Interview with Jonathan Thirkill – 16 Year Old Netrepreneur

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  • Interviews
  • Updated: May 27, 2009

My friends think I’m out of my mind when I told them I want to feature an interview with a 16 year old kid on Web Hosting Secret Revealed – until I showed them what had this kid done on his personal website at (see below).

Jonathan Thirkill's Homepage

Few people can do web design as good as Jonathan Thirkill at age of 16.

Jonathan designed his own website, took up freelance job in designing Kong Media’s first ever website, and as impressive as it gets, he also operates a small hosting company named DediCore.

(Brent started Hostgator from his college dorm – Déjà vu?)

It’s feeling a little weird to see a 16 year old talks about business, you know, the formal tone like “We don’t oversell and provide hosting based on quality not quantity”. To be frank, I didn’t take these teenage-wonder-online-kids seriously in the past.

I bet many of you (as adults) were never convinced, too.

Nevertheless, I kept my heart opened. And, thru this interview with Jonathan as well as working with another 14 years old boy from Singapore (Xavier Lur from had totally changed my mind. In the age of global this and world-wide that, I guess we just have to accept the fact that challenges will come from (almost) anyone, regardless of their age and location. Sure, as a 16 years old, Jonathan still has a long way to go but you definitely can’t deny his potential to be a successful Netrepreneur. So my advice  to anyone who are reading this – don’t take this interview lightly just because the interviewee is decades younger than you.

If you’re ready to read and learn from a teenager, here goes my interview with Jonathan Thirkill.

Q&A with Jonathan Thirkill

Hello Jonathan, I’m glad to have you as our guest at W.H.S.R. To get this interview started, let’s talk about your background. Tell us more about yourself and how did you get into web design?

Thanks for having me. My name is Jonathan Thirkill I am 16 year old and live in Harrogate.

I am a big fan of tech & photography. I got into web design as I needed a website about 4 years ago and thought I would give it a go myself. I started coding in Microsoft Frontpage using basic html & tables. As I became more knowledgeable I began creating my own graphics and using tableless designs via CSS.

I was very impressed when I first came across your website – especially when I learned that’s you are just 16 and doing this part time. Can you tell us where do you get your idea? Do you visit any specified websites frequently for inspiration?

I get my ideas from anywhere and everywhere – after years of surfing websites I have just naturally become to favor certain designs. I coded my personal site using CSS, HTML & PHP using WordPress for the back-end. I follow many blogs, including PsdTuts, NetTuts, Just Creative Design, Fuel Your Creativity and many more.

You have listed Kong Media ( in your portfolio. Please tell us more about this project. What tools did you used for the job? And, what is the biggest obstacle you faced during the design stage?

This project was for a non-traditional advertising company based in Leeds. is the company’s first website. The biggest obstacle for this & every other design is – knowing what the client wants – It was hard at first to get on the right path for the design.

I used Coda – a mac web design app which has everything from a CSS editor to ftp upload. I used a pen and paper for the design stages – allows me to be much more creative at higher speeds.

I am sure there are plenty of other teenagers who are eager to start their venture online – you know, make some money online and be widely recognized; do you have any advice for them?

Go for it – its one big learning experience.

I am still trying to build up my reputation – it takes time and lots of determination. The sooner you start to create a presence online the better. If you are planning to start in web design make sure you are not underpaid because you are less experienced – I asked for £10 for the first paid website I did 4 years ago – Don’t do that. Not only that the low pricing make it harder for you but it also makes it harder for other professional web designers who are trying to make a living.

Let’s talk about web hosting – you are running a hosting company on your own. What can we know about DediCore? Who are your targeted customers?

The hosting company is targeting business/professional clients. We don’t oversell and provide hosting based on quality not quantity. Building websites and hosting them comes hand-in-hand. Dedicore allows me to provide my personal clients with an all-in-one solution.

If you use the code WHSR25 during checkout you will receive 25% of your first months hosting – Just a little thank you for reading.

Visit DediCore online:

Web hosting is a competitive business. Why should people go with Dedicore?

If you are looking for a professional hosting solution, then DediCore is for you.

All our current clients are very happy with the service. We run cPanel/WHM because of its flexibility. Web hosting is a very competitive business but there are so many low quality hosts – I am trying to change that. We even have a UK landline number for support!

How do you choose the right web host? Can you offer some selection guidelines for our inexperience readers?

Make sure you read reviews, compare features, and check it’s going to work with your site.

Try emailing the hosting company before you give them your hard earned money – Ask them questions to make sure your site is going to work with them. If you’re not sure then it’s good to start with one month contracts – Don’t jump into a 12 month deal without doing your research.

That sums up my questions for you. Is there anything you wanted to add for our readers?

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me using my personal website

Article by Jerry Low

Geek dad, SEO data junkie, investor, and founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Jerry has been building Internet assets and making money online since 2004. He loves mindless doodling and trying new food.

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