It all started with Neopets.
The earliest memory I have of learning how to code and design involves my first love, Neopets. Neopets was an online game where you could own a virtual pet and play games for Neopoints. There was also online communities called Guilds, which were essentially, fan sites where teens could connect and chat about similar interests. For example, Disney bands and famous celebrities. My favorite part was designing the layouts. Check out some of my old Neopets guild designs below.
I would spend hours in Paint Shop Pro cutting out pictures of top models and celebrities to piece the perfect layout together, then I would upload it onto the webpage and tweak the HTML/CSS to get it to look and function exactly how I wanted it. It was the best hobby ever.
That hobby stayed with me all throughout the days of Piczo websites and custom Myspace profiles.
While everyone kept to a standard template, I had to customize and make it my own. Luckily, staring at blocks of code didn’t scare me away, and designing beautiful and unique layouts made me feel like I was somehow telling a story.
I enjoyed doing it, but it never occurred to me that I could do something like this as a career, so it always remained a side hobby.
Then I discovered Dreamweaver.
Fast forward and I’m in college pursing my degree in Digital Communication. As part of a group project, we had to build a website from scratch using Dreamweaver. Taking everything I knew from my good old Neopets days and new stuff I had learned, I blew my team away with this:
Pretty ugly right – it was actually one of the good ones in the class!
It sparked old memories and definitely sharpened up my HTML and CSS skills, but oh was it a pain. I really enjoyed creating it, but if building and managing websites through Dreamweaver was this labor intensive, I didn’t want to mess with it.
I needed something that made it easy to build beautiful websites as well as manage them as my passion for design grew.
Then I realized WordPress was the answer.
I bought my first domain, blovesdesign.com, and tried to set up a portfolio website to showcase my work to potential employers after I graduated college. I downloaded a pre-made theme to help get me started.
It didn’t take long for me to want to change the theme, add to it and make it my own. I tore the pre-made theme apart and taught myself how to restructure it into my own design.
Eventually, I was able to design a website that looked exactly how I wanted it. I even decided to offer “Customized WordPress Theme” as a design service on my website. At that time, I was looking for any and every opportunity for more web design work.
It wasn’t until after I graduated that I realized how many opportunities there were for someone like me. As serendipity would have it, my friend reached out to me about transferring her website over to WordPress and re-designing it for her online business.
I loved every bit of the creative process, and in the end, we created something beautiful and truly valuable for her business.
My biggest struggle was working with a pre-made theme that was developed by another designer because the theme was never flexible enough to change the layout or add new functionalities.
Having the freedom to change layouts and add new functionalities to WordPress themes was essential, especially since I had planned to start working with clients to design custom websites for their business.
Then I started designing with Divi.
With Divi, I could build an entire website from the ground up without limitations on design or functionality, plus my clients could easily manage their own content.
Divi kick-started my web design business and eventually led me to become an expert Divi Designer. Now, I exclusively design with Divi and encourage my clients to have Divi be the main framework for their WordPress websites.
Check out this post: 12 Reasons Why Divi Is The Only WordPress Theme You’ll Ever Need.
Here are some featured Divi websites.
Now, I specialize in designing websites with the Divi theme.
My web design business has grown over the years, and I am confident knowing that I have the creative freedom to build a truly customized website for my clients using the Divi theme. Not to mention, my clients are happy because they are able to take control over their own website as well. Whenever content needs to be updated or a simple page needs to be added, they can easily navigate through Divi’s user-friendly interface, use the designs that I’ve already created, and make changes on their own.
I also encourage web designers to design with Divi because the design possibilities are truly endless. It will take your web design business to the next level.
If you’re a business owner or blogger in need of a website designed with Divi, I can help.
If you’re a web designer interested in trying out the Divi theme, check out this post or email me with your Divi questions. I’m always happy to help.
About The Designer
Hi, I'm Britt! I'm a branding + website designer based in Austin, Texas. I help creative professionals grow their personal brand online.
Friends don't let friends have bad websites. Let's be friends.