Holder of a BA in History, David is WordPress developer and educator who loves to teach, share, and try to be kind. He runs WPShout, and strives to make it the best place online to learn to be a WordPress developer. Outside of that, he loves board games, bicycling, and puppies.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
David: I teach people how to do WordPress better
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
David: I started out in WordPress in 2007. Without any idea of how a blogger could or would make money, I made a WordPress site and started writing. The business model never worked—because I lacked one, take that as your lesson, please :). I was mostly just a pro-user, but with time I started to get into customizing themes, then make a few plugins, and today I’ve built out at least dozens (if not hundreds) of WordPress sites for myself and clients.
Michele: Please tell me one story of someone who has inspired you within the WordPress Community?
David: My friend Amber Hinds is an awesome story. Similar (though more successful) than my start, Amber was a blogger. She (like me) found herself without a business model, but the ability to make WordPress sites turned into a shockingly marketable skill. She’s now running her own business–Road Warrior Creative–and has hired her husband out from his more traditional job. And just this year they’re planning to start on their dream to be mobile for bit parts of the year in their big green RV.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
David: To me open source is about ownership, more than anything else. I think each software library has its own little ecosystem, but those don’t come free with open source. I think both WordPress and PHP (the open source spaces I travel in most) are amazing because of the people who put in the energy to build a meaningful community out of the collection of people using the lines of code.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
David: Pods is my current infatuation. I find Yoast helpful, and Jetpack I’ve come to appreciate a lot
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
David: No, not really. Twenty Seventeen is great though 🙂
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
David: I think I’d love to see at little more structure and vision at the heart of the project. I think that Matt Mullenweg does a good job, but I think he can be a little hands-off and then (seemingly) capricious, by turns. Those things scare off some great contributors, and I’d love that that didn’t happen.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
David: I have very fond memories of the first WordCamp I went to, in Boston in 2013. At that point I’d used WordPress for about six years, but that was the first time that I saw in person that there were real physical people I could meet, chat with, and get to know, who were there trying to help each other.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
David: Just do it. There’s no substitute for action. Whether we’re talking about making your first site, writing your first line of code, or hiring a writer, there nothing that you get better at without trying. So you’ve got to learn to accept that it’ll sometimes be hard and sometimes you’ll spend hours or weeks frustrated. But that’s where the learning comes from.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
David: I hope it continues to empower non-technical people to publish on the web. I love the internet, and I love WordPress because it also loves the internet. And while HTML is great, WordPress has succeeded by being a better tool to have a personal web presence than anything else, and I think the latest news with Facebook and Twitter just continues to underscore that there’s no substitute for your own online space with your own tools underlying it.
You can find David Hayes online at WP Shout.
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