Speaker Interview – Ben Byrne

Ben Byrne is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Cornershop Creative, a boutique provider of online strategy, design and development for nonprofits and small businesses. Ben has a BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University and has been building websites professionally for nearly 14 years. To found Cornershop Creative, Ben left his position as senior front-end designer for New Signature, where his extensive experience with languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript were put to good use implementing his designs on several CMS platforms, including WordPress and Drupal.

He has presented on the difference between print and web design, web typography, WordPress widgets, SASS+Compass, mobile fundraising, and other topics at at a variety of events. Ben currently lives in Richmond, IN with his wife, two kids and labradoodle.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
WordPress is a great CMS. As a front-end developer, I like working with it because the theme layer allows me to do interesting things without getting in the way or dictating my approach. As a service provider, I like that the backend is simple enough for our clients to easily learn it. As a back-end developer, I like the power and flexibility it offers.

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
Not really sure. Been developing in WP on and off since at least 2.7. Really, though, I feel WordPress didn’t move from a blogging platform to full fledged CMS until at least the custom post types in 3.0.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
The Codex is a fabulous resource.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Lots of people can write good code or cobble together pre-existing themes and plugins. To be successful, you need to be a good communicator, listening to your clients, setting their expectations properly, and managing projects so that everyone is happy from the beginning to the end.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
Various RSS feeds; attending WordCamps, perusing the codebase.

What’s a cool WordPress based site you’ve seen recently?
Recently, Grantland.com went to WordPress VIP which I think is pretty great.

What do you like most about WordCamps?
Meeting people of similar skills and minds; sharing knowledge and absorbing new stuff.

Where can we find you online?
Web: cornershopcreative.com
Twitter: @drywall
Facebook: drywall