Meet Shusei Toda, a cherished member of the WordPress Community Team! His dedication and valuable contributions to the community are the very reason why Milan Ivanovic nominated him for the Yoast Care fund. Let’s get to know this passionate WordPress enthusiast a bit better.
Nominator Milan Ivanovic: “In our community, we have some fantastic people, but this one in particular is one of the kindest and the nicest! Always there for everyone, willing to help, and give his all – with a smile. His contributions are numerous, and his photos are amazing :) Just so you know, this guy took a group photo of all flagship events. Pretty impressive, right?”
Let’s get to know Shusei Toda
That’s quite an introduction, Milan! We would love to get to know Shusei even better. That’s why we asked him some questions about his work and passion for WordPress:
Hi, Shusei! What do you do?
My name is Shusei Toda. I am from Tokyo, Japan, and I contribute to WordPress in various teams: Community, Polyglots, Photos, and WPTV.
I work at Kinsta (as of November 2023) as a Business Development Specialist. My role is to expand the business into the Japanese market. In addition, I work as a freelance photographer and videographer in my spare time.
Why do you think that you got nominated?
I am not 100% sure, but I am nevertheless honored to be nominated.
I have been involved in the community since 2018. In 2023, I attended all three flagship WordCamps, and had a great time meeting fellow community members. I also took great photos at the WordCamps I attended, including completing the 4 group photos at all flagships and the Community Summit.
I created a website back when I was in university, so WordPress was the first software I used when I entered the tech industry. Since then, I have been using it as my go-to software to provide solutions to clients.
I have used other solutions, such as Wix, Squarespace, Webflow, MovableType, etc. over the years. But WordPress has the flexibility and endless solutions with plugins, API, and much more. It’s perfect for delivering the client’s needs.
Why did you start contributing? Could you share your first contribution with us?
My first contribution was back in 2018. I made an after-movie for WordCamp Tokyo 2018.
I knew of and have used WordPress since 2012, but was unaware of the community. When a friend invited me to attend WordCamp and even work on an after-movie, it was a great experience. During the process, I met a lot of community members, talked with them, and fell in love with the community.
What does WordPress look like in your perfect world?
I believe there is no “perfection” in our world. But from what I see, WordPress is indispensable to me. Here are three reasons why:
- Open-Source: The application itself is open-source, and the surrounding solutions are open-source too (themes, plugins, add-ons). This allows me to do experiments to meet the needs over time.
- Irreplaceable Community: One factor that drives WordPress as strongly as it does today is community. Being in this ecosystem opened many opportunities for me, and I had a chance to meet all the great people worldwide.
- Evolving solution: As we have seen with the introduction of Gutenberg and now Site Editor (Full Site Editing), the evolution of WordPress never stops. This evolution lets users experiment and explore new things simultaneously. Being in one comfortable zone is great, but I love challenges. And the growth has made me face several challenges – which I have loved.
What contribution or moment are you most proud of?
I would say WordCamp Asia 2023. I was one of the event organizers and had the chance to capture, organize, and share great moments that happened at the event. This was also my first “international” WordCamp attendance.
Being part of this event has led me to many chances: meeting and communicating with new people, starting to contribute globally, getting involved in global projects, attending following WordCamps, etc.
What would you love to do in the future?
I am currently focusing more on the community aspects of the WordPress project. But I enjoy looking at the code, design, and other things. So, in the future, I would love to contribute to the project more. Also, I would like to travel worldwide to meet the great friends I made while attending WordCamps.
Aside from that, I would love to grow the Japanese community more. Interestingly, Japanese is the third-ranking language in WordPress installation (the first being English (US), and the second Spanish). Also, around 82.2% of the websites using CMS in Japan use WordPress, according to W3Techs. These numbers are just unique, and I am happy to be Japanese. That’s why I want to grow more, as I believe the community can do more.
Where may people find you? Online, WordCamps, other meetups?
You can find me anywhere online! I typically attend the bigger WordCamps, but I hope to attend some local WordCamps worldwide next year. I also co-organize Tokyo WordPress Meetup. You can find me on X.
Thank you for this interview, Shusei, and for all of your contributions to the WordPress community! Do you know someone like Shusei Toda who also deserves to be in the spotlight? Go to our Yoast Care page and nominate them right away.