Davinder Singh Kainth
I was born and brought up in Chandigarh (India). My education is a strange combination of BCA (Bachelor in Computer Applications) and MBA in Finance. Right from my college days, I spent a lot of time on a computer coupled with very slow internet (dial-up connections, remember?)
Those were days of building webpages by writing HTML in the notepad editor, and then came Microsoft Frontpage for some automagic. I started my journey as a blogger on the ‘Blogger / Blogspot’ platform – which is now owned by Google. Life before WordPress was all about creating web pages and writing content – till I discovered WordPress, which made all this super easy!
Q. How did you get to know about WordPress? Share if there is an interesting story.
Ans: During my early years, I was writing content on the Blogger (Blogspot) platform, and jumping to the WordPress platform was considered the natural progression. Hence, I switched to the WordPress platform and never looked back.
WordPress became better over the years, so did my use of WordPress to build online presence and business.
I followed the usual path of being a freelancer to an agency owner to discovering my sweet spot of doing specific things in the ecosystem. Also, my interest in using Adobe Photoshop became a valuable asset in my online journey.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress? What were your responsibilities?
Ans: A web agency hired me to design and develop a website for a government department. It was a massive learning process as I had to find my way through a mesh of information and requirements between agency employees and government employees handling the project.
This project was real-life learning for me on the concept of communication and how information changes shape as it moves from one point to another. Also, it was a good
Learning bump on the importance of documenting everything to keep everyone on the same page. Looking back, things would have been easier if we had present-day project management tools.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? Share your thoughts on WordPress Community.
Ans: My first WordCamp appearance was in 2019 as the opening speaker at the WordCamp Udaipur. Other than that, my offline interactions have been minimal. However, my online interactions with the WordPress community are profound, engaging, and widespread!
WordPress community is unique where competitors are friends and help each other. Now WordPress is reaching small corners of the world; hence it is more diverse and inviting for people from different backgrounds.
Q. How does your workstation look like? Can you send us a picture?
Ans: I have a basic setup, a custom-made table with one big screen where I do all my work. I occasionally use a laptop!
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
Ans: While WordPress is going through a total makeover courtesy of Gutenberg block editor, the dashboard experience feels left out. The WordPress dashboard user interface needs a makeover making it more straightforward and accessible for users to find things.
There should be a strict standard on how third-party plugins can display their settings in the dashboard. Also, taming notifications within the dashboard is the need of the hour with a dedicated notification center that does not cover half of the screen.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
Ans: Beaver Builder, Yoast, SEOpress, WP Sweep, All in One Migration, Pods are a few of my favorite plugins because I use them! I also change my plugins stack depending on the project in question.
About WordPress themes, previously – I only used custom Genesis Framework themes. However, in current times I mostly use the Astra theme as my primary theme base for WordPress projects.
Q. Any awesome technology you want to share other than WordPress?
Ans: Even though I am a profound WordPress user, I firmly believe – WordPress is not always an answer. One should use tools and technology that work for you and only you.
I love to explore a host of new Saas tools that launch for every small use case. The bottom line, technology-wise, I prefer to keep things simple.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
Ans: I love writing the weekly WordPress newsletter at https://thewpweekly.com website. Besides discovering cool new WordPress toys, I get a chance to connect with amazing creators from various corners of the world – bliss!
Q. Where do you find yourself after 5 years
Ans: I will still be a connected and community person in the online world. I am very disciplined with my time spent on online things – I don’t feel any burnout (yet) – so I expect to remain active in the WordPress ecosystem and beyond (of course)!
Q. Share something about your life other than work
Ans: I love cats and have now also started liking dogs (they are more fun). No wonder my online footprint is full of cat GIFs. I live a simple and organized life – that’s how I like it!
I am not fond of travel unlike people around me. I can watch animal shows and alien tv series throughout the day – that’s me for you!
Q. To whom you give credit for your success?
Ans: I feel I am successful because of the value system instilled by my parents and the community around me. My parents bought me a computer when it was super rare to own a computer during those times. That was the first tech self-exploration step that brought me where I am now.
I have made many online friends (actual friends) in the WordPress community to reach out for sharing, advice, and suggestions. Kim Doyal has been the most significant influence in tweaking my online direction for more success.
Also, there have been so many other folks that I will always be grateful for sharing and learning while we all flourish in the WordPress ecosystem.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
Ans: Kim Doyal, because she is amazing.
Robert Cairns, has done it all and is super experienced.
Todd E Jones, a master copywriter.
Ryan D. Waterbury, is so good at the agency game.
Mor Cohen, is an expert that makes you a better designer.
Q. How do you reward yourself?
Ans: By launching another (and another) new side project. It is fun and exciting for my brain cells!
Q. Any suggestion for WordPress beginners?
Ans: Most make the classic mistake (including me) of doing and offering everything. Once you master basics, dig into your expertise in providing niche services in the broader WordPress ecosystem. Don’t chase after every new thing; discover yourself and convert that into products and services for a guaranteed win!