VaultPress Customer Stories: WP101.com

Shawn Hesketh

Shawn Hesketh is the dynamo behind WP101.com, a compendium of quality video tutorials geared to helping members learn to build sites with WordPress. Building sites since 1994, Shawn started using WordPress exclusively with version 2.5 back in 2008. WP101.com came out of a need he had to educate clients on how to work with their WordPress site after hand-off.

“To be honest, my initial purpose for creating WP101.com was purely selfish,” says Shawn. “After designing WordPress-powered sites for dozens of my own clients, I’d find myself in their offices, providing hours of personalized one-on-one training, teaching them how to create, edit, and manage their content. After doing this dozens of times, I decided to create a set of online video tutorials that I could point my clients to, enabling them to learn at their own pace, return to the site at any time to review topics, and make the cost of this training more affordable. During the process of developing the site, it occurred to me that if I had this need, surely other WordPress developers were facing the same need. I decided to open the site to a wider audience on a membership basis, and it was launched in December of 2008.”

Shawn creates all WP101.com’s videos. He says that meticulous scripts help him to keep his videos up to date, which is challenging, considering the rapid release cycle of WordPress.

“I typically create the script while conducting a ‘dry run’ of the topic on a local installation of WordPress. This allows me to set up the demo environment ahead of time and become familiar with the steps needed to fully explain the topic,” says Shawn. “Since I launched WP101.com in 2008, there have been seven major upgrades to WordPress, and I’ve committed myself to keeping these tutorials up to date. That simply wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t work from a set of scripts. Having a script for each video makes it easier to find and update those sections that have changed with the newest release. I record the narration in GarageBand, using the excellent Yeti mic by Blue Microphones to record the voiceover. When I’ve finished recording, I export it as an uncompressed AIF file. Next, I use the Window Resizer plugin for Chrome to perfectly size my web browser window to 1280 x 720 pixels (HD dimensions), and then record the web browser screen actions in Screenflow while listening to the audio in the background. After a little editing, I’m ready to export the final video and convert it into a web-standard MP4 file using HandBrake.”

In addition to videos, WP101.com features a WordPress Q&A Board, where you can go to ask a question about WordPress or offer an answer.

Shawn is active in the WordPress community, in fact you may have even met him at WordCamp Dallas, Austin, or Houston. We’re delighted that he trusts his content to VaultPress.

“More than once, VaultPress has completely saved my bacon after what would have otherwise been a devastating mistake,” says Shawn. “The ability to simply roll back changes is priceless, and the live updates give me peace of mind, knowing that my site is continuously being monitored and backed up with every new activity. I’ll never forget the first time I received an automated notification from VaultPress, letting me know that a security vulnerability within a popular script had been found on my site and automatically repaired, resulting in absolutely no action on my part… aside from a deep sigh of relief.”

Learn more about how VaultPress can protect your content, theme, plugin, and site settings and customizations. Contact us with questions, or you could thrill us, and sign up to protect your site.

About Krista

I'm a reader, writer, and editor.
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