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Interview With Nick Adams: “WordPress Official Repository Needs Sorting Out.”

Updated on March 4, 2020

4 Min Read

Nick Adams is one of the top WordPress talents out there. He learnt everything by himself. This is why he is such an inspiration to many of us. He runs Revault Media, a WordPress agency which is known for its beautiful, yet practical websites.

He gives a great interview to us where he talks about his WordPress journey. He also shed light on how to secure your WordPress websites and why should the official WordPress plugin repository be trimmed. So, happy reading!

Nick Adams WordPress

Cloudways: Everything has a beginning. Tell us about your WordPress journey. Was it just by chance or did you plan it?

Nick: I had been designing websites in HTML, CSS and JavaScript for about 8 years before I got into WordPress.  During my time at university, I had just gotten hired for a non-profit who had a broken Joomla website, and so I started learning the Joomla CMS so that I could fix the site and get it working.  At the same time, the organization wanted to just build a new site from scratch, so they had me sit in on a meeting with a web designer who quoted about $8,000 to make a site, and she said she would do it with WordPress.  We didn’t feel that we could afford $8,000 for a basic website.  So, to save the organization about $7,500, I ordered new hosting and built a site with WordPress.  From that day, I caught the “WordPress Bug” and have been developing WP sites ever since.

Cloudways: When you started your WordPress journey, what kind of difficulties did you face and how did you solve them?

Nick: The biggest difficulty that I had was that I had limited PHP and MySQL skills.  So for the first couple of years of working with WordPress, I read every book on PHP and MySQL that I could get my hands on.  These days, there are also a ton of resources online, such as Codecademy and Treehouse, so it’s now become easy for anyone to learn how to become a professional web developer.

[Read: Learn (Or Sharpen) Your Coding Skills With These Online Coding Academies]

Cloudways: What are your tips and suggestions for security, speed, plugins, backups, etc.?

Nick: Backup, Backup, Backup! If there is one rule that everyone should know, it is to always backup your site (files and database) at least a couple of times a week and before making any major changes or updates. As far as prevention goes, I’ve found that the combination of hiding the login URL, using very strong passwords (such as J3lm6%f48b!9) and limiting login attempts has made it extremely difficult for anyone to get even close to gaining access to the backend of the site. Other obvious tips are to always stay up to date with your plugins, themes and WordPress core version, only use plugins that you need and find out which hosts are giving the best performance in real life and not just what they say.

Cloudways: From the early era of developing through core code to the current era of drag and drop, where you see the WordPress industry in next 4-5 years?

Nick: Already, I’m starting to see WordPress evolving into an app platform. In order for WordPress to keep up with the rapidly changing web frontier, I suspect that at some point we will see a complete core code overhaul to rid it of any junk legacy code and it will become a lean, high-powered platform.

Cloudways: If you spend a week creating a plugin that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

Nick: I would love to create a code validator plugin that scans through all of your PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and looks for syntax errors, duplicate code, and other things that might not be apparent to the average user but is problematic for thousands of users everyday.

Cloudways: What are the challenges that WordPress community and consultants might face in 2014?

Nick: One of the best tools available to the WordPress ecosystem is the repository of plugins and themes. However, this has become extremely bloated with over 30,000 plugins and 2,500 themes. Many of the plugins are duplicates of others, a large amount are not functional and many more haven’t been updated in over 2 years, causing them not to work with current versions of WordPress. If this repository isn’t sorted and trimmed soon, it will create difficulties to find useful plugins [and you know never know, it might] become useless altogether.

Cloudways: Well, there are many misconceptions about WordPress. One is about it being very unsecure. How do clear the air when it comes to issues like these?

Nick: When you leave your house, you don’t leave the front door open for anyone to just walk in and take your stuff. It works the same way with WordPress and everything else on the web. Making WordPress very secure isn’t difficult at all. I always recommend that everyone use unique usernames, strong passwords and install a good security plugin, like iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security). No website is going to be 100% impenetrable. However, following the abovementioned steps can make a big difference.

Cloudways: You attend WordCamps and conferences. How do you think these occasions creating an impact on WordPress communities?

Nick: WordCamps and Meetups are fostering a strong community of WordPress, which is the backbone to continued growth. Connecting users with developers and designers, and connecting all of those people with hosting companies allows WordPress and related services to be tailored to meet the needs of the larger WordPress world.

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Cloudways: Hey, the interview was fun! I hope we do it again sometime. At the end, say something for WordPress lovers and critics around the world.

Nick: The web is still just beginning, and it offers us endless possibilities. We should never be content with where it is, but rather we should all dream about what it can be, and then build it.

You can follow Nick Adams (@nickadamstv) on Twitter.

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Waseem Abbas

Waseem Abbas was WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves to help people with their WordPress worries. He is a self-proclaimed "food explorer".


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