Scott Fennell, WordPress & UI Developer in Portland, ME, United States
Scott Fennell

WordPress & UI Developer in Portland, ME, United States

Member since January 26, 2017
Scott has written hundreds of WordPress themes and plugins. He specializes in third-party API integrations including Twitter, MailChimp, CloudFlare, Bitbucket, and Shopify. He's an experienced public speaker, having presented at WordCamp Portland and also the Google campus in Seattle. He is active as a technology writer, having been published on A List Apart and CSS-Tricks many times. Scott is also a former infantry officer in the US Army.
Scott is now available for hire




Portland, ME, United States



Preferred Environment

WordPress, WP Engine, GitHub, Sublime Text

The most amazing...

...WordPress plugin I've built is a deployment tool to allow admins to store, install, and update WordPress themes and plugins from Bitbucket repos.


  • WordPress Engineering Fellow

    2019 - PRESENT
    • Integrated with WooCommerce for custom shopping and selling features.
    • Led a migration to a new hosting platform.
    • Led the effort to update WordPress core and third-party plugins.
    • Provided a custom WordPress plugin code for new features.
    • Refactored the codebase.
    Technologies: WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, Websites, Front-end, MySQL, eCommerce, WordPress
  • Lead Developer

    2011 - PRESENT
    LexBlog Publishing Platform
    • Wrote a WordPress plugin for Bitbucket to allow administrators to store, update, and install themes and plugins from private repositories.
    • Wrote a WordPress theme framework using the WordPress Customizer API that powers hundreds of vastly different designs from a single theme folder.
    • Wrote a Mailchimp plugin for WordPress to allow admins to browse subscriber and campaign data from their WordPress dashboard.
    • Wrote hundreds of responsive WordPress child themes for the largest law firms in the world.
    • Established a unit-testing procedure for agencies to use when deploying WordPress plugins.
    • Wrote a CloudFlare plugin for WordPress to allow site administrators to quickly empty their CloudFlare cache, or enter development mode, from a single Ajax-y click in the WordPress admin toolbar.
    • Wrote an Intercom plugin for WordPress to allow agencies to easily monitor admin actions such as abandoned drafts, repetitive actions, and other scenarios that merit client outreach.
    • Wrote a Twitter plugin for WordPress to provide a "latest tweets" widget with a variety of customizations.
    • Incorporated deep knowledge of the WP Engine platform in order to provide value-adds like a live/staging link in the WordPress admin bar.
    • Wrote a custom WordPress theme commissioned by the Democratic National Party in the United States.
    Technologies: WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, Websites, Front-end, CSS, jQuery, PHP, WordPress
  • Mailchimp/WordPress Developer

    2008 - 2011
    Miscellaneous Freelance Web Development
    • Wrote a WordPress plugin to integrate with the Mailchimp account of noted science fiction author J. Zachary Pike.
    • Wrote a WordPress plugin to allow members of the public to submit avalanche observations to the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.
    • Wrote a custom Shopify theme to allow customers to pick the colors of various wristwatch components.
    • Wrote a custom front end for The Foraker Group, the largest non-profit in Alaska, using vanilla CSS and JS.
    Technologies: WordPress Plugins, jQuery, CSS, PHP, REST, JSON, APIs, Mailchimp, WordPress
  • Infantry Platoon Leader

    2004 - 2008
    US Army
    • Led infantry patrols in Iskandariyah and Fallujah, Iraq.
    • Managed the logistics for a 170-man infantry company deployed from Anchorage, Alaska, to Iraq.


  • Bootstrap Official Online Store

    Led a refactor/migration of the WordPress codebase for, the official online store for Bootstrap themes.

  • WordPress Theme Framework for Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages

    I recently authored an open-source port of the Bootstrap front-end framework, customizing it to be compatible with Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages format. This serves as the front end for a parent theme framework that now can easily escort thousands of live blogs and websites into AMP-readiness.

  • Speaker, WordCamp Portland, 2018

    I experienced probably the biggest honor of my professional career recently when I spoke at WordCamp Portland 2018.

  • A List Apart: Author Archive

    My author archive page for A List Apart.

  • CSS-Tricks: Author Archive

    My author archive for

  • Cool Material PSD to WordPress

    Implemented a robust WordPress theme and several custom plugins for a boutique mens shopping blog.

  • Bananas: A WordPress Plugin Boilerplate for Mailchimp

    My ongoing, always-improving WordPress plugin boilerplate for third-party API integrations, with the nominal example being for the Mailchimp API.

  • Anchorage: A Responsive, Accessible WordPress Theme

    I wrote one of the few accessibility-ready WordPress themes for

  • WP API Shortcode

    A shortcode plugin for auditioning the WP-API.

  • Dehydrated: A Photo-Blog Theme for WordPress

    My theme for sharing photos of dogs and skiers.

  • Fantasy Footballers' Start or Sit Plugin

    A WordPress plugin to gather fantasy football ranking data from a google docs spreadsheet, and output the results of player comparisons.

  • Finding a Better Framework than Vue.js, React, and Angular (Publication)
    For seasoned veterans and newcomers alike, even navigating the state of mainstream front-end options takes considerable time. Exploring alternatives can be a fun way to take a break from that while getting a glimpse of the future. Whether or not these approaches stick around, the ideas within them are what will doubtless live on.
  • Five Battle-tested Techniques Your WordPress API Developer Isn't Using (Publication)
    One of the best ways to elevate your status as a WordPress developer, at least in the eyes of your clients, is to become skilled at writing API consumers. In this article, Toptal Freelance WordPress Developer Scott Fennell guides you through five techniques that will help you create powerful WordPress API clients to perfectly suit your needs.
  • My Five Worst WordPress Development Mistakes (Publication)
    Join an expert in a look back in horror at his most embarrassing mistakes in his early days as a WordPress developer. He discusses general PHP bugs, WordPress-specific bugs, and also mistakes made at a managerial level while supervising other developers.
  • Toptal Mentor
    Scott is a mentor in the Toptal Global Mentor’s Program. This program is a partnership between Toptal and General Assembly to provide high quality mentorship for students from minority and low income backgrounds who are looking to begin their careers as professional software engineers. Scott shows commitment to diversity in tech by mentoring a General Assembly student every week for a year, covering everything from coding tips and tricks to advice on making it in the industry.


  • Languages

    PHP, HTML, CSS, PHP 5, PHP 7, CSS4, SQL, JavaScript 6, JavaScript, HTML5, SCSS, Sass, Core PHP
  • Frameworks

    Bootstrap, Bootstrap 3+, Bootstrap 3, Bootstrap 2, Divi, PHPUnit, JavaScriptCore
  • Libraries/APIs

    WooCommerce API, jQuery Validation, jQuery DataTables, jQuery Plugins, jQuery CDN, Intercom API, jQuery UI, TensorFlow, HTML5 APIs, jQuery, Google Maps API, jQuery Mobile, Twitter API, WordPress API, Google Maps, jQuery Easing
  • Tools

    Timepicker, Bitbucket, PhpMyAdmin, Mailchimp, GitLab, GitHub, Git, Sketch, Divi Builder 3, Cron, Sublime Text 3, Cyberduck, Postman, MAMP, Sublime Text 2, Sublime Text, Adobe, Typekit, Photoshop CS3, Photoshop 2014, Photoshop CC, Photoshop CS6, Adobe Photoshop, Terminal
  • Paradigms

    Testing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), On-page SEO, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Test-driven Development (TDD), REST, SMACSS, Agile, Agile Software Development, Class-based OOP
  • Platforms

    WooCommerce, Web, WordPress
  • Other

    Front-end, Web Development, Icon Fonts, Taxonomy, Widgets, Autocomplete, Web Programming, Forms, FontAwesome, Debugging, Web App Deployment, Blogging, Blog Development, Blog Posting, Websites, Website CMS, Website Setup, Website Migration, Dynamic Websites, Blogs, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins, HTML to WordPress, HTML UI, Plugins, Plugin Development, Atlassian Plugins, UI Plugins, Theme Development, Theme Customization, eCommerce Development, WordPress eCommerce, PSD to HTML, PSD to Mailchimp, Intercom, APIs, PSD to WordPress, Mailchimp API, Apps, Bootstrap UI, PSD to Bootstrap, Content Management Systems (CMS), Training & Training Content Development, Performance Analysis, Sauce Labs, Education, WPMU DEV, Ajax, Performance, Web Performance, SFTP, FTP, Google Custom Search, Search, UI Testing, Mentorship, Writing & Editing, eCommerce Platforms, Git Forks, Git GUI, GitFlow, Cloudflare, Training, Bookings, eCommerce, Performance Optimization, MacBook, Data, Icon Sets, @font-face, Typefaces, Layout Conversion, Layout, Rich Internet Applications, Web App Testing, Blog Design, WordPress Design, Public Speaking, Conference Speaking, UX
  • Storage

    MySQL, MySQLi, WP Engine, JSON, Web Forms, Database Performance, SQL Performance
  • Industry Expertise

    Teaching, Web Design


  • Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy
    2000 - 2004
    University of Utah - Salt Lake City, Utah


  • MailChimp Expert
    JUNE 2016 - PRESENT
  • Infantry Officer
    MAY 2004 - MAY 2008
    US Army

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