I’m an Idaho farm boy who got into computers, the web, and eventually WordPress.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
A. I’ve been interested in computers since I was a kid, and the web since it became available at our local library. I built websites in HTML in the days of Geocities.
I got a Bachelor’s degree in History, thinking I was going to become a lawyer. Several career directions later I was working for a bank in a job I hated. I realized that people kept asking me to build websites for them, why not make it a business? Shortly before that time I’d built my first WordPress website, and just like that, my business was born.
Q. Whatís the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
A. That’s tough. I think every challenging project is interesting. The latest challenge I’ve been enjoying is setting up the GiveWP donations plugin for non-profits, and building a plugin to supplement it to allow donors to be given access to exclusive content. We’re not there yet, but should soon be able to release the plugin and give more non-profits additional flexibility when working with GiveWP.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
A. Yes, I started the Boise, Idaho area WordPress meetups. Within 2 years of starting that, Idaho had it’s first WordCamp, as a direct result of those meetups I started. I wasn’t able to be there for it, but I have attended WordCamp Salt Lake City twice. Once in 2011 as an attendee and again in 2017 as a presenter. I learned lots of useful stuff. But most importantly learned (or relearned) just how awesome the WordPress community is.
Q. What does your workstation look like?
A. Right now it’s just my 2015 MacBook Pro on my lap, wherever I sit. I’m traveling with my family for a year. As I write this we’re on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala for a few weeks after six months in Playa del Carmen Mexico. Here’s my latest”view from the office” photo:
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
A. Divi is our favorite tool. We often design sites right in the Divi builder. Why mock it up in Photoshop first, when you can just design on WP so that your finished design can be immediately deployed. We also really like the Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. Most of the tools of Photoshop and Illustrator for way cheaper. Plus Affinity Designer is easier and more intuitive to use than Illustrator.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
A. I think we’re going to see this, as smart people are working on it: i’d really like a notifications system and to have all notices, notifications, etc in there, instead of jamming up the WP admin area.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
A. Wow, that’s a hard question! There is such variety in plugins and their purposes. We use Gravity Forms on almost every site, and love it for a lot of reasons. But there are a number of other plugins I love for various other situations and use-cases. I guess Gravity Forms gets the nod here, since it’s so flexible.
We use it for our signup and payment forms on our website, email newsletter lead capture on many of our client’s sites, and a myriad of other applications and uses elsewhere. It’s just so darn flexible and so widely supported, it comes in handy almost any time you need some kind of user input.
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
A. Flywheel is the easiest, Kinsta is the fastest, CloudWays is cheapest while still being a solid platform (there’s cheaper, but it’s all terrible).
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
A. SYes, I love it! I love helping people succeed in business and other endeavors by ensuring their website is running great, providing leads, etc.
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
A. I have some ideas that I think will really be big, but I’m not ready to reveal them yet. One thing I’d really like to do when my company has the budget is give back to the WP community by sponsoring Jeff Chandler in his resurrection of the WordPress Weekly podcast (whatever he calls this new incarnation), as well as paying some developers to create and maintain some plugins that I’d like to use, but also feel should just be available free to the community.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
A. How about Topher Derosia? He’s the guy who started HeroPress, he’s got a great story.
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