Interview With Lisa Sabin-Wilson

If you’ve used WordPress, you’ve probably heard of Lisa Sabin-Wilson, WordPress rock star and author of the popular WordPress for Dummies (the 3rd edition is coming out in June). She also wrote BuddyPress for Dummies, a book about delving into the social side of WordPress by creating your own on-line community from within WordPress. This book came out just this month (April, 2010).

Lynn Dye & Lisa Sabin-Wilson
Lynn Dye & Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Lisa was here in Oklahoma City last weekend (4-23/24-2010), for the ithemes Builder Bootcamp. She kicked off the Bootcamp by sharing how WordPress came to be as well as her background with WordPress. Something she said has really stuck with me,

“WordPress is free…and priceless at the same time.”

A simple statement that says much. Think about the flexibility and professional, or whimsical look that can be obtained by a start-up business or an everyday blogger by using for free or, where you obtain your own hosting.

WordPress for Dummies, BuddyPress for Dummies

I asked Lisa how she came to write her first ‘Dummies’ book. She was at SXSW (South by Southwest) in 2006 and met, quite by chance, someone from Wiley Publishing. During their conversation, it became evident to the Wiley representative that Lisa knew her stuff and she asked Lisa if she’d be interested in writing a book about WordPress. Until then, writing a book hadn’t entered her mind. In fact she mentioned to me that her 8th grade English teacher would be shocked to know she had written any kind of book!

The writing process is interesting to me, so Lisa explained that with Wiley and the ‘Dummies’ series, there are definite guidelines and formats to follow that took time to adjust to. She is grateful to all the editors, proofers and staff who guided her through that process. Now with 3 editions of WordPress and the first BuddyPress book under her belt, things go more smoothly.

I asked if any new books are in her future and she said she will be doing another book for Wiley. The title is still under wraps until July, but it is WordPress related and should come out in December—just in time for Christmas!

Lisa Gives Back to the WordPress Community

Lisa is active in the WordPress community and believes in giving back. She’s the chief organizer of the Chicago WordCamp and is invited to pretty much all the WordCamps. I learned that no travel expenses or honorariums are given to most speakers at  these WordCamps. She’s grateful that she has built a business from WordPress that supports her and her family and she enjoys traveling around the country to meet fellow WordPress enthusiasts.

Her business is WordPress focused. Lisa started her web design business in 1998. When she started using WordPress in 2003, she realized its potential and now, her business, E.Webscapes offers a wide range of blog and web services. I asked how she maintains a business along with her volunteering to attend so many WordPress related functions. She has a talented staff along with a virtual/personal assistant who work with her to make it all work. She also maintains a more personal blog at justagirlintheworld.

You can read my thoughts of the ithemes Builder Bootcamp directly below this post. I was thrilled when I read ithemes was going to do a bootcamp right here in Oklahoma City. Then when I found out Lisa was coming, that just made it all the better. I found her to be very approachable and I along with many others benefited from talking with her during the breaks and getting our books autographed. Thanks for coming to Oklahoma City, Lisa–we look forward to your next visit.

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