Where do you go first to get your WP news, insights, and updates?
Getting information is a lot easier now then it was when I first started learning WordPress. My only options then were WordPress.org, Google and a few WordPress books. Now there are so many site that offer information on best practices, tutorials, conversations and forums. Some of my favorite learning channels are WP Water Cooler & WP Candy for current news, WordPress TV for WordCamp presentations, and as many WordCamps I can attend. Last year you could find me in the Dev track at 5 WordCamps across the Midwest and NYC. It also depends on what I want or need to know for a client site or if I want to just keep abreast of the evolution WP core.
Do you use Themes & Child Themes, Roll your own, or both?
I have done it all! Themes before the Parent/Child era, Child Themes and now designing/developing my own. Over the years I have worked with quite a few frameworks – Thematic, Hybrid and Genesis. Having framework experience has given me a great foundation for development.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done with Custom Post Types?
Custom Post Types Cool Factor! I don’t know if the subject matter was that cool but I do enjoy developing the site architecture for Custom Post Types. First analyze the best user experience for finding the right mix of names and custom taxonomies to aggregate the information efficiently on large sites. My first CPT venture was an international conference site with 60 presenters and numerous sessions. Fun stuff!
What do you think is the biggest challenge that WP consultants will face in 2013?
I think the expanding Long Tail of WordPress Users is one of the biggest challenge. During my WordCamp 2011 session on Improving Support Docs for Themes and Plugins, I presented my Long Tail of WordPress Users – the infinite number of people using WordPress who have no or limited skills. New and non-tech users have a big learning curve including the admin UI, theme functionality, options page, widget areas and plugins. This multiple learning layer is huge. You can find this presentation on WordPress.TV.
When was the first time that you really got excited about WordPress OR at what point did you decide to make it your career?
I have been excited about web development since 1997! Working with WordPress was a natural progression. I first heard about WordPress from Peter Merholz (he coined the word Blog) at an Adaptive Path User Experience 2006 workshop. I started to develop sites and teaching WordPress in 2007. Those were the days of hacking away at themes, hard coding navigation and pre-child themes!