It’s been over a year since I introduced to you ten of the most influential people in the WordPress community. There were understandable qualms about that list, not because anybody on there didn’t deserve to be there but because it was too small a list! It’s perfectly understandable because WordPress has such a large community that it’s hard to list all the influential people that have made a significant contribution.
In this post, I’ll expand the list a little bit to accommodate notable designers and developers who continue to influence the huge WordPress community in various aspects. Whether you’re a casual WordPress user or enthusiastic developer in the making, you stand to learn a lot from these guys. This list mostly comprises designers and developers, but there are a couple of notable mentions that are deeply involved in WordPress publishing and business side of things.
As with the first post, this is an ad hoc list with no particular ranking. So here we go.
Tom McFarlin (@tommcfarlin)
In the first post Tom was mentioned in one of the comments as a notable miss so it’s only appropriate that I start with him. Tom is a WordPress developer and avid blogger who dedicates a great deal of his blogging time to sharing WordPress tips, tutorials, snippets, resources, and all things WordPress.
Tom’s personal blog is a great resource especially for newbies but advanced users and developers too can benefit from his deep mastery of the platform.
Aaron Jorbin (@aaronjorbin
On his Twitter profile, Aaron describes himself as a Polyhistoric man of the web — whatever that means 😉
Regardless, Aaron is a WordPress Core committer and dedicates part of his time on the web to helping developers improve their skills, among other things.
Helen Hou Sandi (@helenhousandi)
Every member of the WordPress core committer team is a worthy mention on this list but Helen Hou Sandi stands out because she is the only female member on the team. Among other things, Helen is a devout WordPress evangelist and has graced a number of WordPress related conferences around the world.
Tom Auger (@TomAuger)
Tom is another committed WordPress evangelist who shares lots of tips and tricks on WordPress and other development topics via his website and through social media.
Matt Medeiros (@mattmedeiros)
Matt runs mattreport.com, a website that helps people start and run successful business websites on WordPress. He basically interviews leading WordPress entrepreneurs and then shares those interviews as podcasts on his website.
Through these interviews, Matt has learned a ton of tricks to make money using WordPress and is now considered an authority in his own right on how to monetize it.
Amber Weinberg (@amberweinberg)
Amber Weinberg is a self-taught WordPress developer who’s been building websites since her teens. She specializes in WordPress and front-end development. She mostly shares tips and tricks on WordPress, profitable freelancing, writing clean code, and everything in-between.
If you want to craft a career as a freelance WordPress developer, you will find Amber’s story very inspiring, so be sure to check out her website to get her unique insights.
Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier)
Chris focuses on general web development and particularly on CSS. He runs css-tricks.com (which is built on WordPress) and codepen.io where he shares lots of design and development tricks that cut across the web development board, including WordPress of course.
Chris’ main focus is not WordPress, but once in a while he shares snippets, tools, and resources that you can use in your WordPress projects. In all, as a WordPress developer or keen user, it’s good to keep up with his sites.
Jeff Starr (@perishable)
Jeff is a true WordPress star. He’s a developer and publisher with more than 10 years experience developing for WordPress. He currently runs three websites: Perishable Press, Digging Into WordPress and WP Tao, all dedicated to teaching the ins and outs of WordPress.
Jeff’s WordPress tutorials and books are mainly aimed at developers who want to master the craft of theme development.
Brennen Byrne (@brennenbyrne)
Brennen is a security guru when it comes to WordPress and it’s no surprise that he’s now fully focused on his new ingenious project Clef, an app that allows simple but powerful 2-factor authentication for WordPress. The app uses a digital signature to log you in rather than traditional passwords. The project is somewhat new and has not yet gained a lot of traction in the community (yet), but there’s little doubt that it is the future.
Brennen is definitely someone you should follow if you want to learn how thoroughly secure your WordPress sites.
Andrew Nacin (@nacin)
Andrew is a WordPress lead developer and couldn’t be more involved in the WordPress community as a whole. He participates in all stages of the development cycle from site infrastructure to bug fixes. He also frequents WordCamps where he meets real WordPress users (just like you!) on a regular basis.
He also dedicates much of his time to the WordPress.org site and you can spot him on many a mailing list and the IRC development channel.
Ryan Boren (@rboren)
In addition to contributing to the WordPress core as a lead developer, Ryan also works as an engineer at Automattic. On the WordPress front, he continually modifies the codebase to improve efficiency and accessibility. He’s also a regular bug fixer over at Automattic and describes himself as an “Atheist Vegan Transhumanist Libertarian.”
Peter Westwood (@westi)
There are countless things you can learn from Peter Westwood, a member of the lead developers’ team since 2005. He’s active on Twitter and though his WordPress blog isn’t updated all that often, when it is you can rest assured he has something informative to say.
Honorable Mentions in the WordPress Community
There are a few more people and teams that are worth mentioning here:
This post was about individuals but it’s hard to single out certain personalities without mentioning the teams they lead or work with. Without a doubt, the team at Automattic stands out when it comes to team contributions to the WordPress community.
Automattic is a team of WordPress enthusiasts that run and maintain WordPress.com (along with many other projects). Automattic is a creation of Matt Mullenweg and the team regularly contributes to a number of open source projects, most notably WordPress.org. Team members are recruited from all over the globe and most work remotely, which makes it a uniquely fascinating team.
Visit the Automatic website to check out the entire team. You can either single out individuals to follow or you could simple follow the group as a whole.
Nick Roach and Team (@elegantthemes)
Nick Roach is the founder of Elegant Themes and heads a team of 30 developers, designers, and tech support specialists. Nick and his team have built more than 100 WordPress themes (many premium) and they share a lot of what they’ve learnt on their blog. A lot of their tips are aimed at WordPress users but developers too can learn a lot from these guys.
Sinisa Komlenic and Team (@themeskingdom)
Like Nick Roach, Sinisa founded and runs Themes Kingdom, a WordPress themes development company in Ohio. They’ve built some solid themes and share a lot of useful tips on their blog. But unlike Elegant Themes, these guys are a close-knit team of seven developers, designers, and a support agent. They seem very well organized and it obviously shows in their work. There’s definitely something to learn from these guys for every aspiring WordPress theme developer.
WooThemes Team (@woothemes)
WooThemes are makers of free and premium WordPress themes. They created what is currently one of the most popular ecommerce plugins for WordPress, WooCommerce, along with a bunch of other extensions for the plugin. In fact, there are a couple of developers who earn a living solely from developing and selling WooCommerce extensions.
WPExplorer Team (@wpexplorer)
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about our own lovely team, now wouldn’t I? With a resourceful blog and plenty of high quality themes and plugins to choose from, you’d do best to add this site to your feed reader immediately. But that’s just my not-so-unbiased opinion 😉
These are just a few of the names I could remember, either from stumbling onto their websites while searching for something or via Twitter suggestions. Without a doubt, this list can never be complete so feel free to mention any WordPress personalities you think deserves mention in the comments!