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From BBSs to WordPress: Celebrating 20 Years of WordPress and My Journey through the Digital Landscape

As we mark the 20th anniversary of WordPress, I can’t help but look back on my journey through the evolving digital landscape. It’s a path that began not with a website, but with a Bulletin Board System (BBS) and continued through PHPNuke, osCommerce, Joomla, cPanel, and Cloudways, finally bringing me to the world of WordPress and cloud hosting.

The Humble Beginnings

My first foray into the digital world was not a website but a BBS. For those too young to remember, a BBS, or Bulletin Board System, was a precursor to the modern internet. It served as an online meeting place for communities of the first: hackers, phone phreaks, and gamers. It was a global commune where geeks from all walks of life could connect, share ideas, and collaborate. This was my first taste of the power of online communities, and I was instantly hooked.

Entering the World of Digital Music

As the digital music revolution was beginning, in 2003, I started one of first digital record labels. To get started, I used PHP-Nuke and osCommerce (Osc2Nuke), two early open-source platforms. This introduced me to the power of Open Source CMSs and the growth of e-commerce.

The Joomla Era

By the mid-2000s, I was captivated by a newly forked content management system called Joomla. I was so enamored with Joomla that I started a theme and plugin club. This resulted in dedicating my time and energy to creating tools to make the internet and Joomla better for everyone. It also created a six-figure development company within three months of incorporating. My success and commitment to the Joomla community propelled me up the community ladder. I soon found myself on the Board of Open Source Matters, where I was instrumental in Joomla’s future.

Speaking Out and Moving on Up

My journey with Joomla opened doors to opportunities beyond development. I started speaking at hosting and open source conferences like HostingCon, WordCamps and Joomla World Conference’s. This opened my eyes to the growth happening in open-source and changed my focus from a Joomla evangelist to an open-source evangelist. This led to a position on the cPanel Marketing team. At cPanel I created world-class events and field marketing initiatives and helped to launch the WordPress toolkit for cPanel.

After close to two decades in development, I began to shift towards management. In 2021, I joined Cloudways as Senior Manager of WordPress, where I used my knowledge and experience to drive the company’s WordPress initiatives.

Enter the WordPress Years

Over the past few years, my focus has been primarily on WordPress and WordPress hosting. I’ve volunteered for the WordCamp US programming team and joined the WordPress Diverse Speaker Team. This had me sharing my experiences and knowledge with an ever-growing community of WordPress users.

Currently, my work is centered on marketing and business development. I’m passionate about making WordPress accessible to as many people as possible and helping businesses leverage the power of WordPress.

Looking to the Future

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of WordPress, I can’t help but feel excitement for the next decade. The past two decades have been a whirlwind of innovation, growth, and community building. 

Looking forward, I am eager to continue contributing to the evolution of WordPress, cloud hosting, and the digital landscape.

Here’s to the next decade of WordPress and the countless stories yet to be written.

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