I built my first website in 1996. I launched my first online business in 1998. We bought vintage clothes from Salvation Army and sold them online. “Checking out” sent me an email and I manually removed the item from the website. And then they sent me a check!
My career as a web developer has always been interlinked with entrepreneurship. For years I worked on SaaS apps during nights and weekends, while working for places like Cornell’s Medical College and Focus Features during the day. I started freelancing full-time around 2010, and it was mostly WordPress. Strangely, it didn’t occur to me to start building products for WordPress!
Thankfully in 2013, I went to WordCamp Atlanta, GA and realized that I’d been working with WordPress full-time for two years and could redirect my nights-and-weekends products into the WordPress space. I’ve been building plugins for and SaaS apps using WordPress every since.
My first product was a kanban board for WordPress. I sold that a few years ago. After that I focused mainly on the Social Link Pages plugin, a link-in-bio page builder. I sold that a couple months ago. Now I’m working on a new product called OMGIMG for editing featured images and generating OG images and images for socials, right inside WordPress.
What do you enjoy most about working in WordPress?
I really enjoy WordPress as a development platform, framework, and SaaS boilerplate. Sometimes it takes a bit of hacking, but I’ve rarely found something in WordPress I couldn’t build.
WordPress has also paid my bills for most of a decade. I always try to double down on the “winner” in tech (whichever platforms, libraries, and tech that become the most popular), and I feel so lucky that I started getting into WordPress when I did. We’ve grown together, and there’s always WordPress work.
But what I enjoy the most is the community and ecosystem. There’s a great mix of creativity and business, opportunity and growth. People are generally helpful, open, and I’ve met some of my favorite people at WordCamps. As I’ve struggled along my entrepreneurial journey, in particular, the conversations I’ve had and advice I’ve received have been invaluable.
What do you love most about your Post Status membership?
Speaking of community, conversation, and friends, Post Status has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made in myself. When I first joined, years ago, I wasn’t spending much time in forums or chatrooms, and I hadn’t yet really experienced the WordPress community. Over time, I went to WordCamps and meetups, and realized the same conversations were happening on Post Status. My eyes went wide. Ever since, I’ve done my best to at least check in regularly and participate as much as I have time for.
What business/web/WordPress advice do you have for others in our industry?
I’ve found the most success in connecting and staying connected with people. Nearly all of my work for years has come through word-of-mouth, friends, and colleagues I’ve stayed in touch with. Meetups, lunches, coffee dates, mastermind groups, WordCamps have all paid off, even if often the didn’t feel like it at the time.
This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.