We are pleased to remain today our regular series of interview with CMS professionals and experts. This time our guest is Peter Nilsson, the founder of WP Daily Themes, enthusiastic WordPress user who loves to write about this CMS solution, WP plugin and themes developer par excellence. In this conversation Peter shares his personal tips and tricks on a range of WordPress related issues. Enjoy reading!
Peter, could you please tell how did you start your journey into blogging, web development and WordPress in particular, and finally ended up with creating one of the most powerful WordPress related sites WP Daily Themes?
When I started to creating websites back in 2005/2006 CMS platforms were a relatively unknown concept, at least for me. So it was basic HTML and CSS web pages I built for myself and clients. My first experience of blogging was through Google’s blog platform, Blogger. After hacking code and redesign a large number of Blogger templates, I quickly realized the potential of writing and blogging and I wanted so much more than Blogger could offer.
I switched to WordPress with self-hosted installation and a whole new world opened up. I remember the first version I installed was – WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”. WOW. I was caught and really loved it. Since then I have worked with WordPress constantly and never looked back. For a few years I had a number of off WordPress oriented blogs in both Swedish and English, as I sold over time. I started WP Daily Themes in 2011 and decided to concentrate solely on one blog.
Could you share with our readers a little more information (the more unknown facts the better) standing behind your online project WP Daily Themes? How did the idea to run it came up to your mind? What does it mean to you now and how do you see it progressing in the future?
I started WP Daily Themes believing the website would and could become a useful resource for WP users, although I knew that the competition was fierce! But my goal was set. My audience and focus were directed towards both beginners and more advanced users. In time, WPDT became very popular. Patience is something you must have if you want to succeed online.
The content has always been focused on the themes, plugins, tutorials and more. It’s topics that I am really enjoying, and will continue writing about as long as the website exists.
I discovered quite early that there were lots of users who wanted and needed help with various things and it was awesome to be able to help others with their difficulties. One thing led to the another and I started my own business focused on supporting users to get started with WordPress with such as installation, maintenance, plugins and some design job. But nowadays I mainly focus on developing and improving WP Daily Themes. We have had an amazing 2015 and we confidently look forward to even better in 2016.
You’ve been working with WordPress for over 8 years already. Now, being an enthusiast and a professional on WP related issues, have your views and ideas regarding this CMS changed with the time? Do you think WordPress is the best CMS solution?
Sure, WordPress changed since I started and over the years. Above all, it has become more user-friendly and more stable. More easy to handle. As shown by WordPress increasing popularity. Although I would like see some improvements that will hopefully be implemented in the future. My experience with other CMS is limited, but I am convinced that WordPress is the best CMS solution now and for years to come.
When you started blogging, there were many platforms to settle the web project on. What specific factors made up your choice in favor of WordPress? If not WordPress – what CMS would you stick with? Why?
I liked the flexibility of WordPress because there are no limits for what you can do and create with WordPress. You have the ability to build pretty much everything without any significant difficulties. So, for me, was the major factors flexibility, extensible, endless possibilities and a great community.
Unfortunately, I have no professional experience with other CMS. I have experimented a bit with Joomla and Drupal but it was quite a while ago, and although I found no reason to leave WordPress. When you have spent so many years working with the same CMS as I have, it requires very much to both think about a change and learn anew.
What are your top 5 WordPress plugins you can’t miss installing each time when configuring WordPress website? Basing on which criterias you make the choice?
I always use a base with a few selected plugins. Depending on the niche and usage, you can add more required plugins. Here are my five base plugins:
Akismet to protect websites from spam comments.
Yoast SEO by Yoast to improve a site’s SEO.
WP-Optimize to keep your database clean and optimized.
VaultPress to make secure and reliable backups.
Sucuri Security for malware detection and security hardening.
Peter, you are definitely the person who can inspire others. Are there any personalities that inspire/motivate you to contribute for WordPress? Are there anyone in the community who plays an exceptional role in your professional experience?
There are countless great people in the WordPress community who dedicate so much time and effort for free to constantly improve and develop WordPress further in lots of various ways. It is truly admirable. It would be a very long list if I were to name some names, so let’s just say to all those involved in WordPress development, themes and plugins. You guys rock.
How do you see your cooperation with WordPress in a perspective of 5-7 years? Could you tell a bit more on your plans – any projects, ideas? Would you like to be engaged in any other big projects except WP Daily Themes?
My future plans include of course WordPress, and I am convinced that all possible new websites I’m involved in will be based on WordPress. I find it hard to imagine using any other platform, but you should never say never, right?
I have some ideas that are in the planning stage. But I have a specific project that I really hope will take off next year. Regarding other WordPress related projects. I really would love to be involved in other cool WordPress with other like-minded WP nerds. Just give me a call guys!
Providing migration services, we currently witness that there’s a tendency to move to WordPress. Have you ever performed website conversion? Do you think it is of crucial importance to migrate design?
As I mentioned earlier, I used initially Google’s Blogger platform. I installed my first WordPress website and migrated all content to WordPress. Which was a fairly simple process. Nevertheless, it took a long time to adjust images, layouts, texts etc to fit and look correctly in the WordPress theme I had chosen.
No, my opinion is that it is not of essential importance to migrating the design.
What do you think about the automated way of website conversion? What suggestions/recommendations could you give to simplify the process of CMS migration?
I have not used automated methods to migrate websites. So it is difficult to say if it works effectively or not. But I believe that the intention is very good, and automated migration seems to have a couple of major players, CMS2CMS included. Without satisfactory and good end-results surely these companies would be out of business. The concept is exciting and if it can facilitate users to convert between different CMS, and migrate content on an easy-to-handle way, it’s just great.
Thanks for hanging with us. Any closing words for WP lovers?
First, I would like to thank for getting the opportunity to participate in this interview.
Finally, I would like to conclude with a few words about the WordPress community. The community around WordPress is absolutely amazing. Were it not for all users to help, share their solutions, and tips through blogs, forums, and other discussion sites would not WordPress be where it is today. The most used CMS in the world.
As long as I’ve been using WordPress, I have always tried to spread the word and convince people to use WordPress. I still do!
We would like to thank Peter for the time he spent to share his WordPress ideas and cherished memories.
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