Editor’s note: In our blog interview series we have so far done interview with many of world-class experts and developers. In today’s interview we have Alex Moss – one of the UK best-known experts in the field of WordPress development. Alex has been designing sites since he was a teenager, creating fan sites for popular TV shows. Today, he focuses on WordPress development and SEO.
So, without any delay let’s meet him in our post and get inspired by his incredible life experience.
1. I’m sure there’s a really great story behind your cooperating with WordPress. How did you get into WordPress? What is WordPress for you these days?
I got into WordPress after other CMS’s weren’t doing what I wanted it to in terms of flexibility. Also, WordPress offered the biggest amount of community support and had the best minds working not only on core but with some great plugins too. Today, WordPress is my living.
2. What were your mistakes when you started working with WordPress? What piece of advice would you give to WordPress newbies?
Using themes without enough research into the code. Ensure that you trust the code being given to you and the developer who made it. I wrote a post about some things you can look out for Seachenginewatch.com.
3. For someone who’s is hesitating whether to start with WordPress – what are your words of wisdom? How can users benefit from building their sites in WordPress?
Do it, even if it means messing around with some of the features on a development or local site. You’ll soon find that it can do pretty much anything you need and not just act as a blogging platform.
4. Being one of the UK’s best known experts in the field of WordPress development, what is the most complicated project you faced with? What one are you most proud of?
There are 2 jobs that stand out. One had to do with create a site in WP from a large existing site powered by a custom CMS. We had to ensure that all data migrated correctly which is a massively complex task not only to implement but also to test. Another complex job of ours was to redevelop a site already attracting 4m visitors per month not only to a mobile-first responsive theme but also to add a very complex UGC element to it. I’m really proud of the work we did for that client.
5. What exactly makes you gravitate towards WordPress? What are your favourite plugins? What frustrates you in WordPress?
Ease of use, and also the fact that a lot of people who are hardly web enthusiasts have heard of WordPress and perhaps even used it before. It’s easy to train people how to use it which makes our job as developers much easier in the long run. I have a few favourite plugins. I have written a few posts on this to Searchenginewatch.com, 123-reg.co.uk and wpkube.com.
6. Have you ever worked with another platforms? Which? Except WordPress, which CMS would you prefer using now?
We sometimes work with Magento which is a great solution for ultra-complex ecommmerce sites. Other CMSs such as Drupal and Concrete I have sparsely used but have been co-operative. None as well as WP though 😉
7. You’ve been using WordPress since 2010. Share the most useful tips and tricks on WordPress customization.
If you’re good enough – solve the problem yourself with your own code. This is exactly how I started developing plugins. Facebook Comments was only made because nobody else had created a solution a good as how I wanted it to be.
Also, use a framework you’re comfortable with because then you can, at a much faster rate, code with your own standards and customise a site with a lot more ease. I used to use a few frameworks but more recently have developed my own mobile-first responsive framework built with Bootstrap – called Peadig which we now develop all our sites with.
8. Have you tested WordPress 3.9 already? If Yes, what are your impressions?
Admittedly no I haven’t. I used to always mess around with Beta releases but due to the nature of my work now I have less time. Rhys Wynne, a developer here at FireCask, has already looked into it and is excited at some of the new features coming. He’ll be writing a post about them nearer the time of release so keep your eyes peeled.
9. In your opinion, what’s the next level of WordPress development? Where do you see WordPress in 2-3 years time?
As WP Co-Founder Mike Little explained in my interview with him there will be 2 elements powering the future of WP – community and mobile. Community, however, will be the more influential point in WP’s future and will help not only beginner developers nurture their skills but also WordPress is now starting to help children to code. Only in a few weeks time, WordCamp Miami will be hosting a WordCamp for Kids, aged 8-12, build on their WordPress skills.
10. In conclusion, have you faced the problem of website migration? Did you personally perform website switch to WordPress? How do you treat an automated way of website migration?
Ah yes I did mention it above 🙂 Yes, it’s complex and can’t be too automated. The hard part is testing afterwards to ensure all is correct.
Many thanks to Alex for sharing his thoughts and life experience with us. Hopefully, the interview will inspire our readers to pursue their own success path and get high results in work.
Left with additional questions? Any suggestions and comments would be much appreciated in a section below.
P.S. Thinking of getting to WordPress? Than look no further than aisite automated migration service that will transfer all your data from your current platform to WordPress swiftly, accurately and with your minimal involvement. So, catch the moment and see how simple it is to move to WordPress by means of aisite.