Carlos Bravo – WProfessional of the Month

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We come back once again with the interviews to professionals of the WordPress world. Today, we have someone from Madrid who works both in WordPress and Magento. He was one of the nominees of Mauricio Gelves, and we have it here. Let’s welcome Carlos Bravo!

Thanks for the interview, Carlos. It is a pleasure to have you here! For those who do not know you, tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with WordPress.

My pleasure! So my relationship with programming and the Open Source world started with Magento. In the company I worked for, they had a custom solution in Java, and our boss, looking for alternative solutions in Google, found the benefits of Open Source software.

When I decided to start my e-commerce consulting business with Magento, we realized that most of our clients were asking us for a blog, so we started using WordPress as a solution.

After a few projects, we realized that WordPress was much more than a blog, and since then it has become a tool with which I work on a daily basis.

Right now I work as a developer, mainly frontend, for the Liquid IT team of Accenture Digital (the former Tecnilógica), where I focus on developing custom projects with WordPress or Magento, or both.

WordPress is constantly changing and evolving. How do you stay up-to-date? Who do you follow?

Thanks to the Slack channel of WordPress Spain and WordPress Madrid I keep informed of community events, various conversations, plugins, recommendations for development, etc. For development issues, I follow WordPress Tavern, and I’ve to admit that on my Twitter timeline, WordPress is gaining more and more relevance.

What’s the contribution or development you’re most proud of?

Maubot, a Slack bot who greets when I execute it in the general channel of WordPress Madrid. Basically, it’s the only one I’ve done. I was taught to collaborate in the WordCamp Madrid, and now I only have to take the time to review some themes or help with some translation. I also try to solve doubts in the Slack channel, and I’ve already encouraged myself to give a talk in a WordCamp and a Meetup.

Sometimes we make things look easy, when they aren’t. Why don’t you share an epic fail with us?

I made a mess on a project a few years ago. I used an FTP to upload things to production (error!) and uploaded the wrong project to the wrong server. They were two versions of the same store for different countries, with different owners. We had to put the classic “come back soon,  ” and I spent the 6 worst hours of my life looking for and deploying a backup. I only lost a week of work (I think), the client didn’t notice i, fortunately.

We also have the classic problems with CSS in production, some URL pointing to a local server (once it took 6 months until someone discovered it), the noindex

WordPress is highly customizable, thanks to both plugins and themes. What plugins and themes do you recommend? Do you miss anything in WordPress?

I’m a big fan of Advanced Custom Fields, Contact Form 7, W3TotalCache and Wordfence.

For everything else I usually code. For custom templates, I use Understrap (Underscores + Bootstrap), but if the project is small, I also use some template from Themeforest or WordPress.org.

Concerning WordPress, I think that it lacks a powerful visual editor like those that exist in the market (Divi, Visual Composer) but that doesn’t put so much load on the site. On the other hand, I still see pretty ugly having to put HTML directly within the TinyMCE. Liferay, for instance, has a system of drag and drop and the creation of “blocks” quite decent. Let’s see what Gutenberg has to say on this, which apparently looks great!

There’s plenty of people working on WordPress (or considering to do it). Do you think it’s possible to make a living out of it? In your opinion, what business opportunities are there?

Of course, it is possible. There are many business opportunities: training, the creation of plugins or themes with premium functionalities, custom projects, e-commerce. Fortunately, there is a lot of movement in the web world and particularly in WordPress. Gaining expertise in some specific topic is ideal.

Where do you see WordPress in 2 to 3 years? How would you like it to evolve?

As I said before, it should grow by facilitating as much as possible that a person without an in-depth knowledge about development can make a website as close as possible to what he has in mind. We also have to be aware of the API, which is making relevant the concept of headless CMS.

Finally, who should we interview next? Tell us 3 WProfessionals you want to see here.

My nominees are @natiaz (Natalia Díaz de Tudanca, we are the Pimpinela of WordPress), @ericjanzei (Eric Zeidan), who is a master, and @desarrollowp (Pablo López), which is becoming the Ayatollah of WPO.

Thanks again for your taking the time to answer our questions, Carlos. Stay tuned for the upcoming interviews!

Featured image via Madrid WordPress Meetup.

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