WCSTL Speaker Interview: Timothy Sisson

Timothy Sisson will be presenting Herding Cats: Tips for Leading Technical People. Timothy is from Virginia Beach Virginia.

Here’s Timothy’s interview:

NILE FLORES: What was it about WordPress that got you to start using it?

TIMOTHY SISSON: 2009, I was working for a large engineering company. They had a WordPress blog they used for content marketing. I managed all the SEO/SEM/PPC for the brand so I would spend a good portion of my time writing on the blog. This was my first introduction to WordPress. It really was out of necessity back then. After I left there, I went to work at InMotion Hosting where I was doing technical support. This is where I got a chance to dive head first into WordPress and learn the in’s and out’s.

NILE FLORES: What motivates you to give back to WordPress and its community?

TIMOTHY SISSON: There really is no community quite like WordPress. I’m lucky to have built the friendships I have in the WordPress community. It’s given me the opportunity to learn and grow professionally. WordPress has provided me a career and afforded me a lifestyle I really like. Having three daughters it provides me the opportunity to get them exposed to STEM early on but in a practical way through WordPress via coding. I wish I could give more back to the WordPress community than I do. I feel as though I’ve got the better end of the deal.

NILE FLORES: How many WordCamps have you been to, and what was your best 1 or 2 experiences that you had when attending WordCamp?

TIMOTHY SISSON: Wow! I’ve been to a lot of camps over the past 2 or 3 years. I usually attend 1 or 2 camps a month. I try to find something at each camp that makes it special. St Louis was my first WordCamp as a speaker so that will always be special to me. I remember being incredibly nervous speaking that day but everyone was hospitable and made it just a great time. Sometimes, I like small camps like Lancaster or OKC. They give you a chance to really get to know people. But there’s the larger camps like Miami and US that are fun because of the non-stop energy. I can honestly say, I don’t recall a bad WordCamp yet.

NILE FLORES: What is your number 1 tip for WordPress users?

TIMOTHY SISSON: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your web presence is important. Take your time and have the foresight to see what your website can do for you! When your looking to build something great with WordPress don’t rush it. So many small businesses settle when they really could have a website that takes their business to the next level. At some point, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite feature in WordPress?

TIMOTHY SISSON: I like the work that has been done with oEmbed. In this day and age, reaching your audience takes more than some simple text on a page. oEmbed makes it easy to include all different types of media from different sources. What’s not to love!

NILE FLORES: What are your 3 most favorite WordPress plugins?

TIMOTHY SISSON: I can’t really answer this because it depends on the project. I love that there’s so many plugins that extend the functionality of WordPress and that makes it powerful! If I had to choose:

  1. BoldGrid: I’ve learned that even as a designer/developer a tool like BoldGrid has changed my work flow and the clients I’m able to help build their web presence.
  2. WooCommerce: I love to be able to sell things online and Woo makes that easy right inside of WordPress. Sell all the things!
  3. Sucuri: Security is important in this day and age and we can’t take that for granted. If you’ve ever had to restore a hacked website from backup you already know this.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite WordPress theme?

TIMOTHY SISSON: BoldGrid, of course! It really does reduce the learning curve for the average first time WordPress user. BoldGrid is really a plugin that makes WordPress a drag and drop website builder with many fully customizable themes built into it.

Want to meet Timothy, as well as sit in on his presentation, then you’ll need to buy a ticket to WordCamp St. Louis. It’s happening Saturday, March 18th, at Washington University.