My dive into the world of WordPress came back in 2012 when a friend and I were looking to start a small business here in the Cleveland area. Once the initial planning was completed and we had an idea of how we were going to operate, I felt we needed to have a website, like any business should. Not knowing anything about creating websites, I did some research on Google for “how to create a website”. After reading tons of discussion forums and blog posts, I kept seeing people recommend something called WordPress. Looking back, there were some who suggested the hosted version, WordPress.com, but I was clueless so I didn’t know there was an easier way to go. I wound up on WordPress.org, downloading the zip file and fumbling through instructional blog posts and YouTube videos trying to figure out how to do what I wanted to do. Being the complete novice that I was, I didn’t realize that my first major accomplishment was installing WordPress locally. I thought that installing MAMP was something that was required to use WordPress and not something for local development only. At the time, I had no idea how much headache lied ahead in trying to get what I built on the actual internet.
After a couple weeks of torture, I finally gave up on trying to migrate my site to my HostGator server and decided to start over. Once I figured out how to change my domain’s DNS, create a subdomain in cPanel, and install WordPress using a tool they provided called Fantastico De Luxe, I had a live site to work with, avoiding any hassle of migration.
Essentially, my first experience with WordPress sucked and I pretty much wrote WordPress off for any future website needs. Later on down the road, though, through the help of my wife’s soon-to-be brother in law (who is a computer guy and was much more tech savvy than me at the time), I saw that there was much more to WordPress than I thought was possible. I learned that there were really nice looking themes that actually made my site look good (my initial site was such garbage that I can’t even say it had a “design”). Once I saw that cool stuff could be done with WordPress, I was hooked.
Fast forward a couple years, I am still hooked (even more today) on WordPress. It’s not just what I do for a living now, it’s also my favorite hobby. I absolutely love what I do. In fact, I love it so much, I quit a $20/hour job that I loathed to pursue it full-time. Since I started with WordPress, I’ve learned HTML, CSS, PHP, and other coding languages. I’ve learned and mastered concepts that were enough to make my head spin not too long ago. I now know the WordPress UI like the back of my hand. In addition, I’ve learned a lot of other important things, such as business practices, SEO practices, how to think like a developer, and more. My foray into WordPress has made me a better thinker, a smarter person, and given me a valuable skill. Most importantly, I have found something I love doing and gives me great joy.