Hi, my name is codyL

This week’s Finely Tuned Consultant is Cody Landefeld.  Cody is a WordPress Developer, WordPress Designer, and User Experience pro.  He has been designing and developing websites since 2000.  I really dig the education websites that Cody built for some local schools in the Arizona community where he lives.

In his own words:
I work as the principal/creative lead at codyL (http://codyl.com @codyL) where we solve business challenges through design and web development. We specialize in Custom WordPress Themes, Genesis Child Themes, and WordPress Plugin Development.

When was the first time that you really got excited about WordPress and at what point did you decide to make it your career?  
Back in 2006 we (my company codyL) was building custom Content Management Systems for websites we would build and they continued to evolve and expand with each project.  It was all well and good and I could sit here and say how awesome we were building custom software, but it became too cumbersome and not as slick as WordPress was at the time.  I started to use WordPress as a blog for certain websites and would fantasize about building a custom website around it.  We ended up doing just that not too long after and never looked back!  A few years back it became more and more apparent that WordPress was becoming a driving source for our development.  We do WordPress best and understand how to best utilize it for our clients.  So I made it more or so my career in 2009!
Where do you go first to get your WP news, insights, and updates?
Where else?  WP Candy!  I met Ryan Imel in 2011 at WordCamp Phoenix and have since became a big fan of the site and the news that comes through.  I also utilize my social networks for WordPress related news.
What WP consultants deserve more love than they get? Who should we be paying attention to?
I’m a big fan of what the guys at Cubic Two, Pixel Jar, and Binary M are doing.  I’ve gotten to know these guys personally by attending WordCamps in Southern California and getting to know them personally and seeing their work become more and more awesome all of the time!
What performance tips would you give to other pros (as related to speed, scalability, security, plugins, backup, etc.)?
Back-up, Back-up, Back-up.  Always provide a full back-up for new client projects and provide ongoing back-ups for projects.  There is a great standard Plugin for this simply called WP Backup.  I’ve also had the pleasure of using VaultPress and the service is worth every penny as it not only backs up, but eliminates some malware as it goes along.
Confess to us your biggest moment of WP fail?
Spending a full year setting up WordPress as just a blog for websites on sub-domains.  😉
If you were going to spend this weekend creating a plugin that doesn’t exist, what would it be?
I would setup a Quickbooks integration Plugin for Shopp that makes the Quickbooks integration simple for clients.  We need this people!
Do you use Themes & Child Themes, Roll your own, or both?
Depending on client budget, the preferred method is to build a custom theme or child theme for Genesis.  Often times we can work with available themes, we love to work with Organic Themes as they’ve come to be good friends and really enjoy working with their themes from an efficiency standpoint.
What’s your favorite theme or them framework? Why?
I enjoy working with Organic Themes and the Genesis Framework.  Simply put Organic makes some mighty fine clean code and there is no bloated dashboard panels or goofy stuff under the hood.  Genesis on the other hand is very clean and helpful for businesses who need to get some SEO juice going.  It’s great to work with these guys and am excited to personally know the developers and what they do.  Our company puts a high emphasis into integrity and accountability and feel there is a kindred approach to both businesses.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done with Custom Post Types?
We recently did some integration with this for WP Events Plugin where this controls different events and bands who play in and around the city of Maine for a website for Dispatch Magazine.  http://dispatchmag.com
What do you think is the biggest challenge that WP consultants will face in 2012?
How to maintain quality work and show the value of custom themes.  Clients seem to often want to go the most affordable route, but it’s important to compare apples to apples.  Going custom with a great developer is a wise choice!
If you could change one thing today about WP, what would it be?
I would enable more clearer instructions inside every dashboard, although most devs do this it might be nice to see WordPress include this as standard.
Where do you see WordPress going in the next 2-3 years?
WordPress should continue to become more widely adopted throughout the web and be installed on half of all new domains registered on the web.  How does that sound?
Tell us a story where you saved the WP day for yourself or on a client project.  What made the difference for you?
I setup a full back-up on a large project before moving forward on any new development.  As the agency who hired me had one of their devs go in and make changes, they overwrote some of the items I had made changes to.  I also kept iterations stored locally to make sure this was not going to put us in a bad spot.  So I was able to locate those overwritten changes and correct them again without having to bill the client extra and be a nice guy!
What’s the biggest misconception you encounter about WordPress, and how do you clear it up for your clients?
ISN’T WORDPRESS A BLOG SYSTEM?  I tell them yes it is, but that’s only one portion and charge the bejezus out of them and run off into the sunset.  No, I show them larger scale sites running WordPress and allow them to make the clear distinction of how it runs super efficiently.
If you were interviewing another WordPress developer for a job, what is the first question you would ask and why?
In addition to how long have they been working on the platform, the question would have to be: Have you used the W faux logo anywhere???   This would be to legitimize their WordPress credibility and correct them if they had done this previously.  😉
What did I miss?  Here’s your chance to fill in the blanks and add something you want people to know about you!
Our agency also does some great Ruby on Rails development.  We love WordPress and prefer working with it but do great software development as well.
Thanks Cody!
You can check out Cody’s portfolio and learn more about him at his website, http://codyl.com and he tweets @codyL.