Hi! I’m Andy McIlwain (andymci).
Welcome to my home on the web, where I’m sharing notes from what I’m reading and working on. (It’s kinda like an open journal documenting the things I care about.)
Building websites and online communities has been a hobby of mine since first getting on the web in 1999.
Fansites and forums were my thing. I enjoyed researching and compiling information and chatting with other people who shared similar interests.
I never thought it’d lead to career. That’s why I went to school for Advertising at St. Lawrence College, hoping to get a job in the ad industry.
But then I graduated straight into the recession. Nobody was hiring. The best we could hope for was an unpaid internship.
Thankfully, the skills I developed through my hobby work led me straight into the flourishing tech industry.
I moved to Toronto and started hopping between agencies and tech startups, absorbing new skills along the way, before finally settling at GoDaddy in 2015.
Through all of that, I’ve stayed fairly involved with the local tech community, co-organizing WPToronto since 2011, albeit with a few breaks here and there.
What am I up to these days?
I work on content and community projects GoDaddy, where I have the pleasure of connecting with entrepreneurs, small businesses, and web designers & developers on a daily basis. (You can take a look at my work on the GoDaddy blog.)
I do a lot of work with WordPress, both in GoDaddy and outside of GoDaddy. I’ve been a WP advocate for the last ten years. I co-organize WPToronto, Toronto’s largest and longest-running WordPress usergroup.
I’m in the early stages of starting a couple social enterprises: One showcases Canadian makers from coast to coast. The other brings together web professionals from around the Toronto area.
I’m also writing a book! It’s a DIY guide for small businesses, nonprofits, and solopreneurs trying to figure out the whole “build an online presence” thing.
What’s under the hood of this site?
My site is powered by GoDaddy Managed WordPress, secured by Sucuri and WordFence, encrypted by GoDaddy SSL, and optimized by Yoast SEO. The theme is GeneratePress Premium. My site is connected to WordPress.com via the Jetpack plugin, enabling goodies like related posts, social shares, and enhanced comments.
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