Siddharth Ashok is a WordPress lover from Goa, India. He has been working with WordPress for almost a decade now and has followed its journey from when it was just a blogging platform to Content Management System it is now. Siddharth Ashok is currently working with Indian-Swedish web agency WebbDesigner aka Next Big Things, as a Front-end and WordPress developer. He talked about optimizing WordPress for speed and performance at WordCamp Kathmandu 2017. We got to have a little talk with him at the same event.
How did you first get involved with WordPress?
It all started when I was in college. I am mainly a Front-end developer so when I was doing freelancing in college, I needed some kind of CMS for my clients so that they could manage their sites. I tried a lot of different platforms like Joomla and WordPress. WordPress was the easiest for me. I chose this platform because it was so easy to transition my Front-end code into a theme which clients could easily manage. So, I decided to stick with WordPress and now I do a lot of theme development in WordPress platform.
What do you like most about WordCamps?
It’s the place where like-minded people come and discuss. You get to meet a lot of different people who are doing the same thing as you. It’s a great opportunity to hear and meet the people whose codes you’ve been using and know about their experiences or how they do a particular thing. So, it’s a really great experience and I suggest everyone should attend one whenever they can.
What do you hope attendees will take away from your talk/workshop?
My talk is basically on how you can optimize speed and performance in WordPress. So this is like one of the topics which is usually overlooked. Generally, people just build the website and then after sometimes realize that their website is getting slower and start looking for some help. But, I think people should be able to maintain the speed and performance of their website all the time. From the beginning, you should look into the code and see if you are following the best possible ways to make your website fast. Everyone likes faster website and I hope they will learn how they can optimize the speed and performance of their websites.
Why do you think it is important to give back to the community?
It’s all about good Karma. First things first, you have taken so much from the community and it’s your responsibility to give it back. Once you were also a beginner, a learner and somebody guided you and now it’s your turn to give it back. Giving back to the community is a wonderful thing.
What’s your go-to source for anything WordPress?
Usually, I follow a lot of WordPress related sites. There’s a new website called Post Status, I’ve been following that lately. I have also subscribed to few newsletters. And I’ve also subscribed to WP Beginner and WP Tavern.
What advices would you give to a new WordPress user?
Just get into it. It’s damn easy and it’s a wonderful platform. I think anyone can get it with a little hard work. People are just scared of the code and stuff but the best part about WordPress is the coding. It’s so popular and all the resources are already there. Whatever problem you have with WordPress, somebody has already solved it. So there’s nothing to be scared of. You should just get into it and enjoy the WordPress ride.
What are your thoughts on the WordPress community of Nepal?
It’s really nice. I didn’t know that the community was this big before I came here but I am really glad that I did. I got the chance to see so many enthusiastic people and so many great speakers. It’s really growing and really nice. I hope for the best in future.
WordPress 4.8 is releasing soon. Which feature are you most excited about?
I am not very updated about all the advanced features coming with 4.8. But I’ve heard that they are finally bringing some major changes to the widget area which was long needed. So, I am looking forward to that. And another really nice section they’ve added is the community events. All the community events which are going on around your area will be now coming to your dashboard. I think this feature will help people to participate more in WordPress events.
What can we find you doing when you’re not WordPressing?
I live in Goa which is a beach city so I usually go for a swim whenever I am on my weekends. I also love skateboarding.