WordPress Consultant Profile: Rachel Baker
Check it out. We’re starting a new series of blog posts featuring WordPress Consultants, the best in the business. We’ll cover who they are, what they do, why they’re awesome, and we’ll get them to share their hacks and tricks with you guys. Know someone that should be featured? Have a question you want asked? Let us know: [email protected].
And we’re letting the ladies lead the way on this one. Come back Friday mornings at about 10AM, and see who we feature next.
I am a freelance web developer in Chicago, IL. I use slick CSS styles and fancy jQuery animations in front of powerful PHP code to create customized WordPress themes and plugins for my clients.
My current pet project is a WordPress theme for Twitter’s Bootstrap framework, called BootstrapWP. You can download the theme or follow the development on Github.
I write code in Sublime Text 2, while wearing a collared shirt and drinking a Diet Coke.
I didn’t take WordPress seriously as a client CMS until WordCamp Chicago 2010, where I learned all about the upcoming 3.0 release. WordPress 3.0 took the software and the use case possibilities to an entirely new level. I was freshly out on my own, looking for a direction for my businesses, and WordPress had impeccable timing.
- Never ever ever let your clients use cheap hosting shared hosting accounts. From a security and speed standpoint, the hosting environment is the most important.
- Always be backing up.
- Learn to love version control. I keep a git repo for web projects. I keep track of all file changes that I make, and I can also easily view any file changes on a site since my last development. It is great for viewing changes from plugin or WordPress updates.
- Memorize “Hardening WordPress” from the Codex, and learn as much as you can about the correct way to: prepare and sanitize database queries, validate data, authenticate with nonces, and use hooks and filters.
- Head to your local WordCamp or Meetup, find the developer that works on the largest website in the room and slowly work in questions about their caching, hosting and server setup. After each answer say, “Interesting, what made your team make that decision?” Just don’t overwhelm the poor developer by firing the questions all at once, but listening to the experiences of large WordPress installations is priceless.