To continue our Interview Series with world-known WordPress experts, we reached out to Devin Walker to ask him a few questions about himself and his thoughts on a couple of topics geared toward the average WordPress user.
Devin Walker is the man behind many WordPress projects. He is very active in various social networks, being a member of different groups for WordPress. Besides, he’s the admin of Advanced WordPress, a community of 11 thousand members. So, without further ado, meet Devin and should you have any questions – feel free to ask in the comments section.
Devin, a million thanks for your agreeing to the interview. To get started – what was the major motivator that got you interested in web development?
The major motivator for me getting into web development would have to be my high school. They were one of the only schools around to offer a class for students to learn how to build websites. After learning the basics, you were given the opportunity to build your own site and also help improve the high school’s site. I remember being super excited the first time I saw something I created online. I felt like a rock star.
There are plenty of other CMSs available on the web. Why WordPress?
That’s easy. WordPress is extremely flexible, well documented, has a large and active community, robust, and oh yeah, it’s free! I’ve been using WordPress since 2008 and have built hundreds of sites using it. It’s exciting how much it’s grown over the years and the future seems even brighter.
What are you most excited about with WordPress and what frustrates you most?
The most exciting thing about WordPress right now in my opinion is the growth of the WordPress community as a whole. It’s exciting to see more conferences (Pressnomics, LoopConf, and Prestige), new and bigger WordCamps, and companies centered on the WordPress platform experiencing growth. The most frustrating thing about WordPress is the difficulty working and migrating between various development environments. I’ve kept my eye on VersionPress and the like with my fingers crossed hoping for a solution to come out soon.
There’s an intense competition going on within the CMS industry. How do you think WordPress manages to stand out?
I feel that WordPress stands out largely because of the community, its ease of use, and low barrier of entry. People and companies compare the flexibility and features to other competitors and see that it’s a clear decision: WordPress is the way to go. There’s definitely some room to be made there in the Enterprise space. Convincing corporate IT executives and decision makers that WordPress is more than “just a blog” is a hard battle but one that the platform. I feel the tide is turning though, and with every major release and enhancement, more heads are turning.
As WordPress expert, you might probably have a pack of plugins that you couldn’t live without. So, which 3 plugins do you suggest your clients to use with their websites? What about themes?
I sure do! My arsenal of must-have plugins is more than 3 deep but if I had to whittle it down it would be:
1. Advanced Custom Fields
2. Gravity Forms
3. WordPress SEO
I typically use Roots as a starter theme for my development. http://roots.io – check it out!
What features do you wish WordPress should include in its core? Any features to be done away with?
WordPress needs to include an API similar to CMB2 or Advanced Custom Fields. I know there’s a team working on this over at https://github.com/wordpress-metadata/metadata-ui-api but it seems a bit slow in development and a low priority. Most of WordPress features are very well thought out and tested before ever being integrated into Core. If I were to choose one to remove it would be “Press This” – I’ve never seen anyone use this before…
Have you noticed the unbelievable growth of the WordPress community on different social networks and forums? Do you consider it to be effective?
Yes, I’ve seen it firsthand. I’m an admin of the Advanced WordPress group on Facebook.
In the last year we’ve seen explosive growth and have many influential people in the group. The group has been effective forum for the community to express their thoughts, ideas and questions.
Providing migration service, we witness that more and more people are currently leaving other platforms in favor of WordPress. Have you personally ever faced the problem of website migration?
Yes! We work with a lot of companies and many of them also choose to migrate over to WordPress. This can be a big pain depending on the system they are on. Thankfully, your service is a great help.
Did you personally perform a website switch? How do you treat an automated way of website migration?
The WordPress import/export tool isn’t the best but it can work with a bit of manipulation. If that isn’t an option we use your service.
You have a lot of experience working with WordPress, what is your prediction for the next 3 years??
In the next 3 years WordPress’ growth isn’t going to slow down a bit. On the contrary, it will increase. More Enterprises will turn to WordPress as Core continues to improve and the wider tech word begins to take real notice. The naysayers will quiet down and the companies that position themselves correctly will thrive. In the WordPress world, it’s a bright future.
A million thanks to Devin for taking the time to discuss WordPress issues with us. Keep reading our ongoing Experts Interview Series with a lot more eminent experts to be invited soon.
P.S. Left with a strong desire to switch to WordPress? Then look no further than CMS2CMS automated migration service to perform the conversion as seamless and error-free as possible. Find more detailed information here and try your Demo Migration without any delay.
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