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

WordPress & UI Developer in Portland, ME, United States

Member since February 20, 2017
Scott has written hundreds of WordPress themes and plugins. He specializes in third-party API integrations, including MailChimp, CloudFlare, and Shopify. He is experienced in leading technology teams, is a seasoned public speaker, and has presented at WordCamp Portland and the Google campus in Seattle. He is an active technology writer and has 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


  • Bootstrap
    WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, Websites, Front-end, MySQL, eCommerce...
  • LexBlog
    WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, Websites, Front-end, CSS, jQuery, PHP...
  • Kast Media, Inc
    PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, jQuery UI, CSS, Tailwind CSS, HTML, WordPress...



Portland, ME, United States



Preferred Environment

WordPress, WP Engine, GitHub, Cloudflare

The most amazing...

...WordPress plugin I've built is a site launch tool. It gives users a WordPress UI for finding, buying, and launching a domain, including Cloudflare and HTTPS.


  • WordPress Engineering Fellow

    2019 - PRESENT
    • Oversaw the integration with WooCommerce for custom shopping and selling features.
    • Supervised a migration to a new hosting platform, implementing modern techniques for deployment and automated QA.
    • Led the efforts to update WordPress core and third-party plugins.
    • Provided custom WordPress plugin code for new features.
    • Refactored the codebase to use object-oriented programming.
    Technologies: WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, Websites, Front-end, MySQL, eCommerce, WordPress, PSD to Bootstrap, WooCommerce API, WooCommerce
  • Lead Developer

    2011 - PRESENT
    • Built a WordPress theme framework using the WordPress Customization API that powers hundreds of vastly different designs from a single theme folder.
    • Wrote a WordPress plugin for Bitbucket to allow administrators to store, update, and install themes and plugins from private repositories.
    • Wrote a Mailchimp plugin for WordPress to allow admins to browse subscriber and campaign data from their WordPress dashboard.
    • Created 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 various 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, Dynamic Websites, Web Programming, Website Migration, HTML to WordPress, UI Plugins, Apps, Web, jQuery Validation, jQuery DataTables, jQuery Plugins, Mailchimp API, Timepicker, Performance Analysis, Performance, Leadership, Team Leadership, Content Management Systems (CMS), jQuery CDN, Bootstrap, Bootstrap 3+, Bootstrap 3, Bootstrap 2, Git Forks, Git GUI, WPMU DEV, Website Performance, UI Testing, PHP 5, JavaScriptCore, SQL, Git, Google Maps, HTML5, Test-driven Development (TDD), PHPUnit, Google Maps API, jQuery Mobile, HTML5 APIs, CSS4, JavaScript 6, Divi, PHP 7, GitLab, User Experience (UX), Core PHP, Web Design, Web Forms, jQuery Easing, SQL Performance, Agile, Agile Software Development, Sass, Divi Builder 3, Debugging, HTML UI, Website Setup, Theme Customization, Forms, Web App Deployment, Blogging, Blog Development, Blog Posting, Website CMS, Plugins, PSD to HTML, Icon Fonts, Widgets, FontAwesome, Autocomplete, Atlassian Plugins, Intercom, Testing, PhpMyAdmin, Bitbucket, Intercom API, SFTP, FTP, Education, Training & Training Content Development, Training, Google Custom Search, Search, Mentorship, Sauce Labs, Ajax, MySQLi, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), On-page SEO, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), GitFlow, Teaching, Twitter API, Data, Typefaces, Layout, Blog Design, Layout Conversion, Rich Internet Applications, Web App Testing, Performance Optimization, MacBook, Icon Sets, @font-face, Conference Speaking, Cyberduck, MAMP, Adobe, Typekit, Photoshop CS3, Database Performance, Adobe Photoshop, Terminal, SCSS, SMACSS, Cron, Sublime Text 3, Postman, Class-based OOP, Sublime Text 2, Sublime Text, Photoshop 2014, Photoshop CC, Photoshop CS6, Public Speaking, Sketch, Booking, Taxonomy, PHP Performance, Performance Tuning, Performance Testing, Back-end Performance, Web Security, Secure Coding, Secure Web Development, Secure Code Best Practices, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Accessibility, SEO Tools, Yoast SEO, Google SEO, A11Y, HubSpot, Google Analytics API, Google Analytics
  • Developer

    2019 - 2021
    Kast Media, Inc
    • Developed a custom WordPress theme and managed the deployment of the new site.
    • Tracked performance, maintenance, and security status using a variety of enterprise-level systems.
    • Developed several custom WordPress plugins to integrate with third-party APIs such as Cloudflare, MailChimp, and Google reCAPTCHA.
    Technologies: PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, jQuery UI, CSS, Tailwind CSS, HTML, WordPress, WordPress API, WordPress Themes, WordPress Design, Figma, WordPress Plugins, Core Web Vitals
  • 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 nonprofit in Alaska, using vanilla CSS and JavaScript.
    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.
    • Graduated from the US Army Airborne School, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Infantry Mortar Leaders Course, and Ranger School.
    Technologies: Team Leadership, Leadership, Event Planning, Planning, Strategy, Operations, Logistics


  • Carnegie Melon University

    Created a custom WordPress site for the Carnegie Melon University Database Group. This site includes a custom WebGL animation on the homepage, various custom CMS components for the interior pages, and an API integration with the BibTeX academic research platform.

  • Bootstrap Official Online Store

    Led a refactoring and migration of the WordPress codebase for, the official online store for Bootstrap themes. I used PHP, MySQL, CSS, and JavaScript. My work significantly improved this popular website's stability, performance, and maintainability.

  • Speaker, WordCamp Portland, 2018

    I recently experienced the most significant honor of my professional career when I spoke at WordCamp Portland 2018. The topic of my speech was "To Dev or to Download," a discussion on the power and perils of third-party solutions.

  • Kast Media

    A WordPress website for Kast Media, a podcast network that produces a variety of popular shows, including The Sarah Silverman Program and The Fighter and the Kid. This website was based on a custom design and included a job board.

  • CSS-Tricks: Author Archive

    My author archive for, where I've written about interesting challenges and solutions I encounter in my work building WordPress plugins. At one point, I had authored more guest articles there than any other author.

  • A List Apart: Author Archive

    My author archive page for "A List Apart," where I had the honor of being published several years ago. "A List Apart" explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a particular focus on web standards and best practices.

  • Fantasy Footballers' Start or Sit Plugin

    Built a WordPress plugin to gather fantasy football ranking data from a Google Docs spreadsheet and output the results of player comparisons. This combines many professional WordPress plugin development aspects, including custom post types and post metadata.

  • Democracy Docket

    Wrote custom WordPress themes and plugins and managed the WordPress platform for the leading progressive media platform dedicated to providing information, opinion, and analysis about voting rights, elections, redistricting, and democracy.

  • 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 (AMP) format. This serves as the front end for a parent theme framework that now can easily escort thousands of live blogs and websites into becoming AMP-ready.

  • Cool Material PSD to WordPress

    Implemented a robust WordPress theme and several custom plugins for a boutique men's shopping blog. I integrated it with several third-party APIs, including the Google Analytics API in order to provide custom feedback on popular articles and authors.

  • Bananas: A WordPress Plugin Boilerplate for Mailchimp

    My ongoing, constantly improving WordPress plugin boilerplate for third-party API integrations, with the nominal example being for the Mailchimp API. I use this as a template for various WordPress/API projects.

  • Anchorage: A Responsive and Accessible WordPress Theme

    I wrote one of the few accessibility-ready WordPress themes for This theme was approved for inclusion on the WordPress site, which involves quite a rigorous review process for various best practices.

  • Dehydrated: A Photo-Blog Theme for WordPress

    My custom WordPress theme for sharing photos of dogs and skiers. This theme incorporates custom post meta for managing image EXIF data and also makes use of the jQuery Masonry.js plugin for the front-end display.

  • WP API Shortcode

    A shortcode plugin for auditioning the WP API. The WP API is a critical component for delivering modern websites and replaces several outdated approaches. However, many developers still are not familiar with it, so I wrote this simple demo tool.

  • 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.


  • Languages

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

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

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

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

    REST, SMACSS, Agile, Agile Software Development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), On-page SEO, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Test-driven Development (TDD), Testing, Class-based OOP, Secure Code Best Practices, Responsive Web Design (RWD)
  • Platforms

    WooCommerce, Web, WordPress, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Storage

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

    Web Design, Teaching
  • Other

    Booking, Front-end, eCommerce, Web Development, Training & Training Content Development, Performance Analysis, Performance Optimization, Icon Fonts, Sauce Labs, Taxonomy, Widgets, Education, Autocomplete, WPMU DEV, Ajax, Web Programming, Forms, FontAwesome, Performance, MacBook, Debugging, Data, Icon Sets, @font-face, Typefaces, Layout Conversion, Layout, Rich Internet Applications, Web App Testing, Blog Design, SFTP, FTP, Google Custom Search, Search, Web App Deployment, Blogging, Blog Development, Blog Posting, Websites, Website CMS, Website Setup, Website Migration, Dynamic Websites, Blogs, UI Testing, Mentorship, Writing & Editing, eCommerce Platforms, WordPress Design, Git Forks, Git GUI, GitFlow, Cloudflare, 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, Training, APIs, PSD to WordPress, Mailchimp API, Apps, Bootstrap UI, PSD to Bootstrap, Public Speaking, Conference Speaking, Content Management Systems (CMS), User Experience (UX), Technical Writing, Development, Team Leadership, Leadership, Event Planning, Planning, Strategy, Operations, Logistics, PHP Performance, Performance Tuning, Performance Testing, Back-end Performance, Web Security, Secure Coding, Secure Web Development, Accessibility, SEO Tools, Yoast SEO, Google SEO, A11Y, HubSpot, Core Web Vitals, Website Performance


  • 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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