Time in this Industry
It’s a long story, but I was building websites in HTML tables back in the day. I took a class in CSS one night, and at the end, the instructor mentioned WordPress.
I went home that night and tried the Famous 5-Minute Install, which took me like 1.5 hours, but I finally figured out how to set up a MySQL database and get the WordPress core files uploaded to the server and edit the wp-config.php file correctly. It was like there should have been a chorus singing at that moment. Everything changed. I got how powerful a CMS was, and I never built another static HTML site. However, I am so glad I had all those skills plus had to learn WordPress the hard way with PHP, templates, etc. because I can do just about anything now since there were no plugins to make coding sites easier at the time.
That was 2007. I started teaching classes in WordPress in 2009 because no one else was doing that. Then I started to lead Meetup groups and present at WordCamps.
I now am an Elementor Global Team Leader and co-host the Women In WP Podcast. I also a co-organizer for the Boulder WordPress Meetup. So I get a lot of time in the local and national WordPress community every month.
Favorite Plugins or Themes
My favorite plugins and themes are always going to be the ones that serve as tools to help me build more robust sites and manage content better rather than for looks or bells and whistles. These include:
Advanced Custom Fields Pro
Custom Post Type UI
WP All Import and All Export Pro
Admin Columns Pro
GeneratePress theme (because it’s lightweight) combined with Elementor Pro and Dynamic Content plugin.
How has COVID had an effect?
Covid has made me insanely busy. Everyone wants to improve their website in some way, either with LMS or other customer engagement online. My current clients keep me so busy, I barely have bandwidth for new projects, though I’ve had lots of those, too!
A Typical Day
I often start the day with a 9 am dance class. These days that’s been on Zoom. It’s an exercise class, but with lots of great dance moves and footwork. I definitely sweat!
I typically start my workday around 10:30 or 11 am. I can’t talk to people before 11 am. I like my space in the morning to just get into things.
I’ll deal with emails first thing and address any urgent issues or small tasks.
After lunch, I’ll get more into project coding — things that require my attention for a couple of hours.
I’ll then, hopefully, go for a nice 45-60 minute 2-3 mile walk on one of the trails near my office or home, then come back and work some more. I stop work around 7 pm.
I find I’m most productive at night, though that’s not an ideal lifestyle. I’m hoping to shift my days to be a more early bird than a night owl, but right now I’m a night owl.
I need an ergo workspace. I got my first laptop in 2008 and immediately got laptop-itis which is basically a huge pain in my neck. I finally got a large monitor and an expensive desk chair. If I work on my laptop for any length of time, my neck hurts.
I have a sit/stand desk from UpLift and love it! I have a huge 34″ HP Envy display. For Covid, I put a rowing machine and free weights in my office and do a fun routine with Kaisa Fit online. Not to say I’m super disciplined about it, but it’s been nice.
I have two spaces: an office 2.5 miles from my house and one in my house. I am always more productive at my office. There is a lovely bakery and cafe downstairs, and I’m surrounded by a lot of art studios and gorgeous trails for walking near the Foothills.
Mail with Mail Butler
Code Editor: Coda or Atom depending on what I’m doing. I love Coda’s built-in FTP. I can edit files on the server easily. If I’m doing SASS, I use Atom.
Adobe Creative Suite: Illustrator, Photoshop, Adobe XD, Premier