In 2007, I was working as a project manager at an architectural firm. I found myself frequently bored at work, so I decided to blog.
After a brief stint on Blogger, I moved to WordPress.
At the time, WordPress was strictly known as a blogging platform—which was what I needed. Of course, times have changed, but more on that later.
I spent hours looking for a free WordPress theme—because that’s all there was in the early days. I landed on one that I felt would be a good foundation for my blog, so I installed it.
It didn’t take more than a few minutes of perusing the code for me to realize that I was about to get my hands dirty. With the help of Google and a few other resources, I taught myself how to hack CSS and make my blog look the way I wanted.
A few months of writing about personal stuff quickly pivoted to a content strategy that centered itself around what I was learning with WordPress. It came as a bit of a surprise just how much I enjoyed tinkering with code and experimenting with CSS.
Fast forward a few more months and I had completely rebuilt the theme I had started with and made it available on my blog to download.
With the rise of traffic came activity such as comments, theme customization requests, and an increase in exposure to my personal brand.
Then it happened. A rejected freelance project turned into this:
The Original Revolution
I won’t get into all of the details; you can read more about the story here. The short version is that I created “Revolution”—the first theme ever to be sold, and arguably the genesis of the premium WordPress theme market.
Since then, a lot has changed.
WordPress is now the most popular online publishing platform, currently powering more than 33% of the web.
StudioPress, the artist formerly known as Revolution, merged into Copyblogger Media, and WP Engine acquired it this past year. The team moved over, as did Mike McAlister and John Parris with the acquisition of Array Themes and Atomic Blocks.
The StudioPress team is currently hitting on all cylinders, and the addition of product managers and further investment into the engineering of the product suite consisting of Genesis, themes, and plugins are at an all-time high.
I couldn’t be any prouder, and the brand I created more than a decade ago is, without a doubt, in capable hands. (Huge props to Matt Lawrence for leading us through the transition and managing our engineering team.)
My current role with WP Engine allows me to do other things—that’s the beauty of being a contractor. I still enjoy the time I spend with the StudioPress team, mainly serving as a product and community evangelist.
I am fortunate to have the ability to do two things I love: writing and designing. My passion for creating themes still exists, and last month we proudly released Revolution Pro.
Revolution Pro, paired with our Atomic Blocks plugin and our One-Click Demo Install, delivers a more modular, easy to use, and much more straightforward setup experience—way better than it ever has been.
The Entrepreneurial Itch
From the early days of Revolution to the current days here at StudioPress, a few things have never changed: my desire to create and my heart for building community are stronger than they have ever been
At the beginning of this year, we launched Authentik Studio—a design and development agency. We build beautiful websites for creators and small businesses, using WordPress and the Genesis Framework.
It’s fun looking back at the early days when I created the original Revolution. WordPress—and the Internet as a whole—has changed so much over the years, and I have loved playing a role in that.
My vision for Authentik started more than three years ago. I am excited about the plans we have for Authentik Studio and look forward to sharing more about that soon. I’ll be sharing things such as the rediscovery of my freelance roots and the experience of using tools that I’ve helped build for years.
I often ponder something that my colleague, Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine said, “There are many founding moments in the history of a company.”
I am 100% confident that WP Engine was the right choice to take over and lead the next season of StudioPress. I am thrilled to be a part of that, and also am thankful for the opportunity to build something new within the community that I love.
For more on Authentik, I invite you to follow our blog as I write about my journey and share lessons I have learned as a creative entrepreneur, the founder of StudioPress, and partner of a web design and development agency. If you’d like to keep up with my journey which I’ll be chronicling on the StudioPress blog, subscribe below!