting for health reasons I bought myself a Sony Vaio laptop, Dreamweaver and Fireworks, and some huge books to teach myself how to make websites. We used tables in those days, but I stuck with it through.

Q. Whatís the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?

A. Hmm – two things. WordCamp London – from volunteer in 2016 to co-lead organiser in 2019. I absolutely love working on this and cannot imagine not being involved for as many years as I can get away with! But also, working with WP&UP is the highlight; I’m content manager there but also get stuck in with whatever Dan allows! With both projects I work with him, Dan Maby, and he is truly one of the best people on this earth.

Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?

A. Always! I’ve spoken, been an MC, volunteer and organiser for a few UK WordCamps. I went to my first WordCamp Europe in 2019 with WP&UP and I loved it. The community is just wonderful, totally accepting and friendly.

It was really daunting to go to my first WordCamp as I’m neither developer nor designer, so I volunteered – what better way to feel you belong. And not looked back since. I felt so welcome that now I feel that not only do I belong, but that I am accepted to organise these things! Utterly awesome!

Q. What does your workstation look like?

A. I mostly work from the sofa or from bed these days, so my workstation is very basic – a simple laptop on a tray, with wireless mouse. I miss having a desk and proper office set-up but actually, everything is on the laptop that I need.
Barbara Saul

Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?

A. I mostly work from the sofa or from bed these days, so my workstation is very basic – a simple laptop on a tray, with wireless mouse. I miss having a desk and proper office set-up but actually, everything is on the laptop that I need.

Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?

A. More Gutenberg stuff – I’m a bit late to the party, having avoided it but am slowly getting to grips and turning off that Classic Editor site by site.

Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?

A. I have adored working with StudioPress Genesis themes for many years now and cannot see that changing – always reliable and continuing development. And the Genesis Slack group is mind-blowingly awesome and welcoming. As for plugins – I have my usual favourites – Wordfence, UpdraftPlus, and others, but review these for each project. I’m about to play with the Google Site Kit following a suggestion from Tim Nash.

Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?

A. I use a few hosts, some for historical reasons (EZPZ Hosting), and others more recently discovered – 34SP and Guru – very happy with both so far. I especially like working with 34SP as they support the WordPress community here in the UK so thoroughly.

Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?

A. At present I work in many aspects of WordPress – a simple site build or two each month, maintaining and supporting clients’ sites, the occasional rescue or MOT, and now writing content for clients as well as copy-editing/proofreading. Combining this with working with WP&UP and then with WordCamp London – well, what more could I ask for?

Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?

A. I would love to work more with WP&UP as I believe in what we’re doing there so very much. Now and then I wonder about a job with an agency or such but the right role has not quite come up yet…

Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?

A. Dan Maby – the founder of WP&UP – because this is an important initiative for everyone within the WordPress community. Or perhaps Tim Nash. Actually there are so many…

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