It’s nearly 5 years since I started at 34SP.com. I had been asked to join to spearhead their new Managed WordPress product; a few months later we were “officially” launching it and since then we have onboarded thousands of sites onto a platform that continues to grow. Over the years it matured, getting faster, more secure and more feature-rich. The amazing staff at 34SP.com became more WordPress-focused as the company has shifted to being one of the best Managed WordPress hosts worldwide and easily the best Managed WordPress host in the UK.
I am super-proud of the team and the work that has been done, though perhaps my proudest moments have been watching my colleagues on stage at WordCamps giving presentations and dancing the night away.
So it’s with a little sadness that it is time to say goodbye, but the 30th October was my last official day at 34SP.com. After 5 years it was time I moved on to pastures new (or old).
Before what’s next, a little about me:
It’s dawned on me many folks reading this will only know me as Tim from 34SP.com or that scary guy from 34SP. So for those of you who know me as such, hello my name is Tim Nash!
I have been actively involved in the WordPress community here in the UK since, well, there has been a WordPress community in the UK. I have spoken at dozens of WordCamps and hundreds of meetups on a range of topics, though I’m probably best known for giving security talks.
Before 34SP.com I worked as a consultant helping companies consider if open source solutions were appropriate for their organisations and helping them deploy such solutions, spending about 50% of my time with WordPress and the other 50% with Magento. Because again, open source advocacy wasn’t really a thing, I was trading under a moniker of the “stuff consultant”. This saw a lot of emphasis on security work, a good example of the work I was doing would be allowing organisations marketing teams to use WordPress behind corporate firewalls and deploying to static sites. Well before Gatsby, GraphQL and JamStack, we were using WordPress as static site generators.
Going further back still I was one of the founding partners of Coding Futures, a bespoke development agency. We worked with some very big-name clients including the World Food Programme. This small development agency had only 6 employees at its height but we punched way above our weight and I am so proud of what the team achieved. Coding Futures also merged with Cambridge New Media Services or as by then it was just NewMedias, which was my previous company. So the company had two arms, development for large organisations and WordPress Plugins.
NewMedias at the time was in the very lucky position of being a commercial WordPress plugin producer, with our main product being Your Members, membership management software. Why lucky? Well we were one of the first commercial products for WordPress, how did the community feel about that? At the first WordCamp Manchester as we went round the room and everyone introduced themselves we, um, got booed (we were also one of the few sponsors).
Luckily the market has massively changed and WordPress embraces the commercial plugin space. What about Your Members? Your Members and its other plugins are gathering dust on GitHub, a testimony that you can be first to market but when the market is developing you need to do this thing called marketing! I really wouldn’t recommend using Your Members today however, in many ways there is not another membership plugin nearly 10 years on with feature parity. In 2012 we were doing secure, live video streams, allowing you to do membership from lifetime to pay per minute, with group and per seat level permissions.
Prior to that I worked as an associate lecturer at what was then Anglia Polytechnic University (Now Anglia Ruskin) Maths Department teaching on their Internet Technologies pathway. I have always enjoyed teaching people, though my style has changed from what must have been some very dry lectures to first year Internet Tech students.
So I have worked as a product lead, a developer, systems administrator, security analyst and product advocate as well as educator.
Very short term:
Some licks of paint, as I redecorate my online persona; I have been very much attached to 34SP.com and so a little bit of a rebrand will be happening including this site.
Short to medium term:
I haven’t fully decided, in the short to medium term I am very much open to interesting projects on a consultancy basis. I have a lot of experience in WordPress Security, System Administration, Performance and a passion to help people level up.
I truly believe the adage “give a person a fishing rod and you can teach them to fish”. The key thing is not everyone wants to fish, but if you are in the fishing industry, you should know how to. Ok I’m less liking this analogy, so I’m going to can it now.
So I’m looking to help organisations that want to level up and help themselves, who might be looking at their security posture and be thinking, “should we be doing more then installing a security plugin?”. Organisations perhaps using Git and staging sites but want to work out the best solutions to automate their pipelines and have continuous integration cycles. I’m looking to help plugin developers audit their plugins, but not just me look at the plugins, but show them and teach them to do it, and how to put that in their workflows.
If any of that sounds like it might be a fit for your organisation, then please let us find out what I can do for you.
Consulting doesn’t have to be a long term retainer and to help make knowledge as accessible as possible, one of my pushes is for “Power Hour” consultation. So hopefully there is something for every budget.
Beyond consultancy, expect more content, while I was never restricted in what I could write about by my employer, I at times had great ideas, I just didn’t feel comfortable posting because they came too close to my day to day work. So expect a few more technical posts, especially on subjects of provisioning and WordPress system administration.
My focus will split between consultancy and product development, I have at least one educational product in the works. But I will save the details and simply dangle the idea in front of you, like the good wannabe marketer I am.
I mean it, thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, a big thank you to 34SP.com as well who are purveyors of fine hosting that you totally should sign up for. I believe my code (TIMNASHWP) still works if you want a bit of a discount on their Managed WordPress Hosting (I actually typed our, its going to take a while to get out of that habit).
If you know an organisation who might benefit from my help, it would be amazing if you could pass my details over to them so thank you in advance for that.
If you read my posts, and haven’t already please consider signing up to the newsletter, for example after this post launches there is a “behind the scenes” slightly more personal newsletter going out.
So with that, it’s time to say goodbye and thank you one more time.