Episode 16: A Conversation with 2 Web Developers: Ryan & Danielle

The Builders episode 16 header with a conversation with 2 web developers. Listen on:


In this episode I'm having a conversation with 2 other web developers. We start by diving into their backgrounds and journey. Ryan's been a web developer for over 15 years. Danielle's been at it for around 9 years. Both, like myself, focus a lot on WordPress, but we talk about ‘what else' we do or will be doing.

Some of the topics we cover are related to being a freelancer vs an agency, how we define our niches, our history with WordPress, what challenges we all face.. which includes that dreaded “Imposter Syndrome” and how we each think about and deal with it. And cats.. some references to cats.

Danielle Zarcaro

Danielle Zarcaro is the founder of Paperback Web Development and has been developing and maintaining custom WordPress websites for almost a decade.

A queer neurodivergent individual with over a decade of experience in website development. After working with diverse small businesses, online publications, marketing agencies, and design firms, Danielle noticed a recurring trend: these entities needed website assistance but often lacked the resources to establish an entire in-house website department.

Armed with this insight and a wealth of experience, Danielle embarked on a mission to provide exceptional websites to those in need. They aspired to become the go-to professional you could trust implicitly with your project, and to offer respite to those who had endured disappointing developer experiences.

Above all, Danielle was determined to create an environment that allowed everyone to flourish on their own terms. A space where flexibility reigned supreme, accommodating neurodivergence, energy levels, emergencies, family commitments, and more.

When not immersed in the world of web development, Danielle enjoys being distracted by gadgets to tinker with or puzzles (and occasionally assembling furniture). They find solace in snuggling with their cat, husky, and fiance, and derive immense joy from spicing up their coffee with Dunkin’ hot chocolate. You’ll often find them heading to bed just after sunrise and awake in time for the sunset.

Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance web developer specializing in custom WordPress development, plugins, and themes.

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance web developer specializing in custom WordPress development, plugins, and themes. He has over 17 years of experience working with WordPress, since its humble days as a blogging platform. He has worked with companies, nonprofits, and individuals of all kinds, from Fortune 500 companies to his next-door neighbor.

Ryan lives in the Philadelphia area, but works with clients across the US and abroad. He shares a house with four cats, but still somehow manages to get work done.


  • I'm here with.. Danielle Zarcaro & Ryan Lawrence
  • My Intro – How I know Ryan and Danielle
    • Rapid Crush days.. both were part of a great design and dev team building WordPress themes.
    • What we got from that experience – looking at it in a positive light!
  • Their Intro
    • What they do and how they got started
      • Danielle – Paperback
        • 9 1/2 years WordPress
        • Soon launching “Overnight Website”
      • Ryan
        • 15 Years as a web developer
        • From teaching English in Japan to Freelance Web Dev
    • Site builder clients moving to WordPress
    • WordPress site messes..
  • What that journey has been like.
    • The challenges they've faced.
    • Why they've chosen the freelance life.
      • Working alone ..
      • Finding work ..
      • Deal flow ..
  • Finding your niche – marketing our services
    • We talk about how we approach our marketing and who we target.
    • How have we niched down (or not) .. what does ‘niche' really mean?
  • Early days of WordPress when it was just a blogging platform – hacking it to be a website.
  • Having your core thing.. but open to learning new technologies, languages or frameworks
  • How do you define or categorize yourself?
    • Freelancer? Agency?
    • Adapting to the project or client.. case by case.
    • What people expect if you say you are an agency.
  • What has been your biggest CHALLENGES.
    • Not being hard on myself.. accepting limitations
    • Finding Balance
    • Herding cats ….
    • Creating your unique brand of ‘running a business'
    • Being an introvert as a freelancer or web developer
  • Dealing with Imposter Syndrome .. something even successful people still deal with.
    • Confidence level in the unknown ..
    • Knowing it's almost a universal thing and it's normal.
    • You're always going to be a little off balance because there are always new things to learn or dive into
    • Others are really good at something.. but so are you. There is a breadth of experience out there. Find your niche.
    • Like cats we fill our bowl..
  • And where can people find you or get in touch with you?


Check out these related Episodes:
Matt Levenhagen
Latest posts by Matt Levenhagen (see all)


    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recent Episodes

    Please check out the latest podcast episodes below!

    Unified Web Design

    Translating your brand’s vision into code.

    Learn more