WPWeekly Episode 205 – Interview With Miriam Schwab

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, I’m joined by Miriam Schwab, founder and CEO of Illuminea, a web development company based in Israel. She’s also on the Steering Board of Digital Eve Israel, one of the leading communities for professional women in Israel to help empower women economically.

Schwab explains her WordPress origin story, what it’s like to live in Israel, and how active the WordPress community is in her area. She shares her thoughts on the future of WordPress and warns that if it doesn’t improve the user experience, it will drive users away to competing platforms. At the end of the interview, she tells us her favorite plugins that she installs on most of her client sites.

Stories Discussed:

First Look at the Twenty Sixteen Default WordPress Theme
Sessions From BuddyCamp Brighton, UK Now Available to Watch on WordPress.tv
OSTraining Makes Pods Framework Video Training Series Available for Free

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6 Comments


  1. If there are differences, it would be helpful if you could both truly define them. For example, when talking about menus in the customizer, she could have said, “in WordPress, the menu system works like this…,” and then go on to summarize. Then comparatively, “in Squarespace, the menu system works like this…” Because it’s a podcast, there is no visualization. It’s difficult to follow and doesn’t give the listener a good indication of what you’re talking about. Also, the visualization of those key difference could have been provided in the blog post itself.

    Additionally, I she is a fan of Yoast, but that is not the only or best plugin for SEO in WordPress. There is also All in One SEO Pack, which is the most dowloaded plugin for WordPress and the choice of top SEO professionals. While Yoast is packed with all sorts of link-offs to other 3rd party services, All in One SEO is elegant simplicity and attempts not to confuse the user with extraneous tools that can simply be bookmarked in a browser. Additionally, All in One SEO follows the rules set out by Google Webmaster Tools around sitemap generation and the other one simply does not.

    (Disclosure: I consult to All in One SEO in digital marketing.)

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    1. Thanks for your feedback Tony. Yes, talking about the user experience on a podcast without being able to point at things is a challenge. But it’s the issue that troubles me the most so I had to bring it up, even if it’s not the best medium.

      Re Yoast’s plugin – it’s definitely not the only SEO plugin out there. The reason it’s my fave is because it’s constantly being updated almost immediately after any new on-site SEO implementations are released or recommended by Google et al. I admit I haven’t used AIO since I started using Yoast many years ago, so it’s possible that it’s the same with them.

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  2. Hey Miriam, it was good to hear you and what’s happening with the local WP community. Guess I’ll have to log in more to FB. *shudder* I do agree about the need for a less complex user interface and there was a NUX Working Group as a part of the 4.2 cycle that was dedicated to doing just that. Unfortunately, I had to ditch early on in the sessions and do not know the outcome of their efforts.

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  3. Hey Jeff, I think you are right about the WP-API. I think we are going to see some very interesting solutions to a complex admin interface in the next several years.

    Someone will probably come up with a simple “Medium” style interface for users to enter new content into their WP site. It could be added to the site for users who need a simplified interface. The regular admin area would remain untouched, and would be used for the WP site-builders to maintain the site.

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  4. Great interview, and I certainly agree about the user-experience aspect. While it’s important to keep new features coming and developer interests satisfied, it’s also important to finish, and make more user-friendly, core aspects of the product. I don’t feel that’s always happened with WordPress.

    The example I often come back to is comments. It feels like once a ‘working’ system was completed, that aspect was left and development moved on to ‘bigger and better’ things. And while I’ve been glad to see improvements to the editor area more recently, it is an area that could use much more work. Those are core areas of the product from a user-experience perspective.

    I’m still mixed about the customizer, too. Maybe I’m not seeing the big-picture of it yet, but it feels like a step back so far. Maybe it’s nice for a brand new user, but I think most of us have just gotten used to having two browser tabs open. And, doing so, IMO, is more efficient. The customizer does give visual feedback, but for me is a more awkward method (and inefficient screen-space-wise) of working.

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