Member Spotlight on Scott Jones
What’s your name
What do you do with WordPress
I run an agency in Bristol & Cardiff that specialises in the platform. We design and build sites and software for WordPress, primarily for financial services, legal, medical, B2B and B2C sectors. We’ve got a great team made up of UX designers, front-end and back-end developers, as well as a dedicated support team to look after sites for our clients in the long term. WordPress has helped us to build some powerful sites for some major brands and helped enable marketing teams to publish better content more quickly.
What’s your involvement with Bristol WordPress People?
I live just outside of Cardiff but love travelling over to Bristol to join the WordPress Meetup when I get the chance. It’s a thriving community with great insights being shared and it’s always great to connect with others, learn from them and share my own knowledge too.
What’s your job
I’m the Managing Director at Illustrate Digital. I spend most of my time consulting and strategising on marketing, user experience and the technical in-and-outs of using the WordPress CMS in an enterprise context.
How have you been long using WP
I’ve been using WordPress since my last job for a charity in the North of England back in (roughly) 2009, when we moved all of our website management in-house. We previously used Drupal and a couple of agencies to manage the sites, but it wasn’t very flexible or user-friendly, so we decided to take matters into our own hands and developed a new site internally using WordPress. It was a steep learning curve for us, but WordPress was 100% the right choice and I’ve been using it as the foundation of my own business ever since.
Any sites you’ve built that you’d like to share?
Of course! Although I can’t say they’re built by me personally, as an agency we’ve built a lot of sites in WordPress. Here are a few I’m particularly proud of:
- Ladybird Education – an international resource for schools to teach English using popular children’s books, teachers can unlock books they own to get access to plenty of additional resources
- Hodgebank – we recently finished overhauling this Intermediaries site for Hodge Bank, it uses Gutenberg and the REST API to power interaction with the banking systems
- Free Supertips – we were one of only 3 brands authorised to integrate with bet365 to pull through live odds into this affiliate marketing site with millions of monthly users, which has very feature rich custom post types
How long have you been attending the Bristol meetup
The first event I came to must have been around 3 years ago, I’ve spoken at the Meetup too!
Why do you attend
One of our team at the time called Justin, a very enthusiastic American chap, had visited one month and came to work the next day telling us all how amazing the Meetup in Bristol was. With such a glowing recommendation we just had to attend, so a few of us went down to the next Meetup and the rest is history!
Favourite WordPress feature / plugin
Custom Post Types have got to be my favourite feature. The ability to create well organised, well structured content that can be updated on a regular basis, and appear in the relevant parts of a website automatically, it’s a marketer’s dream. Then giving users the power to filter through categories and read the types of content that are relevant to them, it’s ideal. We’ve used it for everything from team member pages to careers vacancies, vehicle listings to live football tips, and everything in between.
Anything you’d like to see in WordPress?
Slightly controversial question. 😉 But I’m going to give a cop-out answer! One of the things I love about WordPress is how light and versatile it is. The more things that get added into WordPress core the more bloated and less versatile it will become. Whilst I 100% agree with progressing the platform, getting new features or releasing major upgrades (like Gutenberg), I wouldn’t want to see it become too overweight with features.
Tell us something that people might not know about you
I live right by the sea, near to Barry Island and I love to go out paddleboarding whenever I get the chance. As I’m writing this it’s really sunny and calm outside, perfect paddleboarding weather, but I’ve not been out on the board since late 2019 because of winter (it’s way too cold in the sea) and the Coronavirus lockdown. I’m hoping very soon I’ll be able to go out!