And so, it begins!

The first post on my new portfolio site.

It’s spring break, we’re all on covid-19 lockdown, and I’m working on getting my Web Application Developer certificate from Edmonds Community College. So, what am I going to do? Build my own WordPress based website to show off my talents, of course!

Sorry. I made that sound simple. Well, it’s simpler than using Joomla!, and way simpler than writing it all by scratch in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But, it’s not a slam dunk either. It took some planning and effort. I wanted this to be my first home office server site. If I’m to focus on freelancing and contracting, I need to do it right.

First, I repurposed my wife’s desktop computer and turned it into my webserver. It was time to stop using my laptop or iMac for development AND hosting. I performed a full Windows 10 refresh, did all the system updates, removed anything resembling a desktop application, and configured the security settings. That took two full days.

Next, I downloaded and installed XAMPP as the web host, which took less than an hour. I then spent the next two hours trying to figure out why I couldn’t ping or access the server from my other computers. Good old Windows defaults to turning off the printer and file sharing on a refresh. After enabling I was back in business. I installed Splashtop for remote access to give me control from my desktop, followed by a fresh download and install of WordPress. This ate up another day.

Now for the actual website design. Have you ever lost four hours of your day scanning through and selecting which WordPress theme you wanted to use? Well, I have! Finally settled on the free Twentyseventeen theme from the WordPress site itself. I like the clean and simple look and feel. Then I mapped out the website layout in OneNote. I gotta say, OneNote is my second brain. For writing, working, and living life in general, I rely on OneNote for keeping track of just about everything. It runs on all of my computers and devices, and I’m an outline freak. Here is my initial site design, which will continue to grow as I make changes to the site:

Now I’m on my fourth day of this “easy” website design and I’m building the content, of which this first post is a part of. To do this all from scratch would have taken me weeks. But, I will say that having underlying knowledge of HTML5, CSS3, SQL, and JavaScript has been very helpful when needing to make adjustments to the site and the theme. I love how easy it is to get under the hood in WordPress itself, but I also love making changes in Microsoft’s Visual Code.

So, I’m expecting this entire project from beginning to implementation to take a full week by the time I get it onto my office host, test it, and then migrate it to my ISP at And that will leave me a full week of writing and marketing before school starts again.

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