Part of what we want to do here at WP Daily is share the experiences of those who have been around in the WordPress community for some time so that others can learn from them. We affectionately call these people WPOI, or Word Person of Interest.
Yes, that’s something I made up but it’ll do for now! Our first ever text-based interview here is with Ben Gillbanks of Pro Theme Design who also has the accolade of building the first theme with an admin panel – that makes him a definite WPOI.
1. Tell Us About Yourself, The More ‘Unknown’ Facts the Better!
I am a web developer from the UK, by day I work at Miniclip.com on the website there, and by night I do creative things on a computer – and they often involve WordPress.
Things that aren’t known about me? I don’t know – I share much of the stuff I do online 🙂 When I’m not online I like to go camping and hiking, I’m a bit obsessed with Lego, I play loads of video games, and I like to spend time with my lovely wife Jo.
2. How Long Have You Been Working with WordPress? When Was Your First Experience?
I first started using WordPress on my personal site – my first blog post was in March 2005 so it must have been around the start of that year that I joined in.
My first public theme was Regulus – a free theme. At the time themes generally came with readme.txt explaining what file to edit to change some feature – and so I included a theme control panel, I’m pretty sure I was the first person to do this (although I have no proof).
The theme became quite popular – and got picked up by WordPress.com. That was a good day.
3. How Have You Seen WordPress Grow and Change and Where Do You Think It’s Headed?
I have used WordPress since the early days so have seen it evolve massively – when I first started it had only just had ‘pages’ added.
I think at the moment WordPress has all the main functionality it needs in the core – so the next year will see elements being refined, and even removed. The recent 3.5 update has seen big improvements to the media editor, along with the removal of the links functionality (links being turned into a plugin).
As such I think that WordPress will continue along a similar path for at least 1 or 2 versions, with the improvements being more about the core experience as opposed to radical new functionality.
4. What Projects Currently Keep You Occupied (and Any Secret New Ones We Should Know About)?
I recently bought a website on Flippa called HTML5Directory.com so I am currently building a website for that, and creating a tumblog theme in the process.
I am also working with Darren on our third theme for WordPress.com. I’m also dabbling with an iPhone game and experimenting with some 3d printing.
5. What is One (or Two) Tips for Those That are Getting into WordPress?
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Keep things simple.
Some Places to Find Ben: