Diving into WordPress, WooCommerce and Pagely: A GoDaddy contractor’s learnings

Find out more about Carlin Gibbs, a contractor at GoDaddy, in the latest edition of WordPress Voices, on

I first learned WordPress in 2015 to help rebuild a company website as an employee. I had no idea that it would come full circle and end up with me as a contractor in content marketing at GoDaddy.

I still remember the feeling of accomplishing the redesign.

Although I didn’t code, building out the content and building pages was a new challenge. And it was at that moment that I developed an interest in the tech industry.

It was a while before I jumped back into WordPress, fast-forwarding to 2021 and starting as a contractor with GoDaddy Pro in content marketing. There began a new challenge learning the repertoire of products, from domains, to commerce, to The Hub by GoDaddy Pro.

Have you ever had those moments of, Where do I begin in learning all of this?

Learning products, fast

When you start a role within a company such as GoDaddy you are eager to make a mark. You want to hit the ground running and try to get your hands in it all.

And that’s what I did.

My first six months were the biggest learning curve, reshaping my writing to fit within style guidelines as well as being an all-rounder on the team. I was eager to keep learning about the products and progressing to the next level.

Sometimes, change can be hard when you’re set in your ways. Going in with a fresh-page mindset allows you to try instilling that change. It also helps to be part of a team that makes learning less stressful by letting you know they’ve been in your position at some point too.

This brings me to where I am today, deep into WordPress hosting and learning our new Managed WooCommerce platform. – It is a platform for growing merchants seeking to expand their businesses their way, using the virtually infinite flexibility of WordPress + WooCommerce, combined with the highly performant, highly reliable hosting technology from Pagely and an intuitive and comprehensive software user experience designed by the Skyverge team.

Businesses will be able to sell across multiple marketplaces including Facebook Marketplace, Etsy and Amazon with the ability to manage their inventory from the platform rather than updating all the marketplaces where you sell.

The technology stack is fully managed so our customers can focus more on running their business or their client’s business instead of managing their store.

I’ll be the first to admit that, in the beginning, I wasn’t the most technical. But working with the Product team and understanding these features really helped in taking on some big projects of my own.

Learning about WooCommerce

This experience taught me so much. It isn’t just about managed hosting and being able to support a multitude of sites, but also the ecommerce aspect. There are various tools and features to support a growing ecommerce store that I learned about, which helped deepen my understanding.

GoDaddy recently acquired Pagely, which has allowed for new ideas and collaboration, especially when it comes to our new managed WooCommerce platform. Pagely is well known in the WordPress community for its pioneering, enterprise-level managed WordPress hosting.

Shifting community views

Changing how the community views GoDaddy brings a sense of excitement to those of us working here, to come together and help customers grow their businesses.

With the introduction of GoDaddy Payments via the Poynt acquisition (closed in February of 2021), GoDaddy aims to shift its community perceptions from being known just as a domain provider. Offering more ecommerce products to customers allows for a greater online and in-person payment experience which transforms the way that businesses take payments.

I have created some test sites to get a clearer understanding of my role and develop meaningful content for customers. I also have an account for The Hub by GoDaddy Pro where I can manage these test sites. Having the ability to know what customers experience or want really makes a difference when conveying content.

In the past, GoDaddy’s reputation within the WordPress community wasn’t the greatest, something that is acknowledged within.

I have seen the common goal of working with the community to help serve them — not just to be seen as the elephant in the room who doesn’t offer back to the community. Times have changed, and when it comes to the community, being transparent is key in garnering their support.

One of my projects has been to develop comparison pages that show the well-rounded offering of our products while also acknowledging where we are trying to improve.

A contractor’s experience

As mentioned earlier, I’m a contractor with GoDaddy in the content marketing department. Being a contractor has its downsides, but it offers you a challenge to prove your worth.

When a full-time position opens within your team, or another team or department, having put your best foot forward allows those around to put in a good word for you. Having been with GoDaddy for just over a year now, I am hoping to be converted to full-time staff soon.

Being a full-time employee would allow me to recognize co-workers on our Everyday Champions program which is an internal program that allows recognition of co-workers for their contributions, rather than having to ask other co-workers to send points for me.

The values of GoDaddy contribute to the projects I manage. Being able to build value and own outcomes as well as join forces is something I try to use in my work life.

Although some people feel contractors are undervalued or treated differently with other organizations, I can say the team and department I am a part of within GoDaddy has always looked after contractors practically, making us feel like full-time employees.

This helps your mindset when you are working on various projects that you are valued in the difference and hard work you provide.

Developing connections within the WordPress Community

Over the past year, being back involved with WordPress has allowed me to grow my network within the community.

There are so many working parts to the community, the diversity, the comradery, and empowerment. Whether it is helping provide solutions for those who need help with a site or helping educate the next generation of web designers and developers, it’s a high priority.

My first-ever WordCamp US was last year, despite it being virtual due to COVID restrictions still in place. Seeing the collaboration and excitement of those tuning in gave me something to look forward to — being able to attend this year’s WordCamp US in San Diego.

Being able to network, meet faces I’ve spoken to virtually, learn more about WordPress, and deepen my knowledge from their insights, makes being a part of this community fun.

Closing thoughts: I’m always happy to talk and learn.

If there’s one thing I can say about my journey in the vast multiverse of WordPress, marketing, and being a contractor at GoDaddy, it is never stop learning or challenging yourself. I’m of the belief that you can never stop growing.

Knowledge is power, and with that said I enjoy connecting with various professionals, being able to collaborate, share or even learn something new.

Can I say I know it all with Managed WordPress hosting, Managed WooCommerce hosting or even marketing? Definitely not. But that means I just have more to work on, full-time employment status with GoDaddy to achieve and more goals to crush.

There is more to this journey that is only just beginning, I’m always happy to chat via Twitter or LinkedIn, answer questions and give back where I can.

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Carlin is a Community Content Marketing Specialist at GoDaddy. Outside of work you can find him golfing or playing pickleball. He enjoys hiking and the outdoors and taking on new challenges. You can chat with him via Twitter @GibbsCarlin

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