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Nathan Ingram is one of the kindest people I know, with a ton of knowledge and skill and the willingness to share it. It’s easy to see why he is often cited as a mentor and someone to look up to in WordPress. He’s been a friend of mine for years, and I’m so happy to know him.
|What is your job title?||Creator|
|What is your company name?||MonsterContracts|
|What do you do with WordPress?||Agency Owner, Growth Coach for WordPress Agency Owners, Host at Solid Academy, Creator of MonsterContracts|
|Describe the WordPress community in just a few words.||Helpful, friendly, encouraging. The best thing about WordPress isn’t the software, it the community.|
|Mentioned in the Episode||criobru.com|
[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk with your podcast barista, Michelle Frechette. Special thanks to our sponsors WS Forum and Beaver Builder. If you’re interested in joining WPCoffeeTalk as a guest or a sponsor, please visit our site at wpcoffeetalk.com. And now, on with the show.
Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk. I’m your podcast barista Michelle Frechette, serving up the WordPress stories from around the world. And I’ve been kind of lucky lately. My last couple of guests have been in my time zone, which has happened again. It’s so much easier when I’m not trying to talk to people around the world, and it’s like my morning, their night, all those kinds of things. So super excited. A longtime friend of mine in the WordPress space is here, Nathan Ingram. And Nathan is the creator of Monster Contracts and many other hats that he wears. And I’m really lucky that we get to work together at StellarWP as well. So, Nathan, welcome.
[00:00:56] Speaker B: So good to have you. Michelle, thanks for having me here.
[00:00:58] Speaker A: Yeah. You’ve been the answer to so many questions on this podcast. So one of the questions I’ll ask you later is somebody that you admire in the WordPress space or somebody that you’ve considered a mentor in the WordPress space. And your name has come up a lot, so it’ll be interesting to see what your answers to those questions.
[00:01:16] Speaker B: So oh, that’s really so it’s super cool.
[00:01:19] Speaker A: I love that. But yeah. So tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
[00:01:25] Speaker B: All right, well, I am from Birmingham, Alabama, that is home and still live here. Actually. Recently moved back to the same area where I grew up, which is kind of cool. It’s very different now, but it’s a lot of fun.
So I have been doing web things since 1995, and I’ve always been kind of a tech guy.
Yeah. Found the Web in late 95 and started working with clients around that time and have been through various evolutions of software platforms over the years as the web kind of grew and found WordPress around 2008. Hated it.
That’s probably a good conversation that we can get into. I thought it was a threat to my business model, which it was at that time, and it finally came around about 2010, got into WordPress, and it’s been all WordPress ever since.
Yeah. So that’s the very short version.
[00:02:23] Speaker A: I love it. And other than the Monster Contracts that you do, and we’ll talk about that a little bit later, too, you also wear several other hats. So what are some of the other things that you do in the WordPress space?
[00:02:33] Speaker B: Yeah, so in the WordPress space, I spend a little over half my time working with clients. We have an agency down here in Birmingham, clients that are nationwide. It’s a lot of fun. We have gotten into some fairly complicated projects over the last few years, which is always interesting.
Do a lot of client work and then I spend three days a week as the host at Items Training, soon to become Solid Academy. I’ve been doing that for several years now and actually I’ve been teaching there since sometime in 2013. It’s been over ten years that I’ve been presenting there on Items Training. And then I also do coaching with folks that are working with WordPress, doing client work. I do growth coaching for WordPress business owners.
[00:03:21] Speaker A: I love that. That’s awesome. You are somebody that gives back to the community in many ways and I appreciate that about you, for sure.
Tell us about your mug and what’s in it today.
[00:03:31] Speaker B: Yes, speaking of community, I have in my hands the 2023 speaker gift for the greatest Small Word Camp in America, which is Word Camp Birmingham, my home camp, WP Y’all. We also have the greatest hashtag of all, WP Y’all. And so this is our speaker gift. It’s a great little, great little mug that I enjoy a hot beverage in.
[00:03:53] Speaker A: I wish I’d have been there for sure.
Speaking of community, also I have a mug that hasn’t been on the show before, which is my post status mug. And I’m drinking now, I’m going to say iced tea because it is not sweet tea and I’m not in the south. I like it unsweetened, no lemon, as plain as can be. And I understand that that’s sacrilegious south of the Mason Dixon line, but that’s how I was raised and that’s what I like. So yes, I’m drinking iced tea in my mug today.
[00:04:20] Speaker B: Yes, down in my world, if you talk about unsweet tea, you’re going to get one of these.
[00:04:24] Speaker A: Yeah, exactly.
And if you’re listening to the podcast and not watching it on YouTube, he just lowered his glasses and looked over the brim at me as though I was committing a felony.
[00:04:34] Speaker B: I think something is going wrong here. Yeah, exactly.
So I am drinking a delightful concoction that is called Cryo Brew. Have you heard of it?
[00:04:45] Speaker A: I have not.
[00:04:45] Speaker B: But tell me, cryo Brew is imagine taking a cacao bean, which is the beginnings of chocolate, and roasting it like a coffee bean, grinding it and then preparing it like coffee. It is unbelievable.
[00:05:03] Speaker A: And do you order that online? Can you share a link with me later? We’ll put that in the show notes.
[00:05:07] Speaker B: Yes, it’s C-R-I-U-B-R-U or something. C-R-I-O-B-R-U. But yes, we’ll put it in the.
[00:05:14] Speaker A: We will find it.
I will have to get some of that. I have been drinking coffee for all of about six years, maybe seven years. I hated coffee until my late forty s. And then I’m bougie about it though. It’s got to have cream and sugar and all of those great things and I love the flavors and all of those things. But yeah, I’ve got everything. I got the pour over, I got the bur grinder, I’ve got the french press and all those things. But more often than not, what you can’t see off screen is my curry right here in my office because it’s fast and easy and right by the des.
No judgment. No judgment.
So take us back to that early adoption in WordPress. How did you get started with WordPress? What made you go from hating it to adopting it?
[00:06:01] Speaker B: Wow. Okay, so let’s rewind back to 2008.
WordPress was really just kind of getting traction, kind of getting moving.
In that time, I was building sites in the macro media ecosystem. So dreamweaver fireworks.
It was a great little software suite, but my model was I was going to have a few clients and large monthly retainers for them because you have to have a web professional to edit the things because people didn’t have the software.
And it was going great. We did really beautiful custom web design. I had always done that.
My background is really more from the design side of things than the development side. I know enough development for self defense. That’s really about it.
I know that feeling, right. And so when WordPress came along, I thought, okay, people can log in and edit their own website. This is a threat. And so I remember telling a friend, as a matter of fact, I did a talk in Jacksonville several years ago at WordCamp where my first slide was, I hate WordPress. Nathan Ingram, 2008. That was me. And it’s totally true because I remember telling a friend sitting at a coffee shop, I hate this WordPress thing. It’s going to ruin my business.
Oh, my goodness. Isn’t it crazy?
And I really hated it because all the WordPress sites at that time looked the same, like they had it was a blog down the middle, and they had all the little meta links on the side. Everything looked the same. It was really tacky.
So then over the next year or two, people were wanting to log into their websites. People were starting to get that and be able to make their own changes. And I finally realized I’ve got to like something. I’m going to have to revisit this WordPress thing.
[00:07:56] Speaker A: Something’s got to give.
[00:07:57] Speaker B: Yeah. And so for me, I will never forget it. It was a Tuesday morning, and I was going into one of my biggest actually, it was my biggest client at the time.
It was in 2009, and of course, the financial world in 2009. It was recession really bad. And I walked into this client who I was providing It services, design services, website design services.
They paid me a decent amount every month, and they were carrying my family’s health insurance, and they let me go that day.
[00:08:30] Speaker A: Oh, that had to be really hard. Yeah.
[00:08:33] Speaker B: Like, losing a third of your income in health insurance in one conversation is not fun.
And so I remember it’s ingrained in my memory. I remember walking at the long walk I parked at the end of the parking lot and just thinking that long walk, I will never let this happen again. And so that was in the middle of a big that was like right then, I was moving to WordPress and I completely changed my model to start to provide website management services in WordPress. And then I found the WordPress community not long after that. It was really amazing. And yeah, there are very few things that I don’t enjoy about WordPress.
[00:09:14] Speaker A: Yeah, that’s a nice 180, actually, from how you started.
[00:09:18] Speaker B: Right.
[00:09:19] Speaker A: And there are a lot of us in the community who are grateful for that because your contributions have been pretty awesome, I’m going to say too, so I promise not to fawn over you and like fangirl the whole time. But yeah, we’re grateful that you’re here. For sure.
[00:09:34] Speaker B: In a community, everybody has to be helpful and everybody has something to share. And my perspective has always been, if I can save people some of the heartache that I went through doing things the wrong way for so many years, that would be great.
[00:09:46] Speaker A: Yeah. And that’s the right attitude, for sure. I mean, the work that we do at Underrepresented Tech, the works that we do in other places in the community, for sure echo that sentiment. So I absolutely appreciate that.
When you think about the websites that you see, whether they’re your own or somebody else’s, what do you think that we as web designers, developers, web builders, don’t focus enough attention on that would actually make websites better for the end user?
[00:10:14] Speaker B: Okay. There was so many ways you could answer this question. Right, I know.
Okay. So if I had to pick a couple, I’m going to try to answer this question, maybe indifferently than some others might. Okay. Because sometimes it’s as simple as looking at so there’s two things we do on the agency side, I think that sets us apart from typical people who are building websites and whatever the first is, particularly if it’s a complicated website and you have a client that maybe isn’t technically proficient, then there are things we can do on the back end of the site to streamline the way that the site will be updated and maintained so that when we come back two years from now, the site isn’t going to be trashed. A lot of times people will build a beautiful site and turn it over to a client and then the client really they don’t have the same level of design. Right. And so you come back and the thing is it looks like it’s garbage. That’s terrible. It doesn’t look as attractive as it did the day that it was published. We’ll say that for sure.
And so there are things you can do with flows and baking and custom fields and things to make a site look great for a longer amount of time. So thinking about that content architecture, I think is really important at the beginning also. And we just had one of these things come up today. So every Thursday I do office hours for our items, training members, and it’s just an ask me anything. And it usually goes well over an hour. People keep asking questions. It’s so much fun. One of my best parts of the week. But somebody showed us this website and it was beautiful, just beautiful design. And you get there and you have no idea what you’re supposed to do.
So conversions and calls to action are so important and they tend to go in one of two directions. Either they have like this site had no calls to action whatsoever. The only button was there was a Join our newsletter button and then there was some other button that was oh, customer support. But if I’m in a new customer, then I don’t know, I have to dig like three levels deep for your content. It’s just crazy.
Or the other extreme is you have a site that has 58 buttons on the home page and they’re all the same color in there. And then you don’t know what to do because there’s too many things.
[00:12:33] Speaker A: It’s like flip a coin and pick a button.
[00:12:37] Speaker B: Yeah. So you get those two things right and it works out pretty well.
[00:12:41] Speaker A: Absolutely. No, I agree with you 100%. I was talking to a person, oh my gosh, probably five or six years ago, they came to my office. They said, I don’t understand why I’m not getting any sales through my site. Now. I’m not as practiced at coaching people through that as you have been. But the first thing I did is I pulled up her website and the Hero image took 32 seconds to load. So obviously people are going to bounce, right?
[00:13:06] Speaker B: That’ll do it. Yeah.
[00:13:07] Speaker A: So she had something that was like 8000 pixels wide and at 300 DPI and nothing was going to load that fast. The second thing was I couldn’t figure out what the call to action was. She was trying to sell jewelry, but I couldn’t find the store. I didn’t know how to buy anything. So we talked through those two things and I believe things got better for her from that point on. But yeah, so 100% behind you on that. And I think that’s very true. It’s so important.
It can be a beautiful website, but if they don’t know what to do when they get there, it’s worthless. Pretty much, right?
[00:13:37] Speaker B: Absolutely.
[00:13:39] Speaker A: What do you wish that you had known earlier in your WordPress journey? That sure would have made life a lot simpler had you known those things.
[00:13:52] Speaker B: I mean, there’s so many gosh, Michelle, so many.
We could do 2 hours.
All the ways that I’ve screwed up, I’m going to say the biggest thing is not understanding what I have come to call today. Hero Syndrome.
Hero Syndrome. And I know this because it’s me.
Hero Syndrome looks like, I will do everything I possibly can.
I will sacrifice myself, my family, my preferences in order to please a client, because I have to be the hero, right? And I’m going to just swoop in with my cape and save the day because everyone must have a positive opinion of me because that’s what my self worth is based on, right? Oh, my gosh, that is so destructive.
And that’s not just in business.
It’s like a client codependency almost, and it shows up in other parts of life also.
But my goodness, the amount of time I wasted just trying to satisfy clients that couldn’t be satisfied. And I remember one in particular when I’m talking about this, I always tell the story of I can’t remember which birthday it was, but it was I have two daughters. They’re 22 and 19 now, but one of them, it was one of those, like, eight, nine year old type birthday parties, and kids were playing in the back. And I left that party to take a client call to fix somebody’s computer. And I think back on that today, and I’m like, that is a day I will never get back. But I felt completely justified in my mind during that time because my client needed me, and so I had to. Oh, my goodness.
For me, that was such a poison that just like I wasted a lot of time.
[00:15:46] Speaker A: Yes. No, I understand that. I have a sticker that I’ve printed a bunch of stickers over the years just for fun. I will get your address off screen, of course. And I have a sticker that I made that says I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m okay with that.
I will send you one of those for sure.
When you think back over all of the different WordPress type events you’ve been to, so we’ve both been to a lot of Word Camps meetups other WordPress adjacent kind of opportunities and things that events that we’ve attended. What is a pivotal or inspirational moment for you? Maybe it was something a speaker you saw, a conversation you had, somebody you met. Tell us a little bit about that.
[00:16:29] Speaker B: That is a good question for me over my shoulder. Here are badges of Word Camps where I’ve spoken over the years, and I’m missing some. Some of the early ones I don’t have there. But quickly, Word Camps became a lot more about just meeting people and having great conversations and getting to know some of these people that I would see online or whatever and just building those relationships. And so I don’t know that I could say this one thing was pivotal, but just every camp, just being able to I just hit my microphone. There are memories behind every one of these badges, and I could probably pull one off the wall and tell a story about somebody or something like this one here. That’s WordCamp. St. Louis, 2018, I think. Yeah, it was 17, it was the one right before us was there. And that’s where you and I met. We met outside the big room, sitting in that hallway and we had a great conversation, I remember. For me it’s more like that. It’s like there’s just meeting people and having great conversations with great people and enjoying the WordPress community.
[00:17:46] Speaker A: It’s cumulatory, isn’t it? Like those badges represent all of those conversations and all of those experiences. For sure.
[00:17:52] Speaker B: Yes, 100%.
[00:17:53] Speaker A: I love that. So when we talk about what you do, I know what you do at work. We don’t have to talk about items here. We could talk solid WP. You and I recorded another podcast recently. It’s going to show up on WP Constellations. We’ll talk about that there. Tell me more about what you do with your personal business. So I have a copy of your book, cutest cover ever, by the way. And I know that you do a lot with contracts that you are a creator among there it is dealing with problem clients. He’s the friendliest looking monster, I swear.
And if you’re interested, I think the book is available, right? So we’ll include a link for the book. If people want to buy the book, they can find that. We’ll include that too. But tell us a little bit about what it is that you do when you’re not doing solid WP items things.
[00:18:40] Speaker B: Yeah, I do a lot of different things but they’re all very aligned.
Everything I do pretty much comes out of my client work at our agency. And so a lot of the training that we develop on items training that’s both technical and business development related all comes out of what I’m doing and learning and making mistakes and changing and iterating and all those things in my own business. And so I spend a lot of time building, I build websites still. I’ve got a great team that helps with that but, you know, get my hands dirty and build websites and deal with clients and great content architecture and that sort of thing.
And so that feeds the live stream world for items training. Soon solid Academy and then it also helps me coach better.
I have a very small amount of time that I devote each week to coaching people. I do that individually and in groups and it’s basically just having a conversation about what’s going on and what problems can we solve and how can I help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that I’ve fallen into over the years? And I love to put people in groups in coaching situations because individual coaching is fine, but group coaching is so much better because when you’re in a group with people you realize that you have the same issues and you’re not alone. And I’m not uniquely broken. There are other people have these same problems. The details might be different, but the problems are the same.
And putting people in groups like that. It’s just really cool. I enjoy it.
And then with Monster Contracts, it’s my agency contract. It’s the contract that I built over 20 years of working with clients, and every problem client situation that came along became another paragraph in the contract. And so it’s a solid thing. And I realized that as I was starting to coach people, that people either had no contract at all or they had one that was just super generic or one that was just all legalese, that nobody understood, and nothing there wasn’t really a good document out there for practical web development, website creation, and management. And so I just took mine and white labeled it and made it available. And it’s been, thankfully, very helpful to a lot of people around the world.
[00:21:08] Speaker A: I will say, when I was freelancing, I did everything on a handshake, which worked out great most of the time.
[00:21:16] Speaker B: Exactly.
[00:21:17] Speaker A: The times that it doesn’t, I paid for. I paid for not only financially, but with experience that said, don’t ever do this again.
[00:21:26] Speaker B: Yes.
And that’s the thing. You don’t need contracts for good clients. You need contracts for bad clients. But they’re really hard to tell apart at the beginning.
[00:21:35] Speaker A: Yes, they are.
[00:21:36] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:21:38] Speaker A: And a good contract will help you determine whether or not somebody’s going to be a good client or not, and whether or not it’s a good fit. Right. If they’re complaining about the contract right up front, then they’re not really the right fit company. Yeah, for sure.
[00:21:51] Speaker B: Absolutely.
Yeah, go ahead.
[00:21:54] Speaker A: I was going to say and then if they start out fine, you’ve always got the contract to fall back on. If they turn into bad clients.
[00:22:01] Speaker B: Yes, good clients.
Sometimes clients have to deal with little issues within the contract that don’t fit their legal and their business. But good clients don’t push back on the substantive areas, things that are thought through. And if they do, it’s a red flag that this is not probably somebody I want to work with and what I’ve actually found. And people ask, well, it’s about 15 page contract. Well, don’t people push back on that? No, they actually are grateful because it shows that you’ve thought through your processes and you’re a for real business. You’re not just some person building websites on a so Will Rogers said, good.
[00:22:42] Speaker A: Fences make good neighbors.
That’s because those boundaries are there for a reason, and people understand how to work within them better than if you don’t have them. And I believe you talked about something like that at your keynote at Northeast Ohio Kent, whatever it was called at that time. I remember you talking about fences and contracts. So there’s definitely some credence to everything that you’re saying, which I appreciate very much.
[00:23:06] Speaker B: Yeah. The book is building fences around friendly monsters.
[00:23:09] Speaker A: That’s right.
[00:23:09] Speaker B: So that’s boundaries. Boundaries around clients.
[00:23:13] Speaker A: Yeah, boundaries are good. We need them as children. We need them as adults, and we need to know where they are and how to work within them so that we can actually move forward and accomplish things in the right way.
[00:23:23] Speaker B: Absolutely.
[00:23:24] Speaker A: 100%. Well, I want to move on to our rapid fire questions. I always say I will ask them rapidly. You take the time that you need to answer them.
It isn’t like machine gun questions and answers. I don’t know why I call them that. It’s actually, believe it or not, it’s based on the Inside the Actor Studio with James Lipton. How he because the rapid fire. That’s right. That’s what this is. So that’s how I built this. Anyway.
[00:23:48] Speaker B: Great.
[00:23:50] Speaker A: First up, what are two to three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?
[00:23:57] Speaker B: Okay, two or three.
And this is not just because I work for Items, but items security is definitely a must have. I think it provides the approach to WordPress security that I like the best. So Items security is a must.
Gravity Forms. I love gravity forms. I’ve been a user the old grandfathered lifetime license that I bought 8 million years ago. We use that for everything from a simple contact form to really complicated stuff on some client sites, and I love working with it. And then the third one I’ll say Cadence Blocks. I’m going to be honest that I was not a fan of the Block Editor at all. Not even a lot.
[00:24:45] Speaker A: You and everybody else at the beginning, right? 2018, man, that was the year.
[00:24:51] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. So, yes. And that’s all I have to say about that. But Cadence blocks to me makes the block editor not awful.
[00:25:00] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree with that. I’m a big Cadence fan, and not just because I work there. Absolutely. Because I have a lifetime subscription to Divi and to Elegant Themes, and I have switched over to using Cadence now because I really appreciate using it more. So I’m with you on that.
[00:25:16] Speaker B: Yeah, the block editors come a long way, but my yeah, cadence makes it fun to work with.
[00:25:22] Speaker A: I will agree with that 100%. You know what you’re getting into, and you can find all of the ways to make those edits and changes that you want, which makes it a lot easier. For sure.
[00:25:31] Speaker B: Yes.
[00:25:33] Speaker A: At any point in your WordPress journey, have you had a mentor, whether you start when you first started or any point along the way, and who was it?
[00:25:41] Speaker B: Yeah, so I’ll mention a couple of people.
The first is the person that taught me WordPress.
And this is a fun part of my WordPress story because I’m the host at Items Training now, but I actually learned WordPress at Items Training, so I found Items as a result of the school where my wife was teaching. Items had this plan where they would give away themes to schools, and she taught at this little private school, and I liked their website design. I looked in the bottom and it was WordPress and items and I looked, oh, and they have training. And so I dove right in. It’s where I learned WordPress. So his name was Benjamin Bradley and Benjamin was the professor of Webdesign.com, which is what originally ithunes training was called. And so for years, I learned so much from Ben and when he moved on to something else, he tapped me to take over and so he gave me some opportunities to present as well. And it was a big mentor for me. And the other person I would say is Corey Miller. Corey is a friend and has been a mentor and has given me very wise counsel over the years as I’ve kind of made decisions and thought through some things.
[00:26:57] Speaker A: I love that. And I work with Corey pretty closely over at Postatis and I’m a huge Corey Miller fan as well, so I can appreciate that. So now you can’t use Ben or Corey in your next question. In the next question, sorry, but I’m going to ask you, who is somebody that you admire in the WordPress community and why?
[00:27:14] Speaker B: Okay, so I’m going to say amber Hines. I think the world of Amber Hines. I first saw Amber, and Amber is the CEO of Equalize Digital and they do great work in the accessibility space in WordPress, which I’m a big fan of, just period. But I remember the first time I saw Amber was on stage at Word Camp Denver, probably 2016, 2017. She had just had a baby and she did her talk in the giant auditorium at University of Denver. Huge like multi tiered auditorium. And just being in that kind of room is yeah, she held a baby and did a talk on work life balance.
I was riveted, and that was back when they were doing agency work, working with clients. And so I have really appreciated her over the years and I’m just thrilled for their success.
[00:28:11] Speaker A: Yeah, they we just interviewed her recently for WP Constellations as well. None of these episodes are out yet. This episode today, this Word WP Coffee Talk, is going to be out in the next day or two. What we’re talking about is still going to be out in the next month or two, but it’s not new news that they just got money from NASA for some of the work they’re doing in accessibility and yeah, hats off to her. Yeah, absolutely. I can get behind that as so for sure, there’s lots of people I.
[00:28:39] Speaker B: Admire, but I’m going to say Amber.
[00:28:41] Speaker A: Today, I love that and she’s absolutely worth the admiration.
[00:28:44] Speaker B: Yeah.
[00:28:45] Speaker A: What’s something that you’d like to learn still in WordPress, but that you haven’t tackled yet?
[00:28:51] Speaker B: It’s a great question.
I always need to improve my development skills. I know enough, like I said earlier, for self defense, or you might say to be dangerous, which both of those are true. Yeah. There you go.
I think if I had a limited time to learn something, I would love to get into development more. I don’t see that happening.
There’s a certain amount of time I just don’t see that happening, practically speaking. Something I actually probably would learn is I’ve got to get better designing in the block editor.
I’m okay. I need to get better.
[00:29:27] Speaker A: Yeah, there’s lots of classes for that. We can set you up some.
[00:29:30] Speaker B: Oh, yeah.
[00:29:33] Speaker A: What is one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in WordPress, and what did you learn from it?
[00:29:38] Speaker B: Oh, let’s talk about the day that all 80 of my sites got hacked at once. That was a lot of fun.
[00:29:43] Speaker A: I’ve had a similar experience. Not 80, though, but yeah, that had to be rough, telling me about that, what happened?
[00:29:48] Speaker B: Oh, man. So, I mean, coming from the world I came from, which was macro media, you didn’t worry about database hacks or any of that stuff? I had no idea what I was doing when I got into WordPress. And so 80 was probably like 60 at that point, 60 or so sites. But I didn’t know any better. I had them all in one single Cpanel installed and add on domain. Sure, let’s add on a domain. What could possibly go wrong here?
And so one of those sites got hacked from a scump I can’t even remember. I blocked most of it out of my memory, but it was such a bad day, all the sites just garbage on them and redirecting to other places and yeah, that was a really bad day. And that’s that’s. Actually, when I met Tom rafe we watched your website, and Tom’s a great guy, brilliant WordPress security person and had me fix in a day. I was really grateful. We’ve been friends chatting here and there ever since. But, yeah, I learned really quickly that WordPress sites go in their own individual Cpanels.
[00:30:51] Speaker A: It’s definitely a lot easier to manage if something gets hacked. For sure.
[00:30:56] Speaker B: Yeah. Or I could tell 100 times where I’ve screwed up somebody’s DNS and brought the world down. That’s happened to all of us.
[00:31:01] Speaker A: But it has happened so many stories.
[00:31:04] Speaker B: Of ways I’ve messed up.
[00:31:06] Speaker A: It’s so funny because your mess up was exactly my mess up. Except that I was driving from Rochester, New York, to Montreal in Canada to be a speaker at WordCamp. Montreal. And on the road, I get a phone call on my phone about the fact that somebody’s website was down, and I’m like, I’m talking to them on speakerphone, obviously, and I’m like, I’m halfway to Montreal when I get there. I will take a look. Turned out that I also had all of these add on domain out of 31 of them, and they were all hacked because as soon as they got in the back door of one that infiltrated all of them, I spent the entire night deleting lines of code because I didn’t have backups of everything. There was no such thing as staging sites at that point, and I did not realize that they had created users on every one of those websites. So I fixed them. SiteGround said, yes, we find no more code, wake up the next morning. It happened to me three times over the weekend until I figured out what was happening. So that was a very hard lesson to learn. And I do appreciate now that we have much better security and better protocols. And if you’re listening and you have everything hosted under the same one, this is your warning.
[00:32:17] Speaker B: Please fix it. My anxiety level, I’m feeling it rising. Just even thinking about that again. Yeah.
[00:32:25] Speaker A: Oh, my goodness.
All that to say, I feel your pain for sure. Well, let’s talk about the opposite. Let’s talk about the good stuff. What is your proudest WordPress moment?
[00:32:37] Speaker B: Proudest WordPress moment. I think probably when I was keynote speaker at Word Camp Denver back in 2019.
I did a very different kind of talk there.
It was a very personal talk about impostor syndrome and some of the struggles that I’ve gone through in that area, and it was just received so well by people. Our community is so gracious. And just some folks that grabbed me afterwards, for me, that was a big one. That was a big moment.
[00:33:04] Speaker A: That’s very exciting. Yeah. And to be a keynote at all is such a huge honor that people appreciate your work. Enough like that. But then to know that it hit the mark well and that people really resonated well with people. Yeah. That is a really good feeling. Yeah. Good for you. That’s awesome.
Okay, so if you weren’t working in web or web tech at all, so nothing that you do right now, what’s another career that you might like to attempt?
[00:33:29] Speaker B: I have actually thought about this recently. I think I would enjoy being a therapist.
[00:33:34] Speaker A: I could see you doing that. Yeah, that would be cool. And after this pandemic and everything we’ve been through, there’s so many more people that could use therapy, for sure.
[00:33:44] Speaker B: Me included. Yeah.
[00:33:45] Speaker A: Same. I’m just as guilty. Absolutely.
What’s? Something on your bucket list?
[00:33:54] Speaker B: In one day, I will either have purchased or rent a decent RV and take a trip up the West Coast and just spend a month. Yeah. Just on the road and in the woods.
[00:34:07] Speaker A: Nice. Wait till your kids are all out of the house and just do it with your wife then.
Just that one trip up the coast. Just you and just like you don’t have to worry about kids. I don’t know if you have a dog, that’s fine, but she’s right down.
[00:34:19] Speaker B: Here by my feet.
[00:34:20] Speaker A: There you go. There you that they like that.
Show us or tell us about a hidden talent that you have that people in WordPress might not know about.
[00:34:31] Speaker B: I can cook on the griddle and pellet smoker pretty nice.
[00:34:38] Speaker A: Nice. You’ve got some good recipes you want to share?
[00:34:42] Speaker B: Listen, this weekend, there will be smashburgers on the grill that are out of this world or on the griddle that are out of this world. Yeah.
[00:34:50] Speaker A: You’ll have to send me pictures in slack so that I can live vicariously through your smashburger.
[00:34:55] Speaker B: They are quite good.
[00:34:57] Speaker A: I love that. Yeah, I used to cook. I don’t really cook anymore. I don’t enjoy it. So I stopped doing things that I don’t enjoy unless they’re things I have to do.
And that’s made life a lot nicer for me, actually.
[00:35:10] Speaker B: I actually enjoy cooking all the way around.
[00:35:11] Speaker A: That’s good.
[00:35:12] Speaker B: Relaxing for me. Yeah.
[00:35:14] Speaker A: If you enjoy it, then that’s great. And if you don’t do it, I’m all about my air fryer. Like, what can come out of the freezer and into the air fryer. Makes me happy. Yeah.
[00:35:22] Speaker B: Magic.
[00:35:23] Speaker A: It is, right? For sure.
Is there anything else you want to mention before we wrap things up? Anything that you would love to talk about that I neglected to ask you about? No.
[00:35:33] Speaker B: This has been a lot of fun.
[00:35:34] Speaker A: Good.
I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better, too.
[00:35:38] Speaker B: Absolutely.
[00:35:39] Speaker A: Where do we find you? So if people are interested in connecting with you, what social channels, your website, places that people might be able to reach out to you and ask you a question.
[00:35:47] Speaker B: Yeah. So I am Nathan Ingram in all the places on whatever we’re calling Twitter these days, I’m at Nathan Ingram. I’m not on Instagram, but I am on Facebook and Twitter. Primarily x whatever it’s called.
[00:36:01] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:36:01] Speaker B: You can visit my very outdated personal firstname.lastname@example.org. You can contact me through there, but needs to be updated significantly. My attention has been yeah, I think.
[00:36:11] Speaker A: Of us web designers, builders, developers, whatever we call ourselves, as kind of the children. Our website is our child that has no shoes.
[00:36:20] Speaker B: 100%.
[00:36:22] Speaker A: That’s okay. We’re working on other people’s stuff, so I can kind of take a backseat most of the time. Well, thank you, Nathan, for spending some time with me. It’s been great getting to know you and share your story on WP Coffee Talk. I really appreciate your time today. Thank you.
[00:36:34] Speaker B: Absolutely. Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate the opportunity.
[00:36:36] Speaker A: My pleasure. We’ll see everybody on the next episode of WPCoffeeTalk. Bye.