Interview with Trafton Esler

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress:
It sounds cliché to say that I am “passionate about business and technology,” but that’s a pretty fair description. I built my first computer when I was 13, and immediately began a small consulting business fixing neighbors’ computers. I went on to do a degree in Computer Engineering and consult on Enterprise Systems, later completing my MBA in Entrepreneurship.
My love for technology is only equaled by my love for people, and so I’ve found balance as a bridge over the gap between nerds and normal people. I can talk tech or break down technology into simple terms that anybody can understand. I have the coolest job in the world, getting to talk about what the smart people at WP Engine are doing to innovate WordPress Hosting every day.

What will you be speaking about?
I’m going to be breaking down the world of web hosting for beginners and intermediates so that they understand the difference between shared, dedicated, virtual and managed hosting. We’ll look at some of the common uses for each type of platform as well as the advantages, disadvantage or pitfalls contained in each type of service.

Who will get the most out of your presentation?
If you’re a beginner and want to know the lay of the land in terms of what “web hosting” really means, this is perfect for you. If you’re an advanced WordPress user and want to know your options as your hardware needs increase with the amount of traffic your blog sees, come on down. Every wonder what a dedicated IP is and why you might want one? Or maybe you’re doing e-commerce and you wonder why SSL might be important. All fair questions.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
My hope is that people walk out with lots of questions that they can follow up on in order to make an intelligent decision on what hosting makes the most sense for their needs. We’re going to cover a lot of things at a high level, and by the end of the session you should have a good idea of which bucket your site fits into and what you want out of a host. Then it’ll be time for each attendee to do their own evaluation and a lot of Googling to pick the right host for them!

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
I’ve become quite fond of Chorus by Wordnik. It organizes related content cleanly at the end of each blog post.

Do you have a WP hero?
Oh I have several – but my favorites are the WordCamp organizers that take the time out to build up and educate the community. I’d be hard-pressed to pick the best organizer because you all work super hard.

Pizza is a food group unto itself in Chicago… Where is your favorite place to get pizza?
Chicago Pizza and Grinder Co – those pies are cool!

What is your favorite tourist attraction in Chicago?
The Lakeshore running path.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
Hanging out in a legit brewery (not just a brew-pub) after WordCamp Milwaukee before going for margaritas and Mexican food with a bunch of the Automattic developers. What a night!

Contact Info:
Trafton Esler

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