Emanuel Blagonic is a WordPress enthusiast from Croatia. He has more than 13 years of experience and more than 500 different projects with worldwide clients on his back. He is a Creative Director at Blagonic Brothers since 2009 and has been in love with WordPress for more than 10 years. He has made many core contributions in Croatia—writing articles about WordPress, organizing WordCamps and meetups. He is a part of WordCamp Europe organizing team. Apart from designing websites, he has worked with small and big clients, startups, and global projects. We got to have a little one-on-one talk session with him at WordCamp Kathmandu 2018.
How and when did you first start your WordPress journey?
I started using WordPress back in 2004. WordPress used to look and feel quite different as it looks today. Back then, there were not as many possibilities as it carries today. It was really easy for me to get started with WordPress because as I was a designer and not a developer. The platform that WordPress provided for Designers were really awesome which really helped me out to start my WordPress journey.
What do you like most about WordCamps?
Meeting new people, for sure! When you are into traveling whether it be for work or for fun, you get to meet a lot of interesting people with different cultures. You can take an example of me being here today at WordCamp Kathmandu 2018. I am having so much fun seeing people networking and enjoying.
What do you hope attendees will take away from your talk today?
My topic today is about ‘Web Accessibility’. Web Accessibility is something that most of the people are not familiar with. I hope that attendees will understand that Web Accessibility is not that difficult to work with if you start early when you design or develop things. It is something that you need to think about as Web Accessibility hasn’t got much attention.
Are there any challenges you faced that you’d like to share with us?
We face challenges every day! I think the biggest challenge for me is that I’m not that committed to building WordPress websites, themes, plugins. As I’m a Freelancer doing a lot of free-lance designs which is a kind of job as my contribution back to WordPress.
What do you think about the improvements of Accessibility in WordPress?
I think WordPress is doing a great job. WordPress is the most successful software to build websites today. One of the reasons behind this is the amazing WordPress accessibility thing. I would definitely recommend the WordPress community of Nepal to look for ways to improve the web accessibility area.
What do you think about the WordPress community of Nepal?
It’s amazing! I heard that there are about 5 cities that are hosting Meetups which is a great thing. Especially, in a country that doesn’t have the best road structure. I came to know that there is about 5 to 6 hours’ drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara which is a really long drive. With all that in mind, I am grateful to be here.
How have you been contributing or giving back to the community?
I am a part of WordPress community team. I participate in various WordCamps across the world. I also help organize WordCamps and Meetups in Europe.
What are your thoughts on the female participation in WordPress?
It is not only about WordPress, it is also about every aspect of technology. We need to make things easier not only for women but everyone who wants to get involved in WordPress. We need to encourage women in many ways; from contributing to speaking, volunteering to organizing.
What is your go-to source for anything WordPress?
My go-to source for WordPress is WordPress documentation and WordPress projects.
What can we find you doing when you’re not WordPressing?
I spend a lot of time with my son. I like walking by the sea with him. We do a lot of crazy things; we like to discover new stuff.
Any bits of advice you’d like to give to a new WordPress user?
If you are new to WordPress, it may seem a bit harsh at the beginning but you should definitely give it a try. 30% of Internet uses WordPress today. You have a great user base, a great documentation, and support forum. So, just give it a go!
Lastly, Gutenberg is the next big thing in WordPress. How excited are you about it?
I am very much excited about Gutenberg! It will challenge the way we design the websites and build contents for the websites. For now, Gutenberg is a giant inter-phase that uses blogs which makes certain contents available on the websites. It will be easier for end-users to work with. However, it is for future as it is not completely developed yet. It will eventually get better.