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WEB SCHOOL I lost my job and starting all over again learning web development @ 40 years old.

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oxygeninja

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2018
6
13
15
I lost my high paying remote CAD job a year ago.
I thought that job would go on forever since the company seemed big, backed up by a billion-dollar investment firm, and has been in the industry for over 30 years.
I was wrong.
Without warning, we were told that it's shutting down.
I was shocked.
My wife also worked under me so both of us were jobless.
So we went from earning big to zero in a flash.
This is what happened when we put all the eggs in one basket.
I learned it the hard way.

A little background about myself, I'm a 40-year-old freelance CAD draftsman from Asia who worked for a US company for 6 years.
I have 2 daughters age 5 yrs old and 7 months old.

Don't get me wrong, but I already saw this coming.
I'm a freelancer for 9 years so I know that being one is full of uncertainty.
To prepare for it, I saved.
But our savings can only last at best for a year.
I started a business but it failed.
I also learned web development and video editing as back up skills.
I was able to win a couple of projects back then but it's more like a hobby since I don't have extra time and I was earning well from my CAD job.

But no matter how much I prepared for it, a lot of things were beyond my control like hospitalization which drained our finances(healthcare is not free), and COVID.

I was confident at first that I can find a new job and I did.
After 2 weeks I found a new job based in China.

Then COVID came.
The company from China that I was working for stopped operating.
I was jobless again.

After a month, I found 2 jobs as a contractor from US companies.
Projects were few but still, it was enough to keep us afloat financially.
But COVID hit the US and work stops coming again.

I had several offers from my connections but it didn't push through because of COVID.
I've exhausted all my connections looking for opportunities.
The common reply was there's not much opportunity because the industry is badly hit by COVID.

What about freelancing sites like Upwork?
The CAD job market in Upwork has changed a lot not like several years ago.
It's more on hobbyist posting design and prototype work.
I'm not a designer/engineer. I'm more into general drafting and 3D modeling.
I feel like I have a better chance of finding a job through my connections than in Upwork.

Right now, I am earning just a quarter of our previous income from video editing.
And no matter how hard I work, I realized I could not earn as much as from my CAD job.
Video editing is just not a high-income skill at least for me.
CAD job opportunities right now are not good for me but I know that it will be better soon.
But until then, I can't just wait and hope that COVID will be gone and everything will be back to normal.

So I've decided to learn another high-income skill at age 40 :)
I hope it's not too late.
Well, I don't have much choice.
I have to make it work for my family.
I want to become a freelance web developer specifically Freelance Wordpress Developer.
I was successful in learning CAD and video editing on my own and I believe I can do the same with web development.
This time I'm not starting from scratch because I already studied web development for 2 years a few years back.
I chose Wordpress because it's in demand and I can also work remotely.
I understand that I can't command high rates at first but I will work hard to get there.

My goal now is to earn ASAP to cover our expenses.
In the long-term, I want to save my earnings to start a rental property business.
I already had that plan.
A year ago, I bought a prime piece of land, and with another year of savings, I could have started building a few units.
But all of that vanished because I lost my job.
So this thread will serve as an accountability and documentation in my journey to become a successful Freelance Wordpress Developer.

To give you an idea of where I am in terms of web development skills:
  • I already know the basics: HTML, CSS(SASS), a little bit of javascript, and PHP. I just need to review it in a Wordpress setting to maximize my time.
  • I know how to build a Wordpress website from installation to deployment. That includes installing and customizing themes and installing basic plugins( forms, SEO, caching, back up, payments, etc...).
  • I can quickly build a Worpress site using Oxygen Builder, a visual page builder plugin.
There is still a lot of work to be done until I become fully confident with these skills.
My learning approach is to just build and build websites and figure out along the way.
I know how crucial it is to show clients proof of my skills and building several portfolio websites will answer that.
Also, I need to be better with business and marketing skills.
After all, freelancing is just like a business.
I could learn a lot from what @Fox is doing.

Again my goal is to earn ASAP.
I don't have many connections in this field so I will use Upwork to get clients.
I know what you are thinking, "Why Upwork? It's a race to the bottom."
I don't have many options in getting leads and besides I'm very familiar with Upwork( accumulated close to 12,000 hours worked) and it's where I got my CAD job of 6 years.
I just have to dig deeper and I'm sure I can find great clients who are willing to spend big dollars.

This is my Roadmap to become a Successful Freelance Wordpress Developer.

  1. Make Portfolio websites as proof of my skills
  • Build 2 websites using Oxygen Builder
  • Build 2 websites using Wordpress themes(not using a drag and drop page builder).
While I'm building these websites, I will review and learn HTML, CSS, Javascript , PHP and Wordpress.
I will also integrate the necessary plugins.
I know that's a lot to take in but I will only study what is needed to build those sites.
I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of web development where I end up with nothing to show but untested knowledge without practical applications.
I will build at least 1 site per week for websites using a page builder.
For sites using themes maybe it would take 2 weeks to build.
It would take a bit longer since I'm relearning at the same time.
  1. After having my portfolio websites in place, I will start applying for work through Upwork. I already have my main Upwork profile for CAD. I have my second profile for video editing and I will create a third profile for Wordpress Developer.
  1. If my freelance work gain traction, I will study further technically to become an expert Wordpress Web Developer for me to be able to command higher rates. Of course, by this time, my business and marketing skills have improved a lot.
At this point, I will choose if it's best to work remotely for a company for consistent monthly income or expand my web design business like what @Fox is doing.
The bottom line is to earn as much to finance my rental property business.
I expect that I will struggle my first year but hopefully I can get past that.
I just have to focus on the goal for my family.

To those who already went through this route as a Freelance Web Developer @Fox @GuitarManDan, any advice would be much appreciated.
 

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nmalcolm92

The Charismatic
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 20, 2015
81
254
171
28
Edmonton, Alberta
Best of luck man! Times are tough all around, those of us with the resolve and grit needed will rise above. I recommend looking into Elementor as a starting point, and working with the templates from there. I've made thousands just tweaking sites that are already made!

Cheers,
 

oxygeninja

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2018
6
13
15
Best of luck man! Times are tough all around, those of us with the resolve and grit needed will rise above. I recommend looking into Elementor as a starting point, and working with the templates from there. I've made thousands just tweaking sites that are already made!

Cheers,
Thanks man, I'll look it up. Can you give me common tweakings that you do on Elementor? It would surely help me on what to specifically study. My approach is just to study what is needed in the real-world applications to be more efficient with my time.
 

nmalcolm92

The Charismatic
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 20, 2015
81
254
171
28
Edmonton, Alberta
Thanks man, I'll look it up. Can you give me common tweakings that you do on Elementor? It would surely help me on what to specifically study. My approach is just to study what is needed in the real-world applications to be more efficient with my time.
I can't really give you any specific advice because every website is different. I suggest finding a website you like and trying to recreate it in Elementor for practice. It's good fun and rewarding if you can pull it off!
 

oxygeninja

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2018
6
13
15
I lost my high paying remote CAD job a year ago.
I thought that job would go on forever since the company seemed big, backed up by a billion-dollar investment firm, and has been in the industry for over 30 years.
I was wrong.
Without warning, we were told that it's shutting down.
I was shocked.
My wife also worked under me so both of us were jobless.
So we went from earning big to zero in a flash.
This is what happened when we put all the eggs in one basket.
I learned it the hard way.

A little background about myself, I'm a 40-year-old freelance CAD draftsman from Asia who worked for a US company for 6 years.
I have 2 daughters age 5 yrs old and 7 months old.

Don't get me wrong, but I already saw this coming.
I'm a freelancer for 9 years so I know that being one is full of uncertainty.
To prepare for it, I saved.
But our savings can only last at best for a year.
I started a business but it failed.
I also learned web development and video editing as back up skills.
I was able to win a couple of projects back then but it's more like a hobby since I don't have extra time and I was earning well from my CAD job.

But no matter how much I prepared for it, a lot of things were beyond my control like hospitalization which drained our finances(healthcare is not free), and COVID.

I was confident at first that I can find a new job and I did.
After 2 weeks I found a new job based in China.

Then COVID came.
The company from China that I was working for stopped operating.
I was jobless again.

After a month, I found 2 jobs as a contractor from US companies.
Projects were few but still, it was enough to keep us afloat financially.
But COVID hit the US and work stops coming again.

I had several offers from my connections but it didn't push through because of COVID.
I've exhausted all my connections looking for opportunities.
The common reply was there's not much opportunity because the industry is badly hit by COVID.

What about freelancing sites like Upwork?
The CAD job market in Upwork has changed a lot not like several years ago.
It's more on hobbyist posting design and prototype work.
I'm not a designer/engineer. I'm more into general drafting and 3D modeling.
I feel like I have a better chance of finding a job through my connections than in Upwork.

Right now, I am earning just a quarter of our previous income from video editing.
And no matter how hard I work, I realized I could not earn as much as from my CAD job.
Video editing is just not a high-income skill at least for me.
CAD job opportunities right now are not good for me but I know that it will be better soon.
But until then, I can't just wait and hope that COVID will be gone and everything will be back to normal.

So I've decided to learn another high-income skill at age 40 :)
I hope it's not too late.
Well, I don't have much choice.
I have to make it work for my family.
I want to become a freelance web developer specifically Freelance Wordpress Developer.
I was successful in learning CAD and video editing on my own and I believe I can do the same with web development.
This time I'm not starting from scratch because I already studied web development for 2 years a few years back.
I chose Wordpress because it's in demand and I can also work remotely.
I understand that I can't command high rates at first but I will work hard to get there.

My goal now is to earn ASAP to cover our expenses.
In the long-term, I want to save my earnings to start a rental property business.
I already had that plan.
A year ago, I bought a prime piece of land, and with another year of savings, I could have started building a few units.
But all of that vanished because I lost my job.
So this thread will serve as an accountability and documentation in my journey to become a successful Freelance Wordpress Developer.

To give you an idea of where I am in terms of web development skills:
  • I already know the basics: HTML, CSS(SASS), a little bit of javascript, and PHP. I just need to review it in a Wordpress setting to maximize my time.
  • I know how to build a Wordpress website from installation to deployment. That includes installing and customizing themes and installing basic plugins( forms, SEO, caching, back up, payments, etc...).
  • I can quickly build a Worpress site using Oxygen Builder, a visual page builder plugin.
There is still a lot of work to be done until I become fully confident with these skills.
My learning approach is to just build and build websites and figure out along the way.
I know how crucial it is to show clients proof of my skills and building several portfolio websites will answer that.
Also, I need to be better with business and marketing skills.
After all, freelancing is just like a business.
I could learn a lot from what @Fox is doing.

Again my goal is to earn ASAP.
I don't have many connections in this field so I will use Upwork to get clients.
I know what you are thinking, "Why Upwork? It's a race to the bottom."
I don't have many options in getting leads and besides I'm very familiar with Upwork( accumulated close to 12,000 hours worked) and it's where I got my CAD job of 6 years.
I just have to dig deeper and I'm sure I can find great clients who are willing to spend big dollars.

This is my Roadmap to become a Successful Freelance Wordpress Developer.

  1. Make Portfolio websites as proof of my skills
  • Build 2 websites using Oxygen Builder
  • Build 2 websites using Wordpress themes(not using a drag and drop page builder).
While I'm building these websites, I will review and learn HTML, CSS, Javascript , PHP and Wordpress.
I will also integrate the necessary plugins.
I know that's a lot to take in but I will only study what is needed to build those sites.
I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of web development where I end up with nothing to show but untested knowledge without practical applications.
I will build at least 1 site per week for websites using a page builder.
For sites using themes maybe it would take 2 weeks to build.
It would take a bit longer since I'm relearning at the same time.
  1. After having my portfolio websites in place, I will start applying for work through Upwork. I already have my main Upwork profile for CAD. I have my second profile for video editing and I will create a third profile for Wordpress Developer.
  2. If my freelance work gain traction, I will study further technically to become an expert Wordpress Web Developer for me to be able to command higher rates. Of course, by this time, my business and marketing skills have improved a lot.
At this point, I will choose if it's best to work remotely for a company for consistent monthly income or expand my web design business like what @Fox is doing.
The bottom line is to earn as much to finance my rental property business.
I expect that I will struggle my first year but hopefully I can get past that.
I just have to focus on the goal for my family.

To those who already went through this route as a Freelance Web Developer @Fox @GuitarManDan, any advice would be much appreciated.
Update 1:

1. Finished a one-page portfolio website for my CAD skills using Oxygen Builder.
Oxygen Builder is not just a page builder. It's more developer-friendly than designer-friendly. You can do a lot of advanced stuff may it be in Wordpress, Javascript and PHP.
I made this using pre-built sections of Oxygen Builder that made the process faster. Though I still end up tweaking a lot of things to fit things right.

This is the website: Portfolio - Just another WordPress site

It's on a free hosting site and domain.
Good for me to tinker around the hosting, c-panel, ftp for free.

Things I learned:
  • backup and migrate site from local install(local by flywheel) to the hosting site using all in One WP Migration plugin.
  • learned how to make the website responsive.
  • Flexbox is great at displaying galleries like the portfolio and tutorial sections and making it responsive.
  • Photoshop is a must in web design. At least you know how to crop using the pen tool and can make transparent background.
  • I learned CSS animations using keyframes. It makes the websites(hero section) pop a bit because of the movements when it loads.
  • I learned how to use Custom Post Types and Advanced Custom Fields plugins with the repeater feature of Oxygen in displaying the youtube video tutorials.
  • I was surprised I still remember most of the concepts in HTML, CSS and WordPress that I learned 2 years ago like using a class for elements that are used several times. It really saves a lot of time because you only need to tweak one element and all the other elements with the same class will follow. This time it's not that overwhelming anymore. It really helps a lot when I have a different learning mindset and I already have a birds-eye view in making a website.
  • I was tempted to study different topics which I feel like I need to dive in more even though it's not needed in the project but I stick to my learning approach which is just studying what the project needs.

Next goal:

Make a blog site using Oxygen builder.
  • My target is to learn templating and query in Wordpress.
  • I would also like to implement Vanilla Javascript or Jquery whatever is applicable.
  • Also, I will try to implement security and speed optimization but I don't know if that's possible on the free hosting site.
  • Implement on-site SEO and cache
 

Blek

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 15, 2018
23
26
22
44
Poland
  • backup and migrate site from local install(local by flywheel) to the hosting site using all in One WP Migration plugin.
Laragon is the "one and only" if You are serious about local development in WP.
Also try rsync.
 

bracknelson

New Contributor
Oct 28, 2020
6
2
11
I lost my high paying remote CAD job a year ago.
I thought that job would go on forever since the company seemed big, backed up by a billion-dollar investment firm, and has been in the industry for over 30 years.
I was wrong.
Without warning, we were told that it's shutting down.
I was shocked.
My wife also worked under me so both of us were jobless.
So we went from earning big to zero in a flash.
This is what happened when we put all the eggs in one basket.
I learned it the hard way.

A little background about myself, I'm a 40-year-old freelance CAD draftsman from Asia who worked for a US company for 6 years.
I have 2 daughters age 5 yrs old and 7 months old.

Don't get me wrong, but I already saw this coming.
I'm a freelancer for 9 years so I know that being one is full of uncertainty.
To prepare for it, I saved.
But our savings can only last at best for a year.
I started a business but it failed.
I also learned web development and video editing as back up skills.
I was able to win a couple of projects back then but it's more like a hobby since I don't have extra time and I was earning well from my CAD job.

But no matter how much I prepared for it, a lot of things were beyond my control like hospitalization which drained our finances(healthcare is not free), and COVID.

I was confident at first that I can find a new job and I did.
After 2 weeks I found a new job based in China.

Then COVID came.
The company from China that I was working for stopped operating.
I was jobless again.

After a month, I found 2 jobs as a contractor from US companies.
Projects were few but still, it was enough to keep us afloat financially.
But COVID hit the US and work stops coming again.

I had several offers from my connections but it didn't push through because of COVID.
I've exhausted all my connections looking for opportunities.
The common reply was there's not much opportunity because the industry is badly hit by COVID.

What about freelancing sites like Upwork?
The CAD job market in Upwork has changed a lot not like several years ago.
It's more on hobbyist posting design and prototype work.
I'm not a designer/engineer. I'm more into general drafting and 3D modeling.
I feel like I have a better chance of finding a job through my connections than in Upwork.

Right now, I am earning just a quarter of our previous income from video editing.
And no matter how hard I work, I realized I could not earn as much as from my CAD job.
Video editing is just not a high-income skill at least for me.
CAD job opportunities right now are not good for me but I know that it will be better soon.
But until then, I can't just wait and hope that COVID will be gone and everything will be back to normal.

So I've decided to learn another high-income skill at age 40 :)
I hope it's not too late.
Well, I don't have much choice.
I have to make it work for my family.
I want to become a freelance web developer specifically Freelance Wordpress Developer.
I was successful in learning CAD and video editing on my own and I believe I can do the same with web development.
This time I'm not starting from scratch because I already studied web development for 2 years a few years back.
I chose Wordpress because it's in demand and I can also work remotely.
I understand that I can't command high rates at first but I will work hard to get there.

My goal now is to earn ASAP to cover our expenses.
In the long-term, I want to save my earnings to start a rental property business.
I already had that plan.
A year ago, I bought a prime piece of land, and with another year of savings, I could have started building a few units.
But all of that vanished because I lost my job.
So this thread will serve as an accountability and documentation in my journey to become a successful Freelance Wordpress Developer.

To give you an idea of where I am in terms of web development skills:
  • I already know the basics: HTML, CSS(SASS), a little bit of javascript, and PHP. I just need to review it in a Wordpress setting to maximize my time.
  • I know how to build a Wordpress website from installation to deployment. That includes installing and customizing themes and installing basic plugins( forms, SEO, caching, back up, payments, etc...).
  • I can quickly build a Worpress site using Oxygen Builder, a visual page builder plugin.
There is still a lot of work to be done until I become fully confident with these skills.
My learning approach is to just build and build websites and figure out along the way.
I know how crucial it is to show clients proof of my skills and building several portfolio websites will answer that.
Also, I need to be better with business and marketing skills.
After all, freelancing is just like a business.
I could learn a lot from what @Fox is doing.

Again my goal is to earn ASAP.
I don't have many connections in this field so I will use Upwork to get clients.
I know what you are thinking, "Why Upwork? It's a race to the bottom."
I don't have many options in getting leads and besides I'm very familiar with Upwork( accumulated close to 12,000 hours worked) and it's where I got my CAD job of 6 years.
I just have to dig deeper and I'm sure I can find great clients who are willing to spend big dollars.

This is my Roadmap to become a Successful Freelance Wordpress Developer.

  1. Make Portfolio websites as proof of my skills
  • Build 2 websites using Oxygen Builder
  • Build 2 websites using Wordpress themes(not using a drag and drop page builder).
While I'm building these websites, I will review and learn HTML, CSS, Javascript , PHP and Wordpress.
I will also integrate the necessary plugins.
I know that's a lot to take in but I will only study what is needed to build those sites.
I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of web development where I end up with nothing to show but untested knowledge without practical applications.
I will build at least 1 site per week for websites using a page builder.
For sites using themes maybe it would take 2 weeks to build.
It would take a bit longer since I'm relearning at the same time.
  1. After having my portfolio websites in place, I will start applying for work through Upwork. I already have my main Upwork profile for CAD. I have my second profile for video editing and I will create a third profile for Wordpress Developer.
  2. If my freelance work gain traction, I will study further technically to become an expert Wordpress Web Developer for me to be able to command higher rates. Of course, by this time, my business and marketing skills have improved a lot.
At this point, I will choose if it's best to work remotely for a company for consistent monthly income or expand my web design business like what @Fox is doing.
The bottom line is to earn as much to finance my rental property business.
I expect that I will struggle my first year but hopefully I can get past that.
I just have to focus on the goal for my family.

To those who already went through this route as a Freelance Web Developer @Fox @GuitarManDan, any advice would be much appreciated.
enjoy the journey man
 

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