Curriculum Vitae

Hi, my name is Filip

and I’m your biggest WordPress fan

Whatever it is that you are trying to do with WordPress I want to help you in achieving your WordPress goals. With more than 20 years of design and development experience and one of early WordPress adopters in Belgium I’m eager to share my WordPress experience with you.

WordPress Consultancy

Over the last few years, through private consulting, coaching, I’ve helped companies like you solve their WordPress problems and overcome their technical challenges. 

Custom Theme Development

Indeed, I don’t use any pre-built themes. Are they bad, no? So why don’t I use them? In most of the cases they are bloated with a lot of features and excessive PHP & Javascript code which is not used. In most cases more than 80 percent of the features are not used. Another downside of pre-build themes is that you have no control over new updates and/or the current features which means that you are dependent on the theme developer(s) and that your website can break.

My specialty lies in writing custom WordPress themes that perfectly match the design. This means that we have total control over the website and the underlying code. I’m also using a lot of caching techniques such as transients and object caching (Redis) in combination with custom WordPress hosting by using various caching & server techniques such as Varnish, Memcached, Redis, etc for an optimal user experience.

Oh, but we are using a (commercially) built WordPress theme?

No worries, I’m glad to help in extending and maintaining your commercially built WordPress theme. 

Custom Plugin Development

Over the last 8 years I’ve developed numerous custom WordPress plugins going from fairly easy custom post type integrations, custom WooCommerce integrations as QR based scanning plugins for several events, etc. Too much to mention ;-).

Commercial Plugins

I’m a huge WordPress evangelist of solid built commercial plugins such as:

  • Gravity Forms
  • WooCommerce
  • WPML (not much of a fan anymore)
  • Advanced Custom Fields
  • Yoast SEO Premium
  • Migrate DB Pro

The advantage of these plugins is that they have powerful API’s which can be extended with custom development. I’m using the plugins above their API’s on a daily basis.

So what about smaller non-commercial and free plugins, you may think?

I’m not against any of these plugins but every installed plugin extends security risks. As WordPress Core and WPScan Contributor we see  a lot of plugins with numerous vulnerabilities. “Use them wisely”, I say ;-).

Page Builder Experience

Over the past years I’ve done a lot of integrations with various page builders such as Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, WP Bakery, etc.  I’m a strong believer of “Code Creates Design” instead of “Design Creates Code” which always plays nicely with the current page builders. Page builders have the tendency of creating a lot of bloated code which has a negative effect on the overall performance as of excessive DOM issues even with full blown caching. Since the release of the beta version of WordPress Full Site Editing I started learning more about React and I’m fiddling around by building my first full blown custom block theme. I know it’s a new and mostly undocumented territory but hey that’s how we learn and grow on a code level, no?

Design Skills

As mentioned in my introduction I have more than 20 years of design experience I had the privilege of creating  a lot of high-end print, web-to-print and web design for small and large companies such as De Tijd, Vacature, Electrabel, Pringles (Procter & Gamble), BBDO, The Reference, Vervoer Van Dievel, Baloise, Mercator, …

References

Over the past 20 years I’ve done and still do a lot of print & web design for artists such as Clouseau, Laura Tesoro, The Scabs, Soulsister, Kate Ryan, Level Six, Miguel Wiels, Milk Inc, Paul Michiels, Regi, Soulbrothers, Soulsister, Sylver, ….

Besides the artists I also do a lot of web development for various event agencies such as PSE Belgium, Sportpaleis, Boris Agency, TTT Artists, Easyfairs, Oceansapart, etc.

For design I prefer and use:

  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, XD)
  • Sketch
  • Figma (preferred web design editor)

Development Skills

I call myself a ‘designoveloper’. I know, it’s a weird word, I even do some public speaking about this topic where I try to close the gap between designers and developers. Over the past 20 years I expanded my experience as a designer to the technical aspect of a developer. On my technical route I expanded my knowledge with the following technologies:

  • HTML & CSS (+20 years of experience)
  • PHP (+10 years of experience)
  • JavaScript (+3 years of experience)
  • React (Just started with it – sorry, I’m honest))
  • Git, Gulp, WebPack, … (+10 years of experience)
  • WordPress Hosting (+10 years of experience)

Since WordPress launched the new editor (aka Gutenberg) in WordPress version 5.x I’m a huge advocate in convincing professional WordPress developers to make the transition from PHP to JavaScript and React. To be honest, I prefer to develop custom blocks instead of using one of the known page builders due to speed and performance issues. I’m also a strong believer of “Code Creates Design” instead of “Design Creates Code”.

Hosting & server skills

I’m a huge fan of PHP Composer for managing and maintaining WordPress sites in combination with Bedrock where we use WordPress together with all (must-use) plugins and themes as a dependency. This gives the ability to manage and scale every WordPress project empowered by a nifty CD/CI setup (eg. GitLab Pipelines, …). 

Hobbies

Where to begin? I’m evenly into a lot of hobbies as my professional side.

  • I’m the co-organizer of WordPress Antwerp where we organize monthly meetups about various WordPress topics.
  • I’m the co-organizer of WordCamp Belgium, an international WordPress event where we invite speakers and guests from all over the world.
  • I’m a huge dog lover. I’m also a certified dog behaviorist and together with a friend we help high sensitive dogs under the name dogio.be

Contact

Interested in having a WordPress chat? 

Filip Van Reeth
Geitestraat 32, 2800 Mechelen
+32 485 30 66 01

E-mail: [email protected]