John Godley is probably the best Developer I’ve never met.

Bound by the same invisible threads and united by our passions to create only the best that we can, as foreigners in foreign lands, all I know is John’s a Caucasian in an Asian land and I’m an Asian in a Caucasian land.

Yet here we are, sharing ideas and communicating through space and time… (well, we are in different continents and there is a time difference :P ).

Don’t you just love the Internet…? So, what do I really know about John apart from the fact that’s he’s one smart cookie and builds the best WordPress plugins I’ve seen for a long time?

Really? Not much…

I know that at the moment, he’s in China. He’s had some Ba Guan treatments (a bit like accupuncture but with cups) and he likes Muse. And that’s about it!

From working with him what I do know is John is extremely professional and has an eye for detail. It’s what originally convinced me that he was the right man for job to build my WordPress FAQ plugin that we’ve all come to know as FAQ-Tastic.

How did I know? Just a gut feeling, I guess. As an ex-Developer and ex-Project Manager you get a sense about people who do the job well and are dependable. Funnily enough, the one thing that made me realise that he would be an excellent candidate for this job wasn’t the plugins that he’d built – it was the icons he’d used on his Urban Giraffe plugins page.

Now, it’s a strange thing – not one that I really dwelt over – but from researching various plugins and visiting loads of site by different Developers you see a pattern forming. On the whole, most Developers build their plugins and then simply make a link to download it. John’s plugin had an icon. A cool 2.0 graphic. Now, that’s *attention to detail*. It’s a minor point but it was the major convincer for me.

And thankfully, I was proved right. Trusting intuition.

I’m going to make a confession here (no doubt backed up by some of my old work colleagues :P ) – as a Developer, I was never really exceptional. Yeah, I’ve built my own Content Management System (CMS) in the past. Created a couple of sites. I’ve even managed to get some good search engine rankings for some of them. And as a Project Manager, I’ve been involved in a fair share of rebranding projects and minor applications. While again I was just above average in this role, I wouldn’t say I was amazing. I always got the job done – effectively and effeciently as possible – but I’d say that my heart was never really in building corporate applications.

I now know why.

I’ve always been more of an ideas person. A starter but not quite a finisher. Tangential yet solutions focused. There’s something wonderful about coming up with an idea and finding the solution to a problem. My problem was just executing it, getting it right then finishing it off. Thankfully, I’ve found my solution.

Now, one thing that I know deep down is: I know what real talent is. I can recognise it in others – spot it at a thousand paces – which is why John has been such a great guy to work with. Where I can come up with an idea – he can understand it and make it a reality (i.e. take my idea and really run with it!). Essentially, it’s been a fantastic working relationship with him as he enables me to finish the multitude of projects that I *really* want to be involved with.

You may get a sense of our passion and commitment in the quality of the work that we do. We do what we like and we like what we do (there’s a song there somewhere!).

I mean, you need only have a look at some of his work to know how excellent John is. For example, the HeadSpace plugin enables very fine control over meta keywords and descriptions for Posts and Pages. Or if you look at the Redirection plugin – there’s no doubt how useful this plugin for 301 redirections. When used with the Slugs With Periods plugin, you can effectively create *.htm suffixes for your permalinks when you need to migrate an old static site over to WordPress. In essence, this should help maintain page rank for the old HTML pages that you may have.

John builds for SEO. He just doesn’t know it. Yet… (but probably does now if he’s reading this! :) ).

Well, we’ve both got some really cool plugins lined up. There’s a new Page management plugin that John’s currently working on that you’re all going to love. If you thought FAQ-Tastic was good then, trust me, this one is going to blow you away… *cough* if you have a lot of Pages to handle that is!

I’m currently busy getting a new Glossary plugin together. (Cheeky side note: Michel Fortin – if you’re reading this – get in touch – I’d love to know what you think of this new plugin in terms of internal site linking).

Anyway, time to get back to the grindstone. As you’d expect we’re diligently working on getting another “amazing plugin” out there. Bugs to be tracked and eliminated. If you’d like to help, then sign up to the newsletter or just get in touch. We’ll be looking for Glossary plugin testers very soon to help polish off this latest version.

Heaven sent WordPress plugins?

Well… What would you expect from a man called Godley? ;)