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Top 32 WordPress Thought Leaders to Follow

Top 32 WordPress Thought Leaders to Follow

WordPress has an enormous community of worldwide users. Amidst these users are some superstars that are far more experienced and have extensively contributed to the community with their projects and accomplishments.

The following are some of the most influential WordPress thought leaders.

1. Mario Peshev @no_fear_inc

The first WordPress superstar on this list is our CEO and Chief WordPress Architect, Mario Peshev. As a Digital Consultant and CEO, Mario is a Core Contributor, featured writer, husband, father, and a seasoned trainer who works with business executives providing technical, business, and marketing advice for their enterprises.

With over 20+ years of digital experience, running the DevriX team of over 40 people and with over 10,000 hours of training and consulting, by following Mario, you’re in for some real actionable advice on how to build your brand and online presence, the right technical stack, and grow your business with the help of the most powerful CMS today, WordPress.

Not only that, but Mario also continuously documents his journey with actionable strategies and techniques for our team, his consulting clients, and the increasing community of subscribers and readers that support his work.

His book “126 Steps to Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur: The Entrepreneurship Fad and The Dark Side of Going Solo” is a valuable guide to entrepreneurship and business development.

When he’s not busy with his company and various business activities, Mario contributes to the WordPress core and energizes the Bulgarian WordPress community.

2. Cal Evans @CalEvans

When you merge 30+ years of programming experience and a lifelong dedication to helping the community, what you get is Cal Evans. Without a doubt, “Uncle Cal” is the most authoritative person in the PHP community!

Cal Evans is a real legend in the web development world! Often named as “the godfather of PHP” the global PHP community wouldn’t be the same without his committed work, and his creative contributions.

Currently, Cal Evans is the CEO of E.I.C.C inc where he works alongside his wife Kathy Evans and spreads his time and efforts between Voices of the ElePHPant – a podcast for “the people that make PHP special” and DayCamp4Developers.

Cal is also the Technical Manager, Training & Certifications at Zend Technologies and has previously worked and helped build PHP at iBuildings. He works relentlessly to help developers on a global level. His book “Culture of Respect” is a masterpiece, and a guide to discovering, hiring, and retaining PHP developers.

At DevriX, we have started regular internal workshops with Cal and the whole team is thrilled. We also work with the local WordPress and PHP community so other developers, who are not part of DevriX, can also learn through our partnership with legendary “Uncle Cal”.

Additionally, Mario and Cal host their “No BS Engineering” podcast where they regularly share career tips for developers.

3. Stanko Metodiev @metodiew

Stanko Metodiev is our CTO here at DevriX. He’s been working with WordPress for over a decade, and he loves it!

His working hours are often spent between WordPress Development and Project Management. Stanko supervises projects, dissects product requirements, and deals with customization and support work. He’s been working with each aspect of WordPress. This includes theme and plugin development, support, plugin architecture, and deployment strategies.

As a Core Contributor since the WordPress 4.3 version, Stanko always gives back to the WordPress community by helping in Support forums, running the Bulgarian WordPress Facebook group, volunteering and organizing WordCamps, WordCamp contributor day workshops, and local WP meetups.

4. Bob Dunn @bobWP

Better known as BobWP, Bob Dunn started by teaching WordPress and WooCommerce to anyone who might benefit from using it. Currently, through his blog and podcast, he helps users learn more about using WordPress for their businesses.

You can listen to his episode with our CEO Mario “Creating Content, Schema, and WooCommerce Marketplace and Admin with Mario Peshev” here.

5. Matt Mullenweg @photomatt

Matt Mullenweg is the founding developer of WordPress, and the founder & CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack. Additionally, Matt runs Audrey Capital, an investment and research company that invests in startups.

When he’s not the CEO, Matt is an avid photographer, spending his time between Houston, New York, and San Francisco. He also supports several philanthropic organizations including Archive.org, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Software Foundation, Long Now, and the Innocence Project.

He is also a member of The Well at the non-profit “Charity: Water” an organization that supports providing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Mullenweg was a major supporter of The Bay Lights project, both as the first donor and later helping to finish the project with a second $1.5 million donation.

He has been recognized for his leadership and success by Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Inc Magazine, TechCrunch, Fortune, Fast Company, Wired, University Philosophical Society, and Vanity Fair.

6. Milan Ivanovic @lanche86

Milan lives and breathes WordPress! He’s the WordPress.org global translation editor, WordPress Serbia lead and WordCamp Europe lead organizer.

Milan is a member of the Theme Review and Community Get Involved Teams. As one of the lecturers of the WordPress Academy in Serbia, he’s regularly giving educational talks and free WordPress Workshops. WordCamp volunteer, speaker, and organizer.

7. Aleksandar Savkovic @WPAleks

From the moment Aleksandar discovered WordPress, he knew it was his calling! He sees the Web Developer title as an ongoing process. Contrary to the static image of web devs, for Aleks, a WordPress web developer is someone that re-frames, re-thinks, and reconsiders himself/herself.

Aleks currently works as the Western Balkans manager at Enartia and gives insightful talks at WordCamps.

8. Chris Lema @chrislema

Chris Lema is a public speaker, blogger, WordPress & WooCommerce lecturer, and the VP of Products at Liquid Web. He’s also the creator of the best business conference for WordPress professionals in Cabo San Lucas, CaboPress.

For more than who decades, Chris has managed engineers to build high-end software products. He also coaches startups on product development & marketing strategies, as well as speaking regularly at WordCamps about topics revolving WordPress and WooCommerce.

9. Marius Vetrici @mariusvetrici

As a software entrepreneur, he has helped multiple medium and large businesses achieve their online business goals.

Additionally, Marius is a regular WordCamp speaker, as well as an integral part of lead volunteering projects.

Last year, he hosted and co-organized WordCamp Bucharest 2018, as well as Bucharest WordPress Meetup, a 1200+ members meetup.

10. Joshua Strebel @strebel

Joshua Strebel is the co-founder and CEO of Pagely, the premium managed WordPress hosting provider. In 2003, Joshua and his wife Sally co-founded and scaled a successful web design agency in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In 2008, they transitioned the agency from web design and development services into the hosting space concentrating entirely on WordPress. With head offices in Tucson, Arizona, this agency morphed into Pagely, which has grown into a successful company that supports brands such as Visa, Disney and Time Inc. with deploying, managing and scaling their WordPress applications.

Out of the office, Joshua is a husband and father, automobile and snow sports enthusiast, and single malt scotch aficionado.

11. Joe Howard @JosephHHoward

Joe is the Head Buff at WP Buffs, a WordPress technical partner for website owners and white-label agency partners. He also co-hosts The WPMRR WordPress podcast that is focused on growing successful WordPress businesses and their monthly recurring revenue.

12. Jeff Large @realjefflarge

Jeff is a podcast producer and strategist. He leads his team at Come Alive Creative in producing podcasts for businesses and brands. His most favorite things involve family, board games, and learning something new every day.

He also hosts the Jeff Large Podcast where he dives into the stories of inspiring business owners, experts, and specialists to discover the principles of their success. Of course, our founder Mario is featured as well, in the “Art of Effective Digital Marketing” episode that you can listen to here.

13. Nevena Tomovic @nevena-tomovic

Nevena is an experienced simultaneous interpreter, but traded her microphone for a laptop in 2015 and started working with WordPress. She has spent the past four years working on content, editorial, events and, more recently, business development at Human Made.

In her spare time, you can find her hanging upside down on an aerial hoop, skiing, reading, and traveling like a true remote employee.

14. Marcel Bootsman @mbootsman

Marcel is the owner of Nostromo, a specialized WordPress company that offers maintenance, development, and consulting. He is active in the WordPress community as a WordCamp organizer, forum moderator, and translation editor.

When he’s not looking at a screen, he enjoys walking, riding a mountain bike, and playing tennis. Speaking of walking, this year, Marcel completed a 718km journey on foot to get to WCEU in Berlin to generate funds for DonateWC.

15. Joost de Valk @jdevalk

Joost de Valk spends most of his time at Yoast working on Yoast SEO and its add-ons. As Chief Product Officer he makes sure the roadmap for all our products is managed.

Joost has a background as an SEO, digital marketer, and web developer. In the early days of his career, he worked for several IT companies, ranging from enterprise hosting to online marketing agencies. This allowed him to work with several large brands around the world.

In 2010, he founded Yoast, which has as its mission to allow as many people as possible to build a findable website. It empowers people through software (Yoast SEO plugin) and training.

16. Sergey Biriyukov @SergeyBiryukov

Sergey is a WordPress Core Committer, also working on Polyglots, Support, and Meta teams. He is one of the co-founders of Russian WordPress community. He has a passion for open source, which started with contributing documentation and bug fixes for a popular file manager in 2002. He is also a frequent speaker at WordCamps in Russia and across Europe.

In his free time, he loves listening to music, playing guitar or keyboards, watching movies, going for a walk or a bike ride, and tinkering around

17. Ivana Cirkovic @i_cirkovic

Ivana is a Digital Marketing, PR and Social Media consultant with over a decade of experience in the field. She is also a huge WordPress advocate and an active member of the WordPress community who lives online almost 24/7. She is also in love with Twitter, WP, photography, and NYC.

18. Catalin Matei @atcatalinmatei

Catalin Matei is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Increase Media, a social media agency that works with International and Romanian brands to help them improve their marketing and social media strategies.

He became an entrepreneur when he was only 16 years old, founding e-commerce and software businesses. Catalin believes in the importance of helping others and thinks that every day is an opportunity to learn something new.

19. Andrey Savchenko @Rarst

Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko is a WordPress entrepreneur from Kyiv, Ukraine.

He believes in websites that are easy to navigate, which is why he works with other developers on complex tasks and long–term value goals that include fast systems and fix the world (one bug at a time).

In his free time, he likes to drink tea, read science fiction and tweet!

20. Emanuel Blagonic @eblagonic

As one of the pioneers of the web standards movement in Croatia, he is active in the community where he works on building a better understanding of the design process and educates clients as much as possible.

Although primarily a designer, he’s been in love with WordPress for more than 10 years, being one of the biggest promoters of the CMS in Croatia. He helps organizing WordCamps and Meetups in Croatia and was part of WordCamp Europe organizing team three years in a row.

21. Vanina Ivanova @inks

Vanina Ivanova is a marketing specialist who has managed large projects in the fintech, IT and blockchain industries. Currently the CMO of AdEx Network, she works on marketing strategies and building marketing tool stacks.

As a long-term WordPress fan, she has helped organize WordCamp Sofia and WordCamp Varna events, and this year she was a member of the team organizing WordCamp Plovdiv. She’s also a big enthusiast of open source projects, Web 3 and cybersecurity.

22. Nikolay Krastev @NickyKrastev

Nikolay Krastev is an SEO optimizer, marketer, advertiser, Google AdWords Certified, Google Analytics and Microsoft BingAds Specialist. He has over 80 training and specialization certifications from leading digital marketing and advertising companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft, HubSpot, SEMrush, Eventbrite and many others. He has worked in search engine optimization since 2009.

He develops, maintains and optimizes websites and online stores based on WordPress. As a WordPress editor & contributor to the team of translators, he is also part of the team that organized WordCamp Sofia 2018.

23. Remkus De Vries @remkusdevries

Remkus is Manager of Partnerships and WordPress Community Liaison at Yoast. He co-founded and lead WordCamp Europe and WordCamp Netherlands. For more than 12 years he’s spoken at many WordCamps and WordPress Meetup groups as well as mentoring upcoming WordCamps.

His volunteer work has now been donated by Yoast to the WordPress Project. Remkus enjoys giving back to the community as much as he can by helping the WordPress community grow.

When not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, watching documentaries, and going to car events.

24. Syed Balkhi @syedbalkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner. He has built a strong 8-figure online business around WordPress. He was recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by the United Nations. His work is featured in top publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, FoxBusiness, and more.

25. Sjardo @Sjardo

Sjardo is a front-end developer for Yoast, theming everything you see on yoast.com. He is one of the developers at Yoast that enjoys CSS and all the powerful stuff it can do! Besides CSS, he’s focused on conversions and online performance optimizations. Sjardo enjoys helping people get into WordPress and teaching them how to create a website from scratch!

26. Tammie Lister @karmatosed

Tammie works at Automattic, where she is devoted to the WordPress.org project full time as the design leader for the Gutenberg Editor. Her background is diverse and includes psychology, art, design, development and user experience. She is passionate about Open Source and community.

27. Hristo Panjarov @pandjarov

When it comes to WordPress, Hristo has been involved in everything from supporting WordPress clients, building websites, designing themes, writing eBooks, and leading the organization of WordCamp Sofia twice!

As SiteGround’s Manager of WordPress initiatives, he spends his days developing and implementing various in-house performance-boosting solutions to help make WordPress websites faster and more secure. When he’s not improving WordPress, Hristo travels with his wife.

28. Chris Coyier @chriscoyier

Chris is a web designer and developer. He created and runs CSS-Tricks, a website that’s all about building websites. He is also the co-founder of CodePen, a playground for front-end web development. It’s a social development environment for front end designers and developers.

29. Adam Warner @wpmodder

Adam W. Warner discovered WordPress in 2005 and since then, he has been actively working within the community. As a genuine WordPress evangelist, he founded several WordPress-focused businesses that provide education, plugins and consulting services for online business owners.

Today, he’s the Field Marketing Manager for GoDaddy Pro, devoting his experience and knowledge to the WordPress community. In his free time, Adam is passionate about his family, robots, and pretty much everything.

30. Jenny Beaumont @jennybeaumont

Jenny Beaumont is a writer and creator. She has worked in the web industry since the late 90s and has been working closely with WordPress since version 3.0, and within the WordPress community since 2013 when she attended her first WordCamp.

Currently, Jenny works at Human Made as a Senior Project Manager and a Certified Scrum Master.

31. Andrew Nacin @nacin

Andrew Nacin is a Lead Developer at WordPress. He’s conducted several significant releases, mentored contributors, and spearheaded new development in the industry. He has strong opinions about the core philosophies of WordPress, including that software shouldn’t burden the user with too many options.

Currently, Andrew works at the U.S. Digital Service at the White House, where he handles some of the government’s most pressing problems, problems that impact millions of lives.

32. David Bisset @dimensionmedia

David Bisset is one of the WordCamp Miami organizers, a recognized WordPress expert and the creator of WP Armchair.

Formerly a full-time WordPress freelancer of 10+ years, David is now a senior web developer at EnviraGalleryLLC where he works on two popular WordPress plugins (Envira Gallery and Soliloquy). Furthermore, he also works on the popular Post Status newsletter, consults and develops various side projects, speaks and mentors at WordCamps, contributes to BuddyPress, and helps run several meetups in South Florida.

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