Who’s Who in WordPress (50+ people you should be following)

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I’ve said before that what makes WordPress so powerful is the community behind it. I’ve pushed the importance of getting to know your WordPress developers before, and would like to think I’m doing my part in publishing interviews with members of the community as well. This time around, I’d like to publish my own “Who’s Who” of WordPress.

This list is intended to direct you toward the most influential members of the WordPress community. If you’re reading this page, it’s because you’re interested in getting involved. The list below will give you not only a quick bio, but links to their sites and Twitter profiles so you can follow them. On with the list!

Update: For more great WordPress community/news resources, see my list of suggested news sources, all of them straight from my own feedreader.

The Core

I’m making a distinction here between “the core” members of WordPress and the rest of the community. The Core should be of utmost interest to you, since without these people we wouldn’t even be able to play around with WordPress in the first place.

(Note: This “core” list isn’t intended to be comprehensive. There is a much larger group that is responsible for all of the wonderful WordPress goodies we enjoy, but they are either mostly hidden from the public eye, or I was unable to track them down. Use the comments to add those that I missed.)


The Community

Who’s making tides in the WordPress ocean, besides the big dogsTM? This is the group that, I find, effect my own WordPress development. I try to keep abreast of what’s going on, but if you see someone not on here that should be, don’t hesitate to berate me in the comments.

  • Adii

    In short: made a name for himself as a WordPress “rockstar” and with WooThemes.

    Adii has built himself up from a meager theme developer to a booming business owner and one of the leading WordPress premium theme companies out there right now.

    Most recently he seems to be moving away from his WordPress focus, moving toward blogging about business instead of themes and Plugins. It makes sense, since people tend to blog what they are focused on, and he’s just as focused on the business end of things as he is WordPress anymore.

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  • Alex King

    In short: founder of Crowd Favorite and Plugin developer.

    Odds are, if you’ve been running a WordPress site, you have used one (or more likely, a couple) of Alex King’s Plugins. My personal favorites are Twitter Tools, ShareThis, and Popularity Contest.

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  • Andrew Rickmann

    In short: WordPress blogger at WP Fun.

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  • Ben Gillbanks

    In short: developer of the MimboPro theme and his custom login Plugin.

    Ben has been a steady contributor to the WordPress community via his theme and Plugin releases. He’s also a nice guy, and quick to respond to any questions/ideas you have about his work. I featured his Mimbo theme on the Playground in a list of magazine themes last year.

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  • Brian Clark

    In short: well known blogger at Copyblogger and partner at DIYthemes.

    Brian has partnered with Chris Pearson (mentioned below) and created DIYthemes, a company specializing in creating awesome WordPress themes. So far they’ve released Thesis, a wildly popular theme framework.

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  • Brian Gardner

    In short: known for his work with Revolution Theme (now at StudioPress).

    Brian’s name is synonymous with WordPress development anymore, what with the explosion of popularity of his Revolution theme when it was released. Now, after a fruitful meeting with Matt and the Toni, he’s decided to go open source with his themes and relaunch as StudioPress. Keep an eye on what he’s doing.

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  • Chris Coyier

    In short: popular web development blogger/screencaster/podcaster.

    While Chris tends to stay broad on his blog, he does tend to cover WordPress every now and then. His prevalence has only expanded now that he’s publishing to Smashing Magazine’s blog.

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  • Chris Pearson

    In short: the mind behind Thesis, a WordPress theme framework.

    Chris has caused shock waves with Thesis theme, a powerful WordPress theme framework. He’s also known for being a bold blogger, not afraid to say what he thinks.

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  • Collis Ta’eed

    In short: blog network owner and co-author of a book on WordPress.

    Collis has developed a nearly countless number of WordPress themes for the various blogs on Envato’s network, as well as to sell through his theme marketplace ThemeForest.

    Collis also wins the most-eye-catching-and-memorable-Twitter-avatar award. Seriously, just look at that thing. Awesome color.

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  • Cory Miller

    In short: theme developer and owner of iThemes.

    Cory was actually the person who get me involved with WordPress development way back in 2006-2007. He had a callout on his blog at the time asking for assistance, and I answered it. Since then we have touched base now and again—meanwhile his company has grown to be one of the biggest theme companies out there. Super impressive.

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  • Dan Philibin

    In short: one of the minds behind WPCandy and WPCoder.

    Along with his partner Michael Castilla (mentioned below, of course) Dan has managed to turn a popular WordPress blog into a successful business in WPCoder, a PSD to WordPress development service.

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  • Darren Hoyt

    In short: prominent WordPress designer, designed Aggregado.

    Darren also happens to be pretty private about his pictures, which is why we get this popular photo of his as his avatar. He’s not really a spider on a frog on a turtle.

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  • David Peralty

    In short: WordPress blogger, and now the creator of WPUnlimited.

    David blogs about WordPress, but the big news this week is that he has released WPUnlimited, a new WordPress theme that seems to be highly customizable and SEO-ready.

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  • Ian Stewart

    In short: theme developer and blogger at ThemeShaper.

    Ian has made the biggest mark in the WordPress community by releasing his theme framework Thematic, as well as speaking out on Child Themes, a growing trend in WordPress theme development.

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  • Jai Nischal Verma

    In short: blogs and releases WordPress themes at BlogOhBlog.

    Jai has released a number of free and premium themes at his blog. He has a pretty distinct style. My favorite of his is Slurpie.

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  • Jason Schuller

    In short: theme developer and WordPress blogger.

    Jason creates awesome WordPress themes at Press75 and blogs at JDidIt, often about WordPress. He’s recently partnered with Brian Gardner (mentioned above) at StudioPress.

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  • Jean-Baptiste Jung

    In short: WordPress blogger at WPRecipes.

    Jean-Baptiste has made a decent name for himself blogging simple tips and helpful pieces of code for WordPress developers at WPRecipes.

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  • Jeff Chandler (Jeffro2pt0)

    In short: WordPress blogger and host of the WordPress Weekly podcast.

    Jeff has established himself as the spokesman of the general WordPress user. He’s recently created his own WordPress blog at the WordPress Tavern, and is planning some interesting ideas within the WordPress community. Even though I’m now running a competing podcast (wink), it’s cool to see the discussion that pops up around Jeff’s work.

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  • John Kolbert

    In short: WordPress blogger and Plugin developer.

    John Kolbert maintains a pretty active and interesting WordPress blog, and tends to keep up the nice content on Twitter as well. His Plugins seem useful too: Absolute Privacy, Admin Favicon, and Smart Ads.

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  • Jon Phillips

    In short: theme developer and founder of Freelance Folder.

    Jon’s company Spyre Studios is a WordPress development company, and he stays on top of the WordPress community on his blog and his Twitter stream.

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  • Joost de Valk

    In short: Plugin developer and blogger.

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  • Justin Tadlock

    In short: blogger and runs Theme Hybrid, a WordPress themes club.

    Justin fills his blog with great stuff about WordPress, like recently when he shared his thoughts on how WordPress needs to adjust the “sidebar” name to be something more accurate.

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  • Leonid Mamchenkov

    In short: one time blogger on WordPress, now mainly on Twitter.

    WordPress Bits is a blog full of useful tips for WordPress developers. Anymore, Leonid mainly sticks to Twitter, but it’s worth checking out the Bits blog anyway.

    Leonid was nice enough to take part in an interview on the Playground just last year.

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  • Lisa Sabin-Wilson

    In short: runs E.Webscapes and wrote WordPress for Dummies.

    Lisa has not only written a book that will bring countless new people to WordPress (and teach those already in the community) but she runs a well known business called E.Webscapes building high profile sites with WordPress, and is (most recently) helping to organize WordCamp Chicago.

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  • Lorelle VanFossen

    In short: well known blogger, speaker, and all around WordPress evangelist.

    Who hasn’t heard of Lorelle? She maintains a blog that stays pretty dedicated to WordPress, writes for a number of other blogs on similar topics, and is usually seen at WordPress events. For a look into what her involvement in the community looks like, check out her recent coverage of the WordPress tattoo fiasco. It takes a special sort of person to blog about all of that!

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  • Magnus Jepson

    In short: on the team at WooThemes, responsible for WooTube.

    Jepson is a WordPress designer/developer who also happens to be a pretty steady blogger. He’s now working with WooThemes developing some really awesome stuff.

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  • Malan Joubert

    In short: working at WooThemes and a great designer.

    It’s definitely worth your time to subscribe to receive a notification from Malan when his new project, ThemeSmith, launches.

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  • Mark Forrester

    In short: WordPress designer/developer for WooThemes, most recently designed Foreword Thinking.

    Being that he’s a WordPress developer, be blogs and tweets about WordPress pretty regularly. Also a great designer, overall, and worth looking to for inspiration.

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  • Mark Ghosh

    In short: blogger at the wildly popular Weblog Tools Collection.

    Mark has been a high profile WordPress blogger and speaker, and can be found on every WordPress dashboard under WordPress News. He’s responsible for sending a lot of traffic to thankful WordPress community members. Thanks Mark!

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  • Michael Castilla

    In short: co-founder behind WPCandy and WPCoder.

    Michael may be (along with Dan, mentioned above) one of the youngest and most successful WordPress business owners around. He has helped build up a successful WordPress blog in WPCandy, and turn the popularity into dollars with WPCoder, a PSD to WordPress service.

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  • Michel Valdrighi

    In short: web developer who uses WordPress.

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  • Nathan Rice

    In short: theme and Plugin developer, blogger of all things WordPress.

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nathan in the past. He’s a theme and Plugin developer of the utmost quality. Most recently, he’s released three new WordPress Plugins over at his blog, all of which are geared toward developers using WordPress as a CMS.

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  • Ozh

    In short: theme and Plugin developer.

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  • Pavel Ciorici

    In short: blogger and theme developer (most recently Yamidoo Magazine).

    Pavel runs a blog on WordPress called WPZoom with some great posts, most recently Fresh Trends in WordPress Themes. Definitely check him out.

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  • Ptah Dunbar

    In short: prominent WordPress blogger, mind behind WP Framework.

    Ptah is usually sharing some interesting thoughts on WordPress over at his blog. Just yesterday, he posted his thoughts on changing the name for WordPress sidebars to “widgets”.

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  • R. Bhavesh

    In short: best known for his work on the theme WPRemix.

    Bhavesh’s WPRemix is a very impressive, very well marketed WordPress framework designed to give users lots and lots of options. He’s also a consistent blogger about all things WordPress.

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  • Randa Clay

    In short: designed/developed a number of WordPress themes.

    Randa has been working with WordPress for a while, and blogs and tweets about her experiences. Her WordPress themes are solid, too — my girlfriend Ashley actually used one of them for a while over on her blog.

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Still reading?

Assuming you’re still reading this far down the page, just wanted to say I’m interested in taking on a partner to aid with the production of the Theme Playground WordPress Podcast. It’s still pretty young, as far as podcasts go, but there is much potential. Contact me if you’re interested.

91 thoughts on “Who’s Who in WordPress (50+ people you should be following)

  1. Thanks for adding me to this list. I even managed to pick up a couple of new blogs to add to my feed reader.

    As a sidenote: This may be the largest comments form I’ve ever seen. It’s cool in a way that makes me want to leave a comment even if I have nothing to say.

    • Thanks Justin. Glad you found somebody new and interesting.

      And the form thing… I suppose that’s a good thing, but can think of times it would be a negative :)

  2. Thank you so much for including me. I sometimes feel like the often forgotten WordPress fan. I love the people you’ve selected for this list, and I can’t believe you created such a great rockstar list. I am fans of many on this list (including you Ryan)

  3. I’m flattered by any list I make these days especially when I’m in good company. I think I’m the only one on this list who doesn’t code anything. One thing I enjoyed about this list though is how you have provided a human face for all of these people. This is the first time I’ve seen what most of these people look like. I’ve heard the name, seen the blog, but never actually saw the person until now.

    • Well, even if all I do today is embarrass a bunch of people by finally showing a group of strangers what they really look like, then it’s been a good day.

      Thanks for checking it out, Jeff.

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  7. This is just an amazing list of people who have made WordPress what it is today, without many of the these people, WordPress would probably still be in the background.

    I’ll probably add many of these blogs to my feed reader as I continue developing my own WordPress website.

  8. Ryan I’m just a lowly wordpress user but I love the list. I’ve benefited from the work of well over half the hard working (and brilliant) people on this list. It’s great to see who they are and be able to better connect with them.

    Great Resource thanks:
    (Now I’m off to add lots new blogs to my reader)

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  10. I’m so happy to have made the list. I will definitely be sending some link love your way. If anyone was interested in one of my upcoming project launches, please sign up at ThemeSmith and get in on some beta testing. :)

    Thanks once again on the great post. You really hit the nail on the head. Will check in later this week for more comments.

    • Thanks! And I went ahead and added your link to ThemeSmith up under your listing. You’ll have to let me know when ThemeSmith launches, I’d be happy to feature it (whatever it is :) ) once it’s ready to roll.

  11. Hello! It’s nice to be in this list among other great contributors to WP throughout the times!
    However, while I am indeed a web developer, I work for Skyrock in France, not for Automattic. :)
    (Though I would consider an offer. *wink wink*)
    (And I really have to bring my english-speaking weblog back from the dead, as nowadays all my writings are in french…)

    • Thanks, Michel! I updated the post to include you in the Community, rather than the Core. Whoops. I knew something like that was bound to happen with a list this big. Thanks for letting me know before the egg sat on my face too long.

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  13. Great list indeed. I actually subscribed to about 80% of this list already, but I’m glad I found the remaining 20% here.. well, ’till you do a follow-up post with the remaining 50 ;)

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  17. Oh dear, you forgot to mention any of the moderators over at the WordPress forum – especially our beloved moshu, who really helps keep the community together!

  18. This has to be one of the best lists around. Not only it covers employees at automattic, it also features those people have contributed in the community.

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  20. This one clearly portrays the essence of web. Sharing & Colloboration.

    A great piece to be shown to people who say, web is all business and mechanical with no personal/emotional touch/aspect to things !

    Could you tell how to get a biggie-biggie comment form like this ?
    Will simple edits to comments.php do the thing ?!

  21. This list should have been called the 50+ MEN you should be following… my finger hurts from frantically scrolling until I found a woman on the list, LOL…. just teasing you, I always gotta represent! Good stuff.

    • Ha, good point Jenny. I was definitely conscious of that fact while putting the list together, and made sure to find a few women for the list. If you run across any that are missed, definitely let me know. We could always use a few more women involved in WordPress development!

      • Maybe it would have been easier to include more women if you waived the requirement for their full (real) name and photo? Post-Kathy Sierra I can’t be the only one being cautious about the degree of personal information I splash over the internet.

        There are women doing good work in the theme arena (e.g. Elena @ Design Disease, Lisa Klicko @ Lorelei) but they tend to focus on marketing the product rather than themselves and hence get overlooked. (True, they don’t blog about WP, but then neither do many of the other people on this list.)

  22. The big thing about the list is that, the people who are featured weren’t slammed with a title “Kings/Mavens/Rockstars/Experts/Celebrities”, rather, employed a humane approach and is exactly what makes this one special. !

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  29. This is the list to be in! Someday, I’ll make it. Enjoying your posts so far Ryan. Keep up the good stuff. Also, if you don’t mind – I’m fell in love with your comments form. Mind if I copy it for my redesign?

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  33. Nice list! There’s a few names I recognize from the forums, and didn’t know they were on Twitter. Now added! (now I’m wondering where Michael Heilmann, Kafkaesqui, whooami and others from the forums are? Now I’ve got to search!)

  34. I’d probably add a bit more about Michel Valdrighi (e.g. mention that he basically started it all with B2 …I bet there are people who have never even heard of B2, given the pace we all live at), but otherwise, an amazing list. And nice to put a name to a face and find out more about some people who are behind scenes, rather than talking out loud. So, thank you.

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