Topher says about himself, “I’m an old school php/mysql dev that came back to WordPress around 2009. I’ve been making my living on it ever since.”
He’ll be presenting Caching: Absolute Beginner to Wizard.
Why do you use WordPress?
It gets me the greatest bang for the smallest coding buck. With minimal effort I can twist it to be anything I want.
When and how did you start using WordPress?
I first tried it in 2004, hated it, and built my own system. I tried it again in 2009 when a client needed it, and thought it was pretty cool. Then 3.0 came out and I haven’t really used anything else since.
What tips or resources would you recommend to a new WordPress user?
Get to know the standard processes for making content. Learn how to make a Post, and then you’ll know generally how to make any other custom post type. Learn how to place widgets, and what they can do.
Browse the plugin directory at WordPress.org, it’ll give you wonderful ideas for things you can do.
What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Work hard to become awesome at something in particular. Then other devs will come to you when they have questions about that thing, and refer you to clients that need that sort of thing.
If you’re starting out, get good at making and using custom content types. There’s a lot of wow factor there for clients.
If you’re already an accomplished developer, look at learning how to implement Node.js in WP properly. It’s built in, but if you don’t use it properly why have it built in at all?
There are many of those sorts of things.
How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc.)?
I follow a lot of people on Twitter and read Post Status.
What’s a cool WordPress-based site you’ve seen recently?
Aren’t all sites built with WordPress?
What do you like most about WordCamps?
Talking with people. I can’t get enough. The knowledge exchange is HUGE. I learn tons, I teach tons.