I’ve been building websites for as long as I had a computer, which dates back to a 386SX-20Mhz, in the early 90’s. Starting with HTML, I moved up to site generators, then some of the PHP ancestors like Xoops and Joomla, to finally graduate to modern CMS’ like Drupal and WordPress. Yeah, I’ve been around 😉
In 2010, I started a Web Consulting business, and quickly decided to focus on WordPress. Since then, I’ve helped countless professionnals and businesses establish or improve their web presence.
Since 2017, I’m Managing Partner at S2B Solution (and SatelliteWP.com), where we work with corporate clients in building, managing and optimizing their Web + WordPress infrastructure, and maximize the ROI on their web investments.
And since 2011, I’ve enjoyed giving back to local communities by speaking and sponsoring WordCamps, Meetups and other WordPress-related events.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Jean-Francois: I’m co-owner of a Web/WordPress Development & Maintenance Agency
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Jean-Francois: I started using WordPress as a hobby in 2005, building a site for myself and some side projects. I have blog entries that document how I would dabble with functions and templates in WordPress, discovering how it all worked together.
Michele: Please tell me one story of someone who has inspired you within the WordPress Community?
Jean-Francois: I wouldn’t say it’s a particular story or person, but more the realization, after reading up on the community in general, that it WAS possible to make a living from Open Source software… that I could help make a difference for local people and businesses, by sharing my knowledge which sits at the intersection of business and technology.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Jean-Francois: To me, participaing in the Open Source community means the possibility to give back on a large scale, to help people use software and realize they can also “pay it forward” by helping in their way, for the benefit of the community.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Jean-Francois: Toolset, Redirection, Gravity Forms, Beaver Builder.
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
Jean-Francois: We like the Beaver Builder theme and Storefront by WooCommerce.
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Jean-Francois: I would make the ability to run a multilingual site part of the core of WordPress, to reduce the technical challenge it is for many countries to offer more than one dialect, locale or language at the same time on a given site.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Jean-Francois: I would have to say the first time I attended a WordCamp in Montreal, in 2010, and realized there was a whole community of geeks in my city who lived and breathed WordPress!
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Jean-Francois: Install it, press buttons and see what everything does, try to change some pieces of code in themes, break the site and learn from it… “there’s no substitute for experience” 🙂
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Jean-Francois: My personal view is that there’s still plenty of growth for self-hosted WordPress to be had in the CMS space, in the absence of true competition in terms of ease-of-use, but especially extensibility. But I also think that some functionality, and maybe eve major architectural changes, will need to happen in order for WordPress to truly compete more the enterprise space.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community.
Jean-Francois: I’m particularly pour whenever I hear of initiatives like “Girls/Ladies Learning Code” which can improve women’s accces to STEM fields, or do_action Hackathon that provide non-profit organizations with a new site, over a single week-end.
You can find Jean-Francois online at Satellite WP.
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