I love Solving Problems and Helping People

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Joe Casabona

joe casabona
Today we are going to conduct the interview of Joe Casabona from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He is a Developer, Podcast Consultant, Educator, and Author. He has great experience in teaching at a collegiate level, developing WordPress websites and running podcasts.

Introduction

I’ve been a web developer since 2001, ever since my church came to me and offered to pay me to make a website. I’m an online educator now because I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and did so at the college-level while I was pursing my Master’s Degree in Software Engineering.

After that, I stayed on as an adjunct faculty at The University of Scranton, until I moved away in 2016. I decided then I wanted to keep teaching, and that doing it online was my best bet.

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

A. I’ve been a web developer since 2001, ever since my church came to me and offered to pay me to make a website. I’m an online educator now because I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and did so at the college-level while I was pursing my Master’s Degree in Software Engineering.

After that, I stayed on as an adjunct faculty at The University of Scranton, until I moved away in 2016. I decided then I wanted to keep teaching, and that doing it online was my best bet.

Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?

A. 2 come to mind. One was for a voter’s guide (where political candidates fill out a survey and the results are displayed/searchable). I had to talk to both an API and a MS Database, so getting data in and formatting it was interesting.

I also worked on a couple of great Disney websites that had interesting and complex challenges – like showing specific data based on user role, translations, and more.

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

A. I frequently speak at both meetups and WordCamps. As far as learning goes, I learn a great deal in the hallway track and in one-on-one conversations, both for my business and target customers, and how to work better!

Q. What does your workstation look like?

A. I actually have a full breakdown of the desk(s) here: https://casabona.org/desk/
Joe Casabona workstation

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

A. I’m usually in ScreenFlow, Final Cut Pro, and Garageband a lot of my days. When coding I work in VS Code, and for writing I use Ulysses and MS Word.

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

A. Better onboarding. A common cry in the WP community is, “it’s easy.” But it’s not. Especially not compared to Wix or Squarespace. And it’s not just about building the website in the editor. It’s about all the moving parts.

We shouldn’t need to rely on hosting companies to make a good onboarding process for WordPress.

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

A. Astra Pro and Beaver Builder is a winning combination. They are both so open and flexible, I can build basically any kind of page I want without having to worry too much about the code. That lets me put my coding hat on only for interesting problems.

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

A. I use LiquidWeb, which you should absolutely use if you have a WooCommerce site. If you’re a freelancers or just need to host your own, I generally recommend SiteGround or Flywheel.

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 work for myself and I get to (more or less) make my own rules. I love solving problems and helping people.

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

A. In the current field, I’d love to help more people launch podcasts and online courses (on top of WordPress of-course). In a different field, I’d love to open a cigar shop.

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

A. N/A

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