An introduction to

13th March 2018 homepage |

Last month, I launched a brand new website: is a sort of “hub” for my freelance web development work. It’s where I promote my web development services and eventually it will be where I sell pre-made WordPress themes, but right now I’m still working on that one!

I’ve also started a blog over there to share tutorials, tips and tricks for all things web development, WordPress and digital tools. I started this second blog because I desperately wanted a space to write about web development, and I felt it needed to be separate from Empfire which is more of a personal blog.

I also felt like there was a need for quality tutorials on WordPress and web development that didn’t assume that someone had a load of coding knowledge. I kept seeing bloggers asking the same questions over and over again relating to the technical side of their blogs, and they always seemed afraid to make changes to their HTML and CSS by themselves. I wanted to support them and encourage them to get stuck in, do it themselves and learn a new skill along the way.

I sometimes feel like coding is made to seem like this really difficult thing that you have to be super clever to learn, and that you have to have a degree to be able to do it. But as someone who taught them self to code at the age of 14 (and I definitely don’t consider myself to be “super clever”) I know that this just isn’t the case. I want everyone to realise that coding is completely accessible to all!

Gosh, I feel like I’m getting very passionate over here!

Anyway, that’s why I started another website and blog.

My hope is that I can turn into a sustainable business for myself. I love building websites and teaching others how to do the same, and it would honestly be the dream to be able to make a living from doing this. So you know what? I’m going to give it ago!

I have to be honest and say this wasn’t my plan when I quit my job at the end of last year. I had planned on taking a short break from work to focus on my health and happiness before finding myself another full-time developer job.

However, there was a part of me that really didn’t want to go back into full-time employment. There was a part of me that really wanted to try my hand at being a freelancer and starting my own business.

Working for myself is something I’ve thought about for years; particularly for health reasons.

I have hip dysplasia, and sadly my condition is going to get worse. I’m probably going to need a hip replacement in my early 30s, and then revisions every 15 years after that. And each time I have a revision my mobility is likely to get worse and worse.

I already experience pain in my hip on a daily basis, and it can be incredibly draining. And it’s not just my hip. My knee is now causing me problems because of all those years it’s had to overcompensate for my hip not working properly. I’m a 24 year old with the joints of a 60 year old.

Being able to manage my own time will allow me to go to the doctors when ever I need to. It will allow me to see specialists and get treatment quicker as I won’t have to wait for those allusive evening appointments. It will allow me to give myself a break when I’m struggling with the pain.

Working from home means that if I need to put my feet up and work from the sofa or my bed then I can. It means that I can get up and move around as much as like. It means I can do a work out and stretch in the middle of the day if my body craves it.

Here’s the thing; this might not work out. I might not like working for myself, or I might not make enough money. But I want to try. I don’t want to be left wondering “What if?” in 5 or 10 years time. I want to take a risk for the first time in my life! I want to step out of my comfort zone and try something else. And if it doesn’t work out and I have to find myself another job? Then that’s okay, because at least I tried.

I’m not telling you this so that you feel sorry for me. It’s not a sob story to get you to visit my website and hire me! I promise. I’m telling you this because it is my story and my journey and my “why”. And I really hope you can understand why I’m giving this ago, and why I’m so damn determined to make something amazing come from this.

I’d love it if you popped over to and had a read of my blog posts. Maybe share it if you love it! I’m so grateful for everyone who visits that website as I’ve worked so hard on it so far.

But if it isn’t your jam then don’t worry; I’ll still be writing a blog here on Empfire, rambling about my uneventful life!

Enjoyed this post? Why not share it...

  1. Good luck with your new business. I hope you’ll find customers. I know how amazing it is to work from home and it gives you opportunities and flexibility. It has its downsides too, but nowhere is perfect.

    • Holly

      Thank you, Anca. 😊 I feel really lucky because my clients are fantastic at referring me to new clients.

      I think I will write a post talking about the positives and negatives of working for yourself/working from home. One of the negatives for me has got to be distractions. I always find myself wanting to work on DIY stuff instead of my actual work!

  2. I visited your site a few times and I really like it! And I definitely understand why you want to do this. I’m in the same thoughts, although likely not in web development, I only know HTML/CSS, WordPress and extremely simple PHP and started in my late 30’s (as opposed to you starting at 14)! But I recently got to know a friend’s daughter who lives in England and who is now learning web development online. She’s inspires me so much! She isn’t much into WordPress but will you do other tutorials than WordPress? I’ve told her she needs to learn WP since I believe WP development is definitely the future, but she isn’t there yet. Do you plan to do other coding tutorials on your site?
    Now she inspired me to maybe try to learn PHP again eventually.. if I find a good learning tool I can do it. But when I see most available “learn to code” sites they don’t even offer PHP! 🙁
    Anyway, good luck with your plans!

    • Holly

      Thank you for stopping by, Susanne. I always appreciate it!

      I’m definitely going to write more about web development that isn’t specifically WordPress related. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

      I totally know what you mean about PHP. Codecademy use to have a PHP course, but they took it down because apparently it was buggy and not very popular. Almost everything I know about PHP has come from WordPress, and playing around with it.

  3. Here’s hoping that freelancing works out for you. 🙏 I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea, and you seem to have acknowledged that you are taking a risk, which I honestly think is very brave of you to do. It also, at the same time, is something would be more flexible and work out better for you. I’m actually heaps excited for you 😄 I don’t think there’s any problem getting passionate about it, WOOO! 🙌

    I do have a separate site which used to be a portfolio but it isn’t so much anymore. It’s not even up to date, LOL. Since I write a fair bit about my work in the industry or about supporting women in tech, I am OK to have some technical posts on my personal blog as well. I’m pretty open to employers and potential employers. I don’t have a lot of technical posts though ahaha.

    • Holly

      Thank you, Georgie. 😊 I’m not normally a risk taker so it was a big decision for me to make. But at the same time I’m still getting interest from companies about taking me on as full-time employee every single week, so I know if it doesn’t work out then something else will come along.

  4. I think I tell you this all the time but HONESTLY SO PROUD OF YOU FOR ALL THE WORK YOU’RE DOING <3 I remember when you first launched – I was so excited to see all of the work you've done and the value you're creating for yourself to succeed in the freelance world.

    I love how you've also posted blogs there – it's not something that I see a lot of "portfolio" websites. I've had a read through some of your technical posts there too and loving them! Keep up the great work Holly! 😀

    • Holly

      Aww Pauline, that means so much. Thank you! 😊

      I’m hoping that the blog will help me to build trust. Like if people can see that I know what I’m talking about then they might be more inclined to hire me!

  5. Kayla

    Good luck!! I really hope it works out for you. My brother’s ex girlfriend has hip dysplasia and it sucked seeing her in so much pain all the time. I’m sorry it’s something you have to go through, but it sounds like you deal with it quite well and know exactly what you need personally to be able to make the most of your life and how to manage it all the most effectively. Good luck 🙂

    • Holly

      Thank you, Kayla. 😊

      Oh really? It is a horrible condition, and sometimes I feel bitter about having to live my life around it, but I guess I’m coping pretty well.

  6. Amy

    So happy to hear this, Holly! It’s so great that you’re giving freelancing a go, and I’m sure you’ll be fantastic. Hope it all goes really well and you can do it on a permanent basis.

    The website looks great, by the way, and I think it will be so useful for people who want to learn about web development. I definitely struggle to understand a lot of tutorials and articles out there, so it’ll probably really help me too.

    Hope everything goes well!

    • Holly

      Thank you, Amy! 😊 I really hope that I can make web development seem a little less confusing and a little more accessible.

  7. Oh! I have considered something similar to this! I’m keeping one central blog, but as a general portfolio/contact page, I felt having a similar setup might be easier for me. Mine is still in the design phase, though. I wish you loads of luck in this new venture! I, too, am hoping to turn what I do online into a business for health reasons, but also because it would allow me more time (perhaps) to see my family because I’d be able to create my own schedule instead of having to worry about approval…and seeing my family helps me in terms of my health, so it’s all a bit related. I didn’t know about your hip dysplasia! I experience chronic fatigue syndrome, complicated by—or maybe IT complicates—IBS, carpal tunnel syndrome, allergies, and dare I say it autism. I’m so thankful the internet exists because of this reason—to give people a better chance at employment, in addition to expressing themselves. I find it so beautiful! (My inner problem, however, is nerves and anxiety and the people who never hold back from telling me how horrible I am and it’ll never work—and how do you do it? As a fellow person hoping to go this route for her health? I understand if it’s too personal a Q, of course!)

    I don’t know how it is over there, but kindergarten classrooms in the US are implementing lessons around games designed to teach kids coding skills. Some do it directly, while others are more indirect and focus on patterns and what “special” cards can do. I think it’s really great that such interactive activities are being worked in and kids are learning to code. It’s about time, yeah? And the skill seems to help build confidence—I like that. 😀