An Honest Year in WordPress 2015 Review

Desert wildflowers

2015 was a much slower year for me and WordPress, as my mother passed away December 2014. It was a very difficult year for me for many reasons. I’ve been re-evaluating my career and my role in the WordPress Community lately and what I want to see happen for 2016. I’ve been re-prioritizing the things that matter to me, which I have basically boiled down to: 1) Health 2) Family & Friends 3) Community, in that order.

You have absolutely nothing without your own physical and mental health, and it is something requires a lot of diligence and upkeep depending on the cards you’ve been dealt. I have found this year that you, yourself, have to care about your own health and take care of your own physical and mental well being, no one else can do it for you. You can not be there for anyone if you are not there for yourself. If you do not take care of your basic health needs, then you take a loss in every other area, and family and close ones will be hit the hardest.

This year, I also taught HTML and CSS classes to beginners on a regular basis with the Girl Develop It Los Angeles Chapter, co-founded by my best friend, Natalie MacLees. HTML and CSS are the languages which are the foundation of all web pages. I’ve been using HTML since 1995 and CSS since it was invented, so I am well-versed in both. I found teaching small classes extremely rewarding. I love the interaction and spark in a student’s eyes when they finally get it. In 2016, I will definitely be teaching as much as possible, and I may look at teaching on a more permanent basis.

struggle

In 2015, I traveled to Salt Lake City and Toronto to speak at their WordCamps, as well as a few local camps, including spending a week in Sacramento for their camp. I hate to admit, and I thought this would never happen, but I think I am officially burnt out on speaking and attending WordCamps, so 2016 will be a light year for WordPress events for me.

WordPress is an awesome tool, yes it is, but it is only a tool, just like your computer is a tool, your phone, the applications, etc. WordPress is only one part that can help you build websites. We don’t go around worshiping LAMP, cPanel, MacOS, or your FTP program, so why should we should we continually sing the praises of piece of software that allows you to create a website? Granted, WordPress is the best of the tools out there that can do this, but still, it is just a tool, like a pen.

What are your priorities? Are they inline with your focus and actions? What will you do different this year? Let me know in the comments below.

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Suzette Franck

Suzette Franck has been in web development for over twenty years; she started making hand-coded HTML websites on geocities with font tags and tables back in 1995. Since then, she has taught herself CSS, Sass, PHP, MySQL, as well as becoming a Wordpress expert; evangelizing and presenting at over twenty-two WordCamps across the country and multiple WordPress meetups in Southern California where she resides, about all aspects of building and maintaining sites on WordPress.

Suzette is passionate about WordPress the application as well as the WordPress Open Source Community, and loves to code and teach others the wonders of WordPress. She is a purveyor of lowbrow art, and when she is not WordPressing, she is painting or visiting Los Angeles art galleries to add more work to her growing art collection.

3 thoughts on “An Honest Year in WordPress 2015 Review”

  1. Loved your review, Suzette! I feel like I can relate to burnout on WordCamps; I’ll be limiting my involvement, too.

    You had a big year with lots going on and I think you handled it all so well! Here’s to another awesome year, brochacha!

  2. I know you had a tough year, friend, and it might not feel like it now, but you’ve come through it stronger and more amazing than ever. Here’s to an awesome, amazing, shining 2016 where you put yourself first and take really good care of YOU.

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