WordPress Superheroes To Follow in 2020 [With Exclusive Tips From Some Influencers]
Marvel’s got Superman and Batman.
DC’s got Ironman and Spiderman.
It doesn’t matter that we got the world’s mixed up. What matters is that these superheroes have defined and kept these universes alive and our interests hooked for many decades. Without these names, both these legendary media franchises are nothing, and similar is the case for something as vastly different as WordPress.
While WordPress on the surface may not be as interesting as Superman and Hulk going at each other, it does power more than 34% of the internet, and that’s something. But this popularity and functionality aren’t cropping out of nothing.
There are superheroes out there who’ve taken Stan L… err… Matt Mullenweg’s creation to the next level and are now keeping its flag flying high.
Following them is like following your favorite superheroes because they keep us informed and entertained all the time. 😉 So without further ado, let’s take a look at the people who’ve done their bit to make WordPress what it is today.
Adam is a WordPress enthusiast who has been giving back to the WordPress community through his teaching. He is a WordPress podcaster and the founder of KitchensinkWP, a popular weekly WordPress podcast. He is also the founder of ConciergeWP, a WordPress development agency where they focus on establishing a brand for their clients by coming up with design elements that are best suited to their industry.
Best known for: KitchensinkWP
Adam W. Warner
Adam is the co-founder at FooPlugins, a popular WordPress plugin development company. He first released FooPlugin as a standalone plugin back in 2011 but now the company develops various other plugins like FooBox, and FooGallery. Adam is also the Field Marketing Manager at GoDaddy where he leads the GoDaddy pro product presence in the WordPress community.
Best known for: FooPlugins
Ahsan Parvez has been around the WordPress community for quite a long time. He is often found helping WordPress users make better decisions regarding web hosting, marketing, SEO and much more. Ahsan is currently working as WordPress Initiatives Lead at Cloudways, a popular Managed WordPress Hosting Solution, where he is the voice of the community within the Cloudways marketing team.
Always keep learning from the people around you, the way WordPress ecosystem is progressing in different areas is both impressive and tough to keep up with. And also return the favor by spreading the knowledge that you have learned over the years. Teaching others about WordPress is at the core of WordPress community’s growth and you can easily be a part of it
Best Known for: Being the Face of Cloudways
Alice has a huge social media following as a WordPress influencer. She is an award-winning blogger for her blog fairy blog mother and also provides training on blogging with WordPress. She believes that while blogging is technical, it can be learned if it is taught in easy to understand language with the help of visuals and graphics. She is also a highly qualified marketer and digital marketer and she offers marketing consultation to those who are looking to leverage digital marketing techniques to their benefit.
Best known for: Fairy Blog Mother
Andy McIlwain works on content and community projects at GoDaddy. He is an occasional WordPress developer and he loves to work for local small businesses. He looks after the blog at GoDaddy where they publish a lot of valuable resources to help people start and grow their businesses. Andy is also associated with the GoDaddy Pro program where they help web designers and developers to scale their businesses. Prior to that he was a web specialist and provided project consulting, training, support and contract development work.
Best known for: Marketing Enthusiast at GoDaddy
Angela Bowman is a WordPress user since 2007, that’s more than a decade! Regardless of such a massive experience, she says she is still learning new things with WordPress so that she can help others to grow and make better websites. She shares her invaluable knowledge and experience through her blog, courses, consultancy, and presentations on her own website, AskWPGirl. She also arranges meetups for a more face to face interaction with people who need her help.
Best Know for: AskWPGirl
Ben Gillbanks makes WordPress themes and is a renowned WordPress developer in the WordPress community. He is the director of web development at Miniclip.com, a famous online gaming site. He is popularly known for creating Mimbo Pro, a WordPress Magazine theme which he developed with Darren Hoyt. Ben also created Regulus, the first WordPress theme to include a control panel.
Best known for: Pro Theme
Bill is a WordPress developer and entrepreneur and has been developing with WordPress since 2006. For the last 14 years, he has been building custom WordPress websites for various businesses and individuals. Bill has developed and uploaded 24 free plugins on WordPress which has been downloaded 1,442,738 times. Bill also serves as a spokesperson and has spoken at many WordPress conferences.
Best known for: WordPress Plugin Developer
Brad is the CEO and co-founder of WebDevStudios, a WordPress company that specializes in web design and web development. They also look after data migration, API integrations, scalability, maintenance and much more. He founded WebDevStudios with Lisa Sabin Wilson who is another WordPress influencer in this list. The company has two other projects Maintainn, a WordPress maintenance service, and Pluginize, a WordPress plugin development company.
Best known for: Maintainn and Pluginize
Brenda Stokes Barron
Branda is a contributor to popular WordPress resources which includes WPMUDEV, Envato, and Torque Mag. She also provides different services like social media marketing, content marketing and copywriting through her website, DigitalInkWell. I have personally read many articles written by Brenda and they played a big part in making me understand what WordPress is.
Best Know for: DigitalInkWell
Brian is the Chief Marketing Officer at Kinsta, a popular WordPress hosting provider. He also runs woorkup.com with Brett Jackson where they publish various resources related to SEO, SMM, WordPress and different web strategies. Brian is a 360 degree WordPress guy who has also developed perfmatters, a WordPress performance plugin, and WP Coupons, a WordPress coupon plugin.
Best known for: CMO, Kinsta
Brian is the creator and editor at Post Status, a WordPress blog, and podcast aimed at education WordPress users about the industry. He has been using WordPress since 2008 and he builds WordPress websites for his career. He also runs Ledger Status, which is a resource website for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
Best known for: PostStatus
Bridget Willard is a marketing consultant by profession where she loves to help small businesses grow and move in the right direction. She has been behind the success of many notable brands like GiveWP and the Make WordPress Marketing Team. Bridget is also the co-host of a popular WordPress Podcast, WPblab, where she runs the show with Jason Tucker
Best Known for: WPblab
Brian Brian is a US Marines software developer. He co-founded AppPresser with Scott Bolinger which helps WordPress users convert their websites into a mobile app, making it easier to manage their websites through their mobile phones. He also co-founded School Pesser, a WordPress agency targeting schools that want to create a WordPress website at a minimal cost.
Best known for: App Presser
Brin has been associated with WordPress for a long time. He is the founder of WinningWP, a website dedicated to providing WordPress tips and tutorials to WordPress geeks. Brin is also a software and website consultant.
Best known for: WinningWP
Carrie Dils is a WordPress developer and consultant. She designs courses to help people learn new skills and generate revenue by using those skills. Her courses revolve around web development and freelancing as she, herself, has a tonne of experience using her development skills to earn a side income which later became her livelihood. She regularly publishes podcasts, blogs, and online courses.
Best Known for: Fearless Freelancer
Chris is a web and technology enthusiast from Melbourne, Australia. He enjoys presenting on technical topics to various user groups. He helps run the Melbourne WordPress user meetup and Melbourne SEO meetup. Chris has also written for some major companies including Microsoft, GoDaddy, SitePoint, and Automattic. He has spoken about many WordPress topics in various meetups in Australia including Professional WordPress Security at Melbourne WordPress Meetup.
For those getting into WordPress, start building today and focus on quality rather than quantity. Practice on your own sites so you can learn and experiment. Be open to helping people that need assistance, whether that be online or at your local Meetup. There are a lot of people that need help learning the ropes when it comes to building or running a website. This helps you get valuable experience, it’s a great way to keep learning, and it’s a fun way to give something back to the community.
Best known for: Clickify
Chris is a web designer and developer. With 10 years of experience, Chris built CSS Tricks, a website dedicated to web designing. He is also the co-founder at CodePen, it provides a social environment for a front end web designers and developers. He also co-hosts a podcast called ShopTalk, an informational talk on building websites. Chris has also spoken at different events and has written two books, Practical SVG and Diving into WordPress.
Best known for: CodePen
Chris has been around the WordPress community for a very long time. He organizes CaboPress every year where entrepreneurs from all around the world come together to build a network and talk about entrepreneurial opportunities. Chris is also the VP of Product at LiquidWeb, a popular WordPress managed hosting provider.
Best known for: CaboPress
Claire is a freelance web developer and offers web design and maintenance services to her clients. She began working with WordPress in 2012 and since then, she fell in love with the CMS and got better and better at it. She works under the name “A Bright Clear Web” which has an interesting philosophy behind it. Clair means bright and clear, which is what she wants her websites to be
Best Known for: A Bright Clear Web
Corry founded iThemes in 2008 which became a multimillion dollar enterprise within 10 years. Very recently, LiquidWeb, a WordPress managed hosting provider, acquired iThemes and is now run as an independent unit of the company. He is also the co-author of WordPress All-in-One for Dummies. He also offers coaching to entrepreneurs where he conducts one on one sessions and provides support to help reach people reach their potential.
Best known for: iThemes
Deborah Edwards is the owner of Lireo Design, a web design, and development company in Canton, Michigan. She is a front end web developer who uses WordPress to create beautiful websites. She also organises Refresh Detroit, a meetup to educate people about web standards, usability, accessibility, and web design. Along with that, she also organises Metro Detroit WP, a monthly WordPress meetup in Detroit
Best known for: Lireo.com
Best known for: Being a Full-Stack Developer
Another rockstar personality in the WordPress community is Helen Hou-Sandí. She is a WordPress lead developer and Director of the Open Source Initiative at 10up. You will often find her on WordPress.org support forum helping WordPress users troubleshoot their problems. She has developed many notable WordPress plugins including Restricted Site Access which has over 20,000 active installs.
Best Known for: WordPress Lead Developer
Ivica is passionate about learning and teaching WordPress through his own experience. He loves to try out new plugins and tools and create amazing things with WordPress. He also has a passion for creating and managing WordPress communities on Facebook. He has created many successful WordPress groups where users interact and find answers to their WordPress problems
Keep the balance between your WordPress business and private life. DON’T burn out. If you get sick it wont do anybody any good.
Do the networking. Meet the new people, help them out, go into WordPress Facebook groups and Quora.
Work on yourself. Learn new things daily, WordPress and other. Practice. Improve. Just do.
Best known for: Managing Multiple WordPress Groups
Jason is a WordPress website developer and the founder of the famous WordPress podcast, WPwatercooler. The podcast includes Jason along with other people from the WordPress community where they discuss how WordPress is changing businesses. He hosts seven other WordPress podcasts and has over 10 years of experience in podcasting. He has been associated with CommunteCast, TuckerTales, Geekfit, WPwatercooler, WPblab, WPshowandtell and Hallway Track
My tip for the WordPress community to someone that is just starting out would be to go on http://meetup.com and look for a Meetup that they can get involved in. Meetups are great because you get to meet people in your local community and are able to learn as well as teach.
We’ve been recording WPwatercooler for the last seven years and have talked about meetups quite a bit and I wanted to provide you with some links so that people can watch them and learn more about the experiences of us running and attending meetups.
Best known for: WP Watercooler
Jeff is a professional designer, developer, author, and publisher. He is known for publishing Tao of WordPress, a complete guide for anyone who wants to learn how to work with WordPress and implement it successfully in their businesses and lives. He has also authored Digging into WordPress, .htaccess made easy, and WP Themes in Depth. Jeff also runs his own web design company called Monzilla Media and publishes his plugins at plugin-planet.com.
If you really want to succeed with WordPress, advance your code writing skills. Wherever you’re at with code, it is important to always keep learning and improving your skills. Brand new to the Web and know zero code? Start with HTML and CSS, then learn how to write PHP along with the WP API, like functions and template tags. Learning how to write code, or at least understanding what you are looking at, will help you exponentially when it comes to customizing client sites, designing theme templates, and even developing your own WordPress plugins. And of course, if you’ve already got mad HMTL/CSS/PHP skills, WordPress throws down the gauntlet with the whole new world of Gutenberg Block Editor.
No matter where you’re at with WordPress — total beginner or massive expert — never stop improving your coding skills.
Best known for: Tao of WordPress
Jenny works remotely for Human Made as a senior project manager. She has previously worked for her own web agency called Global Native where she and her business partner designed and developed websites for their clients. Jenny is an active member of the WordPress community and has previously organised WordCamp Paris and WordCamp Europe. She has also spoken at a number of events including WordCamp US 2019, WordCamp Europe 2019, and WordCamp Bordeaux 2017.
Best known for: Organizing WordCamp Europe
Joost De Valk
Joost De Valk is the founder of the popular WordPress SEO plugin, Yoast. He is a specialist in the field of SEO, WordPress and Web Development. He is also a public speaker and has spoken at popular conferences like Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, SASCon, A4UExpo, and WordCamps.
Best known for: Yoast SEO Plugin
Josh is a WordPress developer and a regular contributor at Torquemag, a popular WordPress resource website by WP Engine. He has developed many successful WordPress tools including the popular Caldera Forms, a drag and drop responsive WordPress builder. Along with that, Josh also teaches WordPress at Caldera Learn. He has also authored “The Ultimate Guide To The WordPress REST API.“
Best known for: Ninjaforms
Justin Tadlock is a writer at WP Tavern, a popular WordPress resource website that publishes WordPress news of all sorts. He is a web developer by trade and develops theme at Theme Hybrid and is a co-reviewer at Theme Review
Best known for: Top WordPress Developer
Kathy calls herself a WordPress addict. Her passion is to help people achieve success by helping them focus on their goals, and providing them a roadmap that ensures that they are taking the right steps towards publishing their website quickly. Apart from that, she is a speaker and was a part of the WordCamp US organizers team.
Best Known for: AtlantaWPCoach.com
Kathy has been associated with Wordfence, a popular WordPress security company, where she conducts podcasts and talks about everything about WordPress. She also discussed the mini-controversy surrounding this article in one of her episodes. Kathy is also a speaker at WordCamp US and an organizer of WordCamp Pheonix. She loves attending various WordPress events and she is planning to attend WordCamp Chicago, WordCamp Miami, and WordCamp Europe next year.
Best Known for: Podcasts on Wordfence
Popularly known as the “WordPress Chick”, Kim Doyal is one of the most renowned content marketers in the WordPress community. She runs an amazing podcast where she talks about content marketing, entrepreneurship, design, branding, and much more. She is one of the most inspirational personalities in the WordPress communities whose only aim is to help business owners develop their brands and establish a solid online business just like she did.
Lee is a lead WordPress developer and owns a WordPress development company. He has extensive WordPress experience and his consultancy is often in high demand. He also does WordPress podcasts for designers and is an ambassador for Cloudways, a popular WordPress managed hosting provider. His job includes attending various WordPress events around the world and represent Cloudways.
Best known for: Agency Trail Blazer
Lisa is a CEO at WebDevStudios, a website development and design agency. She has also authored WordPress for Dummies along with many other Dummies book series around web design, web development and WordPress. She has been associated with WordPress for the past 15 years and during this time she has founded a WordPress design agency, and a WordPress theme company.
Best known for: WebDevStudios
Marieke van de Rakt
Marieke is the CEO of Yoast SEO plugin, one of the best WordPress SEO plugin available. She is mostly responsible for looking after the product and creating online courses for the Yoast academy where they teach about SEO, WordPress, and website management. Marieke also writes for Yoast blog where she covers SEO guides.
Best Known for: Yoast SEO Plugin
Mario is the founder of DevRix that builds and maintains high performance platforms where he oversees sales and tech growth. He is also the founder of the WordPress Bulgaria Uses Group and the WordPress Developers community. Mario has also organized WordCamp Sofia and WordCamp Europe. Along with that, he also teaches regular courses on WordPress development.
Best known for: DevRix
Mark is a lead developer on the WordPress web publishing platform. He is a web publishing consultant providing his services to everyone ranging from startups to huge media companies.
Best known for: Lead developer, WordPress
Matt is the man behind GiveWP, the most popular WordPress donation plugin. He is a partner at Impress.org, the company behind many successful WordPress plugins including GiveWP, WPBizReviews and many more. Previously he has also worked as a WordPress developer mainly to fund his studies. Matt Cromwell has also worked with FooPlugins and IFPDesigns.
The best way to enjoy and benefit from the WordPress community is to participate. Blog your thoughts readily and share them with your audience in an organic and natural way. Contribute on Twitter or in Facebook Groups to trending conversations related to all things WordPress. Then the best in-face places to contribute is in your local WordPress Meetups and WordCamps — these are invaluable resources that anyone doing anything in WordPress should take part in. I know personally I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t participated fully in the online and in-person life of the WordPress Community.
Best known for: GiveWP
Michelle is a design enthusiast and loves to talk about UX, Dev, and WordPress. She is the director of tech at AIGA Minnesota, a professional association for design. She also runs a design agency called Marktime Media where she offers design services for WordPress websites, and powerpoint presentations along with design strategies for her clients.
Best known for: Marktime Media
Michelle Frechette has been in and around WordPress for quite a long time during which she has contributed to the open-source community in a number of ways. She has organized Rochester WordPress meetup, she has mentored a lot of WordPressers and has contributed to the WordPress.org marketing team. Michelle is also the head of customer success at Impress.org, the company behind GiveWP. She was also the organizer for WordCamp US 2019, St Louis.
Best Known for: GiveWP
Mike is a WordPress developer and is working for Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com and WooCommerce. He currently looks after Gutenberg Blocks for WooCommerce where he builds things with React and JS. Mike also released a few plugins including Sidebar Login and Download Monitor.
Best known for: Lead Developer, WooCommerce
Mike Little co founded WordPress in 2003 with Matt Mullenweg. He is now running Zed1, a WordPress development, training and consultancy company. Mike is also a published author. In 2005 he co-authored “Building Online Communities With Drupal, PhpBB, and WordPress”.
Best known for: Cofounding WordPress
Nile Flores, originally Nicole Lipscomb, is a professional designer and developer and has worked for major WordPress companies including Yoast, and WP Fix it. She is a renowned speaker and has spoken at over 40 WordCamps across the United States. Nile also offers WordPress web designing services along with SEO consultancy and coaching at Blondish.net.
Best Known for: Blondish.net
Peter is a WordPress lead developer and has been working with Automattic since 2010. He has contributed towards WordPress for over 12 years and is currently working on Big Data for WordPress. He is also a WordPress plugin developer and has developed the famous WP Contact Form Plugin.
Best known for: WordPress Lead Developer
Petya is the senior project manager at Human Made. She is also the communication leads at the Polyglots team. Petya is also the organizer at WordCamp Europe.
Best Known for: WordPress Core Contributor
Piccia is UI/UX specialist and has worked with major global brands and top design agencies from London for almost 2 decades. She offers services like branding, web design, creative concepts, and consultancy. Piccia is also the ambassador to Cloudways, a managed cloud hosting provider, and her job involves representing Cloudways in different events across the globe.
Best Known for: UI/UX Specialist
Sara Rosso is responsible for World Nutella Day. If that doesn’t make her your favorite WordPress personality, I don’t know what will. But she has done way bigger things for her to be mentioned in this prestigious list. Sara is the director of marketing at Automattic and product lead at WordPress.com. She loves to write about food and travel on her personal blog, Ms. Adventures in Italy.
Best Known for: Product Lead at WordPress.com
Sarah Gooding is a writer and editor at WPTavern, a popular WordPress resource website that mostly publishes cutting edge news and insights from the WordPress community. She has worked and has been associated with WordPress for a long time and despite her massive popularity, she loves to interact with her followers on social media. You can follow her on twitter where she is most active
Best Known for: UI/UX Specialist
Siobhan is a WordPress writer who has covered WordPress in immense depth over the years. She owns WordPress for WP, a copywriting company that is dedicated to WordPress.
Best known for: Author, History of WordPress
Syed Balkhi Syed Balkhi is an American entrepreneur and the founder of WP Beginner, the biggest WordPress resource website. The website regularly publishes useful WordPres tutorials and reviews that are aimed at helping the WordPress community. He is also the CEO of Awesome Motive, the company behind WP Beginner, Monster Insights, Easy WP Forms and Monster Insights .
Best known for: WP Beginner
Tammie is a UX designer at Automattic and has been associated with WordPress for over 15 years. Her interest lies in web development, Buddy Press and front end development.
Best known for: WordPress Core Contributor
Thomas is the co-founder at OptinMonster, an online lead generation software that integrated with different applications like WordPress, Drupal, Magento and more.. He is a WordPress developer and loves building cool things on the internet. Thomas is also the man behind Soliloquy, Envira Gallery and Singing Platform.
Best known for: OptinMonster
Tom blogs about software development and WordPress. He has a huge social media following mainly because of his WordPress knowledge and his engagement with his followers. He is currently working at WedDevStudios where he enjoys building interesting stuff with WordPress for their clients.
As a backend engineer, one of the things I can’t stress enough is blogging about the concepts you’re applying in your day-to-day work. Engineering is one thing, but being able to communicate how you’re solving your problems. Sure, you’ll get better at articulating your ideas and you may even think of another way to solve the same problem all the while helping those who are reading your work. Ultimately, blogging about what you’re doing is one of those things that not only helps you but others around you.
Best known for: Top WordPress Developer
Tom is the co-founder of Human Made, a WordPress agency, where he is the CEO as well. He is a WordPress geek and has previously worked at Rufflr Limited as an adviser. He is also the director at Happytables.
Best known for: Human Made
Troy Dean is the founder of WP Elevation, a popular WordPress podcast for WordPress consultants where he talks about how agencies and freelancers can grow their business by increasing their revenues. He is also an online marketer and specializes in training businesses on how to attract new customers. Troy also runs a WordPress training program called Video Users Manual. Clients can download this program, white-label it, and use it to teach WordPress to their clients.
Best known for: WP Elevation
Whether you have an online store, a simple blog, or you’re looking to launch a business on WordPress, following these people will give you all the guidance you need for quick success.
So what are you waiting for? Follow them on Twitter and start interacting and learning from them!
Oh, and even though there are dozens of high-profile names on the list, there’s a possibility that we might have missed out on heroes that keep the WordPress lantern lit. So if that’s the case, please don’t flip out on us; we’re humans after all and sometimes our research isn’t perfect.
What you can do instead is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know which influencer I’ve missed out on and I’ll take it from there.
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