Linnea Nordstrom, a WordPress expert is with us today for an exclusive interview so without further ado, let’s hear it from the woman herself.
WPJuicer: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
Linnea: I am a science communicator. I started out studying biology and journalism at the University of Helsinki and then completed a MSc in Science Communication online through the University of Edinburgh. I worked as Web and Digital Media Manager at the Arctic Council Secretariat from 2011-2018 and now work as Head of Library Communications at the University of Tromsø Library. I have also been a journalist at a daily newspaper, substitute teacher, and translator.
I started using WordPress in 2012 to build websites for NGOs that had a small budget and needed a simple and cheap tool to build and maintain their websites with. I really liked WordPress and switched all my personal websites over to WordPress. I also started building websites on a freelance basis for small businesses.
WPJuicer: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing in WordPress these days?
Linnea: I maintain several websites through my work and I also have multiple personal websites. I offer freelance website and graphic design services through my own business Linnea Borealis Design and collaborate with some other small agencies. I also help update WordPress websites for some local charity organizations and sports clubs.
In addition, I started a WordPress Meetup group in Tromsø in September 2019 together with a friend. We have been doing our meetups mostly online the last few months due to Covid-19 restrictions but we hope to be back to in-person meetups in the fall.
WPJuicer: How do you see the future of WordPress in the next 5 years?
Linnea: I am hopeful that the Gutenberg block editor will continue to be improved and that fewer page builders and paid plugins will be needed to easily design functional and appealing websites that customers can update themselves. I think it is important that WordPress figures out a way to remain a useful tool also for users who are not so technically skilled.
I would also like to see even more focus on security and accessibility since these are issues which are sometimes brought up when I suggest WordPress as a website solution at work or for a potential customer.
WPJuicer: Name five people who have inspired you the most?
Linnea: Anders Norén, he makes great quality free WordPress themes.
Rachel Cherry, Director of WPCampus and a big Accessibility advocate.
Tom Hirst, provides great resources and advice for freelancers.
Nathan Ingram, a great WordCamp presenter who focuses on how to deal with problematic clients.
And finally, not a person, but the WordPress Helsinki/Finland crew are an amazing group of people who deserve a shout-out for organizing the first WordCamp Nordic in March 2019. They are skilled, friendly, warm, and welcoming. I really enjoyed working with all of them leading up to and during the event.
WPJuicer: You attend WordCamps and conferences. How do you think these occasions creating an impact on WordPress communities?
Linnea: The best part of WordPress is the community in my opinion. My first WordCamp was WCEU 2018 in Belgrade. I was sent there by my employer and really only went to learn what to expect in terms of new technical developments in WordPress. I was amazed by how warm and welcoming everyone was and I made several good friends at the event. This is what led me to sign up to co-organize WordCamp Nordic 2019 and start my own local Meetup group.
I think by creating friendly and inclusive spaces we keep the community strong and this can help keep people using WordPress when they know there are people they can reach out to for help when they need it without being judged or told they aren’t technical enough.
WPJuicer: What do you look for in a managed WordPress host?
Linnea: Top-notch security and quick support. I have been using SiteGround for 6 years and am very happy with them.
WPJuicer: Who should we interview next, and why?
Linnea: Milana Cap would probably give a fun interview.
WPJuicer: We have talked too much about your professional life. Let’s tell our readers about your hobbies and interests. What does Linnea do other than work? (Can we have a pics)
Linnea: I like to read (mostly Stephen King), garden, cook, walk my cat, hike, run marathons, and ride horses.
WPJuicer: Any other thoughts or things you wish to mention?
Linnea: It has been an interesting spring and summer with many events being cancelled due to Covid-19. But it has also meant that it has been possible to follow a lot of WordCamps online. This has been a great opportunity to virtually attend WordCamps I never would have been able to travel to normally.