WCSTL Speaker Interview: Nile Flores

Nile Flores will be presenting Creating A WordPress Website That Works From the Start. Nile lives in Centralia, Illinois, but is from Belleville, Illinois.

Here’s Nile’s interview. ( Note from Jen Swisher (lead organizer): Please note that every speaker got the same questions, and Nile has done them all, but since it’s strange for Nile to interview herself, I have stepped in.)

JEN SWISHER: What was it about WordPress that got you to start using it?
NILE FLORES: I started hobby blogging a little over 15 years ago. So, the very abridge edition of how I got into WordPress, is that first, I tried manual blogging, and then got into b2 cafelog. b2 cafelog was the blog platform that WordPress was forked from. When WordPress was officially released, I was on the first version. However, what attracted me to it was how it was so easy to blog. Eventually I loved it when WordPress added features like being able to create pages, and custom menus. I’ve seen it all and it’s always wow-ing me. 
JEN SWISHER: What motivates you to give back to WordPress and its community?
NILE FLORES: I love helping people. I’ve been doing that for years. It’s like the quote from the Disney movie Robots, “See a need, fill a need!” There are a lot of people that are struggling to learn. Not everyone has Master level Google Fu, and not everyone has a lot of money. I tried to help fill a need by blogging and publishing tutorials, or contributing to WordPress- related support forums or groups. And then there’s WordCamp. I tell you that nothing makes you feel better than being able to help someone, and then get to meet them at WordCamp.
I also love meeting others in the St. Louis community. I’ve had a lot of support from them and I’m full of gratitude for it.
JEN SWISHER: How many WordCamps have you been to, and what was your best 1 or 2 experiences that you had when attending WordCamp?
NILE FLORES: Oh, goodness. I’ve got to count a lot for this. I’ve been attending WordCamps across the U.S. since 2009. I’ve been to 35 WordCamps. Of them, I’ve spoken at 30, been on a virtual panel for 1, and the rest, I was only an attendee or volunteer. 

My fondest memory is WordCamp Nashville 2015. I was invited as a backup speaker because they weren’t sure if they’d have someone back out. Somehow they kept having speakers back out, due to conflicting schedules. It happens! They invited me back to speak in 2016, on the same topic I submitted the previous year.

Another great memory was getting to meet people like Matt Mullenweg, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, and Brian Gardner, back in WordCamp Chicago 2009. I really felt like a fan girl, and even blogged about it too! (lol)
JEN SWISHER: What is your number 1 tip for WordPress users?
NILE FLORES: Google is your friend. If you don’t know, find out. It could be posting a question in your Local Meetup, some WordPress group on Facebook, the WordPress support Forum, WordPress Stack Exchange, or Google Search. There’s always an answer somewhere. However, if you can’t find the answer, or figure it out, don’t panic. Just hire someone to help you fix it.
JEN SWISHER: What is your favorite feature in WordPress?
NILE FLORES: The content editor. This is what sold me when I took up be cafelog, and continues to be my favorite thing in WordPress, because I love writing (and blogging.) The best thing about this, is that you can go back and edit your post or page any time.
JEN SWISHER: What are your 3 most favorite WordPress plugins?
  1. Yoast SEO – If you don’t have it, you should. This plugin has a lot of great tools to help any WordPress website owner.
  2. Gravity Forms – I love it. I know that it’s a premium plugin, but with the developer license, I’ve really enjoyed being able to create forms easily and even customize them.
  3. W3 Total Cache – I admit that this is a beast of a plugin, but after using it for so long, I’ve mastered it quite well. It’s helped optimize my site.
JEN SWISHER: What is your favorite WordPress theme?
NILE FLORES: I’m a fan of the Genesis theme framework from StudioPress. I don’t really have a favorite child theme as I keep customizing them. I am using the child theme, Wellness Pro, for my theme.
If you’d like to meet Nile, or sit in on her presentation, you will want to buy a ticket. See you at WordCamp St. Louis!