Interview with Daniel Payne

A Photo of Daniel PayneDaniel Payne of Tualatin Web has been developing commercial web sites since 1995 and programming since 1975. So it made sense to me to get some key insights from someone who has been in the business for a number of years.

Q: What made you decide to become a member of the WordPress community and to become involved in organizing the PDX WordPress meetups?

A: I first heard about WordPress in 2008, after I had already created and sold my own content management system, it become clear that the team at Automattic had a much superior product so I decided to focus on customizing WordPress for business users. Later on I signed up at and then discovered the Portland WordPress Meetup group. After attending a few meetings I started to get more involved, and eventually became an organizer. I wanted to give something back to the WordPress community, and also at the same time raise awareness for my own web development company, Tualatin Web.

Q: How long have you been working with WordPress?

A: My first WordPress install was in 2008. I started coding web sites in 1995, and computer coding in 1975.

Q: What made you choose to use WordPress‘s CMS over other methods of content management systems?

A: I also looked at Joomla, Drupal, Concrete, Wix, etc. It seems like every month we have yet another CMS. WordPress was the most intuitive CMS to learn, use, and develop for. WordPress is also the #1 CMS in the world, so it makes most business sense to specialize on the leading tool.

Q: How does WordPress make it easier for you to manage your client’s sites?

A: I typically spend about 90 minutes tutoring a new client in how to use WordPress to update, and maintain their own site, along with supplying them a 25-45 page Web User Guide. There are many excellent and free video tutorials on how to use WordPress, so I encourage my clients to just Google what they need to learn.

Daniel Payne - Tualatin Web website screenshot.

Q: Do you have a method or process of helping your clients make a decision on what Theme to use to best showcase their website content, if so what is it?

A: Yes, I start out by asking them if they have a corporate logo and any style guide. If they do have a logo and style guide, then that will help narrow down what kind of a theme we use. I only recommend responsive web themes, so that the content browses well on the desktop, tablet, and handheld devices. I believe in simplicity, so I typically choose a free theme with a different page template for the Home page, and secondary pages.

On occasion I get hired by marketing agencies to develop a custom theme from scratch, where the graphical design is completed by a graphical artist in Photoshop and then I convert it to a WordPress theme. This is the most beautiful style of web site, but also the most expensive.

Q: Do you have a preferred Theme that makes it simple for first time WordPress clients to start with?

A: There are so many great free, responsive themes out there today, like: Sigma by Stephen Harris, Dynamic News Lite by ThemeZee, Minamaze by ThinkUpThemes. If a theme has over 100 options, then it can quickly become too complex for the average small business owner to figure out and use.

Q: What type of training do you give your clients on how to use their site after it is complete? What they should or should not do on their own.

A: With the Web User Guide and our tutoring session, most clients feel comfortable maintaining and updating their own web site. They often phone or send an email asking how to update their site, and that is typically covered in my quote costs. They should be able to update a Page or Post, add images, make hyperlinks, change the menus, and update a slideshow.

Global changes to the look of the site are something that I would do in CSS for them, or adding a new page template, or replacing a broken Plugin with a working one.

I don’t want clients typing HTML, jQuery, CSS or PHP code, because they aren’t typically coding experts, rather they are business owners and office workers that need to market their company.

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