Categories: CultureWordPress

Communities, WordPress, and now SiteGround too – that is what I do and love!

Photo by Roberto Cortese

This September I joined the SiteGround team. This was a move from freelancing to working for a big company. I was a little anxious about such a serious change. However, it actually felt like quite a natural development. Now, as part of the SiteGround team, I will spend even more time doing what I truly love - being actively involved with the WordPress community. For the past few years I have organized regular WordPress meetups and a WordCamp in my hometown - Torino, Italy. I have also participated in the organization of WordCamp Europe. Now I will continue to be part of these and even more WordPress events. I will keep sharing my experience and volunteering with my time for the WordPress community. What is new is that I will also be part of one of the most amazing teams I have previously only met at WordCamps -- the people of SiteGround. Read below to see how I've ended up here and what is coming.


Since I was a kid, I have always been involved in some kind of community activities. Maybe because I am an only child or because I was always a bit of an outsider in the official activities (school, after school clubs), I always craved the company of like-minded people. I joined and created groups since the age of six basically.

When my son was born I joined a group that would forever change my life, both professionally and personally. My involvement with WordPress started with a knitting club. Yes. No coding classes, no WordCamps: just a community of ladies knitting blankets for preemies. They all had a blog. Why didn’t I have a blog? Soon I found myself helping other people setting up their blogs and websites. A new career was born.

But I felt alone. I read all the small business blogs in the USA and found the advice not easily translatable for the Italian market. What a girl gotta do? Create a new online community for female creative entrepreneurs in Italy, obviously.


And then I met the WordPress.org open source project. For years I made a living from WordPress and the thought I could contribute to it never crossed my mind. A friend helped me get started with volunteer translation work. Then I found out that there was a Community team where I could organize things and help other people through mentorship  and I knew I had found my people. That is how I got involved with all the meetups and WordCamps so far.

Joining SiteGround

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw SiteGround was looking for someone to be their representative in the WordPress community!

I loved making websites and the interaction with my clients. However since a while I felt I wanted to do more: help more people, reach out further, bring more people together. How do you do that as a one-woman show? You can’t. The freelance business model unfortunately isn’t easily scalable. The natural evolution is building your own products but then you miss out on the one-to-one interactions and I need that as my balcony herbs need their sun and water.

I know SiteGround from the incredible support they give to the WordPress community around the world. Sponsoring and speaking at WordCamps, organizing events, SiteGround is always there to help and support the growing WordPress community.

Since joining the company I feel right at home. Every Monday we have a team breakfast for a power start of the week. It’s an office tradition that gives us a high charge of energy. We put it into everything we do, especially helping clients and the different communities we support.

My first event as a SiteGrounder

On the weekend of September 23 and 24 I attended the Freelancecamp in Italy. In the past six years I worked as a freelance web designer and I was always very vocal about the life of independent workers. From writing books to running blogs and speaking at conferences, most people at the event knew me as an outspoken voice for freelancers in Italy. Coming back as a representative for a big company I was a little worried: will they respond well to my changed status, will they be curious about it, will they accept me in the community even if I am not one of them anymore? All fears disappeared when I stepped into the venue (a bar on the beach by the way, not too shabby!): people seemed to accept the change quite positively as it turned out many of them were already happy SiteGround.it customers.

Let’s chat

In the next few months I’ll be traveling and speaking at a lot of events around the world. Come meet me at one of the booths, but be ready: I am a chatter and a hugger. In fact, my colleague Hristo suggested we should have a party parrot chatter as my avatar in the company Slack channel. If you have a good one, send it our way!

Francesca Marano: Francesca is a passionate speaker and you can find her in Italy and around the world talking about WordPress, community, open source, women in tech, small businesses. She is a part of the WordPress community team, organizing meetups and WordCamps in Torino and taking part in many other WordPress events worldwide. She is now also the SiteGround WordPress Community Manager.

View Comments

  • Hi
    i am asking, for the persons who sell on internet without business company, they need a merchant account to use a payment gateway with credit card, i make some research and i found that Shopify for ex offer this service for this people, so i am asking if you the same thing or we should make it ourself outside with company web service

    • Hi Laajal,

      Please note that our hosting service does not include payment gateway. You can host your e-commerce site with us and use a third-party plugin or service that you can add to your website to be able to process payments. With our GoGeek plan we have the PCI compliance available free of charge, and it is the choice of many of our clients for hosting an on-line store. You can talk to us directly via chat if you have more questions about using our services.

    • Ohh Tiziano, you are too kind :)
      I am happy to be part of a company that understands and supports our beloved WordPress community.

  • Great read....I am a happy siteground geek-user, avid wordpress user.
    Regards from Curacao in the Caribbean ;-)

  • Brava Francesca, Complimenti per la tua nuova posizione. Quindi quando c'e' qualche discussione su WP in Siteground posso scrivere a te?
    Spero di incontrarti in uno dei tuoi prossimi eventi. Al momento sono a Singapore ma presto in Europa e un giorno in NZ.

    • Ciao Marcella,
      grazie per i complimenti. Spero di incontrarti presto di persona in uno dei tuoi innumerevoli viaggi!

      Per le urgenze sempre meglio contattare il nostro efficientissimo servizio clienti (They are the best, really )

  • Francesca, I have been a sole proprietor for thirty-six years, & I love Wordpress. I have 3 wp sites, & I sell books & mp3s on one of those. I've pretty much figured most of it out alone. Trusr me, I am no geek, but wp makes it easy. I am so glad to hear you're with Siteground & bring the experience you have. Is there a blog you do about wp? I'd love to learn more.
    Good luck in your new job!

    • Hi Ann
      thanks for your reply! I am glad to hear WordPress helped you build your business!
      I am going to write more about WordPress here, so stay tuned :)

  • Where can I send a message to Francesca? Welcome to SiteGround, Francesca! I have a new website, Dreams2020.com, and I would like some help bringing it to a fully functional e-commerce website. I don't know about how to attach "Security" or a visitor counter, or a visitor-info database to it. Do you know anyone to whom you can recommend to me for help doing that? Thank you for a reply. Jane

    • Hi Jane, thanks for your reply!
      You can use WooCommerce, it’s a free and powerful plugin that will turn your website into an e-commerce.
      You might want to see if there is WooCommerce or a WordPress Meetup in your city: it’s a great way to learn more about the platform, but also get in contact with other users and freelancers that can help you with your website.
      Good luck!

  • i cant log in to word press i am about to canceling but all hosting services are quick to charge but slow in refunds

    • Hello Robert,

      There are several tickets in your Customer Area (https://ua.siteground.com/support/tickets.htm), if you haven't read them yet, please do. The ticket #2450422 explains how you can change the name servers of your domain to start using your site with SiteGround. Since the domain is not hosted with us, we cannot control it. Also, there is information how to access your WordPress admin panel even if you haven't changed yet your domain DNS. To do that you have to change your local hosts file - that is also described in the ticket. Our Support team will answer all further questions that might arise. Regards!