Meet Pippin Williamson, WordPress Expert

Pippin will be joining us for WPSession #1: Building WordPress Plugins on June 22nd, 2013.

Where can we find you online?

Pippin WilliamsonMy personal tutorial site at and on twitter as @pippinsplugins

When and how did you get started with WordPress?

I started working with WordPress around version 2.7. Unlike many, WordPress wasn’t something I instantly fell into favor with. I actually strongly disliked it when I first started working with the platform. My brother was running his personal website on WordPress and wanted me to learn it so I could modify some of his theme template files for him. It was a real struggle for me to force myself to dig into the code and figure out how everything worked. Tweaking the site header was pretty far beyond me. I don’t know exactly when the shift happened, but at some point after working on my brother’s site I realized that I loved WordPress and just wanted to learn more, and more, and more.

What resources to you turn to when you want to learn something new?

WordPress core itself is my number one source. There is so much you can learn about the inner workings of WordPress (some of which you wish you could unlearn even) by just exploring the source code. Looking at the source code of well-built plugins is also just as valuable. Tutorials are great, but no tutorial will ever teach you to truly understand how something works. Start with tutorials to get a grasp of the concept, then dig into the source for real understanding.

What is your favorite WordPress feature/aspect?

Custom post types by far, followed perhaps by the $wpdb class. Following closely in third is probably the rewrite system for building custom URLs.

What is your favorite WordPress plugin and why?

Post 2 Post. There is no single plugin that can be applied to so many different scenarios and handle every single one of them beautifully. I’ve used it for building education course systems, related post widgets, even connecting product pages to their appropriate support forums.

What advice do you have for others looking to become WordPress experts?

Explore the core source code and the source code of successful plugins. Discover how they did things that worked really well and also how they did things that failed. Learning how not to do something is just as important or more as learning how to do it right.

Bonus Question: What is one interesting non-WordPress-related fact about yourself?

I have mad skills on the pottery wheel.