Speaker Spotlight: Matt Bush

WordCamp Cape Town Speaker Matt BushI am a web developer, and I almost exclusively use WordPress for the sites I build. I also studied music and have been playing music in one form or another since I was about 8 years old.

Session: How many drummers does it take to build a website?
Time: 16:15 – 16:40

Website

Tell us more about how you became interested in WordPress, what about it drives your continued interest?

I discovered Joomla first and it instantly appealed to me. As someone who had maintained a HTML website with photo galleries in it years back, discovering CMSs was huge. At some point, I met Ashley from LightSpeed, and he turned me onto WordPress. I wasn’t convinced enough to ditch Joomla at first, and then I realised how easy it was to customise backend as well as front, and I haven’t looked back since. The more functions, hooks, filters and assorted tricks I learn, the more I realise I don’t know yet.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Cape Town?

If the talk is a success, I will put it down to loving WordPress, and wanting to share my knowledge. If not, because Ashley Shaw made me do it.

What is your talk going to be about?

My talk is aimed at musicians, but can be applied by anyone. Its a primer on using WordPress as a promotion tool and a central hub for the various social media tools out there. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel, but it can be quite hard to keep track of your favourite artists when they are tweeting about their latest release, posting audio on Soundcloud, putting gigs on Facebook, selling CDs on Bandcamp, and posting pictures of their dinner on Instagram. With an installation of WordPress, a decent theme, and a few widgets, you can get it all in one place.

What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?

Nothing in particular, but hopefully a few bands will build some sites, make it big and employ me as a drum-tech when they tour the world.

What is your favourite WordPress theme and/or plugin, and why?

I always enjoy working with the Woo-themes “Canvas” framework, although it can be overkill for some clients. Contact Form 7 has always served me well as a really easy, free, contact form plugin, and the other day I discovered “Regenerate Thumbnails” and “Term Management Tools”, both of which saved me hours. The first by resizing all my thumbnails and the second by allowing me to quickly restructure a massive taxonomy. Anything that saves time like that is always a plus.

Can you share one WP tip with us?

If you check out my blog: http://www.haycroftmedia.com/blog or follow Haycroft Media on Twitter http://twitter.com/haycroftmedia/ I’ll share more than one!

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Cape Town 2012?

Everybody else’s talks. I’ve learned far more from working with other developers than I have from working alone. I expect to learn loads more from hearing other WP developers talk.

Do you make money from wordpress?

Yes, and I pay tax so its safe to admit it!

Is WordPress an effective platform for getting your message across?

WordPress is one of the best platforms out there for getting your message across whether that be reviews, property listings, portofilos, celeb gossip or simply posting pictures of cats doing funny things.

You’ve recently developed the WP-E-COMMERCE ADVANCED PRODUCT IMPORTER PLUGIN. What has been the main takeaway for you of this experience?

There is a special place in heaven for plugin developers who release regularly (no idea when I will have time to do the next release). At least one person who downloads a plugin is not going to be happy. Nobody reads the readme.txt (I still don’t).

Are there any projects that you have recently been involved in that have gotten you excited?

Most projects I work on excite me to a degree, but its fair to say that the projects that are music related or require a large amount of complex code and problem-solving are the ones that really push my buttons.

From the music perspective, I work for Elastic Artists on a monthly basis. We recently relauched their site (using WP as a platform of course): http://www.elasticartists.net/ I’m into at least 40-50% of the acts they represent so I’m half fanboy half coder when I work with them (and I’ve scored more than my fair share of free music along the way). The theme was built from the bottom up, there are various custom-plugins that interact with their internal booking system and various other tricks.

On a local level, I developed http://mynameisfletcher.com/ for African Dope legend Fletcher (aka DJ Dope). He wanted a central hub for all his bits and pieces so his site has had a big influence on my talk. I also built http://www.mrsakitumiandthegrrrl.com/ for audio-visual geniuses Mr Sakitumi and The Grrrl, and I made a few sites for some chap called Waddy Jones years ago.

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