Category: CP Community

Meet the Community: Tim Hughes

ClassicPress Slack Handle: 1stepforward
ClassicPress Forum Handle: 1stepforward
Social media handles: I don’t really do social media. I find Facebook particularly annoying which to my mind is a platform for attention seekers. But, in general, I hate how social media is used to spread hate. Having said that, I do recognise that it can be put to good use and is still essential for many businesses. I recently created a Facebook shop that syncs products with WooCommerce.
Website: Yes, I must get around to doing one. Thanks for reminding me.
Where in the world are you located? England, UK

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

Career

I’ve worked in IT for around 30 years (yes, I’m an old git) and started out in sys admin / tech support looking after Unix (and other) systems. I recall the first PC I used to have a massive 10MB hard drive and then, for a laugh, I went and doubled it by adding a second 10MB drive. Everyone said “Why have you done that? We’ll never need that much space!”. Then 2 or 3 years later, different company, different PC, I purchased a 1GB SCSI hard drive that cost £1000 ($1200, €1100). That was roughly 28 or 29 years ago and for that sort of money nowadays, I could probably start my own data centre!

I’ve always been a techie at heart, but not long after moving to another organisation, I found myself in the world of IT management. After a series of promotions, I became IT Manager, Head of IT and, from 2000 to 2009, IT Director. I was also a Chartered IT Professional and Member of the British Computer Society. You may think that this must have been the highlight of my career and in many ways it was but I really disliked dealing with all the politics and I also missed the technical stuff. So, by 2009, I decided I needed a change.

And that’s how I ended up doing what I do now, working from home as a freelance web developer. And I haven’t regretted it for a single second. Not only do I get to design and develop websites, but I also manage my own VPS, so my technical skills are still very much alive. I’ve also developed a couple of apps for iOS and Android and have become quite proficient in applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and After Effects. SEO is another area of expertise and this actually takes up quite a bit of my time. I use SE Ranking to help, which I find invaluable. Maybe it’s not as polished as Moz or SEMrush but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper and does everything I need.

Hobbies

As for hobbies. Sadly, I don’t do much now. I used to be a very keen hillwalker and runner so I was pretty fit. I loved being in the hills and I’d be out at weekends in all kinds of weather. If I could go a whole day without seeing anyone else, then so much the better. But a few years back, I developed a chronic back condition which put an end to my days out in the hills.

I do also love listening to music and that’s what I do while I’m working. I’m a metalhead through and through and always have been. As a young kid, I’d be listening to the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Motorhead and the Canadian rock band Rush. Although Rush aren’t what you’d call a metal band, they are still one of my all time favourite bands. Brilliant musicians. Now I listen to Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica and lots of other heavy, thrash and death metal bands as well as a bit of classical such as Handel, Beethoven and Mozart.

I love animals too and have been vegetarian for over 30 years. I have a pet rescue dog who is absolutely bonkers, is terrified of virtually everything and has OCD, but she is just so loveable. She gives great cuddles. Oh yes, I’ve been married for 23 years and have an 18 year old son. Nearly forgot that bit.

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

Normally my natural body clock. Or the birds. And Recent Events in Britain.

I never set an alarm but I’m a morning person so I’m usually up early. I start working as soon as I’ve got my coffee sorted.

Why did you pick these photos of all photos?

Hill walking and music have always been a large part of my life away from work. I am actually in both pictures. From the peace and quiet of the hills on a sunny, hazy day, to a rainy, open air music festival. Two extremes. Both pictures show that we’re all tiny creatures in an endless universe and yet, when we all pull together, great things can happen.

What’s your dream job?

When I was hill walking, in the early pre-internet days, there was a telephone service you could ring to find out the weather forecast and conditions under foot for the hills in the English Lake District. In order to provide this service, a small team of “assessors” would take it in turns to trek up and down Helvellyn (one of England’s highest mountains) every day. I always thought that would be such a great job.

I was also good at cricket and dreamt of playing for England one day.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I’d wanted to work in IT from a very early age so I guess I’m doing my “dream” job already.

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

Well, I’ll be honest. I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of WordPress. I started developing websites using CodeIgniter and then PyroCMS as well as OpenCart for e-commerce sites. But one day, I got asked to take over an existing WP website and it came as a bit of a shock. As a developer, it seemed so restrictive compared to what I’d been used to. The concept that everything was a post seemed bizarre, as did filters and actions, but I’d already tried Joomla and Drupal and really didn’t like them either. But, with hindsight, this unexpected introduction to WordPress probably came just at the right time. Development of CodeIgniter had stopped (but has since been picked up by the British Columbia Institute of Technology) and as PyroCMS was itself based on CodeIgniter, that stopped too (although it has since been completely re-written based on Laravel). So, somewhat reluctantly, I started using WP for all of my new websites.

I won’t go into details here, but there were many things I disliked about WordPress, the community and the people behind it all. I had never accepted that WP was my CMS of choice and was always looking at other platforms. But the defining moment for me was, of course, Gutenberg. I gave the new editor a real good try and was quite convinced that I’d get used to it. I tested it while it was still in beta and continued to test it for weeks after its official launch. But my initial opinion of it never changed. I hated it. It seemed so unnatural, cumbersome and, to use the word I used earlier, very restrictive. Everything seemed to take a lot more effort, even writing simple text. I thought “I can’t push this onto my clients. They’ll hate it”. So I set up a test site and asked a few clients to check it out for a few weeks. Sure enough, they hated it too – for exactly the same reasons as I did. I was beginning to despair.

I think I first heard about ClassicPress on a well-known WordPress news site and I thought “Hmm. Interesting. Perhaps there is hope after all.”. I joined the forums in December last year but I mostly just sat on the fence and watched what was going on. I’ll freely admit to being quite reluctant to commit at first. I had 20 websites running WordPress at the time and also had plans to convert a further 15 or so that were running on other systems (e.g. OpenCart, PyroCMS, Magento). It seemed such a daunting prospect and yet I desperately wanted it to happen. I really did not see a future in WordPress.

But I was very impressed with what I saw on the forums. Everyone was enthusiastic and many had already migrated their sites to CP. So, this gave me the push I needed to stop prevaricating and to commit to it fully. I started to take more of an active part in the forums and, following discussions with James, it was agreed that I take on responsibility for developing a core SEO plugin.

I was already working well over 80 hours a week but I turned down a couple of jobs and let a couple of existing jobs go, just so that I could make a bit of time to work on it.

That might sound a little harsh or foolish even but the way I see it is that ClassicPress is my future and WordPress is my past and what I’m doing now is investing in my future.

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

Well, in addition to working on the SEO plugin, I have also contributed to the revamp of the ClassicPress website. Very soon, I hope to be helping out with core development too. In addition, I have contacted Installatron and MainWP asking them to add support for CP and have also created a feature request on cPanel.

This cPanel feature request is very important in my view. You can read the details here:

https://features.cpanel.net/topic/cpaddon-support-for-classicpress-a-wordpress-alternative

In a nutshell, I have requested that cPanel creates a plugin for ClassicPress that is identical in all other respects to their existing WordPress plugin. I would like to take this opportunity to urge community members, colleagues, friends, family, anyone in fact, to vote for this. I accept that cPanel have not won many friends lately but it’s important to view this as a vote for ClassicPress, not for cPanel, and it should give ClassicPress massive exposure. cPanel is just the mechanism and still a very powerful one. How good would this look?

Without a doubt, ClassicPress will become my CMS of choice. We have a great opportunity here to create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The community is great and doesn’t suffer from the same issues that exist, erm, elsewhere. It’s also got a great core team behind it unlike the “other system”. It’s not going to be easy and I think everyone realises that. Let’s face it, launching any new CMS is always going to be difficult.

But I am confident that there are some good, dedicated people behind it and that gives me great hope.

It will take time and it’d be great if we could get some major backers because I do truly believe that CP is going to be way better than WP ever has been or ever will be.

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

I have always worked methodically and believe in doing the best I can at whatever I do. So I am not necessarily the fastest of workers.

My philosophy is that if something is worth doing, it must be “done well” every time. But at a price that is fair to everyone. And as quickly as possible without compromising quality.

Meet the Community: Ilya Ivanov

Your name: Ilya Ivanov

ClassicPress Slack Handle: @norske

ClassicPress Forum Handle: @norske

Social media handles: @norskes (Instagram & Facebook)

Where in the world are you located? Vitebsk, Belarus.

Website: Oh, that’s funny. I’ve been building and supporting websites for ages, but have no personal one since ~2010 🙂 Typically once a year I think “Well, it would be nice to create a public portfolio showing some new cool technologies/skills there”. This flash of enthusiasm makes me spend a weekend or two creating another concept. But honestly I don’t really need a public portfolio at all because I get 99 % of orders via personal recommendations. So I play with a new concept for a couple of days and then sell it to some local studio or use it as a basis for some client’s project 🙂

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

Since 2011 I’ve built websites using WordPress and since 2015 also worked as an independent UI/UX-designer for several small studios and agencies. My clients usually stay with me for 5+ years and longer, so I typically support 20-30 WP websites at once. I’m also involved in some small collaborative projects as a co-founder and a marketing director.

Before that, I used to be a copywriter for about 5 or 6 years. My native language is Russian. (It’s one of the two official languages in Belarus). Sometimes I create articles for local IT communities. In my free time I also compose short tales and funny stories to entertain my friends. I’m not writing texts for money anymore, but I keep doing it for myself as a hobby. Last month I won 2nd place in a contest of sci-fi tales held by Russian Wikipedia and Union of writers. It’s nice to compete sometimes. Just for fun. Such things bring me additional inspiration although I don’t take them too seriously.

My other hobby is hiking. I really love Belarusian nature. And walking is a kinda drug: once it’s getting to be a habit you can’t quit. I have to walk at least 5-8 km per day (about an hour) just to feel myself “as usual”. And once a month I go to the country side and walk 30-40 km through the fields or woods. This gives me a great opportunity to consider something or to make complex decisions when needed.

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

I’m motivated by default. 🙂 Life is awesome. When I was 19 I worked at funeral services so I made about 500+ coffins by hand. That time I also studied at the faculty of history and learned philosophy. Those things taught me that life and time are the most valuable concepts themselves. Living in this world in the 21st century is a miracle, you know. When you realize that, you don’t need any additional motivation to get up. (However, this doesn’t mean I’m always in a good mood. No, my face doesn’t look shiny when I wake up, I guess) 🙂 But a breakfast and a cup of tea/coffee usually help to recall all the positive basics.

What’s your dream job?

Actually, I don’t want to have a “job” at all. I’ve been self-employed the most part of my life. So I usually dream about projects, not jobs. The right to choose what to do and what not to do seems very important to me. And it’s ok to pay some costs for this independence. Normally I decline up to 50% of projects/offers for different reasons. Not sure if there exists a job that suits such a vision. But I eagerly join a project if I find it interesting, challenging or promising. Today there are plenty of ways to organize collaboration and to do things that you love. Applying for a job is just an option 🙂

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

I’m a typical Gutenberg refugee. The forced core integration made me look for alternatives. I’m still ok with WP for now, but it obviously is moving in another direction, which is not suitable for me and my clients in the long perspective. So I have to prepare a gradual migration to another CMS or a fork.

Search results mentioned ClassicPress several times. I went to the website, started reading the petitions section and the forums. I liked the roadmap and the whole direction. The idea of removing excessive features is quite in demand, that is exactly what I want for my sites. And most of the suggestions describe exactly the same things that I usually have to tune and implement myself in almost all commercial projects. All this looks very promising, kinda improved WP for professional use.

And it was a pleasure to discover the Community with the same priorities. I was happy to see that I’m not the only person concerned about such “unusual” requirements as low support costs, higher security, advanced monitoring tools, standardization, client-side design limitations etc. Focusing on this means that ClassicPress community is much closer to understanding business needs and goals.

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

For now I’m going to contribute and to use ClassicPress in building simple projects. The draft plan is to create 3-5 websites powered by ClassicPress in 2019-2020, support them and watch for a while. This would give some data to analyze and a bunch of examples to offer migration to other clients, if everything is alright. Then it would be possible to gradually increase the ratio of CP projects in the whole set up to 50-70%.

I’m also waiting for CP 2.0 (or any remarkable 1.x) release to introduce this project to some huge Russian-speaking IT resources, e.g. habr.com. I have enough “karma” to publish posts there. Hope it helps.

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

A separate choice for each goal.

When I was younger I tried to make everything quite well. But later I realized that perfectionism can be excessive and even destructive in some cases. Different goals set different priorities. So I’m learning to switch between those choices depending on current circumstances. To my mind being flexible is better than being just quick, or just profitable or just good.

Probably, the formula is “to do the best I can within these terms and this budget”. But the default priority is still doing the best 🙂

Meet the Community: Ray Gulick

hiking buddies

ClassicPress Slack Handle: raygulick
ClassicPress Forum Handle: raygulick
Twitter handle: @evoweb
Website: https://evowebdev.com
Where in the world are you located? New Mexico, USA

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I’ve been an independent web designer / developer full-time since 1999 when I moved to New Mexico. Before that, I worked as a marketing communications director for a couple of corporations; before that, was an art director; and before that, a teacher and wrestling coach.

Most of my free time is spent in outdoor activities; hiking almost daily with my two dogs, but also mountain biking or road cycling a couple times a week. I volunteer with a local therapeutic horsemanship organization, mostly caring for the horses, but occasionally working with riders.

Things I used to do: I was an avid whitewater boater (open canoe and raft), but several years of drought in New Mexico made it difficult to keep my skills sharp, and I’m now dangerous in water above class III. I’ve also had to stop calling myself a painter, as it’s been a couple of years since I’ve picked up a brush.

Two young grandkids who live on the east coast keep me entertained and concerned about the future. I’m more interested in politics than I’d like, but at this point it seems irresponsible to ignore it.

I love good coffee and single malt — on weekends, possibly together in the same cup. I do NOT like piña coladas, but I will walk in the rain, if it comes to that.

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

I usually make a to-do list for the next day before going to bed, so I wake up thinking about what I want to do right after I finish my first cup of coffee (priorities). Apart from that, my dogs have definite ideas about when it’s time to get up and get breakfast.

What’s your dream job?

I think it would be cool to be a ferris wheel operator. While waiting to break into that, I love what I’m doing. I named my company Evolution Web Development (Evo for short) because I knew we’d have to keep evolving to provide web-based services, and in the 20 years since, that’s certainly been the case. There’s always something to learn, and I love that. It’s also one of the things I love about ClassicPress Forums and Slack: I can listen in and learn about stuff of which I had little or no idea.

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

I’d been hoping for a CMS-oriented WordPress fork for a couple of years, ever since it became clear around 2016 that WordPress was not, after all, going to embrace its potential as a professional CMS (2012-2014, it seemed like they would). So I was already on the lookout for a fork that looked like it would succeed, particularly after it was announced the block editor would be integrated into core. A big part of what I sell is ease-of-use and efficiency for adding and maintaining site content, and the block editor seriously undermines that approach.

I checked out the CP Forums and Slack, and the people involved all seemed pretty open, welcoming, and ready to share. I made an argument that ClassicPress should focus on the business and professional website market (and there was an argument/discussion; not everyone agreed we should define our primary market), and I was invited to join the Founding Committee shortly after. The main points of my side of that discussion are available in a blog post.

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

Little by little, I’m converting all the sites I manage (more than 50) to ClassicPress, and since January 2019, I’m only building new sites on ClassicPress. So, I’m ‘all-in,’ staking my livelihood on its success.

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

I try to avoid work in which ‘cheap’ is the primary consideration. I work best with clients who know what they want (or will listen to recommendations), and who understand that the time and expertise required to get what they want deserves reasonable and fair compensation. I could go off here about the commodification of design and development, but that’s a rant, so let’s not. Done fast (if needed) and done well (always) is what I try to deliver to clients.

Meet the Community: Simone Fioravanti

ClassicPress Forum Handle: Simone
ClassicPress Club: Simone
Social media handles: @cris.vardamak
Website: https://gieffeedizioni.it/ (main Job) and https://educatorecinofilo.dog
Where in the world are you located? Italy

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

I work in advertising, doing whatever must be done… from creating layouts or retouching photos to using the screwdriver to try to fix digital printers or inserters! I like programming, even if I’m not necessarily a good coder. I use this passion in my job for creating websites, applications for internal use and automatizing my workflows.

At the beginning of 2012 I began sharing my life with Cris, a bernese mountain dog. Now you can understand my profile picture and facebook username ;-). Soon I realized that I didn’t know enough about dogs. One year later I was “back to school” to become a dog trainer, just out of interest. But now it’s my second job and my favourite hobby!

How many dogs do you train? and any stand-out experiences?

This year I worked with about 30 dogs. About ¾ puppies and ¼ biting dogs. Really I train the dog’s families more than I train the dogs and I very much like to work on the relation with the owners. I like to say: “Ehi, your dog is a beautiful person!”. I’ve just finished with two biting amstaff. The owner was working on his garden and there were two big mountains of ground that should be laid down but those dogs were too happy jumping across them. Together we completely re-designed the garden to be the dogs’ garden!

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

Fear… fear of my alarm clock ringing!

What’s your dream job?

Really I have two jobs and love both. But if I could be back to my nineteenth, a couple of years working on a cruise boat!

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

I don’t remember how I found out about ClassicPress, but one hour later my two main sites were running it. In one week 15 customers were moved to CP. I like fresh projects, and I very much like the philosophy behind CP and the directions v2 is taking, so I wanted to be able to give my two cents on this beautiful project.

What do you like most about the direction v2 is taking?

Business-focused (not as a tag-line or slogan, but as a direction) best describes what I like most.
Less bloated and more documented code, “core plugins” to get a lighter platform, no support for paleolithic versions of PHP.

WP is following the “up and running in 5 minute” market, but I think that these kind of websites — not for personal blogging but for business — are mostly unuseful, better open a facebook page and work with google places.

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

ClassicPress is the CMS of my legacy sites and also for all my new projects. My idea is that it could bring faster and more robust sites. It’s not something scheduled, but I’d like to dust down my plan of making plugins.

How is your experience with the community? Do you feel heard?

These days it is difficult to see real discussion without conflicts, even talking about the correct length of a leash likely will lead to a religious war. But this community is great in positive confrontation. I feel that everyone is heard!

So many different backgrounds, experiences and needs – correctly “packed” together will lead to something stunning!

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

Done well. Done fast. I’ve a lot of droplets on my desktop to speed things up and leave me half an hour for a good beer! If cheap is necessary I prefer to strip down less necessary features rather than quality.

Meet the Community: Pete Thomas

ClassicPress Forum Handle: MrLucky
Websites:
CP: petethomas.co.uk, mediamusic.com, jazzyproductionmusic.com, otra.org.uk ;
WP: tamingthesaxophone.com, musicasecreta.com ;
Xenforo: Cafesaxophone.com
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: tamingthesaxophone.com/fundraising-on-the-site.

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 tamingthesaxophone.com, a lot more (the production music) can be found on jazzyproductionmusic.com.

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 (tamingthesaxophone.com) 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

ClassicPress Slack Handle: zulfgani
ClassicPress Forum Handle: zulfgani
Social media handles: @classicdesignr on Twitter, Zulfikar Gani on FB & zulfgani on GitHub.
Website: https://classicdesigner.co.uk (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 set up 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

Your Name & ClassicPress Handle: Michelle Coe | BlueSkyPhoenix
Your social media handles: Facebook & Instagram: @BlueSkyPhoenix
Twitter: @bsp_design
Your website: https://blueskyphoenix.com
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.

Meet the Community: Tommy Thanasi

ClassicPress Forum Handle: @tommy
Website: https://oraclenova.com
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.

Seriously.

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?

Myself.

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 (https://oraclenova.com/wordpress-gutenberg-alternative-classicpress/). 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

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
Website: https://e11group.com
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.
cathedral.org
washburn.com
betterworldcampaign.org

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

ClassicPress Slack Handle: Dick_Metcalf
ClassicPress Forum Handle: Dick_Metcalf
Facebook: facebook.com/dick.metcalf
Twitter: @rotcod2010
Website: contemporaryfusionreviews.com
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.