Hey y’all, thanks for checking out my about page. I live in Arlington, VA (right outside of DC) and work as an independent Gatsby and WordPress developer.
That’s about all I’m up to right now. If you’re interested in the long, boring details of my web development career, keep reading.
How it all got started
It all got started when I began making websites in the late 90s. My first website was called Leland’s Basketball Page.
While the site’s web host, AOL Hometown, shut down in 2008, the site lives on inside the Wayback Machine.
Unfortunately, I was never able to live up to my dream of being a professional basketball player on account of just not being very good. Luckily I was able to fall back on another career.
My first domain flip
I bought my first domain, LXN.us, on June 26, 2005 for $5.95. I flipped it two days later for $12. A 200% ROI in 2 days wasn’t too shabby. At that point, I was hooked.
I bought and sold a few lone domains after that, but I soon began to realize that domain names developed into websites. So I brushed up on my on my HTML skills and started making websites.
My first (real) website
In July of 2005, I registered the domain HTMLintro.com, and decided to make a quick tutorial site on the basics of HTML. I ended up selling it for $75.
After buying domains, developing raw HTML/CSS/PHP sites on them, and selling them, I began to realize there was a more efficient way of developing sites: content management systems.
PHP Nuke, Mambo, Xoops, were all pieces of free, open source software that I experimented with, but none of them quite stuck with me.
There was one that did though.
The WordPress World
In 2007, I discovered a free, open source content management system called WordPress. Little did I know at the time, it would change my life.
My first WordPress website was a salsa recipe website. I wanted to display a random recipe on each page load, so I did a quick Google search for “how to display a random WordPress post,” found a quick snippet of code, implemented it on my site, and voila: a random salsa recipe on each page load.
The helpful community and readily available code snippets really hooked me in. With just a little bit of digging and some experimentation, I could do just about anything I wanted.
It was around this time I started experimenting with WordPress themes.
Theme Lab was a website I created back in 2007 to share my WordPress experiments. As I released several free WordPress themes and tutorials, it ended up getting quite popular. It became a source of recurring revenue for me through website advertising and consulting work.
I ended up selling it in late 2013, which you can read about it more detail on my Six Years of Theme Lab blog post.