Category: ClassicPress Blog

Meet the Community: Pete Thomas

The Basics

ClassicPress Forum Handle: MrLucky
Website: CP:,,, ; WP:, ; Xenforo:
Where in the world are you located? South East England, UK

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

Musician and composer (semi retired). I was originally a pop/rock session and touring musician (saxophone) then became a composer of media and TV music.
Hobby: websites which are involved with fundraising for special needs music education (raised almost £1,000,000 to date)

I am also a supporter of Southampton FC.

What are some of your fundraising campaigns for?

As the sites that raise the money (the store site and the forum) are aimed at musicians it just seems natural to choose music related charities. And music education (and/or therapy) for special needs children and adults is something I’m interested in, there is so much to do with assistive technology that is advancing all the time.

You can find more information at:

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

My wife. Ugandan coffee.

What’s your dream job?

What I’ve been doing I suppose.

What led to your love for the saxophone, is it the only instrument you play?

What lead me to the saxophone? I think that was hearing some avant garde jazz on the radio (Ornette Coleman) when I was 18 and realising there was more to jazz than the boring trad my parents listened to.

And no, it is not the only instrument I play. I also play a bit of guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion. Plus programming. It’s very useful these days to be a multi-instrumentalist and being able to produce, for media companies, something that has real instruments, not just programmed synth and sample.

Where can people find your music?

A lot of my music, especially educational and sales is on my main site, a lot more (the production music) can be found on

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

I heard about it from the Wordpress Feedback forum. I was finding Gutenberg difficult to deal with.

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

Gutenberg is too restricting. I want the combination of simple text editor but with the ability to use coding when I want to. I cannot see any longevity to the Wordpress classic editor plugin. My only reservations are that my main site ( which is quite large and involves sales will need a lot of testing (plugins etc.) before I’m confident enough to migrate it to CP.

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

Each depending on context.

Meet the Community: Zulfikar Gani

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: zulfgani
ClassicPress Forum Handle: zulfgani
Social media handles: @classicdesignr on Twitter, Zulfikar Gani on FB & zulfgani on GitHub.
Website: (My ClassicPress home currently under construction)
Where in the world are you located? Leicester, UK ~ In the heart of England

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I’m a bit of a jack of all trades so online I go by “A code wrangler” especially themes and plugins for ClassicPress having emigrated from WordPress last year. I’d love to build a full fledged web Agency based on ClassicPress and therefore working towards this as the end goal.

Offline I’m in the process of setting up a meat (beef) production unit where I’ll be producing halal beef bacon, sausages and gourmet burgers. As a former builder I’m doing most of the unit build work myself and as a coder will be responsible for the business website from A-Z.

What made you want to get into the meat industry and why specifically set up a halal production unit?

I was born in Tanzania, East Africa so grew up with cows and meat around me. I kinda lost touch with that when we moved to the UK. That though changed when I met an American lad and we became good friends. He and his friend had setup a butcher shop and from them I got to learn the American cuts, rubs and way of cooking steaks.
With that knowledge talking to fellow Muslims about steaks and especially Bacon I quickly realized there was a huge gap in the market. So after a few more chats a couple of us decided that there’s a market out there, so why not fill it? And so the adventure began.

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

It has to be thought of finally being able to enjoy a good ol’ full English breakfast 😉 So I get up early, do some code then rush off to get the production unit job done.

What’s your dream job?

I have 2 as mentioned above ~ currently working on getting them both off the ground 🙂

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

Ah, ClassicPress! We met by chance and it was code love at first site.

As a passionate themer I was in the habit of keeping up with WP development longing to find an opportunity to get back in. It was during one of the reads when I spotted a comment mentioning ClassicPress “without Gutenberg” and knew what I had to do, “get back to what I love doing”.

I’ve since released my first ClassicPress theme called GeneriK and I’m currently working on another 2 plus a couple of forked and improved/unGutenBerged (is that a word?) plugins.

What made you create GeneriK?

I had originally created a theme for WP with some basic Gutenberg support while it was still a plugin. I then realized that Gutenberg was going to be a nightmare to develop for let alone support so I shelved the project and also quit the WordPress Theme Review Team.

When ClassicPress presented me with the opportunity to get coding again I revived the theme, renamed it and stripped out all of the GB support ~ going back to the basics so to speak.

I’m very pleased with the end results but have more ideas to take the theme even further. I named the theme GeneriK (Generic) on purpose as it is very extensible via action hooks and filters. Child themes and addon plugins can really take it to the next level by adding, removing and hooking in to these actions to make it unique while the base theme still remains generic.

But the proof is in the pudding and only the end users of the theme can be the judges ~ I would naturally be biased.

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

ClassicPress has rekindled my love of code and an ambition to run a web agency which I intend to capitalize on to the fullest extent as I grow.

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

Lets see, 
Done fast leads to silly mistakes and goes against the saying “never rush a good _____”
Done cheap is overrated. Wait, that’s underrat(ing)ed right?

For me it has to be “Done Well” as a well done pat on the back is more gratifying than a few “quick bucks”.

Meet the Community: Michelle Coe

The Basics

Your Name & ClassicPress Handle: Michelle Coe | BlueSkyPhoenix
Your social media handles: Facebook & Instagram: @BlueSkyPhoenix
Twitter: @bsp_design
Your website:

Where in the world are you located?

Virginia, USA

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

Since 2011, I’ve owned a small firm that does brand & marketing strategy and web design & development. I am most passionate about working with small and micro businesses, as well as non-profit organizations.

I serve on the board of our local Chamber of Commerce as Chair of the Micro Enterprise Council. I also serve on the ClassicPress Committee and am CP Design Team Lead/Marketing Team Co-lead. I am also a director of ClassicPress Limited.

I teach Zumba Gold classes twice a week (I love my seniors!) and during the summer months I travel regionally to show my limited edition Volkswagen GTI. When I’m not doing all of those other things or being a mom, I enjoy creating art. I’ve been an ArtSnacks Ambassador for a little over a year.

I also spend a fair amount of time on my yoga mat, which helps keep me sane enough to do all the other things.

You’ve recently been appointed as one of the three new directors of ClassicPress Ltd. How much more work is involved and what new responsibilities does this entail?

I’m already involved with ClassicPress on a daily basis, so it’s not that much more work (yet!). Each of us has made a long-term commitment to see this project succeed. Becoming a director simply formalizes what we’ve been doing all along: making decisions that we believe — based on the expressed needs of the community — are in the best interest of ClassicPress.

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

I’ve always been pretty driven. I’m not a morning person, but I’m definitely a “get stuff done” kind of person, so that’s what gets me up and keeps me moving forward. Please don’t talk to me before I’ve had breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea, though.

What’s your dream job?

I’m living it right now in a lot of ways. Sometimes I get frustrated that there’s not enough hours in a day and not enough of me to go around, but I know myself and if I had actual free time, I’d probably just fill it with some new thing that interests me. I made a conscious decision to live this way, and if the day comes that I’m not happy with it anymore, I’ll just change it. That’s one of the joys of being an entrepreneur. The freedom that comes with it is absolutely priceless.

Tell us about the car in your life.

She’s a 2007 Volkswagen GTI Fahrenheit Edition; there were only 1200 of them made in the US and they’re all orange. I drive her daily but also take her to car shows. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve connected with a great group of people as a result. Plus, it’s kinda like driving a unicorn, which is amusing. People who know what it is walk up and talk to me about it all the time.

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

In October 2018, the threat of the new WP Block Editor was starting to become very real and I was increasingly concerned for my clients, most of whom are micro businesses. I started looking for alternatives and found out about ClassicPress. The ClassicPress community was warm and welcoming and I loved the energy in the project, so I jumped in at the deep end and got involved right away.

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

In my business, now that ClassicPress v1 is released I’m talking to each of my clients about their options and encouraging them to make the switch to ClassicPress. At some point I expect I’ll use ClassicPress exclusively for all my clients, but a strong e-commerce solution needs to be in place before I can move the last of them.

Serving the ClassicPress community as a director, committee member, and team lead is a privilege I take seriously and I am very grateful to be a part of such a great project. There are so many truly talented people at ClassicPress! I look forward to being part of ClassicPress for many, many years to come.

Done fast, done inexpensively, or done well: Which two do you choose?

I greatly enjoy finding ways to beat any Kobayashi Maru scenario, so I choose all of the above. 🙂

Seriously though, given the choice I’d probably choose done well and done inexpensively over done fast. The truly important things in life — joy, love, forgiveness, trust, creativity — cannot be rushed, but they can be done well and they don’t have to cost a thing.

Join the discussion on the forum!

Meet the Community: Tommy Thanasi

Tommy Thanasi

The Basics

ClassicPress Forum Handle: @tommy
Where in the world are you located? Houston, Texas. And no, I’m not a cowboy.

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I’m the laziest/stupidest person you will ever meet.


I’m a walking vegetable.

Any time I’m approached with an idea/problem/task, I ask myself 3 things:

1. “How can I solve this without using my time or money?”

2. “How can I optimize this and make it run better/faster/cheaper”

3. “How can I make this different/unique/innovative?”

Now, some may call this ‘brilliantly efficient’, but ‘lazy’ has a much better ring to it.

That being said, I am, however, able to accomplish much more with bigger impacts than the average Joe. This isn’t to brag, but just the fortunate outcome of knowing how to connect a few dots.

Other than my infinite disregard for labor, I love boxing, and get black eyes and bloody noses more than I’d like to admit (which is never of course).

I also spend tons of time with the things that matter which is my family, and my dog, Hermes.

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


I’m a morning person and, unless I’ve been on a 72 hour bender, shoot out of my bed like a cannonball around 4:30am – without an alarm clock. (It’s sickening I know.)

Mornings are my relaxation and creative times, so I get a lot done without any distractions. Knowing that I’m up while my competition is still counting sheep makes me feel like I have an edge, which in fact, I totally may not because of time zones.

I will say that there are drawbacks to waking up so early, such as making really dumb buying decisions and getting hammered with OTO’s around lunchtime (thanks JVZOO/AppSumo). The fact that I get emails from them 30 minutes after I open my eyes just can’t be a coincidence.

What is the dumbest buying decision you’ve ever made?

In my prime, I would make at least 3 cringeworthy purchases a week.

At one point, it got so out of hand that I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror.

Fortunately, through several interventions, I’ve learned to give myself an allowance of only one absurd impulse-buy per month, and save the rest for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

To date here are my top 3 dumbest buying decisions:

1. Female cuticle cream (sold brilliantly mind you) by a dazzling, silver-tongued Frenchman at a mall kiosk;

2. A ‘Secret Natural Healing Book of Cures’ during an infomercial around 3am. I actually took my credit card out, called and ordered — all without remembering a single thing until the book came;

3. A one pound gummy bear which I ate, and painfully regretted, in under 30 minutes.

What’s your dream job?

‘Dream’ and ‘job’ is an oxymoron when used in the same sentence, so I’ll just trim the fat and tell you the ‘dream’, which is:

To create enough, diversified online/offline revenue sources and ‘retire’ a bit early so I can open up an old school barber shop/social club in my hometown of Nafpaktos, Greece.

I just want to wake up every morning, smell the ocean, walk to the coffee shop, grab a Freddo Espresso, go hang with the guys, complain about politics – and squeeze in a few old-fashioned wet shaves to whoever dare lay under my straight razor.

All about that geographic arbitrage, mang.

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

I updated one of my sites and saw a bunch of crap I didn’t recognize.

After my mental earthquake, I untangled my brain pretzel and started digging in the WordPress forums to find the imbecile responsible, and got sidetracked by someone mentioning ClassicPress.

So I Googled it.

Downloaded it.

Ran it

Loved it.

Then I joined the forum, and saw the folks behind it were passionate about it for the right reasons, so figured the least I could do is dedicate some resources in helping out because I felt it was a good project with potential.

After a few weeks of settling in, I was also paying close attention to how WordPress was handling the feedback of their latest update, and decided to run a little test to prove my theory ( This solidified my direction of my CMS for the future.

So yea — that’s the love story 

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

To date, I’ve converted about 90% of my portfolio (150+ sites) to ClassicPress. The remaining 10% have been mostly client sites where I’d rather not poke the bear – at least for now.

ClassicPress is now part of my template stack, so every new site is built with it.

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

Depending on the scope of the project, I always start fast and cheap (Minimum Viable Product).

Then once I see I have a working product, proper resources are invested and it’s done right.

This model allows bad projects to fail fast without losing bookies lunch money, and good ideas to scale after proof of concept.

Meet the Community: Earle Davies


The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: elrae
ClassicPress Forum Handle: elrae
Social media handles: I only use social media for their APIs, not really to post or share anything
Where in the world are you located? FL, USA

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I worked in grocery retail as a customer service manager for 10 years and did programming as a hobby for fun. At one point I got more seriously involved in programming so I could make more money on the side and help with the bills. Then one day my current employer made me an offer to jump ship from retail and work as a developer full time, and I’ve been doing that ever since. That gives me a unique advantage in that I have years of experience dealing with people, complaints, managing my own time, and finding solutions.

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

It’s a cliché for all developers, but when I can’t solve a problem I can’t sleep. So it motivates me to get up and solve whatever particular problem I’m working on. Also, if I’m working on a big project with complicated code that excites me.

What’s your dream job?

In my current capacity I manage a few developers and contractors; working on everything from small-scale business websites to large non-profits and government projects. My dream job would be to do essentially the same thing I am now, but with a bigger team.

You talk a lot about programming. Do you have any other interests outside of coding?

Not really. I’m a workaholic so I basically work 65-75 hours a week and it doesn’t leave much room for hobbies. I don’t remember what it’s like to have free time.

I do get out every once in a while and do things: tennis, hanging out and watching football, etc. but there’s nothing I do consistently I’d consider an interest or hobby.

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

I don’t recall the exact place I read about ClassicPress, but I know I’ve seen and read about it in many places (Twitter, blogs, WP Tavern, WP Slack, etc). I wanted to get involved because I use WordPress as my go-to CMS for hundreds of clients currently, and thousands in the past. I don’t like the direction they’re going, the decisions being made in closed channels, and the fact that no one can admit they are wrong there. I enjoy working on solving open source issues and making the tools I work with better, so getting involved with ClassicPress will help me in the long run too.

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

My plans for the future are to continue producing easy-to-use CMS solutions for my clients, and ClassicPress will be that solution. I also want to step back from day to day production and manage a larger team, which will give me more time to work on open source projects.

Do you have some examples of your work you can share with us?

My client base is very …. eclectic, to say the least. I do music brands, small businesses, international non profits, the UN, US government (house of representatives), and everything in between! These are the top three favourite sites I’ve built using WordPress. Hopefully I’ll transition them over to ClassicPress eventually.

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

If I had a choice, I’d do all 3. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case; a client can pick 2/3. Doing things fast rarely leads to a good product for both the developers who must maintain it, and the end user who has to use the product. When you do something cheap, often you get what you pay for; and the quality is terrible. Done well is subjective depending on what metric of “well” you use. If an application looks right and functions properly, but the underlying code is spaghetti, I wouldn’t consider that being done “well”.

Meet the Community: Dick Metcalf

Dick Metcalf

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: Dick_Metcalf
ClassicPress Forum Handle: Dick_Metcalf
Twitter: @rotcod2010
Where in the world are you located? Washington, USA

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I spent close to fifty years rovin’ around the world before finally deciding (in 2014) that it was time to hit the retirement trail. That was as a soldier, then a contractor, then a Department of the Army Civilian in the logistics career field.

During all that time, one of my most intense passions was music. The playing of it (back in the day), the recording and now, in my twilight years, writing about it. I actually started my original magazine, IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION, way back in 1990… and it’s still up and running. I like to think that my playing, though on an amateur level, gives me an “edge” over other music journalists. I performed on (over) 60 CD’s… You can hear (and download for free) many of those works at this “Internet Archive Collection”!

My involvement in web, database and enterprise networking activity from the early 1990’s all the way to now has helped me stay ahead of the game, even though I’ll be 73 years old this coming September.

Is IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION your only magazine?

No, I have started another. I had been running an online magazine called IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION since 1990, all for free in my spare time. When I retired from Federal service in 2014, I worked with my son to create a new magazine and called it Contemporary Fusion Reviews. Contemporary Fusion Reviews specializes in music reviews and is designed to provide some expedited and expanded review services that many players and promoters have been discussing with me for about ten years now.

You clearly have a big love for music, who are your favourites?

It’s a diverse group, to be sure… For example Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Harris, Les McCann, Aretha, Funk-a-delics and on and on.

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

The smell of espresso… and then it’s off to writing music reviews.

What’s your dream job?

It’s the job I have right now… writing music reviews for a “contribution-based” model. All at my own pace, for a little coin and a lot of GREAT music!

You have the nickname Rotcod Zzaj, where did that come from?

The “Rotcod Zzaj” name was from some young black dudes who were watching me play keyboards in an overseas Service Club for us military types in Pyongtaek, Korea… They were stoned out of their minds, and sat at rapt attention as I played my original jazz pieces on the piano. When I was done, they said they were going to call me “Doctor Jazz” from that point on. But a couple of weeks later, I was playing there again, and the same two cats showed up, weeded out again… they told me that they’d been thinking about it, and that my music was cool, but that it somehow sounded like “backwards jazz”… We discussed it and turned the letters in Doctor Jazz around to fit their perceptions. So, thereafter, I was known as Rotcod Zzaj.

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

I was searching the web for alternatives to WP 5.0/Gutenberg, because I had tested G-berg and was TERRIBLY disappointed with it. I also loved the idea that CP is truly community-based, and it appears that it will stay that way for the long-term.

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

I run 5 websites; CP is deployed on all of them, and will remain that way for the long term. I’m finding out (from my son and others) that you never stop learning in the world of the net.

What is your experience with and opinion of the community?

My experiences with the CP community have been both rewarding and helpful in all respects. I was particularly impressed with the way James Nylen jumped in with both feet and helped me solve a site problem I had. But, more than that, there just seems to be a great sense of “helping each other out”, a true treasure!

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

Done well… In fact, CP has proven that “well” is always better. Every upgrade I’ve run has gone seamlessly, and it can’t be beat! That’s my opinion of course.

Meet the Community: Daniele Scasciafratte

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack handle: @mte90

Your social media handles: @mte90net on twitter, @mte90 everywhere else

Your website:

Where in the world are you located? Rieti, Italy; known as “the center of Italy”.  Saint Francis did the first Live Nativity here.

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

I am Full Stack Developer but working mainly with web stuff and sysadmin right now. My friend Eugenio and I started a web agency four years ago called Codeat. We develop sites mainly using WordPress and also develop premium plugins.

I am also an Open Source contributor. I have been part of the Mozilla Italia community for 6 years, and currently am working on community management there. I am also part of the Reps program (where I served 2 years on the Reps Council) and TechSpeakers program.

I have been part of the WordPress Italia community for 5 years; I am a PTE for Italian and also a WP Rome/WP Terni meetup co-organizer. I was part of the team that organized WordCamp Rome 2018. I have contributed to WordPress core since the 4.3 version and I am also one of the maintainers of GlotPress, the plugin that lets everyone localize and download the plugin/themes localizations file. I am the creator of the GlotDict browser extension for polyglots, and one of the maintainers of Varying Vagrant Vagrants. I have attended and presented at a lot of WordCamps to talk about WordPress development and how to contribute to WordPress.

Finally, my real passions are Italian, European and American comics. I have a huge collection I started about 13 years ago.

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

Before I leave the office each evening, I have a habit of writing my to-do list so the next morning I understand my priorities for the day. This helps me to wake up motivated for a good day. Of course, this doesn’t happen every day; the trick is to organize the boring stuff and, if it is possible, to automate it.

A real Italian coffee is another way to get up without any problems.

What’s your dream job?

This is not an easy question. When I finished high school in 2009 I started working as a freelancer. I liked to work with development and Linux so I began to see this as my future. As a Mozilla contributor, I strongly considered applying for a job there but I didn’t liked the way they managed their employees with yearly contracts.

Working in my web agency with a friend, having the chance to pick the best projects, and doing what I please with no boss is the best, in my opinion.

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

I am one of the grumpy people who has been against Gutenberg since WordCamp Europe 2017 when Matt said it would be integrated into WordPress core. This planned integration was delayed with 18 months before it was released as WordPress 5.0. This slowed progress on a lot of other proposed WordPress features.

Ignoring the opinion of the WordPress community on top level decisions like Gutenberg was one other reason for me to find a new project I could contribute to. I wanted to be part of a project where the community is at the center and I can make a contribution that matters, rather than being ignored for years.

I wrote a long article about my choice to contribute to ClassicPress that discussed the problems with technical implementation, rather than just complaining about the UX. The funny thing was that at the time I wrote it I wasn’t yet thinking about becoming part of the Founding Committee and leading the i18n team.

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

I currently use it on my personal blog.

An Open Source project like ClassicPress needs more developers in order to grow, and has a need for more localization and code contributors. I am hopeful that more developers will want to join our project to help with all the backports, new features, bugfixes, and improvements the community has asked for. I am available to mentor new core contributors and am hopeful that as the community grows, ClassicPress will meet their goals.

Done fast, done inexpensively, or done well: Which two do you choose?

Good question!

When I first started as a contributor I saw usually the first approach. A lot of cool things were started without planning or considering the possible challenges. As my experience grew and my role changed, I learned to appreciate tasks that were done well but slowly because they succeed over the long term, rather than failing due to lack of planning.

Meet the Community: Laurence Bahiirwa

The Basics

ClassicPress Slack Handle: @omukiguy
ClassicPress Forum Handle: omukiguy
Twitter: @omukiguy
Github: @Bahiirwa
Where in the world are you located? Kampala, Uganda. Yap, it’s in Africa.

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I have been a freelancing web developer but have since moved to teaching high schoolers. Yes, I now have to put on a shirt and proper pants with closed shoes. Long gone are the days where I put on a t-shirt, shorts and sandals the whole day; even for meetings. 3 months ago, I used to work at an advertising agency as a web developer and part time graphics designer. Programming-wise, I am self taught, having graduated from business school in university. I have to study about two hours every day to keep up with the changing technology and grow my dev skills.

For fun, I love to troll my friends on Twitter, watch, coach and play rugby.

What do you teach?

Information and communications technology. My students are doing Cambridge education system so they learn up-to-date things. It allows me to learn and also share what I have learnt. Preschool through Grade 3 have Lego robotics while the Grade 4-12 learn stuff in their syllabus from computer basics to web authoring in HTML, CSS and JS. The students mostly love seeing what I am doing with my free time and how I am making the world better.

Can you tell me some more about the projects you are doing in your free time?

E-commerce payments are a pain in Uganda, and Africa as a whole, since most payment systems like PayPal, Stripe etc. map Africa as a risky locale with fraud and other financial dealings. Teaming up with a friend, we decided to make payment gateways to support the simplest of payments using USSD (mobile phones) to grow e-commerce in our community. Right now we have ported this to WooCommerce, hopefully ClassicCommerce soon and into simple give/donate plugins. We shall extend this to static sites too and other CMSs.

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

The thought of my 6-year-old getting to school late. And the cooing of his new little sister. Most times, she won’t allow me sleep from 3 – 7am. Outside that, knowing that I am passing on what I have learnt to a new generation is a big motivation.

What’s your dream job?

I am doing it. Learning, teaching and sharing what I know.

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

Gutenberg’s introduction into WordPress core sent me searching and I found Scott on Twitter. I got curious and started following the CP growth. I have developed with WordPress since 2011 and was very engaged in my local community. Thus I had started a journey to commit to core and was learning the strings. With Gutenberg coming up, I was excited about the new editor but as I tried to learn it, I realized it made work a lot harder and more expensive in cost and time. I am no Javascript hero but the continuous integration in GB was a black hole. The local market I serve here does not value websites much, so the work vs pay aspect would have been a nightmare. They want quick, “cheap” solutions. The learning curve was … [am speechless] for my clientele, so I started looking for a solution that still had the old editor and was here to stay (the Classic Editor plugin won’t be here for long).

On arrival, I was blown away by the community and the long term goals of CP. Democracy through the petitions and a fresh place to learn the core and strings involved. I was able to contribute to core in my first month with James Nylen and Artem Frolov providing back to back guidance. I was able to submit a PR for the ClassicPress petitions dashboard. Those two made contributing to open source a utopia. I hope CP never loses that; it’s priceless. The dashboard widget gives me more gas to push.

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

  1. The simplicity of the editor and security-first approach of ClassicPress makes it magic for my clients and development a lot more fun.
  2. Democracy.
  3. Contribution friendly community.

Those make CP a keeper.

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

Burnt actually. Well done maybe. Steak should NEVER be raw. Lol

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
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 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


The Basics

ClassicPress Forum Handle: Zooey
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.