When my name was included in a “14 WordPress Experts to Follow” post by Elementary Digital in the UK, I was both surprised and flattered. Of the 14 people mentioned, 12 were men. All of whom I admire and follow. However, I think there are so many other women who have made a very large impact on the WordPress community and are worth following. The women who have impacted me personally with their writing and contributions are:
Stephanie’s book WordPress for Web Developers helped me at a critical point in my personal WordPress skill building time. Her writing was easy to follow and understand. She has written many other books, developed several plugins, and writes a very helpful blog for people new to WordPress website development.
Lisa’s books WordPress for Dummies, BuddyPress For Dummies, WordPress All In One For Dummies, and WordPress Web Design For Dummies have all been on my recommended “must-read” lists for my students and clients. They are not highly technical books, so they can be approached by new WordPress users, providing an excellent big-picture overview. Lisa lays it all out very clearly and simply. She is a great speaker, and you can see many of her WordCamp presentations here: http://wordpress.tv/speakers/lisa-sabin-wilson/. They are definitely worth a listen! She is now a partner at WebDevStudios along with several other WordPress greats.
When I first encountered Tammy Hart’s work, I was so impressed with her design abilities, front-end coding skills, and great articulation of all things WordPress. She builds beautiful sites and can’t seem to stop talking about WordPress. A woman after my own heart. She has also contributed several plugins to the community. She tweets regularly and is a great person to follow for helpful front-end coding tips and tricks. I finally got to meet Tammy in person at LoopConf. She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met! I’m so glad I got to shake her hand and hear her speak. She is wicked smart and a great person to follow.
Helen is a WordPress lead developer and an employee of 10up.com – a content management strategy firm specializing in WordPress. I first saw Helen at the May 2015 LoopConf in Henderson, Nevada. She gave a dynamic talk about how to get better about WordPress by learning WordPress — in other words, get under the hood and see what core is doing. Please see a video of her talk in my LoopConf Digest.
Naomi C. Bush
Naomi describes herself as a believer in personal content ownership/open-source. She is currently working on integration with Gravity Forms and Stripe. She is a dynamic and fun speaker at WordCamps and tweets about code and stuff. Please see a video of her talk in my LoopConf Digest.
I first saw Rachel Carden speak at LoopConf and felt like I wish this woman were my best friend, sister, mentor, or life coach. She is enthusiastic about collaboration and professional development. As a web designer and developer for The University of Alabama, she has a passion for community, and problem solving. She tweets about fitness, food, and WordPress. Please see a video of her talk in my LoopConf Digest.
I was sitting next to Zoe Rooney at LoopConf in May 2015 and then got to watch her speak about her super efficient theme automation process. If you want to learn true WordPress theme development, Zoe is the person to go to. She will take you step-by-step through the architecture of building a WordPress theme that you can then use as a base template for future website development. You can find her course here: http://neatlypolished.com/.
Tessa Blakeley Silver
I started using WordPress in 2007 and teaching in 2009. My first two years customizing themes in WordPress were painful. Each time a client asked me to do something, I would lose sleep wondering how the heck I was going to figure it out. I bought Tessa’s book on WordPress Theme Design in 2008, about a year after I’d dived into WordPress without any idea what I was doing. Her book was a game changer for me as it broke down all the components of theme design into logical pieces. After reading that as well as Professional WordPress Design and Development (by Hal Stern, David Damstra, and Brad Williams), I finally felt like I “got it” and developed more confidence in being able to handle any and all coding challenges presented to me.
Lorelle VanFossen is a keynote, trainer, writer, and consultant on web writing, web design, and blogging, especially working with WordPress. Her blog which has everything about WordPress, blogging, and social media you could imagine was hugely helpful to me during the time I was trying to figure out WordPress.
Jen Mylo (aka Jane Wells)
I heard Jen speak at WordCamp Boulder 2010. She has been focused lately on trying to increase diversity in the WordPress community. Jen is smart and funny and a great activist for all of us women in WordPress.
Other Women in WordPress
Many of my students are women, usually graphic designers wanting to learn how to do front-end coding and theme customization as well as women in career transition. My classes tend to be an even mix of men and women mostly middle aged. I am impressed by all the people making career transitions in mid life to using WordPress. Most of the graduates of my six-week theme customization course have gone on to build successful freelance careers or provide better service to their existing clients.
My hope is to empower students to learn how to code beautiful websites and stay current with design trends and latest web technologies. Since women are so underrepresented in the tech community, I especially like to let my female students know about all the women who are doing the same thing they want to do.
For other women in WordPress to follow, please see:
If you have your own favorite woman in WordPress, please comment below.