Hi! I’m Nile Flores. I’m a WordPress web designer and developer, as well as a long time professional blogger, from the St. Louis metro East area. I love talking about WordPress, blogging, social media, SEO, and web design, as well as contributing to Open Source projects. I’ve worked for companies like Yoast and WP Fix It, and written for the GoDaddy blog.
My goal in working with clients is deliver a website that not only the client can use, but works in focusing on what’s important: obtaining subscribers, buyers, social shares, lead generation, and subscribers.
I also have spoken at a lot of WordCamps, and passionately believe in giving a presentation 300%, where you walk away feeling like you got the kitchen sink.
Q. How did you get to know about WordPress? Share if there is an interesting story.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress? What were your responsibilities?
Ans: I’ve had hundreds of projects over the decade and a half that I feel were interesting. However, I think my most interesting project to date was learning how to convert a site from Drupal to WordPress. We’re talking around 2011/2012.
Back then, there were no complete tutorials. There were no converters. Most of the tutorials were designed that you got so frustrated when you realized that the tutorial was incomplete, that you had to hire someone. I refused to give into that.
A client of mine put their trust in me, with their 17,000 post (various custom post types) and 2,500 users. I documented and released a tutorial – https://blondish.net/how-to-convert-drupal-to-wordpress/ and added it to the Codex, as it was the only one.
This was mostly the database, as that was the more challenging one. Not long after, I went through a 2-hour PSD to WordPress presentation for WordCamp Columbus, to complete the circle.
Fun fact: ALL Drupal to WordPress conversion tutorials that are listed on the search engines, are based off of my tutorial.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? Share your thoughts on WordPress Community.
Ans: Yes, I’ve been to quite a few WordPress meetups and WordCamps.
I’m a co-lead for the St. Louis WordPress meetup group, and I’ve spoke at over 50 WordCamps. I love it because it coincides with my desire to help people, as when I began WordPress, there weren’t a lot of tutorials, and I had to learn a lot of things on my own.
The great thing is that meetups and WordCamps allow me to contribute back, and satisfy that desire to help. I also get to meet a lot of people in the WordPress community, which has allowed me to establish long lasting friendships.
Q. How does your workstation look like? Can you send us a picture?
Ans: Yes. I have a panorama shot of my desk as it is a big corner desk
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
Ans: Better handling of notifications. A lot of plugins have “nag” notices that just pile up on the WordPress dashboard. Instead, I’d like there to be a page for that called Notifications.
On the initial WordPress admin dashboard, when you log in, there would be a line of text that tells you how many themes or plugins have specific notices.
So, the idea would be like:
You have # of theme updates, # of plugin updates, and # of special (or important) notices.
Each of those would be linked to the appropriate places for themes and plugin updates. As for special notices – those are the notices that say there’s some database update needed for WooCommerce or Yoast or some other plugin, or asking to rate a plugin, or subscribe for updates, or PHP notices.
So, the idea is that the special or important notice section of the phrase on the WordPress welcome dashboard would link to it’s own page. The link for that would be located in the sidebar menu, as a sub-link under Dashboard, right under Updates.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
Ans: For themes, I solely design and develop with the Genesis theme framework. I will not consider any other as it has helped me streamline my work.
As for plugins, I like WP Rocket for optimizing, Gravity Forms, and Yoast. All of these plugins are great and serve a purpose that I think most clients have a need for. WP Rocket, for helping to speed up sites.
Gravity Forms, for making it easy to put together things from simple forms, to complicated forms that can be used for a lot of things like calculating results, displaying data, accepting payment, and much more. As for Yoast, I particularly like this, not just because I’ve worked for them before, but because I love the Open Graph and social media implementations in it.
Q. Any awesome technology you want to share other than WordPress?
Ans: Honestly, I don’t really have a lot of technology outside of WordPress I’d like to share, as most of what I do, revolves around WordPress, blogging, and social media. I’m kind of old fashioned at times – if it’s a technology that’s not really broke, why should I always use all of the new shiny things.
In fact, it’s good to do this, because there are a lot of new users that aren’t rich, and are DIY-ing, so they are on a frugal budget. I started that way myself, and I think it keeps my head in the game on trying to think from the newbie’s angle.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
Ans: I’ve been using WordPress since it’s beginning, so that has to say a lot there. I love getting to be creative, and helping clients deliver an aesthetically pleasing since that actually works for what they need it to do. In this field, it’s important to have some kind of love of continually learning and experimenting with new things, which makes it kind of exciting.
Q. Where do you find yourself after 5 years
Ans: Jokingly, I would say, having a vacation in a sunny beautiful beach, somewhere in the Caribbean. However, being serious, I’d like to be able to build more of a team or be part of an agency, where my creative mind is an asset, and I can lead a design and development team, while also consulting with the client, and helping them to build their brand.
Q. Share something about your life other than work
Ans: I like to keep myself busy. Some of my favorite things to do are reading and watching anime. However, I have a couple hobbies like nail art design, and trying new cigars. For a long time, my WordCamp profiles contained that I have a black belt in traditional Okinawan karate, and I still practice it.
However, because my sensei had a back injury not long ago, I’m looking for another sensei in my discipline near my home, that I can progress further into my studies.
Other than hobbies, I have a son who had his first WordPress site when he was 9 years old. That was 11 years ago. These days, I’m helping him decide on where he will go to college.
Q. To whom you give credit for your success?
Ans: While I could drop names in WordPress and have been inspired by women in WordPress like Lisa Sabin-Wilson, the people I can give credit for my success are: my dad and my clients. First, my dad has always supported me, even though I chose what isn’t always easy for women in technology. He’s referred clients and even used my services, which says a lot, that he believes in what I do.
The second, my clients, because it takes a lot of trust to let someone help you build their website and brand. A lot of them have been repeat clients, or have referred new clients. I’m grateful for their trust in me.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
Ans: Jarret Gucci of WP Fix It. He’s been a WordCamp speaker. I’ve known him for a long time and think he’d be a great addition to your interviews.
Q. How do you reward yourself?
Ans: I usually reward myself by getting a pedicure, or going on a trip, or buying something that I’ve wanted.
Q. Any suggestion for WordPress beginners?
Ans: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Join the WordPress support forum or WordPress groups on Facebook. There are a lot of people who are happy to give you advice.
Additionally, a lot of things like tutorials can be found on WordPress.tv, or even Make.WordPress.org. You can also often find WordPress videos on Youtube that may be helpful.