Category: CP Community

Robbie Mann Showcase

Website URL:
Built by: Simply Computing
Your website URL:

What is the purpose of the site? Did the client come to you with a particular problem that needed to be solved?

The site is designed as a showcase for early jazz pianist, Robbie Mann. It aims to give a quick overview of his playing style, some background information, and list upcoming performances. Robbie has recently released his first CD, so the primary purpose of the site was to provide a small e-commerce facility to handle sales of physical CDs and downloads.

Was this site built in ClassicPress, or is it a conversion from WordPress?

The site was built in ClassicPress.

What led you to choose ClassicPress for this build?

ClassicPress is always my first option, unless there is a good reason not to use it. This one was marginal because it had an e-commerce component, but since it was a very simple shop I decided to build it with the newly forked Classic Commerce (see plugin discussion below).

Were there any special challenges that you encountered while building the site? How did you resolve those challenges?

Robbie had an idea for a slide-in menu from the side that would look like a piano keyboard. This presented some challenges, and the keyboard graphic is still more stylised than accurate. But fortunately this is not as obvious when it’s viewed vertically (and a non-pianist probably wouldn’t even notice anyway).

I had the menu mechanics all working but it somehow didn’t look quite right. It took some experimenting until I finally hit upon adding a simple box shadow to the right edge. That did the trick of visually lifting it above the main content. One of those simple things that seems obvious in retrospect.

The hero image design took a lot of attempts to get working. Robbie had some great images, but the aspect ratio (6:4) was hard to adapt to a website. I don’t like cropping photos provided by a professional photographer, so I added dark “wings” to the sides to make it wider (6:3), and also pushed the main image off centre to give room for the site title. Once we saw this version we both loved it. I still think it is a stunning photo.

Tell us about the typography, colour palette, and any other interesting design elements.

I didn’t want the site colours to detract from the photo, which has a sombre background with a bold main image. Also pianos are typically monochromatic, so I used a chocolate brown as the primary colour with some paler browns for buttons, etc. Overall, we wanted a “ragtime” style without getting too cliched. The main title font is Tenor Sans (a Google font) that we thought would be quite at home in the early 1900s.

Theme used:

I always use my own theme framework to build sites, which is my fork of GeneratePress (pre-Gutenberg). I have numerous add-ons in a child theme that I can call on if needed. For this site I only used the custom front page with hero image, social media share buttons, and my contact form page.

Plugins used:

All my sites have four standard plugins:

SC utility – this is my own utility plugin that I use to simplify the admin area for users, add some dashboard widgets and do various other useful tweaks. I can update this across all my sites with Code Potent’s Update Manager.

SC email log – my personal fork of a simple email logging plugin that tracks all emails sent by CP. It has recently been added as a CP research project, so at some stage it may become an “official” plugin.

WP Crontrol – I use this to schedule cron jobs that I run for daily maintenance (compatible with WP v4.1 or higher, so it’s fine with CP)

Shield Security – a security plugin that supports ClassicPress. The obvious choice!

On this site I am also using:

Classic Commerce – (see discussion below).

SC CC Snippets – my custom functionality plugin for Classic Commerce. All the snippets are taken from this resource.

Simple Calendar – this is a really easy and attractive way to display Google calendar events on a website (compatible with WP v4.2 or higher).

Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed – adds an instagram grid using a shortcode (WP v3.4 or higher).

Did the plugins you chose resolve a particular problem? If so, please share details.

The main choice was whether to make this a WordPress/WooCommerce site, or to go with ClassicPress and Classic Commerce. Even though CC was still in alpha, I had been helping with the development of this fork for some time and was very confident that it would be suitable for the job. I was carrying out ongoing testing of the fork anyway, so it was easy enough to test it on this site as well. Note though that I am not using any other related WooCommerce plugins or extensions – it is just the core CC installation with the included basic PayPal gateway.

Classic Commerce does a very good job of handling both physical and virtual product sales.

Did you have to make any compromises (plugin choices or elsewhere) to make this solution work?

I am always a little wary of using WP plugins that have not declared support for CP, and I try to minimise these on my sites. So, I will need to keep an eye on the Simple Calendar and Instagram Feed plugins to watch for any compatability issues. It appears that Simple Calendar is no longer actively maintained so this might even be a good candidate for a fork.

In what ways does your solution meet your goals and the client’s needs?

I like to make ongoing input as easy as possible for my clients; they usually underestimate the time and energy that is required to keep a website up to date. I prefer a Google calendar for displaying events, especially if the client is already using gmail. Robbie can now enter gig dates onto his own calendar using his mobile phone, and they flow through automatically to the website. That’s quick and easy. The list on the home page is a good display option and he has been keeping it regularly updated.

Similarly, the Instagram feed on the home page allows Robbie to quickly and easily post new content.

Classic Commerce is working perfectly. I recently had to create two different download options for the files (mp3 and flac) and it was a 5-minute job to add these in as variations.

Anything else you’d like to share about this site? Is there anything you may still change, or would do differently next time.

I tend to tweak my websites over a long period. I leave them for a while, then revisit with fresh eyes. The only thing I still might want to change is the hamburger icon. It seems slightly too “heavy” and doesn’t quite fit with the finer lines on the rest of the site.

Actually I may also do more modifications to that keyboard menu if it annoys me too much!

Meet the Community: Linas Šimonis

ClassicPress Forum Handle: LinasSimonis
Social media handles: If I am on social media, I am LinasSimonis, but I am not active anywhere. Except Twitter; all posts by @PressHill_Host are posted by me. Yes, this hosting is my new project. We are building quite elitist hosting, and ClassicPress will be among only 3 applications you can host there. The other two – WordPress and Matomo.
Where in the world are you located? Kaunas, Lithuania

Tell us about yourself — occupation, hobbies, etc.

Despite my engineering background (I designed a chip for my diploma), for the last 28 years my occupation has been in marketing. Right now I am focusing on marketing strategy – consulting to business owners and CEOs. And I manage PressHill hosting, of course.

Now, the boring part of my story. (TL;DR: you can skip).

My father, a student of a University, was deported to the Siberia after WWII. Without any trial. Why? Well, nobody knows, it was decision of someone in power. Lithuania was occupied by Russia after WWII and Stalin’s regime was more authoritarian and more brutal than Hitler’s.

My father’s parents were deported to the Siberia too. Why? I wish I knew too. No court, nothing. Just someone’s decision.

My mother, about 7 years old at the time, was sent out by her parents to live in another city, because of rumours that my other grandparents were on the deportation list. It was a hope to protect her from deportation to Siberia. Luckily, deportation never happened (again, nobody knows details as to why), but my mother was separated from her parents for a few childhood years.

All this happened because of authoritarianism. It may be (or, may not be) acceptable to have authoritarianism in a private company. But when it comes to the public governing – no matter if it’s state, non-profit or a community, this always, and I mean, ALWAYS leads not only to bigger or smaller tragedies, but to poor results in the long run.

Leadership and authoritarianism are two very different qualities. Please, do not confuse them. Lack of leadership attributes, but excess of power, as usual, leads to autocracy.

Let me explain a few more facts of my countries’ history. The Constitution of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth was the first Constitution in Europe and the second in the world (USA was the first). In the 1926 President election there were 4 contenders: 2 men and 2 women. Yes, in 1926 in Lithuania women had not only right to vote, but they could run for the country’s presidentship. And we never had slavery. In the Middle Ages we had about 10x more free (independent) individuals, than in the rest of Europe. Maybe, just maybe, we have some love for freedom in our genes. Or in our culture.

Maybe because of that, I can smell authoritarianism from a long distance. Very long distance. (A reminder: leadership and authoritarianism are two very different qualities.) I put my decision-making process moral values to the highest priority. I never regretted any decision made because of it. In the long run the moral values win. Freedom and leadership always wins over autocracy. Always. In the long run.

Freedom and democracy. That’s, why I don’t use Apple, my OS is Linux. I started to use OpenOffice when it was in beta. I never abandoned FireFox, though their leadership and decisions are questionable.

This was an answer to the questions “How did you hear about ClassicPress, and what made you want to get involved”, “How does ClassicPress fit into your overall plans for the future”, “Why you joined ClassicPress community” and “How many cats live in your house”. Or, you can come up with your own question for this long answer – I try not to be too authoritarian to force you to choose only approved questions. The best question will win a prize (oh, my marketing roots shows-up again).

What about hobbies?

Oh yeah! Music (from trash metal to classical), food, and learning about psychology.

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

Well, it’s in my nature. But steak should be medium-rare. It’s my taste. The question was not about steaks? Sorry, my bad, English (the en-UK and en-US mix) is the third language I speak. I also know some 100+ words in French and 50+ in Italian and German. And the very basic of Pascal, learned 30 years ago.

What’s your dream job?

As I understand from previous posts and comments (sorry again for my bad English), this is the question where I should answer about my relationships with whiskey. Sorry, folks, but I am a cognac guy. I prefer wine and cognac over beer and whiskey. Though, if you want to offer some fine whiskeys for tasting, please send it to the Šermukšnių g. 11-2, Giraitė, LT-54307 Kaunas, Lithuania. Thank you.

What is the sign above the S in your family name? How do you pronounce it?

Well, every language is peculiar in one or another way. Lithuanian is not an exception. It, like Czech and a few other languages, has a special mark on S, C, Z letters. These letters should be pronounced like sh, ch, zh in the English language. So, the pronunciation of my family name is like „shimonis“ in English. But, after a few cognac or whiskey, you can pronounce it as you want. In fact, you can pronounce as you want even without cognac or whiskey.*

Name Linas is very similar to Linus, and I hope that this community knows how to pronounce it. Yes, the same roots.

Can you pronounce Valančiūnas? It’s like Valantchioonas in English. I can, it’s easy. That’s the power of weird languages!

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

I don’t know what gets me up, but I know, that too much cognac or whiskey holds me down in the morning. That’s why I never drink too much.

On the other hand, strong tea with milk (hello, Britons!) can do miracles. I can’t get up without such a cup of tea in the morning (Yes, Alan, real leaves, infused in a teapot!).

*Wine or beer is enough.

Meet the Community: Tim Kaye

ClassicPress Slack Handle: Tim Kaye
ClassicPress Forum Handle: timkaye
Social media handles: I’m on LinkedIn, but otherwise I don’t do social media: I’m on the web enough as it is, and so much of social media is just nasty.
Where in the world are you located? I’m British, but I live in Florida, USA.

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

I’m a law professor. I have specialized in different areas over the years, but these days I focus on negligence, products liability, and remedies. So that means I deal with such matters as road accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs and medical devices, and a whole host of other diverse and interesting things. I’ve written lots of books and articles, including one book at the request of the American Bar Association. I was quite amused that they asked a Brit!

Building and maintaining websites started as a hobby, but these days it seems to get combined with my legal work on a regular basis. In that way, it has followed my interest in other software, such as writing, mindmapping, and note-taking software. And I’m just getting into virtual reality software.

My other interests are food – there’s nothing better than a good curry or a steak and kidney pudding (note: pie is good too, but it’s not at the same level as pudding) – music, and travel. I’ve just finished traveling around New England for two months with my dog. (I blogged about it on my website.) Oh, and cricket: a couple of years ago, I spent a two-week vacation doing very little other than watching cricket, eating curry, and drinking (Theakston’s) beer. Bliss!

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

My dog, Strudel. As you can tell by her name, she’s brown. She’s a 10-year-old rescue and a mutt (like me), and she needs a walk in the morning. Otherwise, I’m not really a morning person.

I see others seem obsessed with having coffee in the morning. Well, I do drink coffee in the morning but, honestly, it’s nothing like as important to me as the pastry that will accompany it! I have a particular affection for one with fruit and crème patissière, and the ladies at the bakery in the local Publix supermarket bake an extra one specially for me!

What’s your dream job?

I’m doing it! On the one hand, I get the joy of seeing students I’ve taught put their education to good use. And, on the other, I get paid to think. I also get the time and space to think, so I can run with those thoughts wherever they might lead. How can you get better than that?

Taking full advantage of that opportunity, and so being prepared to think things through, means that I speak truth to power on a regular basis. So I’m usually in trouble with someone at any given time! But that’s fine; I have a very thick skin. And I’ve also got many wrongful convictions overturned, prevented water companies from cutting people off, opened up law school admissions to talented students who were being denied opportunities by out-of-date admissions practices, and a variety of other things. So being in trouble has usually turned out to be a badge of honor.

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

I had been unhappy with the direction that WordPress was taking since the introduction of the Customizer, which always seemed misconceived in principle and poorly implemented in practice. So I had been on the lookout for someone to fork WordPress ever since. When Scott announced that he was going to do so, I got involved in some of the discussions and was invited to join the founding committee.

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

I have an online legal publishing brand,, which needs a stable platform that doesn’t demand continual maintenance. ClassicPress version 1 provides that already in many ways, but the removal of bloat and the greater focus on security that are planned for version 2 will make things even better.

I also build and manage some other quite complex (typically membership-only or intranet) sites, and a colleague and I have plans for two new projects. We have just started building the first of these; the second is much more ambitious and depends on those security enhancements in version 2.

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

You’re asking a lawyer to do something cheap?! Lawyers know only two prices: expensive and pro bono (free for the public good). I see ClassicPress as falling into the second category.

As for the other options, sometimes fast is necessary, but all too often it’s because someone else has procrastinated for an inordinate amount of time and now expects others to compensate for his or her failings. I’d pick “done well” pretty much all the time. It’s also how I feel about food. I’ll eat almost anything, but only if it’s good. Even if it’s steak and kidney pudding, I’m not eating it if the pastry is like rubber or the meat is tough.

Meet the Community: Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes at Monsters of Rock

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.


I’ve worked in IT for around 30 years and started out in sys admin / tech support looking after Unix (and other) systems. I recall the first PC I used had 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 actually takes up quite a bit of my time. I use SE Ranking [*] to help, which I find invaluable. It’s an all-in-one SEO software solution with some powerful features and it’s also quite a bit cheaper than many of its competitors. Well worth a look in my opinion.


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, 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 lovable.

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.

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

Normally my natural body clock. Or the birds. I love hearing the first birdsong in the morning.

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.

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 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 others asking them to add support for CP and have also created a feature request on cPanel.

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 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.


This article contains affiliate links which we have identified with [*]. ClassicPress receives a small commission for any sales made through such links – at no extra cost to you. All income received through referrals goes towards the upkeep of the ClassicPress website.

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. 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
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: (main Job) and
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
CP:,,, ;
WP:, ;
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

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 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:
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.