Full Time Job to WordPress Entrepreneur – Katie Keith’s Success Story

success story

The WordPress industry is growing rapidly and it’s great for users as well as WordPress development companies. It is a win-win situation for both.

As part of the growing WordPress industry, Wpmet is bringing great WordPress plugins and themes for customers. Our goal is to provide the best WordPress products to make customers’ life easier.

Like us, many companies are working to bring innovative WordPress products. Katie Keith, one of the co-founders of barn2.com has shared her success story, how she has grown her company and added value to the industry.

Success Story

In our influencers’ success story series, today we are going to introduce Katie Keith, one of the market leaders. She and her now-husband Andy established Barn2, which is a successful WordPress-based company.

Katie Keith’s Entrepreneurship Journey with WordPress

As we contacted Katie Keith and asked her a few questions regarding her journey, here we will disclose all of her kind words and feedback:

success story

Katie Keith is a successful business person, a Mom, and a dreamer. She has shared her success story with us.

Why did you agree to publish your success story?

Katie Keith: Since WordPress is such an accessible industry to build a business in, I think it’s important that people who have already done it share their stories to inspire and guide other aspiring WordPress entrepreneurs.

How do you start a regular workday?

Katie Keith: My typical day at work involves taking my daughter to school and then coming home and turning on my computer. Some days I will work all day, taking a break to go for a walk or do a workout in front of the TV halfway through the day. On other days, I will either take a long walk or go to a yoga group or meet people to practice speaking Spanish with. I then collect my daughter from school and work some more in the evenings.

What inspired you to get into the WordPress industry?

Katie Keith: I discovered WordPress while building websites for clients, which naturally got me into the amazing WordPress community. Building sites using WordPress also gave me valuable insight into gaps in the market, which I could then use to build my own products. 

You can’t just come along and find a lucrative gap in the market. You have to spend time learning WordPress, using it on real-life websites, and learning where the gaps and pain points are. You can then use this knowledge to create opportunities.

When did you first think about starting your own business?

Katie Keith: I studied English and Philosophy at Sheffield University in the UK, where I met my now-husband Andy. After graduation, I started my career writing the help pages for a software company. Over the next 7 years, I had several jobs that involved project management, marketing, and managing websites. Andy worked as a Senior Software Developer for the UK Civil Service. 

Throughout our 20’s, Andy and I would regularly talk about quitting our jobs and starting our own business together, where we could work from home and have a more flexible lifestyle

In the end, Andy was having problems with his job and we decided that it was time to take the plunge, even without a killer idea. He quit his job and started offering web design services to small local businesses, which I supported while continuing to pay the bills from my main job.

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We didn’t know anything about web design at that point because Andy was a Java developer and I was a marketer/project manager, but we felt that it would be easy to learn and had an easier route to entry than the types of business that require investment, etc. to get started. We soon discovered that WordPress offered an affordable way to build websites, and built all our sites using WordPress. 

My role included business development and marketing. As an experiment, one time I tried a Google AdWords campaign using keywords like ‘WordPress developers’. Amazingly, these generated a huge amount of work and catapulted us into some of the UK’s leading WordPress specialists. Our client base grew, the budgets increased, and we learned more and more about WordPress and its amazing community. 

What are the startups and businesses you have been a part of? Share your story.

Katie Keith: After we had our daughter Sophia in 2011, I had more time to focus on the business (when I was supposed to be on maternity leave!) and decided that by then, we could afford for me not to go back to work. Instead, I stayed with the business full-time and helped it to grow. 

While building websites met a lot of our lifestyle goals (as we were now working from home), it was very demanding. We outsourced quite a bit of work but were still essentially selling our time. When a client has a problem with their website, you have to drop everything and help immediately, so your freedom is still limited. 

In early 2016, we launched our first WordPress plugin. We chose a niche area of WooCommerce where there was a real need but at the time, there were no plugins available. Our first plugin was called WooCommerce Protected Categories and because it was so niche, we were able to get to the top of Google quickly and had our first sale within days. 

We continued following this model to build the plugin side of the business and amazingly, were able to stop taking on new client projects within 6 months! We now work on the plugin business full-time and have built a fantastic team of people who work independently from all over the world. 

Andy and I have always wanted to make our lifestyle flexible enough so that we could travel. We have achieved this work-wise, but it’s still not really an option because Sophia is now at school and needs stability. Instead, in summer 2021 we decided to take a year out and move to the sunny island of Mallorca. Sophia now goes to a British international school in Mallorca which she enjoys, and we’re living in a beautiful apartment where we can (just) see the sea and lots of exotic trees and plants.

What do you have to say about the importance of work-life balance?

Katie Keith: A good work-life balance is essential to happiness, which is why I have worked so hard to achieve one. It’s frustrating when your work is so demanding that you can’t have a life, and it’s equally frustrating when your other commitments prevent you from working – especially when you work for yourself. 

It is very important to enjoy your work. A lot of people talk about a work-life balance in the sense that they want to minimize their work in order to live. This implies that 100% of life happens outside of work, which is really sad.

Katie keith

I believe that everyone should strive to find work they actively enjoy. When you have achieved this, a work-life balance is still important, but at least you can enjoy both halves of your life.

What do you do to solve your problems?

Katie Keith: I’m a rational person rather than an argumentative person, so if I have a problem with another person then I try to talk to them about it calmly and honestly. If it’s another type of problem then I try to reflect on the causes and possible solutions, even if this means thinking creatively to come up with a less obvious solution.

What do you think is the biggest drawback in this industry and how can it be resolved?

Katie Keith: I think that WordPress itself has been going in the wrong direction for several years, and is being left behind website builders like Wix or Shopify. The average website owner finds it much harder to create or edit a website than other platforms, which is a real shame. So far, the Gutenberg editor hasn’t helped at all because it is so unpleasant and unintuitive to use compared to other WordPress page builders. I wish the WordPress core team hadn’t decided to start from scratch with Gutenberg because they have tried to reinvent the wheel and created something worse than what was already available as plugins.

What is the key to your success and what tips would you like to give to the SMEs of this industry? 

Katie Keith: The key to my success is to work hard and keep trying. In the end, I stopped waiting for the perfect idea. Instead, I just took what I already knew, and looked around for opportunities in the area I knew best. That’s the best way to get started. 

If something doesn’t work, then learn from it and try something different. If you don’t try anything then you will never be successful.

What was the biggest defeat of your career?

Katie Keith: The biggest defeat of my career is when we spent a year trying to build a WordPress theme, and then it was rejected by ThemeForest where we wanted to sell it. It took us so long to build this theme that the theme market changed a lot. When we started, there were lots of simple themes on ThemeForest that we could compete with. By the time we finally submitted it, the popular themes had a huge number of features and our theme wasn’t comparable. We should have moved much more quickly and got it to market before it was too late.

Any personal tips you’d like to share with your readers?

Katie Keith: The great thing about WordPress is that there are so many different ways that you can use it to build a successful business. As a result, you should choose an area that you’re genuinely interested in. If you’re a developer then you may enjoy building plugins. If you’re a designer and developer then themes are a good option. If you’re a website implementer then you could set up a maintenance and support agency. If you’re a marketer then you can market WordPress companies. The list is endless. 

Don’t just do what other people have done. Look at the full range of opportunities and think about what is the right fit for you.

Wrap Up

Katie Keith is a true inspiration for the WordPress industry. It inspires WordPress enthusiasts for sure. You can check out our great WordPress plugins and themes to have a clear concept. We do hope one day you will share your success story with us.

While exploring the WordPress industry, you can promote our products and earn a handsome affiliate commission.


  1. I Survived WordCamp US 2022! – Killer Event – Manana No Mas!

    Katie of Barn2 was on hand as well as James; both from overseas. Meeting them was cool because we met at the house first, then the boat. James had recently (I don’t know how recent) joined the StellerWP organization, but it didn’t interfere with keeping the relationship alive. Steller WP carries a competitor product to LifterLMS, but the people to people thing is still well and good. This was an outward sign to me that the WordPress community is more solid on the inside than other groups of industry.

  2. I Survived WordCamp US 2022! – Killer Event – WP-e-Learning

    […] Katie of Barn2 was on hand as well as James… both from overseas. Meeting them was cool because we met at the house first, then the boat. James had recently (I don’t know how recent) joined the StellerWP organization, but it didn’t interfere with keeping the relationship alive. Steller WP carries a competitor product to LifterLMS, but the people to people thing is still well and good. This was an outward sign to me that the WordPress community is more solid on the inside than other groups of industry. […]

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