Doug Van Slembrouck Speaker Interview



Merging exceptional Creative Design with awesome Technical Frameworks to deliver web based solutions for small to medium sized companies.

Doug will be presenting “Elegant Deployment – How to move from test to prod” at 11am in Room D.

Why do you use WordPress?

I use WordPress to create concept-to-completion websites. We develop custom themes and plugins to solve business needs for a wide range of clients.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

Around 2005. Originally starting using as a blogging platform, and quickly understood the benefit of using WordPress as a complete CMS, even in those early days.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

Being able to talk to people within the WordPress community in person is very valuable. As somewhat independent developers, we sometimes can be isolated in our own world. Being able to interact with a larger group of people on our “same team” is always beneficial.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

Listening to Andrew Nican at WordCamp Chicago 2014. He eliminated all my concerns about the upgrade process and had a lot of great data to back it up.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

Working with the UI / UX team at Maven Wave Partners in Chicago, I was able to great a very custom, pixel perfect website for Coast Southwest that was fully integrated with a CakePHP Product database.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

All the fun stickers
(and meeting other community members).

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?


Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

Raised awareness and tons of money for Michigan charities with The SPF ( also a WP site :-)

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Jesse Friedman
Josh Broton
Joe Casabona
Andrew Nacin

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

I used WordPress, some hubcaps, and aluminum foil to build a time machine, allowing me to travel back in time and boogie with some dinosaurs.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

They are a catalyst for inspiration and cause me to up my game, raise my standards, and work smarter.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

Work on launching WordPress websites.

Who should attend this session?

Anyone responsible for developing and launching new WordPress sites. Topics covered include best practices for developing WordPress websites on development, test, and production servers and maintaining the migrating of code and databases from each environment. Ensuring proper backups and deployment of code and databases is critical in providing secure WordPress instances for clients. This session will teach you how to consistently “flip the switch” for website launches.

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

How to run WordPress locally.
How to login to cPanel to manage a website / MySQL database.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?


Where can we find you online?