Category: ClassicPress Blog

Meet the Community: Nerissa McCanmore

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: none
ClassicPress Forum Handle: Nyssa The Hobbit
Social media handles: Nyssa the Hobbit (@NyssaTheHobbit) on Twitter
Website: https://nyssashobbithole.com
Where in the world are you located? USA

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I am a housewife/mother, writer/novelist and blogger. I like to read (especially old/modern classics and gothics), tinker with my site, ride my bike on the trails around town, listen to Goth/Industrial and rock/metal and I also blog.

You mentioned you like to read, any recommendations or favourites?

Some of my favorites are Clarissa by Samuel Richardson, Jane Eyre, the works of Jane Austen and Diana Gabaldon, The Time Machine by HG Wells, The Trial by Kafka, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

My cat Creamsicle (who must be fed). Creamsicle is a red tabby of about 2 years old or so. She’s a rescue so we don’t know the exact details. We’ve had her for a year and a half. She was a stray who didn’t seem as comfortable with humans at first. But now that she’s settled in, she’s happy and loving.

What’s your dream job?

Novelist. Alternately, library clerk or proofreader.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

Through blog posts discussing the horrors of Gutenberg. I didn’t totally hate Gutenberg, but through testing I soon discovered that I couldn’t do everything I needed to do. Also, the attitude of some Wordpress people was a turn-off.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

I hope to use it to keep my website and blogs running smoothly.

You’ve mentioned your blogging quite a bit, what do you blog about and where can we read it?

The blog is hosted on nyssashobbithole.com. And, like it says on the blog, “Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole covers various topics–book reviews, religion, abuse, narcissism, college memoirs, Goth, politics, writing, etc.” Beside that I also do travelogues. I’ve been running it for 10 years now. I also have a writing blog focused on my writing projects and the act of writing itself.

Speaking of writing, you are also the author of two books, what can you tell us about that?

Tojet is a fantasy romance; The Lighthouse is a collection of Gothic stories. I self-published them while my son was small and I didn’t have time to look for traditional publishers. The fantasy was based on a dream I had in 1996, while the other is largely made up of dream-based stories that I started writing in the early 90s. In those days publishers didn’t like novellas or long short stories, so I put them together into one book with a central theme, a club for the paranormal and the strange.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

I like all three together the best. 🙂

Meet the Community: Lesley Jones

Coral

The Basics

ClassicPress Forum Handle: Zooey
Website: http://elements.uk.com/wordpress/
Where in the world are you located? England, UK

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I took early retirement from Project Management Support nearly four years ago. When I first started in Personnel, it was my dream job, but things changed rapidly once we were privatized. I found myself changing roles every single year, just to stay one step ahead of redundancy. I became a Billing Specialist and loved it, but eventually that was outsourced to India, along with almost every other admin job. I was retained, but by then bullying had become rife and was taking a serious toll on my health.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

Our assorted zoo, which at the moment comprises 11 cats (mostly rescues from Eastern Europe), 6 rescued ferrets (who have the run of their own room), 2 llamas and 4 Golden Guernsey goats. We have had more – up to 18 cats at one time, 17 ferrets, a rescued pig, ex-battery hens and a fully grown green iguana (who also had her own room converted into a giant vivarium).

How did you end up with an entire zoo of animals?

I wish I knew! Many came from the newsgroups at work, when we were still allowed newsgroups. I think that accounted for our oldest cat (Merlin is now 17), our pig, our iguana Eddie Lizard and the first batch of ex-battery hens. I have also been a home checker for rescue centres and Cat’s Protection. I once transported a cat for our local CP (That’s Cat’s Protection, not ClassicPress), stopped for a break on the way home and the cat stayed until the end of her days. She gave us two unexpected kittens a few weeks later, which we also kept. We belong to two ferret rescue groups and we used to do public relations at various country shows. That involved handing our ferrets to anyone who wanted a cuddle and answering any questions.

What’s your dream job?

I’m doing it now. Caring for our zoo and my passion for photography. I have a full frame DSLR and in a few days I will be off for a week of landscape photography from Northumberland to the Western Highlands, the Isle of Skye and back home via the Lake District. I have a detailed itinerary which begins every day with “Get up at 04:00”. I also love street photography and try to get up to London once every couple of years. Recently my husband bought me a bridge camera which I take to local wildlife reserves. In the past couple of years I’ve seen and photographed kingfishers, hares, almost half the species of UK butterflies, dragonflies/damselflies and all kinds of assorted bugs. Last summer I was having lunch while sat on top of a hill surrounded by literally hundreds of butterflies. You can’t get an office better than that!

What sparked your interest in photography?

My Dad used a cine camera for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to be like him, so I saved up my birthday money and bought myself a Kodak Instamatic when I was about seven. I still have it today. My work horse used to be a 1980 Olympus OM2n until a friend sent me a link to a Guardian/Sony photography competition which, to my amazement, I won. I was always a fan of film photography (and in fact, I also own a 1940 Leica IIIb), but the prize was a digital Sony A700. I had a rather steep learning curve, but now that camera is 12 years old. I have since upgraded to a Nikon D800. The quality is superb, but the downside is the extra weight. I expect to feel like a packhorse during my trip to Scotland.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I’m not a technical person and built my own website as a “display cabinet” for my images. It took a year of hard work, but no sooner had I finished than I heard about the Gutenberg changes. I read as much as I could, but didn’t understand enough to make an informed decision. My gut feeling (as it remains today) was that it was wrong and broke trust within the WP community. I found the ClassicPress site by accident.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

I hope I will be able to use it in the future! I do however, as a blogger and photographer, still fret about the necessary tools (like a good image gallery) that someone like me will need. But I must say that so far the community has looked after me very well and I don’t worry too much.

You gave us a picture of a chicken to use, can you tell us about this photo and why you use it as an avatar?

Coral was one of the last ex-battery rescues before the enriched cage law came into force in 2012. I think her story is best summed up in a blog post I wrote about her not long afterwards. I guess I use it as an avatar to remind myself that although rescuing one animal won’t change the world, you can change the world for that one animal.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

I’m a perfectionist with my photography, so it would have to be a job done well! Although as a retired person with so many mouths to feed, I do have to watch the pennies.

Directors Added to ClassicPress Limited

ClassicPress has, and always will be, a community-led project. My goal from the outset was to create a structure where democracy rules and no single person could change the direction of ClassicPress without oversight and checks and balances.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of three new Directors to ClassicPress Limited.

Michelle Coe, James Nylen and Wade Striebel have been pivotal in shaping, building and delivering ClassicPress to a worldwide audience and they have proven through actions their commitment to the long-term success of ClassicPress. It is an honour to welcome them as Directors of ClassicPress Limited.

This is an exciting step in the journey of ClassicPress, and I hope over time we will explore more ways to officially give ownership of ClassicPress to the community who continues to bring it to life.

I’d also like to express my everlasting gratitude to my fellow committee members and members of the community. Your generosity and hard work in making ClassicPress a reality is a gift to the world.

Scott Bowler, Founder
ClassicPress

What is missing in the ClassicPress project that you could contribute to?

Every open source project has an amazing community where individuals can use their particular skillset to help the project evolve. To ensure the project is managed and promoted in a way that maintains its primary objective, it needs feedback and help from the ever-growing user base.

One of the reasons we created ClassicPress was because WordPress was not listening to its users. We do not want to make the same mistake. This project has a simple motto, “The business-focused CMS. Powerful. Versatile. Predictable”.

And we need you!

Committee members are continually improving the project in all areas, from coding to marketing, but they can’t do everything on their own. Every project born from a fork has a lot of work to do, especially in areas such as new infrastructure, defining roles, procedures, tools and organizing tasks. ClassicPress is up against a big competitor in WordPress and it is not easy to compete without resources, which in our case, comes down to people.

ClassicPress is a community-led project, and anyone can contribute to it. Since the project started, many people have helped in a variety of areas, and we are certainly very grateful for that. You can clearly see this in the discussions on our public forums and our Slack channels. We couldn’t have launched Aurora without you!

As we move toward version 2, we need your support.

Many people are watching ClassicPress to see what we will do, and we need more hands to move it forward. If you are not a developer, designer, marketer or a native English speaker, you may be wondering, “How can I help?”

Well, you are already contributing to the project by reading this article! 🙂

Actually, it is very easy to contribute, depending on your available time. We have prepared a small list of example tasks where you can help the project and be part of our community.

Let’s start!

  • Join the forums and our Slack channels
    • In the forums, subscribe to the categories that you are interested in most and join discussions
    • On Slack, join our public meetings
  • Help us with theme development for the ClassicPress website
  • Help us with promotion on Twitter and other social media platforms by sharing our content (or writing your own!)
  • Spread the word about the project with your co-workers or at events
  • Help us with writing documentation about ClassicPress
    • If you do video, we would also like some short videos about ClassicPress
  • Test various WordPress plugins with ClassicPress and ask plugin authors to support it
  • If you are not a native English speaker, contribute to the localizing of the code messages in your language
  • If you are a developer, check the GitHub issues and join discussions or make pull requests
  • Donate a small sum of money to enable the infrastructure to keep growing

We invite you to help us by finding the areas where we are lacking — how can we make it easier for you to contribute to ClassicPress?

We look forward to your comments!

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Meet the Community: Wade Striebel

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: Wade Striebel

ClassicPress Forum Handle: @wadestriebel

Twitter: @wadestriebel

Website: https://wade.striebel.ca/

Where in the world are you located? Canada

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I am an entrepreneur (serial-entrepreneur, if I am being honest). I started my first company in my second year of University and from there things snowballed to where I am today.

My first company was based around helping seniors learn technology, whether that be emails, Facebook, or sometimes even just how to turn on the computer. From there, we grew to a small team that started doing website design and development.

Jumping to 2019, a friend and I co-founded a new company called Airranged at the beginning of the year, and I have a few side projects on the go, my favourite being Resume’ed!

Hobbies include skiing, coding and ClassicPress.

I love getting out and skiing on fresh powder and just forgetting the world for a couple of hours. I was even a ski instructor in high school (great high school job!).

Anything coding is my other passion; I am all self-taught and love learning new bits and pieces.

Finally, ClassicPress – I am the Community team lead and am on the committee. I thoroughly enjoy chatting to everyone and learning from the community; it has been exciting to see the community grow as fast as it has.

Airranged and Resume’ed sound interesting. Can you tell us some more about what they do?

Sure, I love chatting about the products I am currently working on! Let me start with Resume’ed since I just launched that at the beginning of March (see https://www.producthunt.com/posts/resume-ed ).

Resume’ed essentially fills a gap in the market that affected me and my mom when we graduated from University. Both of us wanted to put a resume online; she wanted something where she didn’t have to know how to code, and I wanted something that was modern and flexible. After weeks of searching, I never found the ‘right’ thing; some looked great but required coding knowledge while others were limiting in nature.

So in September of 2018 I finally decided to build a better way. I built an MVP and started using it for my mom and I. It worked amazingly well! It was flexible but modern, and required no coding knowledge to get started. So, in short, Resume’ed helps you craft a personal brand with a unique e-resume. Resume’ed is now used by great people at Tesla, Apple, and even the Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Airranged is a business my friend and I co-founded. Airranged started as a property management service that helped Airbnb Hosts maximize their Airbnb revenue without the hassle of dealing with guests, problems, or the pricing. Our dynamic pricing algorithm helped us double the booking revenue year over year for our listings. We are now planning on launching a SaaS service that allows any Airbnb Host to leverage our pricing algorithm along with automated messages. Our SaaS offering will be available soon!

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

Learning something new. Put simply, I love to learn! I look forward to waking up and working through a problem I haven’t seen before. I think about it all the time, until I get through it and move on to the next task.

What’s your dream job?

This is my dream job. I love waking up every morning and finding something new and exciting to work on.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

Scott Bowler and I were connected prior to ClassicPress and when he started it, he asked if I would be interested in getting involved.

I said yes because I could see Scott truly wanted to do something different; creating an engaged community around a democracy where the people decide the future of the project, and that excites me. The possibilities are truly endless; looking through the forums and petitions you can’t help but get a little excited about the possibilities with V2.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

I hope to continue to be involved with ClassicPress, as I see the value and community we have built over the last couple of months. I enjoy interacting with everyone on the forums and on Slack, and I have learned so much from this diverse and growing group of ClassicPress users.

As the Community Team Lead, I’m hoping that now we’ve released ClassicPress v1 we can continue to grow this engaged community. I intend to lead the way to ensure that every new ClassicPress user feels as welcomed and heard as every user before them.

Some short-term goals for the ClassicPress community involve the launch of the ClassicPress Jobs Forum (we know a lot of you have been asking for one!), setting up the first ClassicPress Meetup, and the launch of the new ClassicPress website. If you are interested in helping out the Community Team please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

Depends on what we are talking about!

I am a strong advocate for getting an MVP out as fast and cheap as possible in order to validate your assumptions before spending valuable resources on something that people don’t want. On the flip side, I tend to also fall into the trap of perfecting a project before releasing it!

Meet the Community: Ian Grieve

Ian Grieve

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: azurecurve
ClassicPress Forum Handle: azurecurve
Social media handles: azurecurve on Twitter
Website: https://www.azurecurve.co.uk
Where in the world are you located? England

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I am an ERP consultant, working with Microsoft Dynamics GP, who runs a popular blog on that subject. I’ve also written seven books on Dynamics GP.

I read a lot and watch a lot of movies, mainly Science Fiction & Fantasy.

I enjoy walking in the country, baking (pies, cakes and biscuits), visiting distilleries and ruined buildings, such as castles and abbeys, and am always looking for new software to have a fiddle around with.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

I’m always awake well before my alarm might go off; early morning walks are a favourite I get to indulge in since starting a new job where I work from home.

What’s your dream job?

Pretty much what I do now as an ERP consultant; if I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably try for something in the Scotch whisky industry as I love both whisky and visiting distilleries.

You clearly have an appreciation for whisky. Does this also include whiskey?

Yes, I also like whiskey; I’ve visited distilleries in Ireland and the US (Kentucky so far, but hopefully more this year) as well as all parts of the UK. I aim to visit more countries in future to tour distilleries.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

When Gutenberg was near to release and wasn’t getting any better, I started looking around for alternatives and found ClassicPress. It seemed a good alternative to Gutenberg and getting involved, even in a small way, seemed like a way to contribute back to the community I’d be drawing from. It was that same logic which saw me start the azurecurve blog on Microsoft Dynamics GP back in 2011.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

It replaces WordPress and means I can avoid Gutenberg; even using the Classic Editor plugin is only a temporary reprieve if you stick to the WordPress platform. ClassicPress allows me to work the way I have for the last few years.

If I changed platform I’d have to not only learn a new system, but also find ways to plug the gaps for all of the plugins I wrote to extend WordPress; as it is, all of these plugins will continue to work. I have taken the opportunity to update and improve them for launch with ClassicPress.

You’ve certainly made a big contribution to the ClassicPress plugin range. What is your motivation?

My plugin development is generally, although not always, around functionality I need for my own sites. I have released 31 plugins and have two new ones currently in development.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

Done well. I try to do my best at everything I do. Professionally speaking, well and fast seem to coincide a lot, but, historically, in writing plugins for WordPress I had fast and not especially well. The community of ClassicPress has been very welcoming and willing to help with advice which has allowed me to improve my plugins enormously.

Done cheap never works in anything but the shortest of times; it is always a false economy.

Meet the Community: Patrick van Noort

Patrick van Noort

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: Klein
ClassicPress Forum Handle: Klein
Social media handles: I don’t really use Social Media
Website: I don’t have a personal website.
Where in the world are you located? The Netherlands

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I am an avid reader and lover of history. I often study historical figures just out of interest. I used to love chemistry as well, but that love has died down a bit. I got into programming and computers quite late in my school career. It took me a while to find my place as I originally studied Biochemistry. During this study I got a part-time job doing simple data entry, and my interest grew from there. I took up a study in basic web development after that.

Do you ever regret switching to web development?

Honestly, in the beginning I did. It was something completely different and pretty difficult to wrap my head around. But as I learned and continue to learn, I find it much more enjoyable than my old studies. I like front-end development because you can see immediately what is happening. It can be very frustrating at times, but the feeling when everything clicks and works is amazing.

What do you do now?

I finished my studies not too long ago and work for an advertisement company. The company is more than half a century old now, and trying to branch out into the web world. It is great to sort of pilgrim ahead while still having the security of a respected name. I still have a few of my own projects (most of which use ClassicPress) but most of my work hours are in a brick-and-mortar office for the company. I also took some time recently to get Google Certified, which was a new experience that I really enjoyed.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

My biological clock, haha. I am what you would call a morning person, which means I am always up early and do not really have the ability to sleep in. But in a metaphorical sense, what gets me up is that I really feel happy right now and like I have my life together, something that wasn’t always the case.

What’s your dream job?

If I can let my fantasy run wild, paleontologist or professional historian. But that is more a childhood fantasy than anything. Honestly, I really love the work I do now.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

Like many companies that rely on WordPress, we were confronted with Gutenberg. Thanks to our way of working, Gutenberg was a nightmare and the hunt for a good alternative came soon after. We considered the options, but we mostly serve clients with a small budget. I came across ClassicPress and had to make several reports about its pros and cons to convince my higher ups. During that time I got quite familiar with the project and its community, and so I decided to stick around. I have gotten involved in a few things since then, like the Dutch translation, but my proudest achievement for ClassicPress is the creation of the welcome potato emoticon on slack. CP welcome potato

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

All our actively maintained legacy sites currently run on ClassicPress. Since we serve many clients with limited budgets, we try to keep their sites running as long as possible. A new site would just cost them too much. But we don’t just use ClassicPress for legacy. A lot of our newer projects also run on ClassicPress because we believe in its future.

Done fast; done cheap; done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

I would love to do fast and well of course. But because we serve many people with smaller budgets, cheap is important. This mostly leads to done simple. We still want to provide quality and don’t want to take ages, but that does mean we’re sometimes limited in scope.

Meet the Community: Andy Towler

The Basics

ClassicPress username: zigpress

Social Media Handles: ZigPress, @zigpress

Your website: https://www.zigpress.com

Where in the world are you located? Originally UK, then Malta for many years, now Philippines

What brought you to the Philippines, and how do you find the culture there to be similar or different from your experiences in Malta and the UK?

My wife and I have moved to the Philippines partly for family reasons (my wife is from here), partly because the low cost of living (compared to Europe) will enable us to improve our work/life balance, and partly because it’s a stunning country filled with amazing things to see and friendly, positive people.

The culture is not so different when you get under the surface. People are doing their best to earn a living, to provide for their children, and to put something by for a rainy day, just like anywhere in the world. Life can be tougher though – there is no free healthcare and an inadequate social welfare system – and maybe because of this, there is a strong work ethic, particularly in the younger generations, because there is a strong tradition of the younger members of an extended family supporting the older members when they become elderly.

Tell us about yourself — your occupation, hobbies, etc.

I started building websites for a living in 1999 and started working with WordPress in 2007. After working as a developer for various companies I’ve now been self-employed for almost 3 years. ZigPress started as a side gig and is now my main agency brand. Through ZigPress I design, develop and support websites and web applications, usually on the WordPress platform though I build custom web applications when a project demands it.

Other things I like to do include traveling, swimming and snorkeling, listening to music and playing the piano.

You offer a variety of products and service-based offerings. Which one do you enjoy the most, and why?

ZigPress currently has two main offerings – the ZigCare support and maintenance service for WordPress-based websites, and the design and build of new websites and web applications. Intellectually both are challenging for different reasons – with ZigCare, my knowledge of how many different plugins are coded and likely to affect others comes into play, and with design and build projects, it’s my systems architecture experience that is key.

I don’t think I can say I enjoy one more than the other – both aspects of the business are satisfying in different ways.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

My wife!

What’s your dream job?

I’m doing it.

Where do you see ZigPress in the next 3-5 years?

Over the next few years I will be working to generate an increase in the number of websites subscribing to a ZigCare plan, because that’s where I have more capacity. But I still enjoy design & build projects because each one is different. I have a Malta-based partner who helps me find new business (as well as working on SEO for my clients) so he will play a role in this.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I found out about it through the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, though I had been commenting that it was time for a fork since first learning about Automattic’s Gutenberg-related plans. After reading about the CP team’s aims and trying the early alpha I decided this was the right fork to follow.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

Recently I’ve decided to switch certain client sites over to ClassicPress – mainly sites where the client leaves the back end management to ZigPress, and also sites where all content editing is done using Advanced Custom Fields Pro (so Gutenberg wouldn’t be in the picture anyway). I will also be switching all ZigPress’s own projects over, and I will consider whether to use ClassicPress on a case-by-case basis with each new project I quote for.

It’s also worth mentioning that I develop and maintain a number of free plugins in the WP repository. All my plugins are and will continue to be CP-compatible.

Done good, done fast, or done cheap: Which two do you choose?

Good and fast. I’m an impatient perfectionist!

Upgrade your site to ClassicPress 1.0.1 now!

We’ve just released ClassicPress 1.0.1, a security release.

We recommend that you update your site(s) as soon as possible.

ClassicPress 1.0.1 is a security release to match the security changes in WordPress 5.1.1 and 4.9.10 (both released today). It is available now. The new ClassicPress release also contains one minor bugfix related to WP-CLI.

You can find more information and update instructions on our forums.

As always, we’ll be around if you need any help, just make a new thread on our support forum.

Meet the Community: Alan Coggins

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: @ozfiddler
ClassicPress Forum Handle: @ozfiddler
Twitter: @computingsimply
Websites: https://simplycomputing.com.au, https://abcviolins.com.au
Where in the world are you located? Australia

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I have a small website design and maintenance business, mostly built up through word-of-mouth. I’m at the age (64) where I’m starting to feel “semi-retired”, so I don’t have any grand plans to build an empire. Our clients pay an annual fee to have us look after everything for them, which means it brings in a small, regular income. This is handy because my wife is a violin maker and her income is somewhat less predictable.

Hobbies tend to revolve around music — lately I’ve been getting back into playing the piano, mostly pop music and venturing into a little jazz and blues. I’ve also developed an interest in martial arts (probably some sort of mid-life crisis thing), and I’m currently doing Aikido.

Other than the alarm clock, what gets you up in the morning?

Not even the alarm clock! For the past 20 years I’ve been getting up to see my two children off to school, but they’ve now passed that stage and I’m in the curious (but very relaxed) position of having no pressing need to get up at all. But the first thing I do every morning is make a large pot of tea (real leaves!), fire up the laptop and see what’s been happening on the other side of the world overnight. And, of course, that now includes checking the ClassicPress forum and Slack channels. So, I guess what gets me up is the need to put on the kettle.

What’s your dream job?

Anything that doesn’t involve monotony or repetition. I’m the sort of person who constantly has to be learning new stuff, so working with computers is an ideal area for me. I love problem solving and having to think my way around finding the optimal answer to a new question. And invariably the best solution is also the simplest. I’m a huge fan of the Occam’s Razor approach — hence the name of our computing business, Simply Computing.

Tell us a little bit about your background/history as a writer.

I started writing when I was working with my wife as a violin maker. I had some full-length articles published in an English string magazine called The Strad, then I came up with a wacky notion to write some shorter, light-hearted jottings from the viewpoint of an elderly and cynical violin repairer. The Strad liked the idea and I ended up doing a monthly, one-page column for the next three years: Confessions of a Luthier – the diary of Stanley Potts. It was published anonymously and generated a lot of speculation about Stanley’s true identity. He even had his own website and would regularly receive emails and send off suitably crusty replies.

Over the years I’d also been collecting and researching information about Australian violin makers. When I reached the 500 mark I realised I needed to preserve and circulate all this information, so in 2009 I self-published my book, Violin and Bow Makers of Australia. I couldn’t find anyone to do the necessary photos (violin photography is a very specialised field) so in the end I just had to teach myself. I’m still picking up some occasional work as a violin photographer.

How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved?

I first saw ClassicPress mentioned on an Australian computing forum. I’d already checked out Gutenberg and decided it was a totally unnecessary complication for my clients, so I was interested in finding a simpler alternative. The Classic Editor plugin was clearly only a short-term fix. As soon as I started looking into ClassicPress I very quickly realised this was the answer I needed.

I was keen to get involved because I’ve always loved the collaborative nature of the internet and the way people so often help each other freely, with no thought of personal gain. There have been a lot of people who have helped me out over the years with advice and answers, so I always try and give something back if I can. Sort of like computer karma.

How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future?

I’ve worked with a good number of CMS programs — Joomla, Wordpress, Magento, Concrete5, Perch — but I’ve always come to them as an outsider who just accepts things as they are, warts and all. With ClassicPress I feel like I have the opportunity to take a little “ownership” of it as it forms — that’s an exciting idea. I’m really keen to see how ClassicPress grows and develops and I’m looking forward to being a part of that. Maybe I could even suggest an idea via the petitions that will eventually get adopted.

Done fast, done cheap, done well: what’s your choice(s) and why?

I’d have to say all three. I think in the computer world “done fast” can be vital, so I don’t see that as a negative. I like to get onto problems as soon as they appear, and my clients would expect that, especially those with ecommerce sites.

I work from home, have no employees and very few overheads, so I am able to keep my prices quite low. I guess a lot of people would consider our services to be “done cheap”.

And I would certainly like to think they are “done well”. We commit to ongoing maintenance of websites, so I’m ultimately responsible for all my work in the long term. If I don’t do it well the first time it only means I have to go back and do it again.

Hmmm… you know, I think I may have found a new tagline for my website.