My name, Prathamesh Sakhadeo, doesn’t necessarily encapsulate all that is ME. So let me tell you a little more about myself!
Today, I spend most of my time enabling business owners and numerous others by establishing their presence firmly on the internet. I do this through an invaluable content management system called WordPress. While I can make the modest claim that I am intimately familiar with WordPress now, this wasn’t always the case.
My career officially began in 2012, when I was armed with a fresh MBA degree and the world seemed to be my proverbial oyster. I started off by working as a marketing executive for a manufacturing company, where I learnt the basics of web development, purely by accident!
You see, our existing web developer made a mess of our website and even abandoned the project halfway – which left me with no option but to begin damage control.
The more I learned, I began realizing that the entire process of web development really fascinated me. It is a form of spontaneous creation, of seeing something you’ve built come to life!
All of these things culminated into a side-hustle during the same year and Cresco Systems was born.
Since it was a side hustle, I had to wait before I decided to take a deep dive and establish myself as an independent web developer. But not for too long! Within the span of a single year, I left my job and in May 2013, gained complete independence.
The WordPress Frustration
Then I found WordPress!
Everyone was speaking so highly of it and it felt WordPress is the right way ahead.
My first forays into WordPress were all about figuring out various simple things like
How to add a menu?
How to create a professional-looking website?
From where to edit the logo?.
I had to learn everything by going through various books. You know the online courses or Youtube videos were not so popular then.
It was a hard grind.
I was really frustrated at WordPress. Everyone said it’s a system for beginners, yet nothing felt easy about it.
Everything felt convoluted and deeply complicated.
Plus I had to learn and implement what I’d learned at the same time, where our company’s online presence was at stake!
Turning a corner
The problem wasn’t there were any tutorials or books on WordPress, the real problem was there were too many of them
And most of them had different methodologies. And everyone of them tried to push some or other affiliate product.
Nothing wrong in that. But sometimes you need pure knowledge and not someone pushing their own affiliate links.
That’s when I decided, enough is enough. I will figure out everything myself.
I dived deep, tested each and every good plugin out there, tested hundreds of themes.
And I came up with my own process. My own set of curated plugins, my own set of curated themes.
I found my own process, which was actionable, repeatable and predictable.
I used this process to build 300+ websites, and I’m using this same process to build websites now also.
Today, as of the beginning of this fateful year, I, and by extension, my firm, have built websites for over a hundred clients and 300+ websites. Most of my confidence is built on supportive and ecstatic client feedback. While the road might have been full of obstacles, to begin with, I feel that my decision to dip my toes into the world of web development was indeed a correct one. Its rewards are being reaped even today.
So, where does teaching come in?
My considerable experience has now resulted in a twofold reward: one, is the realization that like most things worth learning, web development is something that constantly challenges me while helping me grow and evolve.
The second reward is the satisfaction I see on my clients’ faces when their websites are pitch perfect, because it is not simply a front for their business, or service – it is their very identity on the web, which cannot be compromised with shoddy work or the lack of rigor.
SlashData, a firm specializing in the analysis of the ‘developer economy’, estimated that in 2019 alone, there were 19 million web developers and amongst those, 6 million were not even professionals.
Meaning, there are a ton of casual developers out there who still contribute to the economy. The Web Hosting Services market is growing at a CAGR of 13.25% and is estimated to hit $216.59 Billion by 2025 alone.
These numbers are only bound to increase, as web developers are termed ‘the rock stars of the digital age’. They contribute to the growth and expansion of this truly wonderful thing called the internet.
But the catch is that a lot of them, including you, perhaps, think that becoming a web developer to sustain yourself or developing a website DIY way when you are a non-technical entrepreneur is not an easy task – which is where I come in.
I have a habit of trying to seek and establish formulae and patterns in most things I do – even if they’re spontaneous, or creative. This habit has led me towards developing certain tools and techniques that can be applied easily by individuals who want to grasp them and turn them into full-fledged developers.
I have, thus, come to this realisation: With WordPress and my learning methodologies, it doesn’t really matter who you are. The stage of your web development journey also doesn’t matter – of course, unless you’re already a pro. You can be someone who doesn’t know a single line of code, too! We all needed to start somewhere.
Now, learning by myself definitely had its advantages but it was also quite tough. Sometimes, I, too, wished that someone would make my journey smoother. This need for a catalyst in the form of a mentor, or a teacher, was felt by me – which is what I want to fix for those who were like I was back then. Ultimately, it is really that simple!
So, all my potential students and casual passers-by: I hope this has given you a glimpse into myself as an individual – and hopefully, as a guide that can facilitate your DIY website building journey that will help you grow your business.