WordCamp Chicago 2013 Speaker Interview: Kiko Doran

Kiko DoranKiko Doran – WordPress icon designed by Dan Leech twitter icon designed by Dan Leech facebook icon designed by Dan Leech LinkedIn icon designed by Dan Leech

Kiko’s curious mind has driven him to learn as much as he can across a vast array of platforms. He has studied music, graphic design, photography, and holds his MBA.

Following his inquisitive nature as well as the strategic thinking honed during his 11 years in the US Air Force, Kiko founded InGroup Consulting. Over the 4 years in business, Kiko and IGC have found WordPress to be the best platform to showcase their capabilities.

When not traveling between satellite offices in NJ, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities; he sits on the Information Technology Advisory Board at Century College. Kiko also organizes a WordCamp and a WordPress Meetup in the Twin Cities.

Kiko will be speaking on the WordPress Business Owners Panel on Sunday.

Interview with Kiko:

Why do you use WordPress?
I use WordPress because it takes care of the little things I’d have to do on every website. I continue to use WordPress because of the community. This community is second to none.

What do you like best about WordCamps?
What I love the most about WordCamps is meeting people that do the same things I do. I love swapping stories or techniques on anything from Graphic Design to Project Proposals. There is still so much to learn but I also love sharing what I have acquired to this point.

What is your favorite tip or resource for a new WordPress user?
My favorite tip would be to make sure you are charging enough money to make a living. I find it to be a common practice to charge too little and work too hard. You already know a lot if you are coming to WordCamp. Get involved and listen to what the vets have to say.

What is a common problem you see in WordPress sites, and how would you avoid it?
The biggest problem I see in WordPress sites is when a theme is forced on a project. This can often be avoided by really understanding the theme template hierarchy and how to create customized queries of your posts.

How do you stay up to date with new information about WordPress?
I stay up to date by attending Meetups as often as possible. I also try to hit as many WordCamps as time permits. At WordCamps I get to see how people are using WordPress in revolutionary ways.

I also keep up on net.tutsplus.com, codeschool.comcodecademy.com, css-tricks.com. Often you need to look beyond WordPress to stay up on it. Learn about something like Backbone.js because many pieces of WordPress are moving in that direction. Stay sharp and learn things to bring back and contribute to the community.

Share an example of a really great (creative, cool, unusual) use of WordPress you’ve seen recently.
I love this theme: http://www.themezilla.com/themes/blox/ I rarely find a theme that I really like this much. It’s very simple and very effective in many situations.

Do you have any advice for a person who’s building a business around WordPress design/development?
If I were to do it all over again, I’d find a shop that does this stuff already and go work there for a year or two. Decide then if you really want to do this as a business. If you do, you’ll be armed with some awesome tools you would have taken forever to figure out on your own. It’s tough out there. I recommend being part of some sort of team. You can’t do everything…