This past Wednesday, Elizabeth House, home of WAUKCE, welcomed the folks from HackOldham for the first of what will be a monthly WordPress user group meet-up. Amply supplied with buffet, the group heard from Mike Little, Co-Founder of WordPress. Little known fact: WordPress currently powers over 23% of the internet’s websites (including this one). That’s, um, a lot.
There’s a temptation to see WordPress as a tool for the uninitiated. Something to appeal to an average blogger’s layman knowledge of web development. Impressively designed sites powered by WordPress such as Usain Bolt’s personal site would disagree. The open source nature of the project also means that it has an incredibly active community, constantly working on intriguing new features.
Mike spoke for a while about the early days of WordPress, and his experiences of developing the site alongside Matt Mullenweg. In the project’s second year, Mike had to leave owing to family commitments. He would eventually end up using his considerable knowledge making a living developing WordPress sites for other people, notably the official site for No. 10 Downing Street. Besides that, he now works as a consultant in WordPress, imparting wisdom on the intricacies of the system he helped design, and running his own web development company, Zed1.
He also fielded a lengthy and informative Q&A about various features of WordPress, largely involving recommended plugins, and security features.
From January, the user group will be a monthly meeting, welcome to users of all ability levels interested in learning more about WordPress. You can keep up to date with the user group on HackOldham’s blog/twitter page @HackOldham, or on the user group meetup.com profile.
(Sorry about the photo quality, Mike!)