Member Spotlight on Ross Wintle

Ross Wintle

What’s your name?

Ross Wintle – there aren’t many people with my name. But oddly there’s another one in Bristol!

What do you do with WordPress?

I’m a freelance software and website developer who uses WordPress a lot to build websites, mostly for charities and small businesses. I also run several of my own sites on WordPress.

I use other technologies too – primarily the Laravel framework, and I view one of my key roles as being someone that bridges communities, so I’m often sharing Laravel ideas and tools with WordPress folks.

What’s your involvement with Bristol WordPress People?

I’m mostly a sporadic attendee these days, Because I travel in from Swindon and have two young children. But I worked a little bit behind-the-scenes in the organising team for a short time, and have given a few talks.

Generally I’m a big supporter and encourager of all that the organising team does that I am unable to do. I’m a super fan!

How long have you been attending the Bristol Meetup?

My first Bristol WordPress people was over five years ago in March 2015. I remember my first Meetup well because it was when the WordPress Meetup joined with the PHP South West Meetup! So I’ve been involved and attending for a long time.

How have you been long using WP?

I can tell you that almost to the day, because I have a blog post about moving from Blogger to WordPress back in December 2008. So I make that 11.5 years!

Any sites you’ve built that you’d like to share?

I’m quite proud of my super geeky personal blog/site, but it may not, and is not designed to, appeal to everyone!

Some of the many things I’ve built with WordPress:

Why do you attend?

I come to learn from others. But I should be clear that one of my favourite things about the Meetup is the diversity. So when I say I come to learn from others, that’s not just learning technical stuff from talks, but it’s learning how other people use WordPress, what they use it for, what they love about it, and what they struggle with. Because that informs my technical work a great deal.

I also just love the friendliness of the people in the community. It’s a really kind and encouraging place to be, and I’ve made several friends through it. And though I attend other Meetups, this was my first and it’s always felt like my “home”.

Favourite WordPress feature/plugin

As a geeky developer type who spends lots of time in the terminal and avoids the mouse wherever possible, I’d have to say the WordPress command-line interface: WP-CLI. It lets me easily do things like installing and configuring WordPress, testing out code and queries, and quickly doing advanced tasks like database backups, search-and-replace, and regenerating image thumbnails.

If you want an actual plugin, then Advanced Custom Fields and Query Monitor are two that I use heavily and am very thankful for.

Anything you’d like to see in WordPress?

As someone who works in the back-end a lot and works with complex data, I’d love to see relationships between posts built into WordPress core. The ability to have, say, a “City” post type and a “Country” post type and to have them linked together without using custom post meta fields would be amazing. The current methods are really inefficient and difficult to use.

I’d also love to see the Holy Grail of database/content merging between copies of sites. But many have tried that and many have failed.

Tell us something that people might not know about you

I can juggle 5 balls, 3 clubs and can also ride a unicycle….just (I’m not very good)!

Progressive web enhancement and developing Gutenberg blocks

An evening which is sure to appeal to those with an interest in coding with WordPress. We’ve got two fantastic developers joining us and sharing their knowledge. Andy Bell will be talking about progressive web enhancement. Not sure what that is? Us neither, we’re looking forward to finding out more! And Nicola Heald, from Automattic will be showing us how to get started with creating our own Gutenberg blocks, which is something we think we all need help with at the moment!

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Impractical security for the insanely paranoid

We are very pleased to welcome back Tim Nash from 34SP, a hosting company and also one of our lovely sponsors, to join us this August to take his teachings on security to the next level.

Tim is the WordPress Platform Lead for 34SP.com, a managed WordPress host. His job is a mix of Dev/Sec/Ops with an unhealthy dose of project management thrown in. He is also one of the co-organisers of WordPress Leeds, as well as a regular speaker and a less frequent writer and video presenter.

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