Jon Henshaw of Raven Tools on WordPress, Slack

A brief Q & A with Jon Henshaw of Raven Tools, a Silver Sponsor of Nashville WordCamp 2015.

How would you describe the WordPress community at large? How about on a local level here in Nashville area?
When I think of the WordPress community, I think of it as being passionate and active. They have an amazing open source CMS that is continually improving and attracting more and more developers.

Locally, here in Nashville, most Web designers and developers appear to be using WordPress. In fact, there are very few people I know who don’t use it. I think it’s a win for companies, because it makes it easier to find talented people to design, build and maintain their sites. It’s also a win for coders, because it means there’s a lot of job opportunities in town.raven-wp

What is the biggest pain point the WordPress community faces? What challenges / trends do they face?
The biggest concern the WordPress community faces is security. As the platform continues to explode, it becomes an even bigger target for malicious coders. While Automattic (the creators of WordPress) and the open source community that helps maintain WordPress do a superb job of making it as secure as possible, vulnerabilities continue to be a concern.

Interestingly, many of the vulnerabilities don’t come from the base installation of WordPress. Instead, they come from third party plugins. One of the best ways to defend your site from these vulnerabilities – other than reducing the amount of plugins you use – is to have a hosting provider like WP Engine. They actively monitor and take action on plugins with vulnerabilities. They also keep multiple complete backups of your site, allowing easy restoration after an attack.

If you want monitoring and backups, but not the hosting, then I highly recommend using Automattic’s VaultPress.

Is there a tool or technology your company can’t live without?
Lately, the tool I can’t live without is Slack. It’s become an essential communication tool at Raven that’s replaced at least two to three other apps. It also supports third party integrations, including Raven.

For example, our software can now send notifications to anyone’s Slack account. Customers can automatically get updates when a new Site Auditor crawl is complete or be alerted when a scheduled marketing report has been delivered to their client.

Raven, based in Nashville, provides a suite of marketing and SEO tools. Follow @RavenTools and Jon Henshaw @RavenJon.