Anh Tran (commonly known as Rilwis) is a WordPress developer with more than 12 years of experience. He’s the founder of the Meta Box, a custom fields plugin for WordPress with more than 400.000 active installs. He also runs a premium theme shop at GretaThemes.com and a digital agency at eLightUp.com.
Anh and his team have been working with world-wide enterprises from the US, Australia, EU, and Vietnam. They consult, make digital strategies and build websites for SMEs, non-profit organizations and governments.
Anh is passionate about building digital products on WordPress. He loves coding, writing and sharing with people.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
A. My background is mechanical engineering. However, I studied on my own programming since the 2nd year of university. I built several blogs and websites with PHP and WordPress and learned a lot from there. And I sticked with WordPress since then.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
A. Meta Box (https://metabox.io), a custom field framework for WordPress, which has over 400.000 active installs.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
A. Yes. I’m an organizer of the Hanoi WordPress Meetup group and was an organizer of the 1st WordCamp Vietnam in 2014.
Meetups and WordCamps are great places for networking and knowing more people.
Q. What does your workstation look like?
A. A PC that runs Windows 10 and a 27″ screen. I also have a Macbook Air 13″ if I need to work from home or somewhere else.
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
A. – Sublime Text for coding, sometimes I use Vim if I work on the terminal
– XAMPP for local development environment
– Git Bash (Windows) & Terminal (Mac)
– WP CLI
– Some bash scripts for automatic tasks
– Bitbucket/Github for repositories
– Asana for project management
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
A. Central Composer location which stores all Composer packages (dependencies) in a single place.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
– Meta Box: although it’s mine, it’s very lightweight and powerful to add custom fields to WordPress
– Cache Enabler: for its simplicity
– Autoptimize: for its power to combine CSS/JS
– Jetpack: for its free and great CDN
– Beaver Builder: a powerful page builder plugin
– Slim SEO: another plugin of mine which automates the SEO tasks
– Just read: for the simplicity and beauty
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
A. I usually use VPS from DigitalOcean and Linode. For shared hostings, I use HawkHost, a cheap but great hosting.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
A. Yes, of course.
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
A. I’d like to bring my plugins to the next level in all aspects (development, business). In the further future, I want to build some web apps.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
A. Philip Author Moore (https://www.facebook.com/philiparthurmoore). He’s a great friend of mine, who gave me a lot of useful advice and insights, both in web development and life.