Interview with WordPress WPBits Blogger Leonid Mamchencov

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I had the opportunity some time ago to interview someone who is very much interested in WordPress development: Leonid Mamchencov. He’s the blogger over at WPBits, and makes a point of explaining that his blog is not a blog about blogging.

I think I like him already. Full text of interview below.

What first brought you to WordPress?
I was looking for a better tool for my personal blog. I’ve already
been through a few alternatives, all the way from the scripts of my
own to widely used open source systems, such as NucleusCMS.
So why WordPress? Why not Drupal? Movable Type? Dare I ask, Blogger?
WordPress was gaining a lot of popularity in the blogging circles at a
time. More than Drupal or anything else. It was also an truly open
source software, which I am a big supporter of. And it was a
standalone software rather than a web service, like Blogger. So I
tried it out.

Once I tried it out, it was difficult to leave. The distribution is
small, compared to other systems. The interface is simple and
straightforward. The system is flexible and fast. And there are
thousands of plugins out there. There’s just not much I could wish
for.

What do you believe is the single best addition to WordPress as of
recently?
Widgets was the greatest addition ever. That made my life so much
easier! Widgets are like a bridge between people who want to make
money and people who want to have control over their web site. 🙂

In WordPress 2.3, which I didn’t have time to play with yet, I think
the update notifications are a really useful feature. Especially for
those of us, who manage several WordPress web sites with different
plugins.

How has WordPress helped you in your field of expertise?
First of all, it helped to me make some money. 🙂 WordPress is really
easy to package, sell, and support.

Secondly, WordPress gave me a few new ideas on how the CMS should
work, what should be in, what should be out, and how things should be
organized inside. I’m using these ideas while building and evaluating
other systems.

If you could change one thing about the WordPress community, what would it be?
I love the community the way it is. Creative and helpful and all. If
there is one thing I have to name… well… maybe, realizing that
WordPress is not just a blogging engine anymore. Not even just a CMS.
It’s a platform.

I’m trying to bring up this point with WordPress Bits.

What’s the best part about running WP Bits? What keeps you doing it?
People. As with any blog. People who read, link, and comment, make
it into what it is. There is no post on WordPress Bits that wasn’t
enhanced by somebody’s comment suggesting a better way of solving a
problem.

Sometimes I just write up something because I want to learn more about
the subject. And then I wait for comments and pingbacks to come. 🙂

Any words of advice for aspiring WordPress developers?
Two things.

1. Learn WordPress source code. Not by heart or inside out. But get
an idea of how things are organized, what is there, and what is not.
That will save a lot of time when solving problems, and it will also
provide a lot of inspiration on what can be done with WordPress.

2. Keep an eye on the community. See who’s doing what and how. Attend
a conference or meeting. Subscribe to themes and plugins RSS feeds.

Where do you foresee WordPress going in the future? And what’s missing to take it to that next level?
I see WordPress being used for more things than just blogging.
WordPress network already has a few interesting implementations, like
directories (jobs, plugins, themes) and aggregators (WordPress.com
thing). I used WordPress for real estates management and even for a
financial institution. It’s flexible enough.

Two things that WordPress will need to catch up with are file
management and multilingual support. Some work has already gone into
this areas, but I expect to see more in the nearest future. Once
those are covered, there is not much that I can think of.

Thanks so much for the interview, Leonid! I apologize for taking so long to upload it here.

If you are a WordPress developer/designer or if you use WordPress for any unusual website, I’d love to talk to you. I’m especially interested in anyone willing to participate in a video/audio interview. You know where to reach me!