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Run Your Own Website (zacs.site)
261 points by zacjszewczyk on July 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 158 comments

I do run my own site. Moreover, I do all the coding, styling, and layout manually and without any 3rd-party libraries or frameworks. Or even in-house libraries for that matter.

This works for me in terms of freedom. I can do interactive plots, quizzes, games and all kind of programmable things I can imagine. No restrictions.

In fact, I left Medium because I was restricted to text and images only. I want more. I want words and buttons: https://wordsandbuttons.online

But it's not really aligned with the reasons from the post. It's not a resume. It would have been an awful resume. I wouldn't hire myself by this resume.

And keeping record is, of course, nice. But it has nothing to do with running your own website. You can keep record on Medium, too. In fact, it would be more effective since it works wonders for the small notes.

Still, I totally agree that keeping your own site is a fascinating experience and it's well worth time and effort.

It's amusing to me that you seem to be struggling to vocalize why anyone would want a website like yours - as if a 'resume' or a 'journal' were the only reasons to keep one.

But, as a reader, I think a website like yours is like having a chance to explore that person's personality in a freeform way. The design reflects their aesthetic (similar to how fashion does for the physical form), the organization reflects their favored mental models perhaps, and the myriad of topics and links makes it a graph-like structure for a book/journal/life. It's strange to me that people question a personal website's purpose - but accept that of a coloring or sticker book. To me, that only says that our brains haven't quite caught up with how to use the medium. (Although, if you have read sites like philosopher.life, then I think you have a glimpse of what's possible.)

I like the design of your site. It's extremely easy to read, and there's no clutter. If I want art, I'll go to a museum, when I want to read I prefer a site like yours.

> I wouldn't hire myself by this resume.

I don't do hiring, but I can see your website being an item in the "plus" column if I was going to pick whether to hire you or not.

FYI your font-size is uncomfortably huge, I can see maybe 25 lines of text on my desktop screen. It feels like I should step backward a meter or two.

And on the other hand, I'm running a 12" notebook at 1080p with no scaling, and I find the text to be exactly the right size. If anything, I'm tempted to zoom in a notch or two.

Zooming on the web is a critical feature to me. I find pages all the time with nearly unreadably small text, and occasionally with text too large for me. Firefox remembers zoom levels for me, so I only have to adjust once per site, usually.

This is not meant to be a criticism, just sharing another experience for your awareness. Based on your comment, I don't think the author could make both of us simultaneously happy.

If you find yourself zooming in to new websites more often than not, it's possible to set the default zoom level in firefox. In about:config, set "layout.css.devPixelsPerPx" to the decimal zoom level you want. It will also grow the UI scale but you can reduce that by setting it to "compact" mode in the Customise menu.

think you could make yourself happy, by selecting a screen & scaling that allows default sizes to be readable. If I browsed from a Blackberry on a selfie stick, the onus wouldn't be on the developer to make me happy.

Enormous fonts is a trend in modern web design for some reason. I browse most sites at about 66% zoom. Get used to the Ctrl+- shortcut.

(Conjecture) It’s because of devs like me who stare at a screen all day and have tired eyes. It’s sized for ourselves. I keep my code at 16pt, and most websites at zoom of 150%. When I’m on my tiny laptop, I like to zoom to 200% (and usually need to go to full screen mode as a result). For context, my vision was recently tested and I’m slight farsighted. Still, just more comfortable that way. Please make your sites accessibility friendly, folks! Much appreciated.

I find the complete opposite to be true. In most text-based websites, I have to zoom in to around 120% or even 133% (e.g. HN) for the text to be readable.

I think it's poor implementation of "mobile first".

This is due to design as in what designers do. Usually website designs are fairly static with a mobile and a desktop reference design that frontend developers then have to implement.

Most designers do not work intimately with the content, so text is more shapes on the page than the main course. I do not mean this disparagingly, I have just seen a lot of designs in my time where the text is placeholder stuff in designs.

In reality text needs to be of a certain line length. If it gets too long then it can be hard to follow. Wall of text is a problem too.

The best way to do text is to make it proportional to the width of the browser window. If the lower font size is the 16px recommended by Google for accessibility then the maximum size can be what you might call enormous - on a 4K monitor. Everything can be just right in between.

If you do have a 4K monitor and you are using it for just one browser window then enormous is what you want - it will look good in the meeting room on a huge screen that everyone can see.

Some fettling of margins can go on too, so a small screen can have narrow margins, so 1rem on a phone and a lot more on bigger screens.

With these methods it is possible to make design a lot easier with everything proportionate to screen size. But if your designers are only thinking in terms of fixed with fonts and they produce the mobile and the desktop views with baked in font sizes that get signed off by the client then you are stuck with it.

It really is up to the design community to get with font scaling and to not be insistent on a couple of fixed font options.

This should be simple but in a multi-disciplinary team where most web design is then sausage-factoried with old layout hacks (so no CSS Grid or CSS variables) then progress is difficult if not impossible.

My personal page has a front end font size range in 30s and 40s.

ive done that because mobile reading the page would see microdots instead of characters at 14 pt font.

i read and access at the ass end, the front is for mobies i havnt wanted to use JS to check and set font as i really dont want to build a JS site.

You don't need JS to get a website that behaves properly on mobile. Just add one meta tag to set the viewport scaling and text will scale properly:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

i did that for a while, ill have to look into finer details, there were issues with screen rotation breaking the formatting, so i might have to redo the CSS; im looking at gridding the pages, as this seems to be the direction to go for the next version of the page. I basically want to make the navigation UX a first person RPG themed frontend. so that the files are accessed by e.g. moving to the library, talking to the librarian for help or searching for a document etc. finding the sword of git! slaying the maldragon [not necessary but if you want to side quest for fun it would be there]

and thanx BTW

It could have something to do with accessibility. My eyes aren't the best, so that font is about the smallest I can comfortably read.

It's everywhere but here in Hacker News, where I'm comfortably reading on screen at 133% zoom.

Are you using a low res display or high font scaling? On a modern high res display larger fonts work well.

Just to tack on with some more typographic constructive criticism (although I think the font size looks fine on my laptop), you should definitely increase the line-height of the paragraphs.

Yes, indeed. Thank you!

I tried spacing it a bit just not, it does look better this way.

I appreciate the amount of work and effort you've put in here.

I also maintain my own site which is statically generated and deploys to a VPS running docker via git pushes. I haven't written interactive articles yet, but having absolute freedom is imperative for me. I always end up fighting with whatever system I use, except here I can just extend it to do what I need.

What do you mean deploys to docker? Does it deploy in a container running the web server?

I have a container running on a VPS that uses Caddy's http.git plugin to check for new commits. Whenever I do a git push it pulls in the changes.

See my sibling comment [0] for links.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20366137

Oh cool! What did you use to build that? I did the same thing with blog.winricklabs.com

I used Zola [0] + Caddy [1] with the http.git plugin [2] and docker. I generate the assets with Zola, then rsync them to a separate repository and Caddy automatically pulls in the changes whenever I git push.

Source here: https://git.sr.ht/~andrewzah/personal-site/tree

[0]: https://github.com/getzola/zola [1]: https://github.com/caddyserver/caddy [2]: https://caddyserver.com/docs/http.git

Your website is fantastic! I love how minimal and fast loading it is. Could you please enlighten on how you manage to make an HTML page interactive (for e.g. on vectorization page where I can move bezier curve handles)?


It's simple, all the interactive plots are HTML canvases with a set of event handler assigned to them. I trigger init ialization functions right after the elements declarations, and they assign all the events: https://github.com/akalenuk/wordsandbuttons/blob/380c97f2535...

Almost every event changes the state somewhere and triggers the redrawing function: https://github.com/akalenuk/wordsandbuttons/blob/380c97f2535...

And that's all. It's a bit messy since it involves keeping state outside the functions, and it also requires a little boilerplate but it's manageable. Maybe if I would have hundreds of plots per page, this would have been a problem but for a blog-post size pages this works fine.

Your website is super cool, thank you for publishing the source on github. Would you mind elaborating on your creation flow for new pages?


It starts with an idea. The whole thing: writing and interactive elements working together. Thinking it through with drafts and sketches takes a few weeks. Then I copy-paste a ./drafts/stub.html file, and copy-paste the elements that looks like what I'm trying to achieve the most there. Then I maul it into an actual code for the page. Then I write the text that has already been formed in my head, then I edit, and then I edit again, end the next morning I edit the last time. Then I put it into ./pages, fill in the index.html and the rss. Then I upload it to the hoster. That's it.

Some of these things can be automated. There's absolutely no need to deploy things manually. Unfortunately, the automateable things take the least amount of time. Sketching and editing take maybe 90% of it, and the programming takes the 90% of the remaining 10%.

At least own your domain name and be able to easily move your website content to whereever you want. I think for most people it's cheaper and more convenient to use a hosting service, and that's fine... as long as you can change hosting services.

I've had my personal site ( https://dwheeler.com ) since 1999. As noted in https://dwheeler.com/aboutsite.html my site has been hosted on 4 different systems, and I'm sure that I will move again at some point. Users won't notice - or care - because I can easily move to some other service.

> At least own your domain name

I agree and I have a story to add to this.

Despite there being a couple ways to spell my first name and literally dozens of ways to spell my last name, I share the same name as a rock star of similar age as myself down to the letter.

While I do understand I didn't necessarily need a ".com" TLD URL and that I had other TLD options, it was the first availability I checked for obvious reasons; this is how I discovered my semi-famed name-double. I eventually went with a ".net" TLD URL of my name and it's turned out alright so far -- and it makes perfect sense to me that my alternate actually should have the ".com" version instead of myself. I'm content, likely even happy, with how things turned out.

Enter SEO stage left.

You're lucky the Rock Star doesn't go all Nissan.com on you (which appears to be NLA).

> At least own your domain name

Serious question: How? Aside from .onion[0], all TLDs I know of only allow you to rent a domain name, and will take it away if you don't keep paying their protection racket year-on-year. I would be happy to pay >1000$ to purchase a (human-readable, second-level, etc) domain, if I could actually find where to do so.

0: which is less "own" and more "conjure out of the platonic ether something that no one else is capable of using".

It's like paying property tax to the government. Even if you own it, you have to pay to keep up the infrastructure, I guess.

try out freedns.afraid.org there is a small fee for a premium private account, or you can ride on supermans cape for free and make a secondary domain on those who choose to make thier domain public.

That doesn't help you own a domain name. That just lets you configure DNS for domains.

it has free subdomains you can use

Yes, but that doesn't solve any of the problems that a1369209993 mentioned. Those subdomains can be taken away from you at any time. You have no legal ownership of them.

Yes. I've had run my own site since 2000 ( https://www.lancesells.com ) moving it around multiple times. The only thing I've really changed is moving to a static site so there's one less thing to export or import(database).

Having my own website I've worked on keeping it speedy and not reliant on any javascript.

> since 1999

That is really impressive. I purchased my first domain around that year. But, I failed to keep it up to date. I have moved 4 times to different domains. And, it has been the last one that I have updated for the past 5 years or so. The rest are lost.

I really like your "Slashdotted" section. It brings back a lot of memories.

Especially given the number of things platforms like YouTube, Reddit and Medium are cracking down on/demonetising. For instance, your own host likely won't boot you off or interfere if you post cybersecurity related videos/articles, like YouTube started to do a few days ago.

Having your own site provides a backup in case the platforms you use to promote your work turn on/your industry.

And don't worry about the extra traffic a platform may bring. That's why you publish on your own site first, then syndicate your content to other services later.


I can see why this article with a very basic premise is so popular.

* It's short, so the average reader here has enough attention span for it.

* It's obvious, so that leaves plenty of room for patting oneself on the back.

* It's simple, so one can reference their own writings about a similar topic or related to it in some way.

* It's about a topic that lets the commenter here show off their own website and bloviate about themselves.

This is nothing against the author, but against Hacker News and how so much interesting material fails to ever reach the front page.

This post reads of "Why are people liking what I don't like?".

This article might be stating the obvious to you. However sometimes people have to be reminded that things can be done simply without the nonsense of cloud hosting, CDNs, automated deployments and all the guff that comes with it.

This sort of article is pertinent in the days of many of the large tech sites being censorious (there was a discussion with 100s of comments about youtube censoring infosec channels), sites with megabytes of JavaScript and even many CSS libraries / frameworks requiring a build tools for styling.

Reminding people that it doesn't have to be this way is important and it doesn't need your approval.

Agreed: I struggle to understand why this is considered a useful post to a broad audience of people who all already know what a static site generator is.

I will offer one critique of the article itself: the repeated (often many times within one sentence) self referential linking is tedious and makes reading difficult. Am I supposed to read 4 different articles before I get to the end of one sentence in this one, or is this just some SEO voodoo?

* it s timely, because a lot of things are censored lately

* it’s something that a lot of people agree on, but it is NOT happening, so it s not obvious

Yup. People tend to assume running your own site is difficult but running a static webserver is dead simple. As long as you don't involve all the unneeded dynamic language and database it's secure and doesn't really need updating all the time either.

90% of people can run a static web server on their home connection and it would fulfill their every requirement (as well as solving almost all 'problems' that exist on the web). Home connections of a couple megabits are certainly fast enough for a personal site.

You don't even need a home server, something like netlify or surge.sh makes it dead-simple.

If you’re a coder, what about github pages?

If your a coder, I've found netlify to be even better. Allows bit more functionality like forms, some server less functions etc.

Existing web servers such as Nginx are really good. I recommend (free)BSD as a web server, although it does have a learning curve - it is secure by default.

I do a hybrid-static. I just use PHP to manage headers and footers but otherwise all the content is static.

Mm, nah. Running a DNS server, choosing an HTTP server and keeping all the related software up to date is a lot to ask even of a techie. And that's not even getting into dynamic IP issues.

Why do you need to run a DNS server? My IP only changes once every few years with Comcast. I use one of the many free DNS services available online (been w/zoneedit for almost 2 decades) and set it manually when it does change. But they also support dyndns that most home routers have options to use for updates.

Most webservers are very secure when they're not running php and mysql too. They have far less of a security problem than a browser executing arbitrary javascript and require updating only once a year or two, if at all.

It's easy enough to setup and host a static site on s3 or netlify or whatever if you want to go that route. It's not that hard that a tutorial can't walk you through the steps.

You don't need to run a DNS server, just some utility that updates the record when your IP changes. There are many, and are quite simple to use (basic text config, or simple GUI).

As for maintaining stuff updated, unattended-upgrades on a Debian or Ubuntu LTS system will keep your system patched for five years, and it's very rare that the infrastructure stuff breaks.

maybe that's the difficult part, finding the uncommon path among all the current trends, clearly distant from these "simple" proposals.

it might be easy to set up if you understand how the web works, but that understanding generally comes from some real work/experience we already have, which might not be so easy to pick up.

having 1000 simple ways to run a website could be much more complicated than having 2 tricky ways to run a website. specially if you don't know whether any of those ways are simple or not.

My website runs on a PaaS - effectively free and zero maintenance, and I can lift and shift to my own host at any time.

"your website as a record" resonates with me. I recently redesigned my website (which is online since 2001) and one new feature I added is a random button. Clicking it will open a random page which is often a blog post I wrote many years ago. It's easily the most fun feature for me personally as it makes me remember things of my life... I don't know how much other visitors use or like it. If you want, give it a try at https://www.splitbrain.org - it's the dice in the menu.

A very nice website. It is rare to have websites of such character these days. Potentially everyone should be able to have a website that offers up some of their personality, yours has that, anyone can tell some effort has gone into it.

The only thing though is that in the contact details there is the 'I get so many emails that I will probably ignore yours' message. This I don't think is necessary. It sends out the wrong message. You could have a template or two to handle enquiries that you don't have time to reply to so you don't discourage that one person who does want to reach out to you but does value your time more than their own. Those that don't care about your time will ignore your 'don't bother emailing me coz I am too busy' message anyway.

It is crazy how we have all of these methods of communication but we have all put up barriers. There was a time when everyone had their name, phone number and address in the phone book. We used to actually use the phone in those days too.

I totally agree with this. While running and maintaining your own website isn't trivial enough yet that _anybody_ can just up and do it, it's definitely something most anyone willing to spend a weekend can pick up and learn, with maybe a bit of help.

Been considering moving towards a static site generator setup myself, and is currently looking at Gatsby.

I'm curious though --- barring preference for language, which generator would you recommend? I keep hearing about Jekyll, Hugo, Gatsby, etc. but haven't really come across any objective comparisons between options.

It comes down to how much time and effort you want to invest into learning a new system, which should depend on how many of the advanced features those systems enable that you will use. For me, that answer was as little as possible and zero. I just need a good static site generator. There are a bunch to choose from these days, but fewer back when I was faced with this decision in the early 2000s, so I wrote my own. If you don't need anything flashy, use something like my engine (First Crack: https://zacs.site/projects.html#firstCrack) to build the site and GitHub Pages to serve it. If there's a certain feature you want that a combo like that does not allow for, find the simplest engine that meets your needs, learn to use it, then go from there. Most of the big names are pretty good these days, so you can't really go wrong no matter which you choose.

Just use one with biggest following ie. Jekyll - you'll get tons of tutorials/themes/extensions.

Using standard representation of posts (ie. Jekyll uses markdown - which integrates nicely with R markdown/bookdown) is a plus.

The title made me hope for a quite literal way to run your website: using some kind of energy harvesting (bicycle?) used to power a small computer with a web server.

This is an issue that is quite simple to solve. Many podcasters (espescially Joe Rogan) like to talk about being afraid of getting removed from a platform without having your own hosting set up.

Most of the controversial big names of youtube and other platforms can and should stay as independent as possible. Twitter and others’ aim is to lure as many people as possible to their platforms. Once you are big enough you should probably seek out an independent way to distribute content.

Here's an example of a site that is doing something like this - https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/about.html

If you just want to distribute content, you're better off sharing bittorrent links. The problem is that those podcasters want the visibility and the ad money of those platforms. Which is valid, but not something that is solvable by self-hosting at home.

We need to transition to solutions for it though, and a "hybrid" approach would be a move in the right direction. i.e. you don't have to leave the platforms, just make your own website, too. Yeah, it's more work, but nothing good will come of just leaving it to the big players and what they come up with. To even have leverage, people can't just be completely dependent, that's a non-starter.

IndieWeb calls this "Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere"[0].

[0]: https://indieweb.org/POSSE

There's actually a browser that basically does this, called Beaker [0]. It uses a protocol called Dat which is very similar to Bittorent, but allows you to update your files after you originally publish them (in the form of an append-only log, so you can always see old versions of a particular site if you want to).

[0]: https://beakerbrowser.com/

back in the days of BBS we would mail check money order or bravely a greeting card and cash to the POB as requested.

now that we have some crypto$ scheme, the prooblem is how to transform bitcoin into physical assets vice versa.

> Under my definition, you must have 1) total control over your content, and 2) the ability to make it public or private at any time.

I run my own website (https://saagarjha.com, naturally) but I can't guarantee either of these. My host (GitHub Pages) can take down my content at any time if I annoy them enough, and once I make something public I don't suffer from the misconception that I can make it private again. I can, however, rehost my content (crucially, at the same "location"), which I think is nearly good enough.

For my personal websites, I only ever tried wordpress around 10 years ago before I built my own from scratch.


What I find interesting is that a swat of new developers thinks that the only options are:

1. free hosting with lock-in platforms (medium, blogger, ...)

2. Clever hacks (github, netlify, cloudflare...)

3. Expensive hosting ($40/m+)

The alternative is to use shared hosting for simple content. Or cheap but excellent services like linode, digitalocean, or vultr. They set you back $5/m or less.

Host your own content, make local backups. If your provider complains, find another host, copy and paste your content and update the dns.

I use the “clever hacks” because I’m afraid of one of my blog articles getting linked to on Reddit. Even if there are no ads on my site, I want it to stay up and readable, and I don’t want to suddenly get an egress-bandwidth bill in the process!

Also, despite having done ops for years, I don’t want my continued willingness to do ops (as with DO/Linode/Vultr) or my continued usage of my small municipal ISP (or even my small municipal ISP’s continued existence, as these often get bought up, and their branding—including web-host domains!—gets blown away in the process) to determine whether my site stays up. I want my website to continue to exist, at the same URL, even if I retire and go live in the mountains with no Internet for the rest of my life. I want my works to outlive me!

There are “good” shared HTML hosts that have been around for decades and will likely be around for decades more—SDF.org is one; most universities with accounts for alumni are another—but these don’t tend to be able to handle the bandwidth, so you have to combine them with a service like Cloudflare anyway.

But really, “slug-based static-site build-product hosting” like Github Pages and Netlify are just shared HTML hosts as well—with some extra features, sure, but ones that you can ignore if you please. With GH Pages, for example, you don’t have to use a static-site generator if you don’t want to; you can just commit content assets directly to your github-pages branch. And the result has the same properties you list: if Github complains, I can take that same repo and push it to another site; or it can gracefully degrade to being a folder (that happens to have a .git dir in it) that I can plop into any public_html directory.

> I use the “clever hacks” because I’m afraid of one of my blog articles getting linked to on Reddit. Even if there are no ads on my site, I want it to stay up and readable, and I don’t want to suddenly get an egress-bandwidth bill!

I use DO. My site often gets linked on Reddit and hn and the $10 service handles it just fine. One article I wrote recently got 5 million web requests.

> I want my works to outlive me!

I don't share your confidence in GitHub or the other "hacks" outliving you: after all, they are free services that might go away at any point.

I like shared hosting, not only it is very cheap, but you do not get to bother with administration stuff. You cannot run everything you'd probably like, like in a VPS, but pretty much every provider has at least PHP support with some database and most also provide Python, Perl and CGI support (the latter wont be fast but you can use it to upload CGIs written in compiled languages like Go). If you stick with static sites (like i do) performance shouldn't be a problem at all.

A dedicated i7 server (with ssd) is $25/month in some hosts like hetzner

$12 + tax a year for each domain name. If you know a way around this, let me know.

Using a single dynamic IP address, if the IP address changes I manually point the domain names to the new IP address. It's a bit of a pain, but the IP address really doesn't change that often. I could automate this with a great amount of time and trouble. I wish the Domain Registrar didn't have such a crazy panel for configuring such things.

The ISP gave me a simpler version of their modem for what they call "bridge mode" that doesn't block ports. I'm paying for Internet Service, if they block ports they are not providing that service. The notion of a server is lost on me, there are packets being sent and received over the internet, if they block that they are not providing Internet Service.

Port 80 on the home router forwards to a Raspberry Pi. My outages are when the power goes out, the IP address changes, or the ISP goes down.

A Raspberry Pi 2 Model B / raspbian runs Apache, I've considered trying others like nginx. I don't need https and auto-renewing SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt, if you want to read something everyone can read it. If someone happens to modify the packets in the middle somewhere out there, so be it. I don't want you to login, and I definitely don't want your information -- if you have something interesting maybe I'll find it out there wherever and on whatever that might be...

For my home IP I use cname to a dynamic dns service provided by my router manufacturer.

There are free dyndns services, that integrate with many home router brands. Then you don't need to automate the main domain A/AAAA record changes, which can be cumbersome, depending on the provider.

> "<body style="...;display:none;" ...>"

Please don't do this. If your website is your resume, and you intentionally obscure it from me, I'm not going to hire you.

Any opinions on what are the best software choices for a single person to use in 2019 to build a website from scratch?

I’d be willing to learn something new if I knew in 2 years, I’d be extremely productive.

0) Get a cheap virtual/dedicated machine.

1) Install docker and docker-compose

2) Setup traefik, a reverse proxy, in docker (good starting point: https://docs.traefik.io/user-guide/docker-and-lets-encrypt/ ).

3) Run $docker container (ghost, wordpress...). I typically use one docker-compose file for each domain. "expose" is not necessary because the requests are proxied by traefik.

Here's a docker-compose sample for a website available under my-website.com:

    version: '3'
            container_name: my-website.com-nginx
            image: nginx
            restart: unless-stopped
                - ./data:/usr/share/nginx/html
              - "traefik.docker.network=web"
              - "traefik.enable=true"
              - "traefik.basic.frontend.rule=Host:my-website.com"
              - "traefik.basic.port=80"
              - "traefik.basic.protocol=http"
                name: web

There are probably more elegant ways to do this, however I found it quite effective for my setup.

Completely agree with the ease of this setup as it's been my goto for roughly a year.

Put Docker on your VM / instance, make a project with a docker-compose that just ties one or many services together with traefik as the reverse proxy (I use CNAMEs or subdomain routing - path routing & stripping adds complexity and breaks many apps).

For the actual site you can choose any stack you desire. I'd recommend node / express over wordpress for a simple site, but you can rock a flavor of the month, or whatever your experience allows you to be productive in - Swift Vapor, go, php, .NET... then dockerize your site.

Deploys and execution should be identical locally and remotely. If you get popular, you are in a great place to scale out compared to many traditional stacks. If you want to try out another service, tool, database, whatever; just add it to the docker-compose, run docker-compose down/up, and there she is.

There is a sharp initial learning curve with Docker - images, containers and their layers, volumes, networks and ports, and how all that interacts with the host machine. Containerization is arguable something you won't be able to ignore forever. The advantages are just too numerous and appealing, especially for the hero solo developer!

Nah, just use nearlyfreespeech.net

You get a bsd host with shell access for cheap.

WOW. You have no idea how much it makes he happy and encouraged to see that NFS is still making it. They were my first webhost, for price alone, and then overtime became my default because of the support.

Eventually moved on when my needs evolved and sort of...forgot about them until this comment.

I've been with them for about 10 years now. They've increased pricing and decreased support at the same time. They have introduced (probably 8 years ago) a static site option which is considerably cheaper.

But moving my static sites to S3 would be considerably cheaper.

Unfortunately, they discontinued the static site option 2(?) years ago. Now all sites are dynamic, but my static site costs have barely gone up, so its all good.

I too have mostly moved on, but I still have a couple clients that use them and I maintain an adjunct account and register my domains through them. They provide an excellent service, especially for someone like the person asking this question.

I love NFSN. To me, it feels like a step up from conventional shared hosting, while not going as far as to be a VPS. Despite the price increase, I'm still a happy, longtime customer.

Without knowing your OS: a text editor of some sort and an FTP/SFTP client.

Then just get shared web hosting account - there are lots to chose from and they are super cheap these days. You can go a long way with that without having to mess around with maintaining your own server (unless you want to - I do :)

> a text editor of some sort and an FTP/SFTP client.

I very much agree in the sense of start simple, and grow. My progression was plain html, html plus php for header and footer, text file based CMS, finally a db-backed CMS that does everything I want how I want it. But that was also starting with knowing next to nothing, and to do it differently (more "efficiently") from the get go, I would have needed to just accept advice to use X, without really understanding what it does for me. I was a bit stubborn and not just suffering from NIH syndrome, I was in the cult of NIH. But I learned, it was fun, and I am glad how it worked out.

One person with a simple text editor isn’t going to be nearly as productive as someone who chooses a modern stack with better tools.

I left open my prior tools, etc so as not to bias the answers. I’ve done lots of Java, Python, Swift, some Go, etc but I’m willing to learn anything, so forget that you know that.

I’m looking for a big lever.

No, it really is that simple, if you are taking about a “website”, not a “web application” or some sort of “platform”. Learn to do it by hand or you will forever be dependent on tools. VSCode or Atom is what everyone seems to be using but the more you are able to treat it as a text editor the better you will be.

But since you say you are comfortable with programming, then a static site generator might be interesting for you. Pick one in whatever language you prefer. Be prepared to spend a lot of time before you are as productive as writing it by hand.

You seem to not understand what I’m asking.

I have Atom, VSCode, Sublime, JetBrains, ... I know vi and Emacs. I’ve programmed websites in Perl, Python, Java, Go, ... I didn’t realize we differentiate between applications and sites these days.

In 2019, I’m one person who is willing to start with a clean slate. What current tools should I choose so, as one person, I’m most productive 6 months from now, once I’ve mastered the new tools.

The idea is to choose an above average stack:


So like "what's the best stack?"?

It's not really a sensible question IMO. It's like what's the best car - I say 1980s Countach ... then you say, but I can't fit my luggage in, so I say a Landrover Disco', and you say it doesn't fit in my garage, so I say a Porsche Cayenne and you say it's too expensive, ...

The best stack depends entirely on what you want to do with it, and yes web apps and web sites need different things (I'd say the former are computational, the latter are presentational).

Background: I've been doing solo web dev (but never full-time professionally and mostly casually) since last millennium.

The platform is HTML and CSS. If you want to be above average, use the most modern HTML5 semantic tags. Use grid and flexbox in CSS. Use media queries for responsive design.

The language and the compiler is in the browser. The source code is HTML/CSS. Use VSCode, Atom, Sublime or even Dreamweaver to write that code.

> I didn’t realize we differentiate between applications and sites these days.

I differentiate far more than that. Just as you wouldn't make the same tool choices for a throwaway, ten line script, a command line tool with five subcommands, and a full word processor, you can't expect to do the same for a website.

If what you need to do is put fixed web pages online, then a text editor and an SFTP client is exactly it. Write your HTML and CSS by hand and get on with life. It still works beautifully.

Just past that point is the uncomfortable place where you want to do some templating. And this is where it seems so simple just to hack together a quick script to do what you want that there are a million static site generators, and it's questionable if it's easier to write your own or learn how someone else has organized one. This is a place where no one has gotten it obviously right yet. I still use Hakyll because I got it working a while back and haven't been motivated to change. I've looked at Hugo and Jekyll. I've experimented a bit with writing my own. It's just not worth the effort.

At this point in time, the two things I think would be worth investigating in this space would be either precompiling web components to static HTML so you can use an existing standard that scales to web apps or going into something like Smalltalk and defining objects with content and metadata as objects in a live system then having the code generate output directly.

You're looking for buzzwords when the parent is trying to give you a stack that has worked worked for decades. You bringing up the "Beating the Averages" post isn't relevant.

Sure, it’s very relevant:

“Software is a very competitive business, prone to natural monopolies. A company that gets software written faster and better will, all other things being equal, put its competitors out of business. And when you're starting a startup, you feel this very keenly.”

I’m not exactly sure why what I’m asking is not clear.

One person with great tools can accomplish a lot more than a small team with average tools. Wasn’t that the reason Ruby was a much better choice than Java/JSP a decade ago? I was never allowed to chose Ruby, for example, because my company required Java.

Today, there are even more options and it’s not clear where to begin the evaluation.

You seem to be asking for a single clear answer. Okay, here's one: node.js. Learn it. Live it. Love it. Use VS Code. Learn it. Live it. Love it. Is this the best combination? Many seem to use it (it's the current hotness that all the hipsters are using) so it must be good. If that's not a satisfactory answer, ask yourself why it isn't. As for the "software written faster and better will ... put its competitors out of business" quote, take a look at Microsoft. They were never the first to market, and often times, it took them three or more attempts to get something correct. Yet they're still a juggernaut of a company. Being first doesn't mean you'll win---just as often you'll end up with arrows in your back.

It really depends upon what you want to do. My own website [1] is written in XML and I use XSLT to convert it to HTML [2]. My blog [3] uses a mixture of C and Lua [4] because that's what works for me. A great craftsman can make wonderful items with average tools that an average craftsman with great tools cannot. It's not just the tools, but how well you understand them and what their limitations are [5]. Also, the industry changes. Hell, javascript didn't even exist when I started making websites. Nor did Java. I got taught CS 101 in Fortran of all languages. The only constant is change, so stop asking what's best, and just start working. You'll find out what works for you and what doesn't.

[1] http://www.conman.org/

[2] I wanted an easier way to maintain the links among all the pages (next section, previous section, next page, previous page, etc.) instead of modifying static files. XSLT was the new hotness at the time. I won't say it was a mistake, but I haven't bothered changing the underlying technology since.

[3] http://boston.conman.org/

[4] https://github.com/spc476/mod_blog

[5] I know of a bridge player (a card game) who took the time to learn x86 assembly language to write his own bridge playing software, and from my understanding, at the time it was a "best of breed" type program. Could he have been more productive in another language? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

WordPress. It’s profoundly unsexy. It’s also solid.

Do you want to fuck around with building another CMS that nobody but you will use, and which you will probably only use for about three posts before throwing it out and making another CMS built on today’s hot tools? Or do you want a website that you can get to be reasonably pretty without much work, and which you can update from multiple devices?

Seriously I spent a while setting up WP a decade ago and it’s been where I post everything I make. I don’t have to futz with it unless I want to make a cool new theme for a new comics project, it just sits there updating itself for me and waiting for me to feel like writing a new post or whatever.

(Okay I do need to spend some time futzing with it soon, the latest WP update won’t run on the decade-old version of PHP I set it up with, and something in it breaks when I try to switch which version my shared host is using. That’s once in like a decade.)

define "from scratch".

As the saying goes, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

I'm building a simple blog/project site just using Hugo. It's quite easy to get started, and is a single binary you can use to test and deploy the site with no dependencies.

I like that I'm able to design everything from the ground-up the way I want it. Also a decent selection of themes if you wanted to focus on content.

The question is, what do you know now? If you're starting from scratch, you should learn HTML and CSS. As for tools, again it depends on what you already know. If you know a given programming language, you can usually find a static site generator that you can build from.

There are lots of templates free, or for purchase you can use, cut up and deploy. It really all depends.

Many just dip into wordpress, which for good or bad is pretty much the king of CMS. Others Drupal or similar.

You can use tools like Hugo to generate static sites. Basically such tools gives you power to avoid duplication of reusable components on the page, as well as to generate static lists automatically like related pages/recommendations. See this discussion on such tools: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16472395

I like Dokuwiki.

Not static, but easy to backup (plain text instead of database), many plugins, article versioning, easy editing (even on the mobile phone), a servicable, if unexciting, design that's mobile friendly.

If you want to be productive, and "productive" does not mean building web software (which is fine!), worry less about the software and write more.

An Xterm running vi has been my personal web site editing software of choice for two decades. Still works!

Netlify and a static site generator of your choice, preferably one that uses a language you’re already familiar with. I use Middleman for example, but there‘s also the much more popular Jekyll in Ruby-land.

Highly recommend Jekyll/GitHub pages for static sites.

Many people recommend Jekyll/Hugo/Vue-press + Netlify as well.

Github Pages is free and mirrors your git repository as a website.

It’s nice but only supports static content, so personally I would not count that as “running my own website”. Web hosting even container based VPS is super cheap - I would just go for that and have the extra freedom to do interesting things.

only supports static content, so personally I would not count that as “running my own website”.

Curious: why not? Before WordPress and MoveableType websites were largely static HTML, where do you personally draw the distinction?

Simply because it is very limiting. Running your own site, even on cheap shared hosting, opens up lots of exciting possibilities. With a bit of PHP and SQLite you can build lots of cool stuff (just like before WordPress came and made everything boring).

For simple sites, static is great, but if it becomes more complex (even just lots of pages sort of complex) then some sort of templating, even just through basic PHP includes, becomes very helpful to keep it maintainable. Example: I help look after a site with 3K static HTML pages and it is impossible to make any global changes without literally months of manual work. :(

For my own site I use a static site generator, which is another great option, but that comes with a much steeper learning curve unfortunately.

Sorry for the pun here, heh but:

Simply because it is very limiting.

Seems like a limited/narrow definition of maintaining a website, just because there are different options of platforms and tools used to put content in the user's browser. Ultimately, for the browser, the result is the same, no?


Following your edit, I can see an argument being made that maintaining static sites coming with a different workflow than maintaining a CMS and why some may not prefer it --personally, the mutability of the workflow for many of these stacks is the appeal of SSGs for me (especially, more recently 11ty[1] which I'm thinking of porting my personal site to).

[1] https://www.11ty.io/

My advice is based on my own experience, so obviously I think it is true.

It is my job to know a LOT about putting content in users browsers (from TCP protocol level up to the HTML) but I still think that GitHub pages is too limited for anything but very simple site.

It’s cool to have a static site - it’s not cool to be forced to only have a static site.

I still think that GitHub pages is too limited for anything but very simple site

Oh we wont disagree there, it absolutely has its limitations.

You had originally stated you don't consider these types of stacks to be "running my own site" and I was just wondering what the distinction was, not to necessarily call into question or invalidate your own experiences-if I gave that impression, it's on me to communicate myself a bit better next time.

You can still call APIs with a static site and do quite a bit in the browser.

I'm enjoying Netlify as a intermediate step: mostly static site, plus their Forms and Functions to add small interactive parts. I'm not sure it's easier for a beginner, though.

Sheesh, 20 years ago I had a static IP, along with my own server running web, mail, and DNS servers, in my apartment.

Either things are more complicated these days, or I just got tired of running it. Probably the latter. Then again, doing something like putting a downloadable file on Wordpress is difficult. It was easy on my own server.

At least I still have a static IP and my old domain name.

While you can still do what you did, likely you wouldn't have a static IP - at least not here in the United States.

Most home connections have a dynamic IP provided by DHCP; now, usually, that IP won't change (probably tied to the MAC address of the modem or router) - but it can change. So what most routers provide is a way to report the IP to a service like "Dynamic DNS" (https://dyn.com/dns/ - which used to be free, and this is first I've learned that it's now an Oracle project - sigh) - which can then be pointed to as the DNS service for the site - so if your address ever changes, name resolution will still be available. Other settings in your router can do various other functions to route the traffic to-and-from your server.

Which is where it also gets tricky.

Most providers "look the other way" when it comes to servers, provided they don't get popular. They also block more than a few ports, so you have to work around that as well (mainly standard ports like 80, 25, etc). But technically, most TOS contracts with broadband ISPs forbid the running of servers, and they can pull your connection if they want to for that TOS violation.

The other option would be to sign up for "business class" service with an ISP. Sometimes you can get this with your current home ISP - for a massively inflated price (and usually a drop in speed if you want to keep the costs the same). But usually you are given one or more static IPs, and the ability to run servers is part of the deal. Not all home ISPs provide this service, but the big names (COX, Comcast, etc) I believe all do.

Some, though, might throw in another "catch": You can't have business service to a residential address. This will vary based on your provider; most have realized the idea of SOHO setups and the need/want for business class service for these home-based systems. But not all have. So you have to keep that in mind, as well.

Which is why, instead of going thru all of that hassle (and it really isn't a minor amount - on top of everything else you have to do to run a home-based server, plus security, etc) - most people will instead go with some other hosted solution, a cloud virtual server being the first choice for most today.

Shared hosting is still available, of course, but last I checked, you can't get use a letsencrypt certificate with these, depending on how they have things set up (you can still purchase and set up your own certificate - but that's more money out the door).

Colocation is still an option - but it tends to be (always has been) an expensive proposition for most, unless you're planning on using it for a small amount of shared hosting (friends and family?), or you run a business providing such hosting as part of a package (I worked for an employer who did this for his clients as part of the custom websites we built - but if they wanted to host it themselves or with another provider, that was an option). Or it might be that for certain needs it would be cheaper to build the server yourself and colo it, than trying to use virtual or cloud hosting for a similar system (or you want more control over the system - the ability to visit the data center to upgrade or fix issues can be useful).

So there are plenty of options out there for someone who want to run their own piece of the internet. Ultimately, though, aside from cloud virtual hosting services, they all require a fair amount of technical competence that keeps most away, and even those who have the knowledge sometimes don't want the administrative and maintenance headaches that come with the territory.

That can be true to an extent even with shared hosting. For instance, I personally have an old shared hosting account with Hurricane Electric; I was running a website using PHP and MySQL, and about a year ago (or maybe it's been longer?) they upgraded their servers to a new version of PHP that ended up breaking my website something horrible (my website was originally a way for me to learn PHP years ago, and it never got the love it needed ultimately). I put up a quick "site broken - sorry" page and left it.

But the truth is, I don't want to have to maintain even that; worrying about issues with PHP and MySQL, dealing with thoughts of potential attacks, making sure my stuff is secure, etc. For my site, for what I used it for, all that is a hassle. Which is why I have been thinking (but have yet to execute) about going back to a simple static site. If I need comments or discussion (which I don't know if that is necessary), then I can rig up something with an outside provider - but ultimately, my pages should just be simple static HTML and some javascript. Some basic CSS to make things a little responsive, and nothing else much. I've been giving thought to doing this on a DO droplet; it'd be much cheaper than my HE hosting, and give me a bit more freedom (plus I can use an LE certificate).

I think all of this is what holds people back, and makes them seek other simpler paths; they just want to get something up and shown to the world, they don't want to deal with all the technical issues, they don't want to have to worry about security, and they don't want to have to deal with other complexities. This is why sites like Medium, and other providers (QIX, etc) have been so successful; they have removed such strain from the equation. Of course, it has come with more than a few visible, and at times hidden, costs, that content creators (and users) are beginning to experience, and more importantly, understand what they have given up.

We're probably in the process - or right on the edge - of yet another shift in "content hosting" for lack of a better term. Between the censoring on platforms, and other reasons, there is some shuffling going on it seems. What I honestly hope comes out of this is a move to distributed content (so-called "distributed web", for instance) - but I don't think things are quite there for people to really use it (though some distributed platforms I have seen really seem to be right on the cusp for adoption - if they can just market it right).

It’s a true static IP; been paying $12 extra each month since 2003. It’s Consolidated Communications here in Kansas City, and never had an issue running servers. They actually still provide Usenet too. I keep it static as I have some SDR hardware I want easy access to.

The only thing that sucks is the way asymmetric 100/5 service. I could get 300/30 with Spectrum, but I don’t want to deal with that headache, and they would charge me business class. Google and AT&T are dragging their feet on fiber. It’s a few blocks away still. Seems they move a block every few years.

>last I checked, you can't get use a letsencrypt certificate with these, depending on how they have things set up

I'm doing that on my hosting at Namecheap.

Like a lot of things, I ran out of time to be my own sysadmin. Same reason I have up on ddwrt

> [...] Medium, for example, because the company owns all the content you publish there.

Is this true? I am absolutely shocked if so.

I would assume Medium might get a license to display your content, but do you actually transfer your ownership to them by posting? If so, that's dastardly wicked.

My guess is the author meant “owns” in the informal sense of “can broadly do whatever they want with it,” not in the formal sense of “possesses an exclusive license to it.” You retain the license to content you post to Medium, while granting them specific non-exclusive usage rights.

That said, if Medium represents the only copy of your work, it should be considered at-risk. They are not obligated to retain or make it available in perpetuity. I agree with the author that this is not a desirable situation, and that you should have full control over the source of truth for your intellectual property.

https://medium.com/policy/medium-terms-of-service-9db0094a1e... says:

> You own the rights to the content you create and post on Medium.

> By posting content to Medium, you give us a nonexclusive license to publish it on Medium Services, including anything reasonably related to publishing it (like storing, displaying, reformatting, and distributing it). In consideration for Medium granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Medium may enable advertising on the Services, including in connection with the display of your content or other information. We may also use your content to promote Medium, including its products and content. We will never sell your content to third parties without your explicit permission.

In practice this lets them do literally anything they want with your content. I’m not sure what lawyers would make of the bit about not selling your content to third parties, but I cynically imagine that all it takes is for them to classify such an arrangement as one of their Services and they’re off the hook. Do note that they did not include the word “non-transferrable”, only “non-exclusive”.

It looks pragmatic and reasonable to me. You give them the non exclusive license they need to publish it. You allow them to show ads. You allow them to use your content in ads. If they get bought, well their successor would have the same rights.

This type of post makes it to the front page pretty frequently, but I think the audience on hacker News vastly underestimates the difficulty of setting up a personal site for the general public. There is always the refrain of "but just use static HTML!", as if anyone even knows what that is, as if it's so easy to set up a domain and hosting, as if no one even wants a nicely designed site with images and JavaScript that's easy to maintain. Even as a technologically literate person, I find the hassle of maintaining my own static personal website far more onerous than it has to be. Platforms are not great, but they are the only way that most people will ever interact with the web.

So for most people that are in the situation you describe I'd say they would probably just spin up a WordPress instance, pick a theme they like, and start posting.

A static html site? Even easier. There are tons of services out there that will let you host your own content for very little money or even free.

You can set up a static site on a platform like 1mb.com for next to nothing and edit the html, css, etc. To your hearts content. JavaScript mostly runs in the browser unless you're doing something more complicated than hosting your blog.

I taught myself HTML by reading source code when I was around 12 (I'm not a coder by trade). It's not a super complicated language. Nor is CSS. And there's sites like CSS Zen Garden, w3schools, and template sites all over the internet that ease that transition.

You talk about that general public, but this is a site mostly of techies, so it's natural that topics like this would be present here, far more natural than politics or posts on gossip at least. For the general public it's still pretty easy with numerous site builders, hosted solutions, etc. that will do all the heavy lifting for you. If you're not willing to take the time to learn, there's always someone who will charge you for their experience and make sure you're set up well enough to do what you need to. It can't be that hard to do with the proliferation of crackpots, marketers, and homemakers who are able to set up their own sites effectively.

While I can certainly sympathize and empathize with the idea that as a community we sometimes don't realize the difficulty in some things, on this particular topic, I think that between the market and open solutions there's a wide array of options available for someone to host their own blog with a number of entry ramps of differing difficulty.

I've not written a site from scratch in a few years (3 or 4) until recently, CSS has got a lot more complex (and yet also slightly easier as most of the core is the same across 98% of in-use browsers).

I hadn't done flexbox or css grid, didn't know what rem was, hadn't used calc(), or media queries that target based on viewport size.

Just spin-up a Wordpress instance sounds easy but most people will need/want a few plugins and things start getting complicated fast.

Before long you're handling passing special headers by modifying .htaccess and looking at Leaflet.js source code ... just to stick up a simple WordPress site.

And you still missed a million 'basics' like resizing media appropriately and adding aria-labels, and your site is not SEO friendly, and you didn't handle backups yet, ...

None of what you're saying is more than point and click in WordPress. No one you're describing is doing anything as complicated as you're describing because they don't know to even ask for it. They are going to be perfectly happy with what they are offered stock. Paying someone to host your site means things like site builders with auto resize and point and click interfaces exist. It's like half my comment was ignored.

Home Depot sells a service where you can pay $100 to have a professional handyman come to your house and knock four nails into your wall to install a shelf. People pay this because the level of complexity of using a hammer is too high. I have seen the light go out of the eyes of people with a non-technical background trying to explain even the most basic of engineering concepts (most recently, why I can't get a 10lb meterlong brick to magically lift itself out of its packaging). HTML might be the most simple language we have, but it's not simple in an absolute sense, and nothing about setting up a website outside of the platforms really is. Ask your non-technical friends: I bet most of them are not even familiar with the concept of hosting a site.

I am abundantly aware of the skills of most people. I even addressed exactly what you said in my response numerous times. I specifically said you can pay someone to host your site using site builders, templates, etc. None of that prevents someone from hosting their own site. You seem to be conflating hosting your own site from building a site from scratch. Chances are if someone doesn't have the ability to even pay someone to host their site, they aren't the target for this conversation and your point is essential moot.

No, you're just not grasping the difficulty here. Every time you introduce a new vocabulary word, you add cognitive load to learn that definition. Google "what is hosting" and you will get even more confused when they start talking about servers. Then they add extras: privacy guard, mail, SSL, even just getting a domain. To complicate things more, if you ask anyone vaguely technical for help, they will start talking about how you're getting ripped off and recommend S3 buckets and FTP access etc etc. These are not simple things; and I'm not saying all that to say oh, there's some idiots out there that can't do it; I'm saying this because when I built my own website, at 17 years old and with absolutely no CS background, my personal experience was that it was a very big learning curve and I think the average person just will not make it.

With a platform, you just... write. And it just works.

I stand corrected, you have proven that it is impossible for some people to grasp even basic concepts when determined to do so. I yield that my front line support for end users of over 13 years provides me no insights into the average, or even below average user and that your experience setting up a website at 17 trumps everything. There's just no possible way with good support some people could set up their own website, blog, or otherwise despite the fact that so many actually do it every single day. Congratulations on winning.

There's a weird bug in human psychology where anything we can easily do ourselves is considered "easy" in an absolute sense, even if we've literally spend years or even decades acquiring the skills that make it so easy. No patch is forthcoming and the issue has been marked WONTFIX in the tracker.

If you can't point and click then you cannot use a computer and you're not hosting a blog, you're probably not using a computer. There's no one who can post to Facebook that doesn't have the capability to host their own website.

Agreed. There are tens of thousands of exim servers still vulnerable. Not to mention Drupal, etc.

If you are not going to actively maintain and update it, let someone else handle it that will.

I think HN even moreso underestimates how many people want to bother. Running my own blog would be just one more spinning plate for me. I have enough of those.

Anyone has interesting themes for Jekyll/Hugo? I liked the layout in this blog - https://www.jotaen.net/ However, it is a custom template.

I think this is great advice and I tend to agree with it.

However, TechLead has recently given me pause. He spun up his YouTube channel and then quickly monetized it by dropping Paypal links into the video descriptions. He later made a video talking about doing this and how he thought it was a waste for people wanting to sell dresses, for example, to build a site with a cart and checkout, etc, instead of just selling right where their audience already was.

At the size his channel is now, I think it's a bit crazy of him not to have a site, but he's had larger success as an entrepreneur than I have thus far...

Every creator who relies on internet for income should have their website separately, there is no excuse, its cheap to get lots of storage , and most hosting providers are not hellishly censorious like social media. What we need is a wordpress-like system that allows uploading and tagging everything in a consisten format with itemproperties. Then, e.g. youtube could autoimport a videos from the feed when asked to. I dont know if such a system exist, but it seems pretty obvious that everyone who sells their content through social media should have an online fallback/backup.

There are various platform like - usercv.com, about.me who provides personal resume website without coding.

github.io is already there who provides such thing if someone knows coding.

I've been running this since 1995 - https://www.wittenburg.co.uk. Most of the stuff on it isn't public (lists, home photos, documents) and I can't imagine not having it.

It's super lightweight and yes, I still use HTML tables. Because they're easier to understand 5 years later than div tags.

Don't forget one small nuance: own website requires much (MUCH) more time for initial setup, than any other solution as service which is suggested instead. Especially if it's not a simple static site. And probably for maintenance as well (but it's debatable). Even for tech guys (especially those, who's not in webdev).

I run my website too (see profile). I use only Jekyll to compile it locally. I did my own CSS framework https://github.com/meerita/utilcss. I host it on a DO instance. I deploy it from a local terminal command.

What I’d like to see is a geocities but with: database, server side scripting, caching, memcache, and https free for limited use with a performance and availability guarantee. What would it take to get this on a massive scale?

Y Combinator’s own Garry Tan tried it with posterious and is so far succeeding with posthaven:




Our pledge to you: We'll never get acquired. We'll never shut down. You pay. We keep the lights on.

What would it be like to make a service that lasts for 10 years? 100 years? That’s what we’re trying to build at Posthaven. We’re as sick as you are to have to switch services every few years, or worry about running your own servers and getting hacked all the time.

To do that, it’ll take a small team of engineers who quietly maintain the software like a constant gardener, quietly doing the right things over time.

That’s us.

Simple, easy blogs for $5 a month, forever.

Where would the funding come from?

Cloudfunding? It's like Kickstarter but for projects that are nearly guaranteed to die. Kind of like how patrons supported art. Most of the stuff was just workday or average, but every more and then there were gems.

You mean Google Cloud and AWS?

If you're looking for a WYSIWYG website editor, you probably don't need caching/memcache, etc.

This seems like a good place to ask. Are there any free and reliable services to notify you when your website/web service is unavailable?

I do and pay about $10/year for my VPS... so about $20 per year with domain name (domain names are overpriced)... I'm thinking about going to IP only... that way it would not crap out when google's DNS goes down...

And when you do, please consider limiting the width of your content to 60-80 characters.

and 25 lines max so it fits on xterm :)

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