Jeff Chandler Speaker Interview

Jeff Chandler WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013Jeff is the man behind WPTavern.com. On WPTavern, you’ll find reviews, news, screencasts, guest blog posts from some great WordPress community members and much more.

He’ll be a panelist on Q&A Panel: Commercial Themes and Plugins.

Interview

Why do you use WordPress?

Because it enables me to publish my thoughts and opinions to the world without needing a technical degree to run and operate the software.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

When I decided to take blogging seriously in 2007, I decided to use my Joomla knowledge to build the site. I quickly found out that Joomla would be too much for what I needed. I can’t remember how I discovered WordPress but after I installed it for the first time and tried to edit a theme, I was overwhelmed and thought that it was too difficult to do anything in WordPress.

I went back to my Joomla setup until I realized that it simply wouldn’t work so I decided to give WordPress a second try. Only after I figured out template tags and the way WordPress themes are developed did I finally get a sense of zen as I haven’t looked back since.

What tips or resources would you recommend to a new WordPress user?

Grab one of the many books focused on WordPress and give those a read before looking at tutorials, or interacting with other sources of material in the community. WordPress Bible and Professional WordPress as well as WordPress For Dummies are excellent reference material. These books really help when the Codex can be daunting for new WordPress users.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?

Don’t be anonymous. Try to be part of the community instead of against it. Contribute back to the WordPress project as much as you can. If you see 10 other WordPress places doing the same thing you’re doing, don’t sweat it. Continue on with your idea until you execute it. Yours may be the one everyone flocks too.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc.)?

The people I follow on Twitter do an excellent job of keeping me informed. I also try to get into my feedreader once a week. I also get tips and suggestions via email.

What’s a cool WordPress-based site you’ve seen recently?

I think Quartz is pretty cool in that they have a unique way of displaying content. There is no footer or a comment section, It’s just all content.

What do you like most about WordCamps?

I love talking to people in person that I usually only get to converse with 140 characters at a time. I also enjoy asking people questions about WordPress that are new to the software, trying to get the perspective that I’ll never have again. Oh, the food that is part of the event is usually pretty good.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me spending most of my time keeping the drinks ice cold at wptavern.com where we discuss all things WordPress. You can also follow me on @jeffr0 and @wptavern to get your WP news fix.

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