How did you become interested in becoming a webmaster, designer, or developer?

Share your experience on how you got into creating websites, no matter what kind of webmaster you are. Was it something you stumbled upon, or were you assigned into a job? What was your first website like, and what did you learn from it? Did it lead you to go on to better things? What do you do now– code, design, blog?

This is a post for discussion. Use the commenting section to tell your story, and include what you’ve learned, and what you’d like to learn or become in the future.

My Story

I discovered web design by an old domain called Peachie.nu. I was inspired by Jess’s enthusiasm with web design and development, and learned the basics of what I know now from her tutorials. Her website isn’t up anymore, but rather is redirected to her portfolio where she is a full-time graphic designer.

I had a bunch of “first sites”– none of them really doing a whole lot. My first real site was StrawberriSoda.net, when I was only 12 years old. It was a graphic and resource site, even though all the graphics were terrible. I was a little girl obsessed with Sleeping Co from Barunson, so all of my layouts were based off of that cartoon.

As the years went on, I got more into the coding side, and started learning PHP on my own. It became my secretive geeky side, apart from all my friends and family. I owned many more websites as I grew up, each one getting better, and each one reflecting a different aspect of myself growing up. I seemed to go through a grungy phase, girly phase, rock-start phase, and more recently a more professional phase. They were all personal domains with some graphics attached, but I could never really stay dedicated so they all died out eventually. When I came to college finally, my web designing days subsided as I began to major in Computer Science, and focused on more programming.

This last summer is when I decided to stay dedicated to a domain, and formed Webitect.net. With true dedicated I’ve gotten to where I am today with this domain. I’ve also been practicing a new found interest in the business side of website creation: SEO, marketing techniques, and researching how to create effective design, content, and become an active part in the blogosphere.

In the future I want to become a much more experienced programming. Sounds geeky, but I feel it could really help me get a lot of what I’m looking for out of my designs. I’d love to learn more object-oriented PHP, techniques with jQuery, and how to build overall better WordPress Themes. I want to finish my degree, and eventually become a freelancer in the field of web development, design, and blogging.

Share your Experiences

This is for any level of webmasters, and for any type. Share what you’ve learned and what goals you want to accomplish in this field, either professionally or as a hobby.


Written By Kayla

Kayla Knight is a 20 year old college student, part-time web developer, freelancer, and blogger. Webitect is where she spends too much of her freetime, sharing interesting finds and valuable resources. Be sure to check out her portfolio.

14 Comments

  1. gail

    May 1st, 2009 at 08:41 am

    i became a webmiss becuz i’m really addicted with internet. I guess. ahhm, I googling about how can I make websites and stuff. I started with free blogs. And, yah. I dont have any idea with HTML and FTP then. Even simple codings. No idea. Then.. I am a member in candymag online. Than there’s this blogger awards chuva. They have it per year. So, that’s how I became interested with blogging. =)

  2. Swetlana

    May 2nd, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Hehe yeah I just check his blog for some ideas. I don’t follow his 31DBBB challenge thingy. But I visit his site on a regular basic. He is a really great blogger!

  3. claire

    May 3rd, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I remeber I wanted a website since I was 9 years old :) I don’t remember exact specifics but I went through my freewebs period with 4 or 5 sites and then settled for being hosted :) I was immediately drawn to the art side too :) I don’t really want to do it much for anything except for getting more friends :D

  4. Aaron

    May 4th, 2009 at 02:36 pm

    Wow, how interesting. My first domain was retorblast.info and I’ve only been in the webdesign scene for a year :O Wow, its going to be a year this month, really. Retroblast.info will be expiring in June :( My first domain everrrrr. Eh, I’ll see whatever happens, happens! I actually started off with FreeWebs: RetroFunk!

  5. Cara Jo Miller

    May 5th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Age 13, 1997. It was a snow day and I was at home alone, sitting on my computer. I wanted to learn how to make websites because I thought the people that did it were either really cool, super smart, or rich. I remember doing to http://www.lissaexplains.com/ which is where I learned a little HTML and CSS (before I new it was called CSS lol!). I think my first web site was about Pokemon.

    Ever since then I’ve always wanted to learn how to do stuff on the web. I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t learn it then I never would have!

  6. Tom - Twitter Backgrounds

    May 5th, 2009 at 05:44 pm

    I became interested when I was about 16 looking for websites on entrepreneurship and a lot of them were saying to get online…so i did :D

  7. Hilde

    May 11th, 2009 at 04:40 am

    My first website was at imonline.nl, a profile site. I was ten/eleven. Imonline was very populair back then. A lot of people from my school had it, and I want it too. My parents wanted me to have a website, so I made one secretly, named after my cat. It was an ugly website with an ugly background and a lot of ‘funny’ pictures and information about myself. At Imonline there were a lot of people who had layouts and stuff, and then I went on to Freewebs, then I got a subdomain and now I have won my very own domain! :P

  8. Hilde

    May 11th, 2009 at 04:41 am

    LOL I can’t type, it should be: “and I wanted it too. My parents didn’t want me to”

  9. Andrew

    June 4th, 2009 at 03:44 pm

    The first ever ‘programming’ I did was roughly when I was 7, making a website in textpad. It was bad. As in, it was two pages, with four links. I gave up because I lacked the attention span. After that, I gave up on programming until I was ten. Now, roughly ten years after my first try, I decided to try out web programming, after having done extensive desktop programming. Since about two months ago, I’ve sped through it all, and I’m working on a project of my own. I spent about a month just reading blogs and sites like this one beforehand, trying to catch up on theory and other knowledge. My one major problem is the visual design – my artistic side, at least in that sense, is majorly lacking at this point. Hence, I read blogs like Webitect.

  10. Stephen Metcalfe

    June 30th, 2009 at 04:03 am

    I started out with website development in 1996, when my then-boss gave me a print-out of the HTML 3.2 reference guide (several hundred pages worth), and told me to go and create a site for the company. Armed with the guide, Windows 3.11 and Notepad, off I went. From there I created my own site (GeoCities), as well as a site for a group of friends. By the time I volunteered to redo the next company website (for my then-current employer) I new I wanted to do this as a career. I applied for the next webmaster position I saw, got it, and moved into the field. I learned ASP, found a position as a web dev, and have gone from strength to strength since then (ASP.Net, Java, PHP) as a developer, while more recently pushing the client side – both dev and design. I’m primarily a coder, strong in SEO-friendly code and web standards, but I can HTML-ise a PSD well enough to add that to my portfolio. ;)

  11. John Nerush

    June 30th, 2009 at 09:02 am

    Very similar story to yours Kayla, “trying” to be an active member of a gaming forum (Delta Force Barracks) i discovered these awesome little graphic signatures, desperatly wanted to learn how to make them.

    After getting a copy of photoshop 7 and learning i was a sig designer on 2 forums and eventually became a sig designer at thesigsite.com (now dead) that was run by a guy called Rameen i think, who now owns a fairly sucessful hosting company (innohosting).

    After signatures i went onto basic photoshop sliced and exported html sites, all text was embedded into images and were terrible but i kept a firm interest, went through college and my skills grew. After one summer break i must have done somthing right that summer as my designs improoved 10 fold and i could now code in html (table layouts) with text off the images!

    I learnt how to use CSS with HTML from a friend i was living with. Designs constantly getting better and then went down the road of SEO, Javascript etc. Started learning PHP and got my first paid web server.

    The rest as they say is history.

    Now almost 7 years on from when i started ive had 1 fulltime design job for nearly 2 years and now this job for 6 months as a web designer where my tasks include mockup design, XHTML CSS rendering and all the bits that go with it. I also spend alot of my free time to work with freelance clients.

    My next major goal is to setup and run my own site sucesfully without loosing interest or motivation to keep it going. I would also like to learn how to spell correctly as my spelling and grammar are terrible, good job it makes no difference when designing “most of the time” hehe.

    Great site webitect, only found it last week and have found it to be alot of help.

  12. Katie

    July 30th, 2009 at 02:06 pm

    When I was in middle school, the band Hanson was kind of a big deal, and I was very into them. This was also about the time my family got the internet, and that meant I devoted a lot of my spare time to researching everything I could possibly find out about them on the internet…and then boasting about all of my knowledge to my obviously jealous friends. The upside of this awkward pre-teen obsession is that I met a lot of girls my age (12-13) who were running their own fan websites and really getting into design as a result.

    I started my first website over Christmas break when I was 13 and I’ve been doing it pretty much ever since. I obviously graduated beyond Hanson fan sites (and beyond angelfire and table-based html layouts), but I still give a lot of credit to that group of teenage girls for providing the support, encouragement and in many cases the resources and skills to do web design and to develop a passion for it.

  13. Bene

    October 10th, 2009 at 01:28 pm

    I’ve started when I was 7 I think. I always love to draw stuff, so I think my basics on design were just right there : drawing. My fascination for monsters, creatures from other worlds and mostly TERROR drawings was my first start on this. I started with design on computers when I was 16, I start to make websites for friends, videogame communities and stuff like that. Mostly HTML and more stuff, the trends of those times. Then I got a job in a newspaper making the website and making the newspaper. That’s how I got the passion for magazine/newspaper layout, since then I’ve been working non-stop in all kinds of magazines/newspapers from my country. Meanwhile I’ve been doing a lot of web-design, but I don’t know if I am good at it as other people think, but since I’ve discovered so many tricks and tips, I think this is more challenging than making magazines, so I started myself as a freelancer making websites, let’s see how it goes :)

    Your entire blog is really nice to read. Regards from Argentina

  14. Tchalvak

    October 17th, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Cool stories, makes me Nostalgic.

    I started during or at the same time as a webdesign class in my highschool, gave me the ever-so-basics, and I just learned on my own from there, creating my first website, a little like http://nxs.vze.com (the latest incarnation of my own personal website) but much worse, and doing another website for myself, and another, again and again, improving a little each time. After a while I fell in with a friend doing php on the browser-based game http://ninjawars.net , and just kept doing programming and doing programming on my own time until (with the help of the same friend) I was able to break through into actually programming as my profession. And what I great thing that is. Now I work from home all day for people in Las Vegas. It’s a pretty relaxed life.

    And now; distributed version control. The latest breakthrough in my lifecycle of web building, and so necessary as a programmer (and certainly beneficial for webdesign in general). Nothing like pulling my code down from a place like github.com, making changes, and then being able to roll back to that change 3 days later on my other machine.