Liz Fulghum NoSleepForSheep

A decade ago Liz Fulghum was a freelance web designer who started exploring options beyond static HTML to give her clients more control over updating their sites.

At the time, the main blogging platforms had been b2 (the precursor to WordPress) and Movable Type. Developers were hacking them to run regular sites, and a cadre of what became WordPress founders launched an early version they said was “born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL.”

They named it WordPress. Liz tried it and hasn’t looked back. She used it to develop microsites for artists as part of the digital design team at Sony BMG. She launched her own agency, NoSleepForSheep, in 2011 and she and her team design and develop custom WordPress sites for artists, businesses, non-profit agencies and are moving in to app development.

“These days, there’s a certain elegant simplicity to WordPress that is particularly remarkable given how powerful the platform really is,” Liz says. “WordPress maintains an incredibly user-friendly front end while allowing developers the ability to create pretty much any type of functionality you’d need for a modern, database-driven website.”

WordPress is a forgiving platform that allows newbies to learn at their own pace. “Don’t be afraid,” Liz says. “Push the buttons. All of them. Almost anything that can be done also can be undone.”

For budding developers, Liz advises they learn how to build themes from scratch.

“A theme requires exactly two files to be fully functional,” she says. “Even if all you do in your career is customize pre-built themes, you can’t beat the level of understanding you’ll earn from building out your own theme at least once.”

As part of the build-up to WordCamp Nashville 2014 Faces of WordPress will highlight members of Middle Tennessee’s great – and growing – WordPress community. We will feature WP users at all levels, newbies to advanced developers. And mark your calendar. This year’s Big Event is May 3, 2014.