You, Me and WP

imagesTomorrow, May 27th, WordPress turns 10. I turn 36, that’s not the point. (I’m not having a birthday party, since if all goes well, I’ll be on a plane going home, but that’s another story.)

Many people have been posting about when they started using WordPress and so on, so I thought I’d post my memories too.

Back in 1998, I was updating a story I wrote about my grandmother, Taffy, and had emailed all my relatives for information. That quickly became crazy, so I looked at my webhost (SimpleNet) and used their one-clicker to install b2, so I could have anyone in my family make an account and post a story. In the end, they all emailed me anyway, so I took the site down, typed it all up in MS Word, printed it, bound it, and presented it to Taffy on her birthday.

By the early 2000s, I had a ‘blog’ that I updated by hand and in 2002 I deleted it all and installed Moveable Type. In 2004, May 13th lives in infamy as the day MT went and crippled the free version. At the time, I was using a couple features that were going away, so I just kept using the old one until I was hacked. Of course. So then I looked around and found WordPress.

The first version of WordPress I used was Mingus (aka version 1.2). I installed it with Fantastico, right after moving to LiquidWeb, and got down to blogging and fiddling around. At this point, I probably would have stayed a user if it wasn’t for CSI. But I get ahead of myself.

In 2004, I reinvented the Taffy site as Taffy’s! and now anyone can submit a story about Taffy (if you’ve met her and haven’t, please do). I had multiple sites, even a WPMU blog for a gaming group (after having played with PHPNuke and other strange things). I used it for a NaNoWriMo story one year.

But CSI… I had been manually running my fansite, Jorja Fox: Online, with 100% handwritten code, since the late 90s. Even the galleries. Current me is horrified to think of the security holes! As CSI aired every week, and Jorja had a lot of news going on in 2004, and with a new episode every week, I broke down and installed … Gallery2. In 2007, I installed Invision Power Board and MediaWiki. This is where I started coding stuff using real code and not the crap I came up with on my own.

WordPress seriously entered the game mid 2007 (right before Jorja quit CSI, much to my amusement), and it might have died a little there, except that things were starting to get really fun with WordPress. Version 2.1.2 was overkill for what I needed, but as soon as I opened up comments, things went through the roof. I actually crashed my server with too much traffic and had to use LiveJournal for a few months while I figured it all out.

It’s been just over six years since then, and I’ve gone from casual WP user to editing core idiot and now to hip and groovy WordPress Developer, Support Miester, and Half-Elf Support Rogue.

I wish the story was better sometimes, but WordPress is something I fell into out of happenstance, and stayed with out of a strange, unexplained, affinity for the software. It’s 100% true that WordPress totally changed my life last year, when I started working for DreamHost.  I totally dig the work I do, who I work for, and what I get to do. I’m happy, I like where I live and my coworkers (not that I didn’t before… You know what I mean). It’s probably not so much the software as the people. Like Andrea and Jen and Helen and Pete who all told me “Yes, you can!” And Otto, who randomly hands me keys to things. And Nacin, who has yet to throttle me for weird questions.

Just look on the ‘WordPress Credits’ page and everyone there, at one point or another, as inspired me.

Thank you. All of you.


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