Q&A with David McCan of the Dynamic WordPress Facebook Group

Q&A with David McCan

Like many of us in WordPress, David McCan didn’t start his career thinking he would build websites. He studied Anthropology in college.

While working on a dissertation, he worked at a large public library system. It was there that he first interacted with the internet.

McCan was the lead in installing public access computers into the library. Eventually, he authored the library’s first website, and from there, he was hooked.

I have used David’s information before. He creates a lot of tutorials and is constantly teaching what he learns.

McCan has become somewhat of a “goto” for many of us needing more information.

Today, we learn more about the man, David McCan, who runs one of the better Facebook Groups for WordPress users.

What is your WordPress origin story?

I worked for a number of years as a manager and programmer for a large event photography company. As I started to transition away from that, I looked at what was happening in website development and eventually got involved with WordPress. I liked how easy it was to extend WordPress and I connected with a lot of nice people who were involved with the community.

Why did you decide to start the Dynamic WordPress Facebook group?

I’m admin in several Facebook groups to help out, but I felt some reservation about taking a leading role in them out of respect for the group founder. The solution was to start my own group. Michael Edwin and Nelson Therrien joined as admins. Michael has played an active role in group leadership and has a lot of experience as an agency owner.

There are groups centered around a product, or for agency owners, for new users, or focused in some other way, but I’m interested in a range of topics. From early in my career I’ve been interested in database driven websites. Dynamic data and related tools are core topics, but in practice we also talk about what’s happening in the community, the best tools, and solutions to common challenges.

Screenshot: wpcodebox.com
Screenshot: wpcodebox.com

What are some of your favorite WordPress tools?

The pro versions of the Kadence theme and blocks are my favorites for content sites. I test a lot of tools when creating videos and the best way to learn a tool is to use it on a real site, so I have sites built using a variety of builders and plugins.

I use BlogVault for backups and MainWP for managing a lot of sites centrally. Fluent Forms and WPCodebox and two other favorites. Turbo Admin is my secret weapon.

Why did you start doing tutorials?

I’ve always enjoyed helping people and years ago I created a video on how to create a wiki using Drupal. I was surprised at how many people watched it and the positive feedback. Starting out with WordPress, I did some freelancing and consulting, but I don’t like sales, so creating tutorials seemed a better fit.

Screenshot: www.webtng.com
Screenshot: www.webtng.com

When you aren’t learning about tech things, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy playing board games with my wife and family. I listen to a lot of audiobooks while walking the dog.

What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?

I played a lot of chess in high school and. in the process, learned a lot about myself.

What are you the most excited about WordPress moving forward?

WordPress has evolved a lot in the past few years. When I started using it, the only way to show dynamic data was by hand coding PHP template files. Today, there are a large number of quality tools that make this easy. Now we are focusing on block themes, which are in their infancy, and Full Site Editing, which is a jumble. In a few years, they will be good tools for site builders. I think Matt Mullenweg’s vision is for a modular web and Gutenberg is just a stepping stone for getting there.

dries buytaert and matt mullenweg at schipulcon 2011
“dries buytaert and matt mullenweg at schipulcon 2011” by eschipul is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse.

What other tools do you use in your business?

I’m on the web every day and use Vivaldi as my main browser. Hoverify is an often used browser extension. I use Laragon for Windows for localhost websites and Runcloud for online site management. I use Camtasia when making videos.

Wrapping it up

If you have a question about Custom Post Types, McCan probably has the answer. He helped me with one of his video tutorials when I needed to decide on a CPT for a project. He probably has some wisdom for you if you have questions about a WordPress project.

David has a lot of teaching and tutorials available both on his website and his YouTube channel. He also runs one of the best Facebook groups for WordPress, Dynamic WordPress.

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys