WordCamp Sacramento Speaker Interview With Matt Vanderpol

Matt Vanderpol

Matt Vanderpol

mattvanderpol.com | @bookwyrm

Matt is a full stack developer with a primary focus on WordPress including custom theme/plugin development and performance review and improvement. With almost 20 years as a developer in the industry, he has a strong focus on performance and process – always seeking new and better ways to accomplish a task both for the benefit of the designer/developer and for users or visitors.

Matt lives in Nevada City, CA in a home that he and his wife designed and built. He works remotely from that home while enjoying a thriving family life with his wife and their 5 (soon to be 6) kids.

WordCamp Session Title

WordPress Performance: Foundation and Tactics

Why Is This Important?

Most websites can be made faster, frequently with just a few changes here or there. I’ve learned quite a bit about improving performance over the last few years and want to share it with others. Improvements in performance will give time back to people who are visiting your site, will require fewer resources, and be cheaper to run. An investment in performance will pay dividends in the future.

How Did You Discover WordPress?

I first started using WordPress (back in 2011) as a content capture tool for structured data (news articles, press releases, events, etc) paired with an existing custom PHP library for site development. We extended our PHP library to pull data from the WordPress database for display so that content maintainers could easily edit some content online through the WordPress interface.

How Do You Use WordPress?

My day-to-day usage of WordPress is the creation of marketing sites. Frequently they are large sites with custom features, sometimes translated into multiple languages, but at other times they are just simple sites for an organization that needs a web presence. My own blog also is run on WordPress.

How Has WordPress Impacted You?

The impact of WordPress has been both financial and educational. Since I consult on WordPress site development, a fair bit of my income from the last 5 years has been WordPress-related; but I have also learned a lot in that time. It has been interesting to explore the WordPress hook system, to see how other people have solved problems similar to those I face, to craft my own solutions where I see a gap in existing offerings. The same could be said of almost any technology but I have benefitted greatly from the ubiquity and open source nature of WordPress combined with the rapid-development, scripted (as opposed to compiled) nature of PHP. If I want to learn more about a particular feature, I can simply look at the WordPress source and even make (temporary) edits to understand how it works and what sanctioned options are available for changing its behavior.

What Do You Do When Not Working?

I enjoy reading, backpacking, and spending time with my family.

What Is Your Favorite Candy?

Dark chocolate, almonds, salt.

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