As a student learning WordPress, it’s interesting to examine it from an academic viewpoint, but there are some perspectives that are only developed by working with it for a living.
For my assignment to interview someone who works with WordPress, I’m proud to be interviewing my son, Kyle Hikalea. He is a Website Developer and SEO Optimizer with Effective Web Solutions (EWS) in Camas, Washington. He has worked in the web industry for the last four years, since his late teens, first as a Web Designer with IEPlexus, then managing the website for Energy Tools International,and now with his current position at EWS.
Although he spent a year studying at ITT Tech while working at IEPlexus, he found that he learned better on his own and by simply doing the work. He lives in Camas, WA, with his girlfriend and their two daughters.
LH: Thanks for doing this Kyle. Can you tell me what got you interested in web design? How’d you wind up here?
KH: When I was 10, I found a copy of the ‘HTML for Dummies’ book on the desk our family computer sat on. After learning HTML and table-based layouts, I set up a website with jokes on it. I came back to it in school seven years later and have been interested since. My career started with the position of ‘junior developer.’ It’s been four years since then, and I’ve just been learning more and moving up the job ladder.
LH: Well, you know this interview is for a WordPress class, and you do use WordPress extensively in your job. Why WordPress?
KH: Honestly, its just the best CMS out there. Its a solid platform and easy to work with.
LH: Could you elaborate a little more on why WordPress is the best choice for CMS for your clients’ websites?
KH: Usability plays a big factor in our projects, not only for our clients but also for the end-user as well. WordPress is extremely user-friendly while still maintaining a high level of customization. That flexibility allows us to make changes to the functionality of a website without complication in how it’s administrated. Being able to update a website without having to be proficient in a web language is also a major benefit.
LH: But, I’ve seen you put together entire websites using HTML and CSS. Why would you want to use WordPress instead?
KH: I currently manage over 300 clients sites. Why would you want to code every one of those when WordPress provides such a versatile but easy to use alternative?
LH: What features do you feel, in WordPress, work best for a commercial or e-commerce site?
KH: The architecture of a WordPress database allows for easy creation and manipulation of ‘objects’ in the form of custom post types. This means that a single ‘object’ can store attributes the same or similarly as a post (i.e a title, an image, a body text, a category), making it easy to translate into a product. There are even many Plugins out there that take care of the legwork, such as WooCommerce.
LH: You work for Effective Web Solutions. What does your company do exactly?
KH: Besides web design and development, our agency offers marketing solutions geared towards local service providers, market research, analytics segmentation, and content-networking; various strategies to get our clients more business via online presence basically. Refining conversions, decreasing visitor bounce rates, and improving search engine visibility are just a handful of the reasons a good CMS is vital to not only the initial development of a client’s website, but also to their long-term success as well.
LH: Are there any CMS out there that you feel are competitive with WordPress?
KH: Drupal and Joomla are both common. They all have high points, but WordPress has been able to distinguish itself as the standout. It might be because so many people use it as the standard platform for blogging that, when they transition to becoming professional developers, they’re already familiar and comfortable with it.
LH: What is your favorite WordPress theme?
KH: Might sound strange, but 2011. LOL. It’s too familiar not to be the go-to theme for easier projects. In terms of frameworks, themes developed by the Muffin Group are awesome.
LH: Well, thanks again for taking the time to do this interview, Mr. Hikalea. I appreciate it.
KH: LOL. OK, dad.