How do I interview a WordPress developer

Interview with Jonathan Torke

Starting with Joomla, he worked more and more into the areas of web design and finally ended up with WordPress. He can't get rid of that to this day. Jonathan Torke is currently about to publish his first own theme. He also runs a blog and takes some photos around the world. A conversation with Jonathan Torke.

Hello Jonathan, we are happy to welcome you as a guest. Welcome!

Hello Richard, thank you for your invitation! First of all, I would like to express great praise to you: You have with us pressengers.de an unprecedented quick start. I am happy to see that you come up with fresh content every day. I think it's great what you guys raise here together!

Many may not even know you yet. Who are you and where are you from

I'm Jonathan Torke and I develop framework based WordPress themes. I also recently became a specialist author at Galileo Press. And since September 2013 I've been living in a remote and quiet south-western part of Hesse near Limburg. I am originally from Neum√ľnster, which is in the middle of Schleswig-Holstein.

How did you get interested in web design and especially WordPress?

In 2008 I started working for a young online company. In the beginning, my job was to design flyers and screen designs. At that time I had no idea about HTML, CSS and PHP etc. However, it came about that I had received a lot of support from the management in processing the technical knowledge in web design and in the administrative areas. Into the cold water. Joomla was called the deep water. I was immediately fascinated by the template design. This fascination then filled a significant part of my time, both professionally and privately. At some point the company needed a multi-site system for a wide variety of projects. And so I came to WordPress - after all, the CMS had the solution for multisite systems, which were also easy to maintain. WordPress captivated me from the start. That was a turning point.

With your blog Pixeltuner you reach a lot of interesting readers every month. How did you develop your passion for blogging?

It quickly became clear to me at the time that there is more to web design than creating designs, creating templates and configuring various things in the customer accounts on the web server. So it came about that I was also very interested in search engine optimization. Starting a private blog about image editing and web design topics made sense. Through blogging, I wanted to better understand web design areas and had made it my job to combine my professional and private interests. Pixeltuner.de was launched on October 20th, 2010.

At first I tried my hand at creating SEO-optimized articles. Most of my early articles, however, were made up of my photographs; so rather weak content from an SEO point of view. From then on I was looking for content so that I could better familiarize myself with the topic of search engine optimization. Finally, I found what I was looking for and was able to analyze long-term traffic trends for successful articles. So I didn't start blogging out of the joy of writing, but rather out of an interest in SEO and because I wanted to deal more with my professional inclinations in my private life. And only in the course of blogging did I become aware of the potential of my blog. Finally, my interest in social media grew, especially in Twitter.

In addition to your interest in WordPress and your blog, photography is a big hobby of yours. What does photography mean to you?

For me, photography offers an emotional and philosophical approach to myself and my environment. In doing so, I have opportunities to reflect and relax. Especially in nature, free from human influences, there is sometimes a very special moment. Then there are moments free of time in which I think about what place I take in nature and how I can do my part to live sustainably with real respect and respect for it in full consciousness and in harmony. At such a moment, when nature invites me for the moment, I pull out the camera every now and then and then just snap.

And at some point I'll be sitting at the computer in front of my pictures and sorting out. Then I remember what I felt and thought about a certain scene. With Photoshop and Co. I try to give my experienced emotions visual expression. And when I think I've succeeded, I share a few of these images with a small audience on the Internet. Ideally, I manage to leave an impression and invite the viewer into surreal and dreamlike worlds.

Which motives do you prefer and how often do you pursue your hobby?

I don't commit myself to the motives. However, there is a stronger tendency towards motifs such as landscapes and architecture. I take pictures very irregularly. There are phases in which I feel a greater need to act and then it can be completely silent for several months to take pictures. I don't see photography as a hobby, however. For me photography is something personal and serves the purpose of reflection. Post-processing of image material, on the other hand, is a hobby. I often tend to create HDR or vintage images which are mostly heavily edited.

Do you also take photos for your own blog?

I do not take photos with the intention of using images for my blog. However, I occasionally share pictures there that I think some readers might like.

A blog has to catch the reader at first sight. In your opinion, how important are good images to the success of a site?

Whether the use of images is important for the success of websites depends on how much images can help to convey a certain impression, to create a feeling or to convey the content in a target-oriented manner. Here I recommend making an individual decision. And it could be helpful to refer to various factors, such as the type of website, target group, trends, usability, etc. Images are a stylistic device and a means to an end, like typography and much more.

As a hobby photographer, do you have any photo tips for our readers (favorite photographers or sites that offer their pictures for free, etc.)?

Although I am enthusiastic about photography, I do not see myself as a hobby photographer and therefore also not as a serious tip or advisor when it comes to photography.

You are currently about to finish your first own WordPress theme. When exactly can we expect a publication?

I am currently working very intensively on completing the online shop, on the theme documentation and the final corrections. I would like to hold back a little with an exact statement about the start. But in the next few weeks it should finally be ready.

Can you tell us a little more about the theme or is it all still a secret?

I develop WordPress themes with a focus on individual adaptability. In principle, my themes consist of two components:

  1. The basic theme, including templates
  2. Library / framework with a variety of useful options

In this way, web designers without programming knowledge should be able to quickly implement individual customer projects with WordPress. A slimmed-down and cheaper variant of a respective theme is offered for specific use in blogs.

When did you first start planning the theme and how did it come about?

I had worked as a web designer and front-end developer for a number of years. During this time and a wide variety of tasks, my great passion was always implementing CMS templates (Joomla, Drupal and WordPress). However, I had the most fun with WordPress. I could never get enough of working on themes. Even in my spare time, I spent countless hours learning to understand and love WordPress. At that time I didn't want to do anything else. It was all the nicer when we had implemented fewer Joomla projects in the company and worked more on WordPress sites.

In 2011 I wanted to specialize completely in the development of WordPress themes. In autumn 2012 I began to put this idea on paper for the first time and developed a business plan. In spring 2013 I started my own business and started realizing the idea.

How much time is there already in the project?

For a year and a half I've been working with increased attention on the completion of my first premium WordPress theme and the various tasks associated with it. So there is a lot of valuable time invested in this project. And the development that has taken it up to now was necessary.

How important is networking with other members of the community for you?

Networking is very important to me. The nice thing about networking is that more energy can be directed towards one or more goals through different thoughts, experiences, emotions and actions. The chance of success increases, as do unpredictable new opportunities. Every contact that occurs is very important and valuable to me personally. To put it bluntly: nothing works without cooperation. Man is stronger in a collective. It's in our nature - we network through communication, through the exchange of information. Networking is growth. Growth enables development and ultimately evolution. All life does it that way. It couldn't be better.

What are your professional goals for the next 10 years?

On the one hand, I concentrate on the marketing of my WordPress themes. On the other hand, I am working on other projects that promise an exciting course. However, I am not defining goals for the next ten years, and in principle not when most of my projects relate to the Internet. The Internet is evolving rapidly and with no preview.

Thank you for your time and good luck with your planned projects.

Thank you Richard! It was a great pleasure for me!