Ross Johnson Speaker Interview

Ross Johnson

Ross Johnson is a man of many passions, the most interesting is new age retro antiques. Google it… it’ll change your life. When not pursuing said passions, he’s working at his design agency 3.7 DESIGNS, working on his project management plugin Panorama or teaching at Michigan State University.

Ross will be presenting Designing for the First Five Seconds.


Why do you use WordPress?

These days I have to attribute it to the community. The knowledge and resources available for WordPress make it the best platform for me. It also helps that it’s easy to learn and understand, making it a great tool for my design clients.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I started using WordPress in 2006 after a brief stint with blogger. At the time I felt any important web designer needed a blog… naturally that included me, despite the fact that no one new me. When I didn’t instantly hit fame and fortune I blamed the platform. Clearly I wasn’t to blame, I just needed a better tool! I switched to WordPress and before I knew it Donald Trump was calling me up asking if I’d be on his show “Celebrity Apprentice.” Naturally I declined.

What tips or resources would you recommend to a new WordPress user?

Setup a development or sandbox environment and don’t be afraid to break things. I’ve found the best way to really understand something is explore its limits. If you do find yourself following a tutorial don’t copy and paste code examples. Instead, type out all the code as it will dramatically increase memory retention.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?

Have a thick skin and don’t be afraid to make and learn from mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s a part of life. I’ve been running a WordPress design agency for almost ten years and I still constantly make mistakes. The important thing is they are always new mistakes.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc.)?

Mostly, following cool people on Twitter and smoke signals.

What’s a cool WordPress-based site you’ve seen recently? — very cool use of WordPress tools like LearnDash to make a robust community and training course for WordPress consultants.

Where can we find you online?