Martin: Matthias, please tell us your WordPress story. What motivated you to work with WordPress? Matthias: (Laughs) How far ahead shall we start?
Martin: (Laughs) We have time. Matthias: At the end of the 1990s I took my first steps on the Internet, was fascinated and started to build my own (private) websites. I was relatively annoyed by the fact that I had to upload HTML code via FTP every time I changed something on my website. I came across b2 via an Australian blog, quasi the forerunner of WordPress. I was immediately fascinated how easy it was to work with. I worked with b2 for a long time and also participated on all updates. The switch to WordPress was relatively late, but early enough to notice the discussion about the fork from b2 to WordPress. At some point I had also reached a point with WordPress where the CMS no longer met my requirements and the themes were not what I was looking for. From that point on I started to tweak all kinds of things. In the beginning, to my shame, I directly adapted the WordPress Core, Theme and Plugins.
Martin: Simon, why don’t you share your WordPress story with us? Simon: With pleasure. I have been working with WordPress for 12 years. In fact the first CMS I used to build a website was Joomla! This website was hacked after just one week, but that wasn’t because of Joomla! but because of my insecure password. The frustration was still high and I didn’t want to start the whole thing again with Joomla! At that time I was a reader of Kulturbanause.de. There was much talk about WordPress at the time. So I simply tried this WordPress. While using it I felt comfortable, but unfortunately I also made some bloody beginner’s mistakes (laughs). For example, it wasn’t a good idea to adjust WordPress theme files directly, because these changes were gone after the next update.
So I learned how child themes work and how to use them. I also had to learn the hard way to use secure WordPress plugins, because otherwise really bad things can happen. Then in 2012 I realized that I already knew quite a lot about WordPress and could help others with it. At the “WP-Camp” in Berlin I heard about local WordPress Meetups for the first time. Without even a second hesitation I thought: “Cool, I must have that too!” That’s how the idea of setting up a WordPress meeting in Frankfurt came around the corner. In the run-up I asked myself how exactly I should approach this Meetup and what has to be considered. Caspar Hübinger replied to me: “Don’t worry, you will meet a lot of people. They are all super nice and you will meet good friends“.