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.
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.)
In short: the lead developer (and original creator) of BuddyPress.
It was the first half of 2008 when Matt hired Andy on to take on BuddyPress full time, and since then the project has made some real progress.
In short: the usability expert at Automattic and drove the research behind the new design of WordPress 2.7.
In short: The founding developer and leader of WordPress.
How can a list like this exist without mentioning Matt? WordPress wouldn’t even exist without his starting it up from a branch of b2\cafelog with Mike Little way back when. Nowadays Matt manages a pretty big team (see Automattic’s about page, most of which contribute in some way to WordPress.org) and jets around the world to speak at different WordPress events. Oh yeah, and for a big-time-well-known-CEO, he’s still a swell guy.
In short: the art director at Automattic and the visual designer of WordPress 2.7.
In short: editor of videos for WordPress at WordPress.tv
In short: VP at Automattic and the project manager of WordPress for iPhone.
In short: lead developer for WordPress/Automattic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In short: popular web development blogger/screencaster/podcaster.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In short: theme developer and blogger at ThemeShaper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.