WCSTL Speaker Interview: Julia Eudy

Julia Eudy will be presenting on Implementation Strategy for the HTTPS Movement. Julia is from St. Peters, Missouri.

Here is her interview.


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

JULIA EUDY: I have a background in marketing and communications. Back when HTML was the only thing that powered websites, I was impatient. So much so that I taught myself HTML so I could make updates to the company website myself instead of waiting on someone from IT to help me do it. This opened doors for me in marketing. Not only did I know how to market and communicate, but I had the technical knowledge to support what needed to be done. Blew people in my field away. Seeing the impact this made on my own career, I always sought ways to encourage others to step outside their comfort zone and get to know the technical side of themselves.

At some point, I stumbled across WordPress and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! Seeing how user-friendly it was, I knew this was a great way for those hesitant marketers to earn some confidence in technology and get more involved in their budding online presence.

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

JULIA EUDY: When I see how the simplicity of WordPress motivates others to open doors to achieve their dreams, I get fired-up. In my experience, technology in general is a scary thought for many people. Outside of pushing a few buttons to turn something on or off, many live in fear of “breaking something” if they touch anything else. That’s sad.

I personally discovered how empowering it was to learn something new and how it opened doors in my career that have had a huge impact in my life. Helping people break through this fear and find within themselves the ability to do much more with technology really motivates me in general. WordPress developers and the WP community that supports them are a perfect environment for those fearful to find confidence. They are so supportive and down-to-earth, it allows even the novice to take baby-steps to do some really cool things. I’m honored to be part of that community and help inspire change and success for small business owners

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

JULIA EUDY: To be completely honest, I’m a WordCamp virgin. I spoke to Mary Baum a couple of years ago regarding the St. Louis event, but was unable to attend over the past few years. I have been a proactive supporter of them though, recommending to students, clients and colleagues to go because of what I have learned from event highlights or videos shared post-event by coordinators around the globe. This year, I had it in my plan – no matter what – to attend and connect with others who had the same passion as I do for WordPress. I can’t wait!

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

JULIA EUDY: Don’t hesitate to dig into the code or database features. I always do a “Copy and Paste” of any code I plan to mess with or a back-up of the Database before I make any changes. To keep it simple, I’ll use notepad doc. This gives me a “manual undo” so-to-speak that is clean from the code other programs might interject. Then I just dig in. Change one thing then Test. This gives you a easy way to determine if what you are thinking will work or not. If not, you know exactly what to change back and determine a plan B.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite feature in WordPress?

JULIA EUDY: Saving as Draft. I use Posts or Pages to create widget layouts for my non-technical clients. I tell them to title the page “Widget:_______” and “Save as Draft” This gives them a platform to layout what they want using the WISYWIG editor while providing the underlying HTML code needed. When done, they just copy and paste the HTML code into the widget and save! This makes it easy for them to make updates to content and functionality without needing to rely on me as often. This frees my time to do other things more technical while helping them build more confidence in their own abilities.

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

JULIA EUDY: Just 3? Hmmm, that’s tough. I’ll go with Wordfence, Yoast SEO and Backup Buddy.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite WordPress theme?

JULIA EUDY: With cyber attacks on WordPress, I’ve been much more more selective in this area to make sure the core code is being managed. The final decision I make really depends on the end-user for whom I’m creating the site. I use AVADA a great deal of the time. It’s supercharged with a ton of features and their support is awesome allowing me to become super efficient in development and

maintenance. It is also a great stepping stone for those clients I work with who are transitioning from drag-n-drop builders like GoDaddy or Wix and want to stay involved in page/post development. Their built-in page builder is user friendly with very creative elements. For projects where the client has very little or no desire to be involved in site management; I’ll often use OptimizePress or Genesis. Just depends on how creative I need to be in the design.

If you’d like to meet Julia, or get a chance to hear her talk, you’ll need to buy a ticket to WordCamp St. Louis, which is happening March 18th!