a landscape photo of david and Lisa talking, both walking away from the camera in a prairie field toward a lake surrounded by trees

Day 11: #WP20 From Blogs to Blocks

Prompt 11/20 Blog: WordPress was launched 20 years ago on May 27, 2003. Share a memory, a picture, or tell us a story about where you were in 2003. (If you weren’t born yet, tell us that too.)


On 27 May 2003 I was about to make a move. Right now I live near Orlando, Florida, and I’ve been here since June 2003. A week prior though, when WordPress first officially launched, I was still in Kansas, still in high school, and still more socially inept and awkward than I am now. And I was closeted to everybody, desperately trying to hide a shameful secret.

Moving was not an uncommon experience for me, though I didn’t know a the time that it was going to be my last major move for a good long while. It’s exciting to see new places, but it also means big changes. For me I was ready for a change, as I didn’t have much in the way of interpersonal attachments to worry about, just one good friend and lots of bad memories to let go of (see socially inept and awkward above).

I went to a new school, made some new friends, learned more about myself, and finally came out to some people around me, to mixed results. I found a group of queers that I overall gelled with, and ended up staying in Florida for college, where I found even more connections that have altered my life permanently for the better.

Oh, I was also building websites already! Sure, they were super basic, both with the technology of the time and my skill level, but they were fun to craft by hand. I learned a bit of Perl and CGI for interactivity, but they were mainly pure HTML with lots of graphics and cringeworthy text. I wasn’t yet using JavaScript or PHP, but thankfully I dipped my toes into both before finding a CMS.

It took me five more years to find WordPress, and three more years after that to discover the WordPress Community. But those stories have plenty of other days to be covered.