One of the problems with having a small business is running the business, and the biggest issue is staffing. We’ve been really lucky to have terrific people working with us, like Lambert, Jerri-Lynn, Outis, Jules, our webhost Keith, as well as many contributors like Michael Hudson, Hubert Horan, Gaius Publius, Lee Camp, and Marshall Auerback, and in the past, writers like Matt Stoller, Ed Harrison, Dave Dayen, Satyajit Das and Rob Parenteau.
Although we’ve finally been able to get some highly qualified WordPress people, our past and now our current WordPress person wanted to change how they did business and that meant we didn’t fit in the direction they wanted to go. Our current WordPress code jockey, Blair, wants to weed out most of his routine support clients by imposing a minimum fixed commitment of hours a month, and since the site is now pretty stable, that minimum is high on an ongoing basis relative to our needs. This change is as a result of what Blair calls his “new work structure” and has nothing to do with us personally; in fact, Blair has said our work demands were not disruptive.
But we still need to find a new WordPress person. Bear in mind this is NOT a hosting issue! This is strictly a software issue. Services like WP Engine are hosts, which are not what we need (and separately, we had a bad experience with them).
This is not as easy as it might seem, given how many individuals and small firms provide WordPress support. As Austin Smith, who runs Alley Interactive, a firm that does WordPress design, build, and support for very large sites (like Huffington Post), puts us in he calls the “2% WordPress,” in that the load we put on the software means we need better coding than most WordPress sites can get away with:
We talk about “2% WordPress” quite a bit—the code practices that are acceptable to the 98% just don’t work for the 2%. It’s easier for a good programmer to learn WordPress than it is for someone who knows WordPress to become a good programmer.
Having said that, our needs these days are pretty tame. They consist mainly of:
- Dealing with ad tags (which given that our ad service sometimes provides ad tags that don’t work, is more of a hassle than it might seem).
- Upgrades. Even though we don’t run many plug-ins, they do sometimes get broken in upgrade, which means needing to find a new one or conceivably, write a custom replacement
- Troubleshooting. This is mainly reacting to reader complaints. 90% of the time, they are reader issues but we still need to investigate
- Small projects. Blair spent a lot of time with our ad service on the design and placement of sponsored ads (which we just added due to revenues from our other ads falling and this being a not-obnoxious way to cope). We might add a new feature. We’re also still very confused about GDPR and probably do need to Do Something.
So if you know of anyone suitable, or if you might be that person, please let us know. E-mail yves-at-nakedcapitalism-dot-com and put “WordPress” in the subject line.
And to expedite matters, if you are that person, please send us two code samples. Ideally one that’s mostly HTML and CSS and one that’s mostly PHP, like a WordPress plugin or a custom theme function. We’ll need that as part of our review. (And if you are putting a person in with us, please tell that person of our code sample requirement so we get off on the right foot.)