Influential women in WordPress make big contributions to the community’s growth

7 min read
Nile Flores

Women in WordPress: They’re coders, designers, bloggers, social media fans and everything in between. They’re beer enthusiasts, moms, knowledge seekers, travelers, writers and educators. They’ve contributed to WordPress in ways that have influenced the code or design of the platform, how it’s taught, and much more.

This article will cover some of the most influential women in WordPress. Who are they? What have they been doing to fuel the ever-increasing popularity of WordPress? This post isn’t a tribute to the popular, but to those who’ve really added value to the WordPress community. Below, they are listed in alphabetical order.

13 influential women in WordPress

  1. Carrie Dils

  2. Mika Epstein

  3. Sarah Gooding

  4. Helen Hou-Sandí

  5. Siobhan McKeown

  6. Andrea Middleton

  7. Jen Mylo

  8. Andrea Rennick

  9. Michelle Schulp

  10. Lisa Sabin-Wilson

  11. Naoko Takano

  12. Shayda Torabi

  13. Lorelle VanFossen

Now, let’s get to know a little more about these valuable members of the WordPress community.


Carrie Dils is a WordPress developer and consultant from Texas who runs CarrieDils.com. A Lynda.com instructor and podcaster, Carrie often gives back to the WordPress community by speaking at WordCamps. She’s notable for writing great StudioPress Genesis theme tutorials, and for her business advice for freelancers. One of her most memorable WordCamp presentations was her talk at WordCamp San Diego 2016 on the topic of “Lead Generation: How Does Writing/Blogging Get You The Kinds of Leads You Want?”

You can follow Carrie Dils on Twitter at @cdils.

Mika Epstein


Mika Epstein works at DreamHost as a WordPress specialist, but she’s perhaps known best as ipstenu, a volunteer moderator on the WordPress.org Support forums. You can find her website at Half-Elf on Tech. Mika also speaks at WordCamps across the world, and reviews plugins in the WordPress Plugin directory. One of her most notable WordCamp talks was her presentation at WordCamp US 2016: “You Are Not Code.”

You can follow Mika Epstein on Twitter at @ipstenu.

Sarah Gooding


Sarah Gooding, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., is extremely well known in the WordPress community as one of the voices of WordPress at WPTavern. Her official title is Editorial Ninja at Audrey Capital. However, she does have a website called Untame. Her dedication to sharing the happenings in the WordPress community is appreciated by thousands of readers.

You can follow Sarah Gooding on Twitter at @pollyplummer.

Helen Hou-Sandí


Helen Hou-Sandí is a WordPress Lead Developer and the Director of Platform Experience at 10up. You can find her blog at Helen.blog. One of the things that is unique about Helen is that she was a professional musician. Like the other influential women in WordPress on our shortlist, Helen has given quite a few WordCamp talks around the world. One of her most notable WordCamp presentations was from WordCamp Europe 2016: “Code is Poetry – A Musician’s Tale.”

You can follow Helen Hou-Sandí on Twitter at @helenhousandi.

Siobhan McKeown


Siobhan McKeown is a writer and an events director for Human Made. She is well known for writing Milestones: The Story of WordPress. You can find Siobhan’s website at SiobhanMcKeown.com. Siobhan has contributed to WordPress core, documentation, spoken at WordCamps, and has even organized WordCamps like WordCamp London and WordCamp Europe. One of Siobhan’s most notable WordCamp presentations was her WordCamp Europe 2014 talk, “WordPress: Bringing Ideas to Life."

You can follow Siobhan McKeown on Twitter at @siobhanpmckeown.

Andrea Middleton


Andrea Middleton is an Automattician from Portland, Ore. She works as a Community Organizer, helping WordCamp Organizers and their teams get their event ready for their local communities. You can find her blog at AndreaMiddleton.blog. She also has spoken at WordCamps, and one of her most notable talks was from WordCamp Cincinnati 2016, “Stronger Together – How WordPress Communities Are Built.”

You can follow Andrea Middleton on Twitter at @andmiddleton.

Jen Mylo


Jen Mylo is an Automattician who does community wrangling. Her blog is Jen (aka Jane) on WordPress. She has contributed quite a bit to the WordPress community. She influenced some of the design for the WordPress backend, as she was the UX lead for WordPress versions 2.7 through 3.4. Jen also helps with the WordPress.tv team, the Training team, and has been a WordPress core contributor. Jen’s most notable WordCamp talk is from WordCamp Portland 2013, “The Only Constant Is Change.”

You can follow Jen Mylo on Twitter at @jenmylo.

Andrea Rennick


Andrea Rennick is from New Brunswick, Canada, and the Customer Support Tech Lead at Rainmaker Digital. You can find her website at AndreaRennick.com. Andrea has presenting at WordCamps throughout the years. If you didn’t know, she’s the co-author of WordPress All-In-One for Dummies. Andrea’s warm personality and perseverance has endeared many to her. In her 2015 WordCamp US talk, “WordPress — Changing lives,” she shares both her amazing story and some stories about other WordPress users around the community.

You can follow Andrea Rennick on Twitter at @andrea_r.

Michelle Schulp


Michelle Schulp is a graphic and web designer from Minneapolis who runs Mark Time Media. She’s well-known for designing many Wapuu character graphics. While she’s not the originator, she’s made a name for herself in the community for designing images after the unofficial WordPress mascot; her works have been seen at WordCamps worldwide. Aside from her wicked graphic skills, Michelle has helped organize WordCamps, and has even spoken at quite a few. One of her most notable talks was “How To Speak Unicorn – Improving Designer/Developer Collaboration” from WordCamp Miami 2015.

You can follow Michelle Schulp on Twitter at @marktimemedia.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson


Lisa Sabin-Wilson of Wisconsin is the COO and co-founder of WebDevStudios. A longtime blogger and web designer, she’s well-known as being the author of WordPress for Dummies, as well as several other WordPress-related publications. Lisa has spoken at a multitude of WordCamps, and even organized a few. One of her most notable presentations was her talk at WordCamp Philly 2011, “How I Explained WordPress To My Mother.”

You can follow Lisa Sabin-Wilson on Twitter at @LisaSabinWilson.

Naoko Takano


Naoko Takano is from Japan, and works as a Globalizer at Automattic, working to make WordPress easier for people who do not speak English. Her blog is Naoko.blog. Naoko contributes to the WordPress community as a Polyglot for the Japanese language. She’s also helped to organize WordCamps in Japan, and is the author of WordPress Standard Guidebook. At WordCamp Europe 2016, she shared how her local Japanese community grew, as a case study for others wanting to grow their own communities.

You can follow Naoko Takano on Twitter at @naokomc.

Shayda Torabi


Shayda Torabi is a passionate food blogger from Texas who works in product marketing at WP Engine. Her food blog is Dine with Shayda. She makes it a mission to meet people, especially when speaking at WordCamps worldwide. She has some really notable talks, but the one that sticks out is her 2015 WordCamp US presentation, “How Giving Back to WordPress Grows My Network.”

You can follow Shayda Torabi on Twitter at @shaptora.

Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen is a longtime blogger, author and website developer from Portland, Ore. Her blog at https://lorelle.wordpress.com has helped thousands of WordPress users throughout the years. She’s edited hundreds of articles in the WordPress Codex, and has spoken at WordCamps all around the world. One of Lorelle’s notable talks was during WordCamp San Francisco 2008, “260 Ways to Break WordPress.”

You can follow Lorelle VanFossen on Twitter at @lorelle.

We appreciate you

There are countless other women who definitely could be on this list, but then this article would end up becoming a novel. The women in WordPress we’ve highlighted — plus all the women not mentioned — are appreciated for all that they’ve shared with the WordPress community. Like everyone else who has donated their talents and time, their contributions have helped shaped WordPress into the outstanding open-source project that it is today.

Please feel free to follow each of the women in this list. They are more than worth the follow, as they are always doing something interesting in the WordPress community.