Jason has been developing with WordPress daily since 2012. He’s currently the Director of Development at Red8 Interactive in St. Louis, MO. You can find him blogging about WordPress development tips on his cleverly titled site jasonyingling.me. Or building themes and plugins on themes.pizza.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Jason: I’m a self taught developer. I build custom WordPress sites for clients by day. And fiddle with custom themes and plugins by night.
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Jason: My first experience with WordPress was to put together a blog for my friends and myself to post on. I knew little more than HTML and CSS at the time and stumbled across the WordPress software as a free blogging option. That site did not last. But eventually the skills I learned led me into a development career.
Michele: Please tell me one story of someone who has inspired you within the WordPress Community?
Jason: I’m inspired by all the WordPressers that have been able to build their own businesses on WordPress. One of the more well-known examples is Pippin Williamson who has turned his little plugin business into an empire with Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro, and more. All while giving back time and knowledge to the community.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Jason: It’s a community about sharing knowledge and expertise to create. What’s really great about open source is all of the cool ideas that can come to life by making it easier to get started and that anyone can get involved.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Jason: Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce are great tools for setting up an online business that anyone can get started with. Advanced Custom Fields is amazing for creating custom sites with WordPress. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes with Gutenberg.
Michele: Name a favorite theme or framework you like to use.
Jason: I typically like to start from scratch on my themes with underscores. Array Themes and Themebeans make some really great premium themes as well.
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Jason: That’s the thing with WordPress. If there is something that bugs me enough I can change it by contributing to the core software. One area I’d like to see improvement is the onboarding process for new users. I haven’t had the time to really dig into it, but it’s something I’m interested in tackling.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Jason: The first WordCamp I went to I had the realization that I could actually do a lot of this stuff people were talking about. It made me realize that I had knowledge I could share even if I don’t know everything. No one really does anyway.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Jason: Just get started. Don’t spend hours looking for the right tools and techniques to do things. If it works for you it is the right way.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Jason – I think WordPress will continue to open doors for people to start their businesses and side projects and become more of a force in ecommerce.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community?
Jason: I’ve had nothing but good experiences attending WordCamps. It always amazes me how willing to help out everyone is regardless of their experience level.
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