WCSTL Speaker Interview: Joe McGill

Joe McGill will be talking on Showing up: learning how to make a contribution. Joe is from St. Louis, Missouri.

Below is Joe’s interview.

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

JOE MCGILL: I first started using WordPress as an alternative to Movable Type and really enjoyed how quickly I could publish content to the web and customize my own theme. I’ve since used WordPress as the content management system for many different kinds of projects and continue to find its ease of use and extensibility a great asset.

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

JOE MCGILL: One of the best things about the web industry, in my opinion, is the way people freely share what they’ve learned. I’ve found the WordPress community, with its commitment to open source and the GPL, to be a stellar example of that philosophy in the way we all gain from sharing with each other.

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

JOE MCGILL: I think I’ve attended about 8 WordCamps, including two trips to WordCamp US. Each experience is unique in its own way, but probably my best experience was getting to be in the room at WordCamp US in 2015 when WordPress 4.4 was announced, which included responsive images—the first major feature I worked on.

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

JOE MCGILL: Keep WordPress, your theme, and plugins up to date. If possible, turn on auto-updates and don’t worry about it. Also, when looking for a theme for your site, avoid the temptation to purchase a “premium” theme just because it’s packed full of specialty features. You probably don’t need many of them, and if you do, there’s probably a free plugin in the WordPress.org plugin directory that will do a better job.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite feature in WordPress?

JOE MCGILL: Such a hard question, but I think I’d have to say the humble Post. The reality being that this deceptively simple feature is anything but—becoming the backbone for so many cool possibilities within WordPress.

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

JOE MCGILL: Since I do a lot of developing and debugging, two of my favorite plugins are the Developer plugin and Debug Bar Console. I also always install a caching plugin like WP Super Cache on every site I create.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite WordPress theme?

JOE MCGILL: Honestly, the latest default theme, Twenty Seventeen, designed by Mel Choyce has got to be one of the coolest themes I’ve seen in a while.

Want to meet Joe McGill, and sit in on his talk? Come on out to WordCamp St. Louis, on March, 18, 2017! However, don’t forget to buy your ticket today!