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Alex Standiford is one of those people that you feel like instant friends when you first meet. An incredibly talented friend who puts family first as he explores the world with them as a digital nomad, husband, father, and leader of a menagerie of pets – all from an RV on the move. After this episiode, you’ll feel like his friend, too.
|What is your job title?||Plugin Developer|
|What is your company name?||AlexStandiford.com|
|What do you do with WordPress?||I develop WordPress customizations for people|
|Describe the WordPress community in just a few words.||The WordPress community is full of inclusive, caring, professionals that genuinely want to make the world a better place.|
Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to WP Coffee Talk with your podcast barista Michelle Frechette. Special thanks to our sponsors WS Form and Beaver Builder. If you’re interested in joining WP Coffee talk as a guest or a sponsor, please visit our site wpcoffeetalk.com and now on with the show.
Speaker 1 00:00:20 Welcome to WP Coffee Talk. I am Michelle Frechette, your podcast barista, serving up the WordPress stories from around the globe. And today, I don’t know where in the globe my, uh, guest is because he lives in a mobile home and as in on the road all the time. Um, so today with me here is Alex Standiford, who’s a plugin developer alexstandiford.com, which is actually a brilliant, um, you know, domain name ’cause nobody else really can take your own name, which is kind of cool. I sh I say that, but there are other people who’ve owned my domain name in the past who luckily gave it up. So now it’s mine again. Anyway, welcome to Alex. It’s good to have you here.
Speaker 2 00:01:02 Yeah, thanks for having me. I, uh, yeah, I’ll say it is the only, the, the domain name thing is one of the only times where I am glad to have a name that is spelled weird because there you, I always, my usernames always available wherever I go. Um, and please, if you’re listening to this, don’t like immediately turn around and go to every service troll me by taking my name <laugh>, but, uh,
Speaker 1 00:01:22 <laugh>, I know exactly right, but
Speaker 2 00:01:23 Generally speaking, I am, I’m pretty safe whenever it comes to that. And I, uh, I always, I’m always like, you know, whenever I’m on the phone with support or something like that and I have to spell my name and I always forget the I and all this stuff, I’m always like, man, I wish I had an easy name to spell. And then I remember in moments like that where, oh wait, I actually just can have my name online. It’s not
Speaker 1 00:01:43 A bad thing. When I was married and my last name was Ames, which, you know, if you know me, it’s still my Twitter handle. ’cause it’s linked to a million different websites at this point, so it stays. But, um, I used to be like, fresh hat. It’s such a hard name. Everybody always, nobody ever spells it right. Um, they always think it’s French and they put French hat, it is French, but they put French hat, or they think it’s Italian. And it’s like, ett like one of my college professors, I was like, who’s this ETT person? He is talking about <laugh>. But, um, yeah, so when I got married I was like, I get to be Ames. And then I’m like, well, I don’t really wanna be Ames anymore, but now I’m kind of stuck with it in some places. So, yeah, I’ll, my, my thing is I’ll just never be happy apparently. <laugh> <laugh>. So we know that you’re a plugin developer, but tell us a little bit about yourself and what that means to be a plugin developer. What do you do?
Speaker 2 00:02:33 Well, um, for the most part, I, so I, I kind of, for the most part, I just build stuff for people. So I know that sounds simple, but, um, usually say an agency or a person comes to me and they’ll say, you know, Hey, I’ve got this website I, the WordPress website I built. Um, it’s really great. I love it. But, um, there’s this one specific problem with that I have with my site that isn’t so great. Um, and I wish it was easier to, um, those. And then they, they come to me and they ask, uh, usually it comes to me in the form of like, like an agency will come to me and they’ll be like, Hey, we’re building this really big site for this client, you know, and we can do like 90% of it, but there’s, they’re like 95% of it, but there’s just this one quote unquote small thing that’s actually like a really big tough, complicated piece of the puzzle that they either don’t have the bandwidth to solve themselves or, um, don’t have somebody on their team who is comfortable with being able to solve that problem.
Speaker 2 00:03:34 Um, so usually that’s where I come in. So usually I’ll come in at that point and I’ll kind of, um, almost serve like a boost for the team to be able to like, take this one problem and just make it, just fix it, just solve that problem. Um, usually it’s with integrations and things like that. So say you’ve got, um, a sales team and you’re trying to integrate some kind of, um, you know, customer management system like Salesforce or something like that, and you wanted to integrate it directly into WordPress or whatever, you know, I do things like that. Um, something I did not too long ago was a, uh, I worked for a news, I did work for a news company, um, and they needed a way to be able to automatically curate, they had a, this, this third party platform that they were using to curate news content, and they wanted to be able to inject, like bring that content into their site and display it on their site and like organize it and all this stuff. So I built, um, so the rest of the agency, they actually did the website part of that, the display side of it, and I did the technical, the backend side that actually ingested that stuff from the a p I made it efficient and quick to be able to be reused, um, and things like that. So that’s, that’s pretty much, you know, what I do? I, I connect I outside things into WordPress, <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:04:50 That’s pretty cool. I, um, years ago, pre pandemic, or as my, my daughter calls it, um, bc which is before Covid, not like before the common era or whatever,
Speaker 2 00:05:00 <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:05:02 I taught a class in Rochester on like, at just a basic introduction to WordPress. And like all these people, like one woman’s there, she wants to blog, another guy owns a taxi service, he wants to have his taxi service online. You know, basically they brochure sites are, are blogging. And then there’s this guy at the end of the, like, the five people that I’m teaching who is not computer savvy. He is in his sixties at the time when I’m not, I mean, I’m 55, so I’m not like di dissing that, right? But like, he’s not computer savvy at all. He is like, you know, couldn’t figure out how to turn it on kind of thing. Um, I’m, I, it took two hours for him to set up his wordpress.org username and understand how that worked and find his email and all of that. But he wanted to build the next Airbnb <laugh> how, and I was like, well, first let’s figure out how to log into WordPress.
Speaker 1 00:05:51 And then I will tell you that that will not be an easy nail to hit with the WordPress hammer. If you’re willing to spend money <laugh>, you can probably find somebody to help make that dream come true. But, uh, yeah, so, um, I understand not being able to have the tools at your command that you then have to ask other people to help with. So it’s good that it’s good that people like you are out there in the community who can help us get over the, over the goal, for example, and, and keep moving forward. So thanks for, thanks for doing the stuff you do.
Speaker 2 00:06:19 Heck yeah, my pleasure.
Speaker 1 00:06:20 Um, before I get to the next question, which is asking you about your mug, I see you’re about, you’re like poised, ready to show it to me. Where are you located today? Because you are mobile, you take your family and you’re, I I think you have animal, I think I saw a cat in the background, right? Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:06:33 Yeah. We’ve got two cats. A dog and a dog as well as two kids. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:06:37 So that’s a lot of people shoved into one little space, but you could go anywhere you want, which is cool. Um, so where are you right now?
Speaker 2 00:06:44 Right now we are, uh, in Vermont, right on the coast, right on the edge, right along Lake Champlain, uh, between Vermont and New York. So we look out the window, we could see Lake Champlain and, and the Adirondack Mountains on the other side. And, uh, we basically, um, have been here for most of the summer actually. We’ve, we’ve um, we kind of been just hanging up in New England last year, and we did it again this year. Um, we were actually looking at perhaps buying some land up here, but the market’s still just a little too much for us right now, so we decided to wait a little longer. Um, we spent some time up in, we’ve spent more time in Canada this year than we’ve ever spent, so we went up to like Rosemore National Park up in Oh, nice. Newfoundland and stuff like that. Um, I’m itching to go back out west. It’s been two years since we’ve gone that way. And, um, we’re like three fourths of the way through this this year. And I’m like, uh, I am, I’m ready to, to go to the southwest or the high desert and
Speaker 1 00:07:42 All that. It’s, it’s either soon or after winter, because where you are located right now or mm-hmm. You’re gonna, you’re north of the tug plateau, so you’re gonna get slammed. <laugh>
Speaker 2 00:07:51 <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. We’re not, we’re not going anywhere, uh, out west until next year. So we’re, we’re based, we’ll leave, we’ll leave here in about a month, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative> after, we’ll, we’ll, you know, we’ll get to see the leaves. Some of it, yeah. Just start of, the season is up and then we’re gonna no bad here before it gets too cold. Um, we’re fair weather. Vermonters, we say <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:08:09 And are you coming to work Camp Rochester? I can’t remember.
Speaker 2 00:08:13 I don’t, when is it again? It’s
Speaker 1 00:08:15 September 30th.
Speaker 2 00:08:16 Maybe that’s right on the line of when I leave though. So I might, I’m, I I’m so close to there though, like, I should,
Speaker 1 00:08:23 I know.
Speaker 2 00:08:24 And that’s the one you, do you, are you closer there? You must be closer there, judge.
Speaker 1 00:08:28 I’m the leader. I’m the lead organizer, <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:08:30 Oh, so you know, a thing or two about it. Oh, okay. Uh,
Speaker 1 00:08:33 This is your personal personal limitation. <laugh>, yeah.
Speaker 2 00:08:36 Okay. Okay. I will. I, I am adding a note to make a, make sure. So we’ll chat,
Speaker 1 00:08:41 We’ll chat afterwards. I’ll, I’ll we’ll talk later.
Speaker 2 00:08:43 <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:08:43 So tell us about I see foam, I’m like jealous. I used a Craig. Oh, yes. But <laugh>, it looks like you have good stuff. Tell us about your mug and what you’re drinking.
Speaker 2 00:08:52 We are, I am drinking a cup of my wife’s coffee, which I am convinced is the best coffee in the world, and I am so lucky to have it. Uh, so it is, um, she uses a, well, again, we travel, so there are some travel, there are some challenges that kind of came from that, from a, from a coffee drinking standpoint. Um, we’ve always, we’ve always used, before this, we were using I think, a French press and, um, or a and a Keurig as well. And it, a Keurig isn’t practical in a camper because it’ll blow the few, it’ll blow your breaker most of the time ’cause of the heat. Um, and then, uh, a coffee pot, a traditional coffee pot or even a, a, uh, French press, they all, they both have one big problem, and that’s, they’re made outta glass. And when you’re driving, if you, that it, it’s, it’s just gonna break. Eventually it’s gonna fall out. You’re gonna open the cabinet door and everything’s gonna be disheveled from driving and it’s gonna fall and shatter and yeah. And, uh, so we had to have something that allowed us to make good coffee, coffee, be small and relatively portable, and also be something that wouldn’t break when we’re traveling. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and that ended up being the, um, hang on, what’s it called again? Kate? A, an AeroPress. That’s it. Oh
Speaker 1 00:10:07 Yeah, the
Speaker 2 00:10:08 AeroPress. So, so we do the AeroPress thing. Yes. And, um, we, my wife’s got a milk frother, well, she had like a stick one, but then we, we’ve ed it up, so we’ve got the cup with that. Does all the stuff. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, yeah, she makes this nice, fresh, fresh ground beans, some brown sugar, and, um, uh, just a healthy dose of milk broth on top.
Speaker 1 00:10:31 And so when I, when I do see you at, uh, word Camp, uh, Rochester, will your wife make me coffee too? <laugh>
Speaker 2 00:10:37 <laugh>? She could, she could, she, she could be convinced to do so, I’m sure for
Speaker 1 00:10:43 Now, or my, my order now, I should say <laugh>. That’s
Speaker 2 00:10:45 Awesome. Right, right. That’s, that’s right. The mug on the other hand is, um, kind of a luxury for us lately because we, um, prior to this year, we had only, we had one camper, and we’ve, since we now have three campers, and, um, because we, we use two of them as bigger, more comfortable places in Texas and Vermont. So we kind of travel between those two spots. And then the small camper we use to kind of get around and we’ll like, take crazy routes. So like, instead of just driving straight from Texas to Vermont, maybe we’ll go to like Montana first or something, you know what I mean? Yeah. So, um, but before when we had just one camper, we didn’t have room for nice fun things, like fun coffee mugs or stuff like that. So now that we’ve got these other campers, it’s like we, we went into our storage shed where we had all our stuff from our house, and we had these like really fun seasonal mugs that we always, that was a big thing for us when we were in the house, is we would like, the, the signal that the season was changing was the coffee mugs would change.
Speaker 2 00:11:43 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, I’ve got my fall. So did your fall
Speaker 1 00:11:46 Mug
Speaker 2 00:11:46 Got fall. Got our fall mug, and, um, my s will be here on Wednesday, so I’m looking for that. Oh,
Speaker 1 00:11:51 Perfect. Warm feet, warm coffee. Every, everything’s happy. Well, lemme share mine. Yes, please. I did, I did use the ke I do a lot, I do French press sometimes. I do a lot of pour over coffee. Um, uh, I, like, I, I just have a Melita filter type thing and whatever, and it goes into a, um, what do you call it, uh, insulated so that I can have it, you know, if I make more coffee, I’ve got it for a while. But when I’m in my office, and especially if I’m not, if my legs aren’t working like they’re supposed to, right next to my desk, I’ve got a curry set up right here so I can make coffee. I’ve got a little fridge over there with my creamer. So today I’m having just regular coffee with, um, caramel macchiato creamer in my personalized Go WP mug, where the <laugh>, the Preston logo is just like, wonder Woman. They made that for me. Um, which That’s great. Pretty, pretty darn cool. So, yeah, so I was like, could use, could use like one of a kind, truly one of a kind mug today. So <laugh>, that’s what I,
Speaker 2 00:12:47 That’s awesome. So is
Speaker 1 00:12:49 That fun? So tell us, uh, the, the thing is, I ask the questions that you talk all the time. So your coffee’s gonna be cold by the end, so sip whatever you need to. But, uh, <laugh>, tell us how you guys started with WordPress.
Speaker 2 00:13:00 Well, I, uh, it, it kind of started from, so I’m, I was always interested in computers in general. Um, I was in high school, junior high. I was taking every computer class I was allowed to take. I could take, uh, every elective I had was with the same teacher because it was just the same. Um, and actually, if you go to my site right now on desktop, there’s a little clock button in the corner and it’ll transform my site to look like the web design I did for the web design team whenever I was in high school. And it’s like super gaudy and kind of awful. And my profile picture actually turns into a photo of me as a sophomore. And anyway, it’s a lot of photos
Speaker 1 00:13:39 She took out. Oh, I’m so doing that right after the
Speaker 2 00:13:42 <laugh>. But, um, so the, uh, I, I actually became a mechanical engineer instead of programming. ’cause I went to a vocational school and I was walking through all the stuff. They didn’t really have a proper programming class at the time. And there was a room that had animated dragons, and I really liked dragons. So I took that, um, and ended up becoming a mechanical engineer, um, which is still very computer technical for sure. There’s a lot of three d modeling, a lot of complexity there. Um, but 10 years into it, I had my first kid Bennett, and, uh, I was sad that I didn’t get to see him as much. I would come home and he’d be asleep and I’d wake up and he’d be asleep and I’d go to work. And I just found myself just suddenly realizing that I just hated the office.
Speaker 2 00:14:27 Hated it. Like, I, I, I burn fast, I burn hard. I don’t work eight hours. I’ve never worked eight hours. Even whenever I sat down in the office and was told to work for eight hours, I would do eight hours worth of work in, you know, four to six hours. And, um, sometimes faster than that, you know what I mean? Like, I just, I, but I would be done like after that. That’s it. There’s just nothing more in the tank. And I would be sitting there about one o’clock every day in the office, just staring, like, and I just remembered just like waiting until five o’clock and I was like, God, I’m wasting like half of my waking hours just sitting here waiting to be allowed to get up and leave. And I was like, this is bull crap. You know, I can’t take this anymore.
Speaker 2 00:15:06 Um, so I quit. Which probably wasn’t the best way to do it. I mean, I should have probably been a little more responsible and taken more time to be able to transition. I did not, um, I let this problem fester too long and it reached a breaking point. And I did a thing that caused my, me and my family a lot of strife and a lot of struggle for years to come as a result, which I’m not super proud of. But, um, as a result of that though, I went headlong into, uh, learning programming. ’cause I had already kind of taken some stuff and I kind of had an idea that I would like to do that. Um, and it kind of took me right into WordPress because I was already learning about WordPress. ’cause I was doing a blog for teaching people how to use the photo editor gimp.
Speaker 2 00:16:40 And, um, I never really looked back. I just obsessively demanded that every job I had was a remote job. Um, and I was work, nobody was hiring me at the time. So I just started freelancing. Um, and, you know, after several years of grinding and taking bad clients and taking slightly better clients and learning and making mistakes and, you know, all of that stuff, <laugh>, the, the grind that is starting a new career, um, I finally started reliably finding good work. I’ve started reliably finding, uh, good employment. Um, I currently work at GoDaddy as well. Um, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I haven’t really mentioned that yet, but like that’s, I do, I do, I take like a client <laugh>, you know, like a very small amount of stuff. Um, sure. But then my, my main squeeze right now is GoDaddy. So, um, and you know, I’ve just, I, I’m really glad I did it now. Uh, but honestly, 10 years ago I wasn’t, I wasn’t feeling as, I wasn’t feeling super great about it, but I, uh, you know, I don’t regret it for sure. I’m glad to be, I’m glad to be home. I’m glad to be with my kids. Um, and then I cut off all of their home, their square footage, so they had no choice to be around me. Now <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:18:00 It’s like, guess what? You get to see me all the time, <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:18:03 That’s right. And you don’t get a bedroom anymore. You know, <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:18:07 Have fun sleeping in that bunk. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:18:09 Yeah. Right,
Speaker 1 00:18:10 Right. But it sounds like your family actually enjoys the, the togetherness and the travel, and you’re offering your kids, especially something that a lot of people don’t have, which is the ability to see lots of places and live in different environments. And that’s pretty cool.
Speaker 2 00:18:25 Yeah. Yeah. I think so. Thank you. I, so, yeah, I, uh, I often wonder if they, uh, if they’ll reflect on this ever <laugh> and be, be really glad about it. My sometimes Bennett my youngest, he or my oldest, sorry, he, uh, he, he varies like la our first year when we were in the mountains, he’s like, yeah, it’s another mountain. It’s just a rock. Why are y’all excited about it? I’m like, you don’t understand, man, I lived in Ohio <laugh> like my whole life.
Speaker 1 00:18:51 I never saw a mountain. It was something a flat <laugh>. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:18:53 It was. Exactly. I didn’t see mountains, you know? Yeah. Yeah. So, but, um, anyway.
Speaker 1 00:18:59 That’s awesome. <laugh>. It’s funny. I love it. Well, as you think over word words, uh, excuse me, websites that you built or other people have built, what do you think that is something that we as web builders don’t focus enough attention on that would make websites better, specifically for the end user, but maybe for, you know, the site owners as well?
Speaker 2 00:19:21 So, I, I, uh, I think the, I think the obvious answer here is, um, accessibility. It’s always accessibility. Um, it’s, and you know, I, uh, something really struck me the other day, whenever I was talking, I was, I was on social a few years ago, and this is what really clicked with me on this topic specifically. ’cause a couple years ago, I would’ve probably said technical debt or something like that. But now it’s, it’s, it’s gotta be accessibility because, um, they said, you know, you’re not building something for other people. You’re building something for your future self. And I think whenever I heard that, it really clicked with me. ’cause I, I don’t, I have a history of pretty bad vision. I actually just got Lisa earlier this year. And, um, while it was life altering and amazing, it was like, I mean, if I didn’t have access to the glasses or the healthcare to be able to change my eyes, like, or it couldn’t have been done. I mean, I would have a very different opinion of the web right now than I do right now. And, um, I, it just kind of, it just kind of really resonated with me. And it’s, it’s never, it’s rarely, um, a conversation that falls into the forefront of, of intent and design. It’s usually kind of, even now, it’s usually just kind of an afterthought. Now granted, it’s, it’s doing a lot better. I think it’s a lot better now than it was, say, five years ago. Mm-hmm. Even. Mm-hmm. Sure.
Speaker 1 00:20:43 Absolutely.
Speaker 2 00:20:44 But, um, I, and I’m really grateful to see that these conversations are, um, really being hammered home. But I, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s still, it’s still just a, it’s kind of like an ingrained piece of the conversation. And it’s not necessarily like, Hey, we need to make sure this is, um, accessible upfront. I don’t know, I’m not exactly sure how to phrase this, but
Speaker 1 00:21:09 No, I, I get it. And, and when you talk about future self, it’s like, what, 15 years ago before, when I was working in higher education, I was not at a screen all day. Right. I was talking to students, I was making phone calls, I was doing all these other things and a ton of meetings. Um, and then in 2013, I started to freelance. Instead I left, I left higher ed, I started my own little freelance gig, and I was in front of my computer 10, 12 hours a day to try to get a business growing. Um, but I worked in higher ed, I didn’t work glasses. Now I wear bifocals and I have computer glasses and all these things. And if I try to look at my phone or my screen or watch television, any of those things without glasses on, then I, I may as well be blind. ’cause I can’t read anything. I can’t, you know, can’t take in all the information. Yeah. And so, uh, yeah. That future self is already here for me, <laugh>. Right. So I get that, right. Yeah. And those of us who spend so much time in front of screens, we, we are affecting our eyesight. So it literally is our future self, which I like. I like the way you said that.
Speaker 2 00:22:14 Uh, it’s, it’s funny, um, because my, my vision right now is better than it was when I had glasses. And, um, I can tell now because when I look at my site, I’m like, God, my text is big <laugh>, like on my own design, and I’m not changing it. I’m good. Because it’s like, yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s a, that’s a perspective I didn’t have before. But I, I, uh, it, it’s, it’s just funny. I, it is
Speaker 1 00:22:36 Funny. My daughter looks at my phone and she’s like, what are you blind? And I’m like, yes, yes. That is the point. <laugh>, it goes up to big. I, you know, you can make the fonts bigger for people like me. Yes, exactly. Yeah. And you shall be there too someday, child. So
Speaker 2 00:22:52 <laugh> Mon Monitor, I’m convinced monitors are getting bigger. Not because they can, but because we actually need them to be, ’cause we want, we need the real estate. ’cause the font needs to be bigger and it takes up more space on the screen. So
Speaker 1 00:23:03 I, I don’t disagree. I think that that <laugh> absolutely makes sense. Well, lemme ask you, what’s something that you wish you’d known earlier in your WordPress journey, um, that you’ve learned since, of course, that would’ve made life so much better earlier on?
Speaker 2 00:23:18 Uh, that I could have started this 10 years sooner, honestly. Yeah. Um, that’s, that’s ’cause, you know, I think about it, I think about this a lot actually, is like, what my career. ’cause I, I’m very happy. Like I have a great career. I love, I love what I do. I love where I’m at professionally in my life, and pretty much in, I, I’m very happy, don’t get me wrong. But, um, I find myself often thinking about those, those years spent in that office and like doing that stuff. And like, if I knew then what I knew whenever I started this career, I could’ve just skipped that. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I could’ve had all those years, those 10 years of being in office and doing that stuff. I could’ve done that in WordPress 10 years sooner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, uh, you know, I, I mean, who knows what that would’ve done. Um, I would’ve been in a different market. I would’ve been, um, the, the plugin, the plugin competition would’ve been different, you know, things mm-hmm. <affirmative> weren’t even created yet, you know? Right. Yeah. And it would’ve been, it would’ve been really cool to have got to have been there in those formative years, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So yeah. That’s, that’s it for me, honestly.
Speaker 1 00:24:28 I understand that. I also want to remind you that the journey is part of the whole adventure. So, um, that’s <laugh> you, so you, you are where you are ’cause of what you, what your past has been. So, but I understand that, like it knowing that what we know though, it’s like, would you make changes? Well, yeah, sometimes we would. So I totally get that
Speaker 2 00:24:44 <laugh>. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. If I could have just done that sooner, you know, maybe I wouldn’t have had the context that I have now, and maybe that’s important. Yeah. You know what I mean? Who knows? Um, there’s probably pieces that I learned from those 10 years that I, I would’ve missed out on and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don’t know. But, uh, yeah. If I, if I could, I would’ve probably just had it. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:25:01 <laugh>. Yeah. I understand that. More time at home with the kids, for sure. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:25:04 Yeah, definitely.
Speaker 1 00:25:06 What are some of your favorite word camp or meetup talks or experiences, maybe something that was kind of like a pivotal or inspirational moment for you, either as a speaker or an audience member?
Speaker 2 00:25:15 Um, so a few years ago, I’m trying to, I don’t, I think it was a word, camp Kent. Um, Kyle Mauer did a keynote that was really, really good. Um, he, he talked about how, and he, he’s just, I mean, he, he isn’t so much in this space these days, but he is, so, he, he, he knows how to do a talk. I don’t know how else to say. He’s very animated. He, he plays it up and he’s just, he’s really good. And, uh,
Speaker 1 00:25:45 He’s really good at it. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:25:46 He’s super good at it. So he did this talk about, um, the WordPress community and, and the significance of it as, and like how, uh, you know, what’s gonna happen if WordPress someday doesn’t exist, and maybe WordPress is replaced by something else or whatever. And, and the, the general gist of it was like, I’m good. ’cause you know, the software isn’t WordPress, it’s the community. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and I would just go wherever the community goes and like, I’d be fine. And I am like, generalizing this and making it sound way LaMer than it, or not lame, but like, way less <laugh>. Interesting. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is what I should say, uh, than it is. He just, he it’s a really good one. I, I’ll have to find the link and send it to you so that you can add it to this. Yeah. But it’s, uh, it, it’s really good.
Speaker 1 00:26:32 That’s awesome. Yeah. I like him a lot. He is a, he’s such a great guy. He was the first podcast I was ever on, was his podcast, so Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:26:40 Especially
Speaker 1 00:26:40 Special place in my heart for, for him, so for sure.
Speaker 2 00:26:44 Yeah. I have, I did one with him too, really early in my career. And, um, whenever I watched the video, oh my God, I, uh, gosh, the last, the last 10 years of taking a toll. I mean, I am, I, uh, you could see the wrinkles, and I’m like, yeah, well,
Speaker 1 00:26:59 <laugh>,
Speaker 2 00:27:00 You know, that was, that was bird eye. Bushy. I was getting started there, <laugh>. You
Speaker 1 00:27:04 Know what I’m saying? Same, same. Yeah. I was like, and I, I was like, I only had a laptop and it sat on my desk and I had, so I like stacked up books to make sure it was high enough that the camera caught me. Right. And like, I locked the doors to the office and nobody’d walk in. Like, I was so terrified that the internet was gonna go down. Like, I look back at it now, I was like, oh, I was so, like, worried for nothing. Of course, this was pre pandemic, right? Like, we, we weren’t, we weren’t Zoom aficionados or anything back then, but, yeah. Anyway.
Speaker 2 00:27:31 It is so funny. It’s so funny you said the books, because I did the exact same thing, <laugh> for that interview. I had books stacked, and then I, I actually took two lamps from the living room and put ’em on either side behind my laptop to try to create a good light. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s just so funny. Like compare that now to this. It’s like, I, I, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I, I put some care into it, but it’s like, I opened the window. I, I turn, I opened paint on the left side of my monitor so that it puts a floodlight on me and called it a day <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:27:59 Ms Paint.
Speaker 2 00:28:00 Yeah. <laugh>. Yeah. That’s, that’s like the best use for it because like if you need to change the light color, you just use the bucket bill to change it, and you can change the light to whatever you want. Oh
Speaker 1 00:28:08 My gosh, that is such a good tip. We’re gonna make sure that we highlight that in the show notes for sure. <laugh>, I built my first logo in Ms. Page, <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:28:17 Oh, that’s awesome.
Speaker 1 00:28:19 I couldn’t scale it or anything else, but it was cute. I’m just, I’m gonna, why? It was cute. I probably stole a font from somewhere on the web that I liked. I don’t know what, we’ll talk about that later. Anyway, <laugh>. So, um, so I didn’t know you were working for GoDaddy. That’s cool. And then also doing your own thing, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what’s something, you know, this is the little section and where it’s like, talk about you and what you do and what is something that you’ve worked on recently that you’re excited about, or something that you’re looking forward to. So here’s your chance. Tell us about
Speaker 2 00:28:47 It. Here’s my shoot, my shot. Okay. <laugh>, uh, the field, it’s, it’s gotta be the field. A p i, uh, that’s been in WordPress core. So, um, uh, Scott Kingsley Clark, and he’s, he’s been working on this idea of a Fields a p i in WordPress, which, um, the, the general promise, or the hope is that we can create something that allows agencies to be able to easily add fields, to be able to manipulate data inside a WordPress quicker and easier with less code. Um, it’s, if you’ve ever used a c F or something like that, which I’m sure you have if you’re in WordPress mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s, it’s pretty much pre-installed on every, on a lot of agencies for a while. I don’t know if it still is, but, um, the, I, the hope is that we could create something that has that kind of experience, perhaps without the interface mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 00:29:40 <affirmative>, but, but to be able to make it easy to be able to add those fields in the kind of like a c f does inside a core, um, directly and natively. Uh, it’s, and the, for me, the big reason why I’m interested in it, um, personally, is isn’t so much because I want to be able to make that stuff easier. I mean, I do, don’t get me wrong, like sure, if you’ve ever tried to create a custom page in WordPress, you, you know, that it’s, uh, there’d be dragons as, uh, one of my <laugh> fellow workers have said, but it, uh, um, it’s, for me it’s mostly because they’re talking about this new admin UI in WordPress core mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, I feel like it’s kind of a great opportunity to be able to add this, because if we add this fields a p i now, we can potentially use that as a stepping stone to help the new UI and WordPress and the existing ui.
Speaker 2 00:30:41 So we can set it up to serve as almost like a bridge between the two, because we could set it up to where, like, both of them are talking to the same A P I, and, um, if you need, you can be able to have interoperability between the two of them, and you could switch between them over time. And, and, um, looking at how difficult the path has been for the block editor, um, to be able to be integrated into WordPress, I think the idea of having some kind of layer that kind of makes that transition easier is a big reason why the block editors, um, struggled so much for so long. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and I, I’d hate to see that happen to the admin UI because, um, all of this leads to the thing that I really actually care about. <laugh>, which is the mobile experience for WordPress mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 00:31:25 <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. Um, the, the WordPress app itself is, is good if you need a blog, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you need to use WordPress, literally just like a vanilla installation of WordPress, it’s really great mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but literally nobody is using a vanilla install of WordPress. No <laugh>. So, um, you can’t, you can’t extend it. You can’t customize it, and you can’t change it in any way, shape or form. And because of that, um, I, I honestly feel that the WordPress app is a lot of the reason the lack of that mobile experience is a lot of the reason why social media such as Twitter and things like that, kind of took over, um, instead of traditional blogging. So traditional blogging obviously is still very much a thing, but like the idea of Microblogging can absolutely exist inside of a WordPress site. If you go to my site right now, you’ll see exactly what I mean, right?
Speaker 2 00:32:19 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, my content is published through my site, including all of my micro content, all of my social posts and things like that, and then it distributes out on social media. Right? Right. And to me, it should be that way. I mean, I, it’s it, and, um, but the reason why it isn’t, I think honestly is the mobile experience. It’s simply that, I mean, the ability to automatically publish on other platforms and stuff like that, yes, that’s a factor. And all of that plays into it mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but at the end of the day, the reason why, why quite literally, the people who built WordPress and, um, believe in social media, believe in or not, sorry, believe in, um, the open web and believe mm-hmm. <affirmative> in all of these things, opted to use a content platform such as Twitter instead of WordPress. It’s literally because the mobile experience of WordPress couldn’t keep up with what the actual core needs.
Speaker 2 00:33:09 So to me, the thing I’m excited about with this new UI is that hopefully there’s a future where they’ll build this in such a way that it will actually work as a, as the WordPress app as well. So maybe just, maybe I’ll be able to actually customize and extend the app mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then all of a sudden you can create a plugin that turns your WordPress site into like a Twitter like experience or be able to publish things, um, through your app in ways that I can’t, we can’t even imagine right now. Right. Wow. Yeah. And, um, all of that to me, comes back to the fields a p i at the end of the day, it all comes back to that because in order to have the ability to easily customize something inside of a WordPress app in two different admin UIs in one single plate, you need a single place to be able to do that. Otherwise, you’re gonna have, you’re gonna double and triple the number of places where things need to get updated and nobody’s ever gonna do it. So it’s, it’s, that’s what I’m really excited about. So I’ve been contributing to that, um, adding my, my thoughts and my opinions on how we can make that work. And, um, I, I honestly think that those three things are kind of the most for me, I think those are the most important things to the future of WordPress. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in general. Um,
Speaker 2 00:34:24 Yeah. I,
Speaker 1 00:34:25 I love that your son in the background is excited about whatever he is excited about. Oh yeah. About it. Excited. It makes it sound like he is totally hyping you up. Like, you’re like so excited. He’s like, yeah, yeah,
Speaker 2 00:34:36 Yeah. He’s totally my hype man. Yeah, totally. He’s, I think he, he’s probably just, oh yeah, he’s playing Minecraft. He building
Speaker 1 00:34:42 Bridges, <laugh>. I love it. And so are you, so, I mean, that’s true. That’s awesome. <laugh>, he’s the best. That’s, I love it. <laugh>, we move into our rapid fire questions. Um, as I always say, I’ll ask them rapidly, you take the time that you need to answer them, <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:35:02 Okay.
Speaker 1 00:35:02 Uh, but what are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?
Speaker 2 00:35:10 Um, I mean, the first one that comes to mind is usually just some kind of forms plugin. I mean, it’s kind of the bread and butter. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m still, I’m a little surprised that we don’t have a forms block, to be honest, but that’s, that’s okay. Uh, the gravity forms is great. Uh, all of ’em are good. Really Ninja forms. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there was a new one that just came out. I wish, I wish I remember what Omni Formm I think it’s called mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It looks really promising. I haven’t actually used it yet, but, um, the one thing it does that I, I love that really excites me is that it, um, allows you to build the form inside of the context of the page. You’re building it. Cool. So, you know, like how forms and nja forms you have to like, go over to a separate screen and there’s this dedicated form builder and Yeah. Um, this one, like you, you’re building a page and you’re like, oh, crap, I need a contact form. So you click on the form block, and then you build the form, and then you click save and it automatically saves it as a, I assume, I don’t know, thiss, but I’m assuming it automatically saves it as a form, right. That you can reuse in multiple places, but you just built it right there. I think that’s, I mean, why not? That’s really cool. Um, can we,
Speaker 1 00:36:10 Can we agree that form builders or forms that don’t save the inputs in the database, but instead only send them an email? Those ones need to go at the bottom of the list,
Speaker 2 00:36:20 <laugh>. Yeah. For sure. For sure. For sure.
Speaker 1 00:36:22 Okay. Anyway, keep going. So what are the other ones that you were gonna recommend?
Speaker 2 00:36:26 Um, I, and I find myself using the GraphQL plugin a lot. Um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, and I, obviously this isn’t like, I don’t know, maybe not for everybody, but for me, I built my site using, um, okay. So my site
Speaker 1 00:36:43 <laugh>, but Okay. Kind of like threw me. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:36:46 Here we go. Sorry. Uh, no, it’s
Speaker 1 00:36:48 Good. It’s fun.
Speaker 2 00:36:49 So I, I’ve centralized all the content I published across everything mm-hmm. <affirmative> right. In one spot. And that is, that doesn’t only mean that it’s not, it’s only being published on social media, but I mean, literally across every website that I run, all of it goes through a single WordPress installation mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, so, so WP GraphQL helped me be able to realize that. So, um, I have some fields that allow me to specify which site content should be published on first and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then like all of my different sites. So I’ve got casual weirdness.com, life Casual Life, and then alex jennifer.com mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they have a lot of content that’s posted across them both. Um, and they’re, it’s ’cause they’re both reading from the same single source in WordPress mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the apps in the front end has logic built in that determines what content they show, what content they shouldn’t show.
Speaker 2 00:37:37 They all have access to all the content. They just only show certain parts of it. Right. So, yeah. Um, the idea was that if I wanted to publish something on Casual Weirdness life, well, I always want to be able to also show that on alexander.com. Like, if I write something on the internet, it should be on my site, period. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, it, that plugin was kind of the piece that allowed me to build those front-end apps to be able to do that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, easily. And then I guess the third thing, it’s not technically a plugin, but it’s a, uh, boilerplate for using, uh, next Jss Insider WordPress, or, I’m sorry, not insider WordPress, but it’s, it’s a boilerplate to be able to build a website using a platform called Next jss, which allows you to be able to like, create a really cool responsive frontend site.
Speaker 2 00:38:23 Um, and it’s built specifically to work with and use WordPress 10 up, build it. And it’s, it’s just amazing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> awesome. Um, they, they, yeah, they have this thing set up to where it actually like processes every individual block mm-hmm. <affirmative>, instead of just dumping the content in the site on, on your page, it’ll like, take every block and give you the data for every block so you could actually create like the individual pieces for it however you want. Um, which, whenever I say that out loud, it always makes me laugh because we’re using React to save the stuff in the block editor. Right. And then I’m turning around taking all that stuff and then I’m using React to render it, and I’m like, I wish I could just use that component here instead. But, but anyway, those, those are, those are the three that I’ve been, that I, you know, would recommend for sure.
Speaker 1 00:39:09 I love that everybody has different ones, so we all learn from everybody who’s ever on the show. <laugh>, at any point in your WordPress journey or your business journey, have you had a mentor, somebody who either was officially a mentor or not? Um, maybe it was somebody who kind of took you another wing or somebody just that you admire and emulate in the space. Um, and who was it?
Speaker 2 00:39:30 Drew James. He’s just an awesome dude. He, uh, he was, he was originally my manager whenever I was working at Sandhill on affiliate wp. And he was just kind of the first, he was the first person I worked with who was really close to Core, who was in core and was just like, this is his life. This is it, this is where he’s at. And, um, he always took me seriously. He always listened to me. And, um, I have, I’ve had a lot of just discussions with him about WordPress and stuff like that, and I just learned so much just from being around him. Um, and I, I actually work with him now at GoDaddy. Um, and it’s just, it’s just a joy. He just, I’m always, I’ve, I’m always am ready and interested in chatting with him about WordPress and anything really. But, but yeah, definitely Drew.
Speaker 1 00:40:18 That’s awesome. So, other than Drew, ’cause you can’t have the same person for two different questions. Who is someone in the WordPress community that you admire and why?
Speaker 2 00:40:32 God, what do, who do you even pick? Um, I, uh,
Speaker 1 00:40:39 It’s a tough, it’s a tough one of the toughest questions. I know. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:40:42 Gosh, I, I should have, I, I saw the question. I was like, I’ll be ready for that. I’m not ready for that. <laugh>, uh, uh, probably, uh, Courtney Robertson comes to mind too. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, she just, she just goes, she’s just always, she’s one of those people that if you talk to her, she’s like, oh, yeah, I know four people who can actually have a relevant conversation with you about this. And like, she’s just, I don’t know, she’s just like this automatic glue that just like <laugh> exists in the WordPress space, and she just kind of, I is just everywhere. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:41:16 Yeah. Yeah. She knows everybody.
Speaker 2 00:41:18 Yeah. Um, and she’s usually if I need information or I have a question about WordPress at all mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, she’s usually pretty high on my list of people. I’ll just, I’ll message her and she’ll be like, oh, yeah, you, you need to see this, you need to see this, you need to go to this conference, you need to do this. And, uh, yeah. So definitely Courtney <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:41:36 I, I can definitely get behind that. So, <laugh> for sure. <laugh>, what’s something that you want to learn in WordPress but you haven’t tackled yet?
Speaker 2 00:41:45 Um, the, the full site editing experience that’s coming, that’s here, I guess. Um, I, I stopped being, uh, the last website that I built for a client, uh, was at this point, uh, gosh, uh, pre covid. Um, it’s been, you mean BC it’s been while bc BC that is what I mean before Covid. That’s right. Uh, it, it, uh, gosh, it’s been a while. So, uh, as a result of that though, it’s like, I, I, it’s silly when I say it, but like, the block editor was starting to come into full swing, and we were really starting to get comfortable with that. And that’s right around the same time that I just was like fully in, in on plugin development and the plugin side of WordPress. And as a result, I don’t do as much front end as I used to. Now I still can obviously, like, I still do it for myself. Right. If you firstname.lastname@example.org stuff like that, like I’m, I’m more than capable of doing those things. You
Speaker 1 00:42:45 Didn’t hire that out to somebody else, <laugh>?
Speaker 2 00:42:46 No, no, no. Um, and, uh, uh, I couldn’t, I just literally, it’s just not even, I know,
Speaker 1 00:42:53 Right? I
Speaker 2 00:42:53 Know. It’s too personal. It’s too personal. But, uh, the, um, so right as I’m getting into the backend development and all of this stuff, um, block the Block Builder came in, came out, and I was learning how to customize it and extend it and things like that. But I haven’t done a lot. I haven’t just straight up built a site using the block editor. Um, because I’m not, I, I just, I’m not the person who’s gonna to use the full site toolkit. Mm-hmm. Right. <affirmative>, I’m, I’m, I’ll use the block editor for sure. I’ll use the actual like site editing and content editing stuff. Yeah, for sure. So, um, that it, it’s, it because of the, the full site editor actually, and also because of the nature of how I tend to get hired, um, I’m usually a small piece of a big project. Um, so I’ll have touchpoint with the editor and I know how to customize and work with it, but I’ve never just straight up built a whole site from it, right?
Speaker 2 00:43:52 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and this, and honestly, that may never happen, uh, because I, uh, one of the reasons why I got into the backend development was ’cause I woke up one day and, um, it always starts with that I wake up God anyway. Uh, and I realized that if I have to build one more navigation venue, I’m going to go crazy <laugh>. And I just, I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t know, it just, it was, I just, I remember the site, I was working on it, and I’m like, this is my last menu. I, I can’t, I can’t do it anymore. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:44:23 Oh my gosh. I love this like, mega menu, not mega menus. What goes in the dropdowns? It’s like I know.
Speaker 2 00:44:29 It was a hundred percent a mega menu too, and I was, was like, uh, done. I’m good. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, uh,
Speaker 1 00:44:34 We’ll, we’ll talk,
Speaker 2 00:44:35 Being an a p <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:44:37 We’ll talk about my current site I’m working on. When we’re done with the show here, everybody else will just have to wait. Um, and, and, and I’ll, I’ll share my, my pain points with you, but I’m
Speaker 2 00:44:46 Working. Okay, cool. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:44:49 What’s one of the biggest mistakes that you’ve ever made in WordPress, and what did you learn from it?
Speaker 2 00:44:57 Okay. So I was once working on a, for a client, um, early in my, fairly early in my freelancing career. And, um, it was a government contract with somebody, and it just didn’t go that great. Um, I got in over my head and I didn’t do enough research up ahead of time. And the project, just the, the scope just was way bigger than I thought I was. And I was just having a lot of trouble keeping up with it. And, um, I was actually starting to get a little worried that litigation was gonna get involved, and like I was, I, it all came out okay. Right. None of that happened. We <crosstalk>
Speaker 1 00:45:36 Yeah. But a scary when you’re going through it,
Speaker 2 00:45:38 But it’s super scary, especially whenever you like, absolutely. Can’t afford that. You know what I mean? Um, so I, I, that was definitely the, uh, biggest, the biggest mistake I made there was I didn’t, uh, approach that project correctly. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I went, I tried to go straight from, oh, okay, you’ve presented me with the information you have. That’s enough information to be able to just completely do this whole project. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, let’s go. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and since it was a fixed, it was fixed pricing too. So, um, what I should have done was say, okay, so I see what you have. This is a lot, this looks comp. Like if I were gonna do this again, it would now be, this looks really complicated. This looks crazy. Let’s take this and break it down into the pieces that the problems you have. And then we’ll tackle those as individual projects. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I would’ve broken it into much smaller projects and pieces. Yeah. Um, so that I wouldn’t have locked myself into that price point. I wouldn’t have tried to put too much into a single project. Um, it would’ve allowed me to pivot, it would’ve given me several break points to be able to pivot and adjust. Um, and ever since then, that’s how I’ve treated projects. Yeah. It was, it was a learning experience that I, uh, I had to learn the hard way. Unfortunately,
Speaker 1 00:46:53 I, I always say, if I didn’t charge enough and there was scope creep or I was locked in, then the money I didn’t make in that is what I paid for my education in that process. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:47:03 For
Speaker 1 00:47:04 Sure. Right. For, and so, absolutely. And that’s what I tell myself to re recoup that value <laugh>, but it’s true too, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Well, let’s look at the opposite. What is one of your proudest moments in WordPress?
Speaker 2 00:47:16 Um, I probably, the day that I got a job offer to work at Sandhills was mm-hmm. <affirmative> really a really proud moment for me. I was, yeah. Uh, excited, humbled, uh, pinching myself. Like I just, you know, ’cause the people that were working at Sandhills at that time were just really well established, well known, um, respected developers, respected some, some really great minds in the WordPress space. And, um, I was going to get to work with them and be, you know, that’s awesome. And I, I, so like, that was, uh, I was just such a, I was crazy. I remember ’cause, ’cause actually Kyle Auer was working there mm-hmm. At the time. And he, uh, and he shared a, he just posted I somewhere it was in one of like the local chapters, WordPress or whatever mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And he, he mentioned that they were hiring.
Speaker 2 00:48:11 So I, I was like, eh, why not all apply? So I applied and I gave my information and when, you know, I had interviews and I got an offer and I, I was actually, I literally, that day when I got that, I had just about three months before finally took an office job again for the first time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> since in, like, since I started the web development thing. Yeah. And I told, and I had told my wife, I was like, two years, I will give this two years, but I am not doing this like this. Right. And this is you again, BC I didn’t know Covid right. Was coming. I didn’t know remote work was gonna be normalized. And that company still actually makes people come back to the office now, but <laugh> anyway. Um, yeah. So I, I was like, I’ll do this.
Speaker 2 00:48:54 This is what I’ll do. I don’t wanna do this. I feel like I’m overqualified for this, but, and I, I certainly don’t wanna be in an office, but I, we needed, I needed the stability, and we were just in a spot where we just had to do it, so, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, I was there for a few months and I just was like, literally the week before I told my managers like, I’m, I’m pretty well, like, you know, committed to being here for a while. Let’s, let’s talk future, talk about where, what this looks like. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then I got an email from Pippin that was basically, you know, just said, we’re gonna, we’re gonna hire you. And, uh, I, it was so funny ’cause literally the next time I talked to my manager, I was like, I’m putting in my two weeks in <laugh> <laugh>. Like, what about
Speaker 1 00:49:35 The future? Like, he was like, what?
Speaker 2 00:49:37 What? I was like, sorry, I didn’t mean to, but I literally just got what I would consider, but
Speaker 1 00:49:41 My dream job just fell outta
Speaker 2 00:49:42 My lap. A dream job just fell on my lap. Yeah. Um, so yeah. That’s awesome.
Speaker 1 00:49:47 That’s, I I, not to insert myself into your story too much, but No, please do. But starting work at Give WP back in 2018 was my moment. Like that, that was like, yeah, super proud, super excited, um, kind of helped me find my place in the community faster than I was already working. And so, yeah. Absolutely. Totally understand the excitement of that, for sure.
Speaker 2 00:50:09 Heck yeah. That’s awesome.
Speaker 1 00:50:11 So, let’s kind of flip the whole story for a second and say, if you weren’t working in tech, not even just WordPress, right? But if you weren’t working in tech at all, what’s another career that you might like to attempt?
Speaker 2 00:50:22 I mean, mechanical engineering is an obvious fallback, but I don’t know. That’s probably still considered tech. So, I mean, it’s not tech in the computer sense, it’s, but Yeah. Um, but I don’t even know if that’s true because it’s, it’s the safest choice for me, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like if push comes to shove, I could probably go back and do that. Um, but even just saying that makes my stomach turn <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:50:44 So that’s not the answer.
Speaker 2 00:50:45 So that’s probably not gonna be the choice. Uh, I would probably, I’d probably just dive into content. I’d probably publish stuff about travel, our travels. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I’d probably be one of your theory, your, your RV bloggers, right? Oh, yeah. Uh, I, you know, we, we, we share our stuff on our site and our, on our, about our travels and stuff like that. Um, but it’s, it’s kind of just, I treat my stuff like it’s for me, right? Yeah. I’m writing this stuff for me, I’m inviting you in to see it, but really this is so that I have access to it in the future. Right. Um, if I was not a developer, if I wasn’t in tech, I would probably be in content in some way and I’d probably mm-hmm. <affirmative> really go deep down that, down that route.
Speaker 1 00:51:28 I love that. I’ve had people answer this, everything from, they’d wanna just be an Uber driver and talk to people all day, which is pretty cool to be a rock star, to be anything, you know, a chef and everything else. So I think you’re actually the first person who said content, and I actually like that. That’s pretty cool. I love writing myself, so I completely understand that for sure.
Speaker 2 00:51:45 That being said, uh, being a bassist in a band would be pretty awesome. Awesome too.
Speaker 1 00:51:50 I mean, like, I got guitars behind me, so I I get that <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:51:52 Right, right, right.
Speaker 1 00:51:55 Um, I, I don’t play them. Uh, it’s just so that I can look like I belong in WordPress. I’m kidding. <laugh>. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:52:02 That’s awesome.
Speaker 1 00:52:04 Ev every developer has like, guitars on their wall behind them. I don’t, I don’t
Speaker 2 00:52:07 Know. <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:52:09 A lot of them do. Anyway. <laugh>, what’s something on your bucket list?
Speaker 2 00:52:14 Oh, uh, well, it’s to see something, but I’m, I’m not a hundred percent sure what it’s, I guess if I, if I’m being completely honest, it would be to be on the moon. That’s cool. I wannas cool. Go to the moon someday, but I don’t, I don’t, uh, I don’t know if that’ll happen or not, obviously, but like, I mean, but an absolute like must have bucket list is probably to tour some other country in mm-hmm. <affirmative> in a way that’s consistent with how we’ve traveled in the United States, in the North America in general. Um, yeah, I’d love to spend, you know, a year or two in, I don’t know, Europe is always a relatively obvious choice. Uh, Australia would be cool. Um mm-hmm. <affirmative> and who knows where else. I mean, I, yeah, like just, I don’t know, I guess travel more travel
Speaker 1 00:53:03 <laugh>. Is r is RVing a thing in Europe or is that mostly an American thing? I don’t even know.
Speaker 2 00:53:08 Uh, they do, they do some interesting, they, there’s definitely nomadic lifestyles there. They do a lot more. Uh, but they tend, it seems like, I don’t know, that’s, but from what I’ve seen, it seems like they don’t use the camper with the truck. Yeah. They tend to be van dwellers. So they have a, either a van or like a, sorry, there’s a fly or like a, a, a boat. Like they’ll have like these Okay. Big giant boats that kind of just go through the canals in London.
Speaker 1 00:53:32 Oh, I’ve seen those. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:53:33 That seems, that’s pretty kind of neat. Um, it does, but it, it tends to look a little bit lighter than in terms of like, I mean, you know, the giant campers that you have here, <laugh> now, but, uh, Australia definitely does it. There’s a lot of, yeah, a lot of the RV life stuff that happens in Australia. ’cause they’ve got a lot of, um, open land, kind of like what we have. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Speaker 1 00:53:56 Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 2 00:53:57 Um,
Speaker 1 00:53:58 You just gotta tighten down the tighten, tighten all your windows. No creepy crawlies in, in the middle of the night. That’s right. No snakes, none of that Australia scares with the G outta me. <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:54:07 Yeah. You know what? No, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m blowing the raspberry on that, not because it’s not creepy, but because those bugs are so big they can’t fit through the door anyway. It’s fine. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:54:16 There you go. So that to the people who are living there. <laugh>. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:54:20 I’m kidding.
Speaker 1 00:54:21 <laugh>. Okay. So the last big question before we get to like the, how do we find you and all that is show us or tell us about one of your hidden talents that the WordPress community might not know about.
Speaker 2 00:54:34 Hmm. Well, I, um, I actually do play the bass <laugh> <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:54:42 I thought that might be something you’d say. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:54:44 <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. I, uh, I, um, crazy story. So I am here in, in Vermont, right? We’ve been parked here all summer, and, um, I haven’t played the bass for two years because we’ve been traveling, and the idea of bringing a bass with me and the travels was just daunting, to say the least. And, um, I’m outside and there’s a, you know, this is a seasonal campground, so a lot, so most of, as many campsites as they can legally have here are seasonal. They’ve been here for years. It’s, it’s really like a, like a weird cul-de-sac almost. Right. Okay. So, um, this guy, he walks over, he sees my camper, he stops, he walks over to me and he goes, Hey, my name’s Steve. Do you play the bass? Literally, that was the conversation. There was no, oh, weird. I know, I, I was, yeah. So I thought I just had a face or something. But it turns out he was literally just asking everybody if they played instruments, <laugh>. He was just like,
Speaker 2 00:55:39 He, it was like, it was like early in the season, and he was like, on a mission to find a band, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, but he just walked right up to me, he goes, Hey, I’m Steve. Do you play the bass? I was like, I actually, I was so stunned. I was like, I have it in a while, but I, he was like, yeah, you play the bass <laugh>, you know? And I was like, I don’t have a bass. I don’t have any stuff. He’s like, I got all the equipment. Come on, let’s go. So we Oh, that weekend, that weekend I was, I was jamming with this, this
Speaker 1 00:56:05 With Steve
Speaker 2 00:56:06 <laugh> with Steve and this other guy named Linden, and I was on bass, and we were just out in front of his campground camper with, he’s got this full blown setup and we just hooked up. Oh, wild. Just played, um, a few, I bought a base and, um, I have been like, just, it’s completely reinvigorated my interest in it. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:56:27 I love it. Oh, that’s such a cool story.
Speaker 2 00:56:29 Yeah. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:56:30 Very cool story. I’m, my cat is jumping up on the ca on the, on the desk again, if you hear her meow.
Speaker 2 00:56:35 Oh, it’s okay. It’s what they do, <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:56:37 I know, right? So how do we find you online on social? I mean, obviously I’ll put all of this in the show notes. So if you are listening to the show and you’re not, you didn’t find it online, um, you can just go to WP coffee talk.com, find Alex’s episode, and all of this will be in the show notes. But how do we find you online?
Speaker 2 00:56:53 So the first place to look is alex stanford.com. Um, I have updated, I’ll always have updated links to all of my different social platforms on there. You can also subscribe to my site using r sss, um mm-hmm. <affirmative> and all that jazz. I post everything through my site first, so it’s always gonna be the most reliable location if you’re trying to get Sure. The goods anyway. Um, but if you’re wanting to like, talk with me and, and converse with me, connect connected me on like a more traditional social platform, um, I’m, I’m on Mastodon mostly mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, so it’s Alex email@example.com. Um, and then I occasionally check LinkedIn. Um, I only use Twitter for conferences. Mm-hmm. So when it’s like w work camps or some other event that I’m like a part of, sure, I’ll flip the light back on and I’ll use it for a few weeks, but then I turn it back off. Um, so it’s, it’s not the best spot to fi to follow me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, so yeah, that’s, that’s pretty much it. I mean, obviously start, start
Speaker 1 00:57:55 At your website, a all roads lead back to your website. All
Speaker 2 00:57:58 Roads lead back to my website as it should. <laugh>
Speaker 1 00:58:01 <laugh> for sure. I love that one.
Speaker 2 00:58:03 If you find me on, go ahead. You can find me on like, most of the Slack communities too. You know, the WordPress make WordPress, um, post status. Post status. Yeah. And, um, and
Speaker 1 00:58:12 Now I have your phone number. Ha ha ha ha. <laugh>. Yes. I love it. It’s, it’s just a secret plot. The whole like, tell me your information. Secret plot. So I have everybody’s phone number. I’m WordPress now. You just, you’re
Speaker 2 00:58:25 You’re, you’re just gonna send like a giant group message to everybody one day. I’m gonna start, I’m gonna start. If you don’t forward this to 10 people, <laugh>, you know, some horrible thing will happen to you.
Speaker 1 00:58:34 Your website will be going down in five minutes.
Speaker 2 00:58:37 <laugh>,
Speaker 1 00:58:38 Honestly, it’s because of things like where you booked for today, but I’ve been on vacation all week, and so when I woke up and two minutes later had the notification that I was supposed to be online in two minutes, I was able to text you and not rely on, you know, back channels and be like, I’ll be there in 30. I’m sorry, <laugh>
Speaker 2 00:58:55 <laugh>. I saw the message, I literally just sat down and was like, whew, that was close. And I’m sitting here and I get the message and I’m like, I got 30 minutes. Yes. Oh,
Speaker 1 00:59:03 Good. <laugh>. Yeah. I, I, I know the people know that I am a real live human being with feet of Clay. I do make mistakes, and this was one of them, <laugh>, so I’m glad it worked out, <laugh>. So, is there anything else you’d like to share with us before we sign off for this episode?
Speaker 2 00:59:19 Um, sorry if I give
Speaker 1 00:59:26 No, it’s fine. I love it.
Speaker 2 00:59:29 I, I guess, um, you know, just check out, I guess just check out the field api. I is really kind of, yeah. The only thing I can think of, like, it’s just, that’s all,
Speaker 1 00:59:40 It’s all good. I
Speaker 2 00:59:41 I should have been right for that question.
Speaker 1 00:59:43 I didn’t, I don’t know. I didn’t put it in the list. I know.
Speaker 2 00:59:45 No, I know, I know. It’s not in the list. <laugh>. No, I guess, I guess if, I guess if there’s anything else, the big thing that I, I would, the, the big thing that I, like I said is on my mind right now is that Yeah. Is that a p i, and I would yeah, uh, encourage anybody who is in WordPress and has any kind of vested interest in, um, improving its usability over the years mm-hmm. Or in the future. Mm-hmm. Uh, please take a look at it, take a look at what’s going on, um, try to get some more traction with it. Um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because I think that it’s, it’s been kind of a long road for it. Uh, there was an initial version of it several years ago that came out right before the block editor in grouper came out, and it kind of got pushed aside a little bit for the block editor, um, in terms of like the visibility and the conversation mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I’d like to see more people talking about this, um, because I think that it’s, it’s so fundamental to what, to WordPress mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, WordPress’s future that I just, I think that it’s, I, I guess I can’t overstate how important it’s, you know mm-hmm.
Speaker 1 01:00:48 <affirmative>. I love that. That’s awesome. Well, I wanna thank you for taking the time today, especially with the shift in time a little bit, and, uh, your flexibility and your willingness to kind of, you know, meet me from wherever you’re, wherever you’re planted right now. So I appreciate you very much. Yeah, thank you,
Speaker 2 01:01:03 <laugh>. My pleasure. Thanks for having me. I, I’m glad to be here. Yeah.
Speaker 1 01:01:06 Thank you. We’ll see everybody else on the next episode of WP Coffee Talk.