Creating WordPress Websites For My Portfolio

Working on laptop

Hello there! After quite a while since my last post, it’s time to give a little update about what I’ve been working on lately. Today’s post is all about WordPress and how my last months have been with using it. Since my experience has been pretty great so far, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

In a previous post, I already discussed some of my favourite advantages of using WordPress for building websites. Today it’s a bit more personal, based on more recent experience.

If you’re into web development and are thinking about how to get things going, give WordPress some thought. It’s not for everyone, but so far I’ve been happy with it – and that’s why you’re reading this right now!


How did I start using WordPress?

Ever since I first started to learn how to code and become a web developer, I’ve been learning new languages and technologies in phases. It all started with a heavily Python-ized phase. I wanted to focus on just one programming language and learn the basics thoroughly before jumping into the next one.

After that, phases with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript followed suit. This was probably the time when my learning curve was climbing at its steepest so far! And once I got the hang of the holy trinity of web development it was time to combine all of those and start creating proper websites. I wanted to bring them all under one roof, one way or the other.

And that’s when WordPress happened!

I started by creating a website for myself (thanks for visiting!) and immediately began generating all these ideas what I could use the framework for in the future. Before I knew it, there were a dozen potential portfolio projects lined up in my mind! And since I really wanted to start working on putting together a nice portfolio of different sorts of websites, I discovered WordPress just at the right time.

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Why does WordPress work so well for me?

With WordPress, I suddenly had a framework where I could build entire websites and make use of my skills in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all at the same time. Moreover, I’m learning PHP and jQuery, too. So I didn’t have to ditch my old buddies to make a new friend. Instead, they are all invited to play with us!

I’ll have to start by saying that WordPress isn’t a magic tool you can use to create fantastic websites in the blink of an eye. It is still an entire website you’re building, as in a complete project from start to finish. What makes WordPress so great, though, is that it offers you great tools for managing that project more efficiently.

Hence I feel like WordPress provides my website projects with more structure and consistency. And by consistency I don’t mean that all web pages look the same – since this is something WordPress is often criticised about.

And as with coding in general, from time to time I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall with WordPress, too. But the vast community around it guarantees that you’ll always find an answer to your questions. Someone has most probably dealt with the same problems already before you.

Also, the popularity of WordPress has resulted in a plethora of extensions, plugins, and themes. They will let you create a website just the way you want to, for any purpose.

Laptop on table

What did I create so far?

So far I’ve managed to start quite a few website projects and made some good progress on each one of them. Ranging from private, personal home pages to bigger companies, my little projects have included such works as

  • a portfolio site for a photographer
  • a real estate management company
  • a travel blog
  • a moving company
  • a coffee shop
  • a hair and beauty salon
  • a small online shop
  • etc…

And I’m only getting started! Considering I’ve put all this together while having a full-time job (and a life), it’s been quite an achievement for myself.

However, I still feel like most of them need some finishing touches before I upload them into my portfolio here. Stay tuned!

Laptop Code

What’s next?

Thanks to its versatility and flexibility, WordPress really does a fantastic job at catering for all sorts of website projects. There are so many themes and plugins to choose from (and plenty of free ones!) that you will always find a suitable solution for what you’re building.

It’s so easy to start daydreaming and thinking about what I’d like to start working on next. The possibilities are pretty much endless with WordPress. I often get inspired by a small shop or a café I walk past, thinking about layouts, colours, and typefaces I’d use for their website.

Sadly, the number of hours per day is somewhat of a constraining factor as always. Therefore, I just need to pick the projects and ideas I’ll learn most out of.

Summing it all up

When it comes to the learning curve, you can learn the basics pretty easily. But ultimately, WordPress is still a challenging framework to master. It’s not a shortcut, but rather a roadmap, especially for projects with more complex modules and structures.

All in all, I’d say WordPress is a fun, powerful tool that makes managing your website projects a lot easier. Hence managing them, not finishing them! Creating a web page is still a big deal even though the framework offers helpful tools for it.

In other words, it’s possible for a single developer to construct complex websites more efficiently with WordPress. This saves time and resources for both the client and the developer – it’s a win-win!

Of course, when you use a framework such as WordPress, you simultaneously give up a portion of the control to the framework itself. Thus, you become dependent of other parties. However, so far the pros have outweighed the cons in my case – by far!

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or contact me directly anytime! If you liked what you read, share the post so others can discover it, too. And as always, let me know if you have questions or ideas on your mind!

Toodles!

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  • Ferry To Ireland

    Hey Mikke 🙂 I’m wondering how many hours you’ve spent so far for all your experiences in building web pages? And what is your personal recommendation about getting started-I mean- is it necessary to start with a beginners programm or can you just start by using WordPress straight away? Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    Cheers

    Ferry

    • Mikke

      Hi Ferry! I first started by learning about the tools and programming languages that power WordPress in the background before actually starting to use the framework itself. Now, after hundreds of (fun!) hours of coding and practicing, I’m splitting my time roughly 50:50 between learning and creating, which seems to work pretty well so far.

      Surely you could learn everything as you go if you wish to dive right into creating something with WordPress, but it definitely speeds things up and makes things more interesting if you know some HTML, CSS, JavaScript and at least the basics of PHP first 🙂

      Give WordPress a go straight away and pair it with a basic HTML/CSS course online, for instance?

      Cheers, Mikke