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Holly Pryce: who I am and my journey into web development

Hello there, and welcome to my new blog here at HollyPryce.com.

If you hadn’t already guessed, my name is Holly Pryce. Pleased to meet you!

I’m a web developer, and this blog is going to be all about web development, with a specific focus on my one true love; WordPress. I’ll also be writing about other techy stuff including the digital tools I can’t live without.

Now that this website is up and running properly, I thought I would take some time to introduce myself and tell you all about my journey to becoming a web developer.


A bit about me…

I’m currently in my early 20s and I live on the Wirral with my partner of 8 years. I’m originally from rural Shropshire, and I moved to Liverpool for university.

In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, swimming, practising yoga and watching re-runs of Gladiators from the 90s.

The Piczo days…

My passion for web development began when I was 14 years old and I made my first website on Piczo.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Piczo before, it was basically a very simple website builder aimed at teenagers, with “drag and drop” functionality.

In the beginning, I use the basic features on Piczo to put together my website, but it wasn’t long before I found fellow Piczo users making websites that looked so much more advanced than mine. How did they do it? Everything seemed far beyond the capabilities of Piczo.

I soon learned that some people were using these two magical things called HTML and CSS. I had no idea what they were, but I wanted in!

I taught myself to code by taking some code (yes, stealing) and playing around with it, trying to figure out what changes I could make. Then as I became more curious I started to research more about HTML and CSS.

Sub-domains…

Like everything online, nothing stays the same forever. Piczo was bought out by another company, turned into a blogging platform, and then shortly after it was closed down altogether.

While I was sad that Piczo had changed, I was also excited to start something new.

As I didn’t have a bank card, and as I was too scared to ask my parents if I could use theirs, I couldn’t buy a domain and hosting so that I could create a “real” website. So I applied for a sub-domain instead. Back in the day, people would offer up sub-domains of their domain to people who didn’t have their own domains and hosting.

Having a sub-domain was a real learning curve for me. Along the way, I discovered content management systems and used them to create a blog.

Adopting a domain…

I’m not sure if this happens nowadays, but years ago people used to put domains that they’d bought and didn’t need any more up for “adoption”.

I was so desperate to own my very own domain, and so when I found a domain that was up for adoption, I put in a request to the owner and I was accepted. It was called imperfect-angel.info and it was the first website I ever installed WordPress on.

I later discovered that my website shared the same name as a lesbian porn site which was…interesting.

Empfire…

As soon as I got my own bank card and enough funds, I purchased my very first domain: empfire.info.

Empfire is a combination of two words; empire and fire. Empire and Fire are both names of songs by the band Kasabian. I ended up buying a .info domain as it was the cheapest option!

I’ve owned Empfire longer than any other blog I have ever owned, and I still write a personal/lifestyle blog over there to this day.

Going to university…

I continued writing blog posts and building websites throughout my school and college years.

In my last year of college, I had to decide whether or not I wanted to go to university.

I knew I wanted to go to university because I wanted to move out of my hometown as soon as possible, and with all the loads and grants available to me, moving away to university would be the easiest way to escape.

I also knew where I wanted to study. I wanted to experience life in a city and Liverpool seemed like the perfect place to live as it’s still quite close to Shropshire, the city isn’t too big, and the people are lovely.

What I didn’t know was what I wanted to study.

My original plan was to study for a degree in marine biology, but during my time at college, I realised that I was useless at biology. I also considered studying something technology related, like computer science, but I guess I worried that I would lose interest in it if I was studying it full-time.

In the end, I decided to study geography as I enjoyed it, I was good at it, and it seemed to have good career prospects.

Getting a job as a web developer…

I graduated in summer 2015 with a first class honours degree in Geography (BSc). And as soon as I had sat my final exam, I started applying for jobs.

I knew I didn’t want to pursue a career related to my geography degree, but I didn’t know I wanted to do instead. I thought I would find myself a job, finally earn myself some money, and then decided what to do next.

I applied for all sorts of jobs in all sorts of industries because I needed a job so I could pay my bills. On a whim, I applied for a job as a web developer because I actually had all the skills they were requesting. I never expected to get invited to an interview for that job, let alone then be offered the job the day after my interview!

The feeling of relief and excitement that comes with getting a job was soon replaced with anxiety. For a good couple of months, I felt like a complete fraud. I felt like someone was going to catch me.

Just one year after starting with the company, I was promoted, and I dropped “junior” from my web developer title. I think it was at this point in my career that I realised that I was good at my job, and I did deserve to be there.

Quitting my job as a web developer…

To reiterate what I said before, nothing stays the same forever. About a year and a half into this job I realised that I wasn’t enjoying it any more. I was miserable and my mental health was in a very bad place.

I tried my hardest to stick with it, but in the end, I decided to quit. And no, I didn’t have another job to go to. It wasn’t an easy choice and it was completely out of character for me.

And here we are!

It’s only been 1 month since I left my job but I already feel so much happier.

During the past month, I have been focusing on building this website, creating content for the blog and planning how I’m going to take over the world (just kidding). I’ve also been taking on some freelance work, and it’s given me a real taste of working for myself.

My ultimate goal is to create a business that supports my lifestyle and prioritises my health.

I hope you will join me on my journey!


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As I’m, a big fan of sparking conversations with my readers, let me know in the comments how you got started in your career.

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Holly Pryce: who I am and my journey into web development | HollyPryce.com

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