Working with Words and with WordPress: A Career Path

Technology

When I graduated from university, I didn’t imagine that my career would involve working on websites. However, I’ve found the work to be useful and satisfying.

 
I also work as an editor and writer, and in many ways, the three things – writing, editing, and web/content management – require the same skills: focus and attention to detail. So how did I get here, and what about my path can be instructive to others reading this post?
 
 
Bringing Editing and Web Design Together
 
I started learning about web design over a decade ago when I was in high school. Nothing fancy, mind you – just the basics like how to code links, lists, and bold text in HTML. Tacky as Geocities and Angelfire were back in the day, they offered a great way for beginners to learn about HTML code.
 
Over the years, I graduated to using other services until I settled on WordPress in 2006. For the first few years, I hosted my website on www.wordpress.com until I decided to move on to something more professional in 2009.
 
This is where the editing side of things comes in. In 2008, I enrolled in Ryerson University’s book publishing program and learned more about the publishing industry. A year into the program, I realized that I wanted to become a freelance writer/editor, and joined the Editors’ Association of Canada. I also decided to set up a website on my own domain. Being familiar with the shared-hosting version at WordPress.com, I switched to the self-hosted version offered by WordPress.org instead.
 
The learning curve was steep, but after taking the time to read instructions online, I became familiar with WordPress’s ins and outs. I even tried my hand at creating some themes, and found that I enjoyed doing that too. And thus, the trifecta was complete: I decided to add WordPress to my list of services since I liked fiddling with its innards so much.
 
Since then, I’ve learned about other aspects of building websites, like maintaining security and managing content. Both my knowledge of editing and my knowledge of websites have come in handy.
 
 
Tips for Building Your Own Website
 
So what’s the takeaway here? If you’re considering setting up your own website, keep these things in mind:
 
  • Most people can learn to use WordPress if they’re willing to take the time. It’s helpful to know HTML, but you’ll get by if you don’t.
  • Openness to learning is essential. Proper backups are equally essential (so you can undo any mistakes).
  • Getting a free account from WordPress.com is an excellent way to learn the ropes before you plunge into hosting a WordPress website on your own domain.
 
If you want to learn more, this guide will tell you what you need to know to set up a WordPress website. Along with information about the various types of websites you can run, it also lists what resources you need to get your own site up and running.
 
 
About the author
 

Christina Vasilevski is a writer, editor, and WordPress designer based in Toronto, Canada. She is a member of both the Editors’ Association of Canada and the webmaster for the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. She is also a self-taught WordPress junkie who now installs and designs sites for others. She recently attended WordCamp TO 2012, and is happy to answer questions from other writers and editors about how to build and manage WordPress websites. You can learn more about her by visiting www.christinavasilevski.com or by tweeting @cvasilevski.