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Me and My Broken Site(s)

· 2 min read
Ye Shu

My personal website is finally up and running today! It is already 821 days after I purchased this domain (huh I'm such big a procrastinator). I also have a blog running on the subdomain for some longer and possibly non tech-related blog posts.

This is not the first personal website I've ever made. I coded my very first personal website in 2014 using static HTML and CSS (that was the time when most websites were still using HTML 4.01 and you had to decide whether you want a "strict" version of HTML), after a bit of self-learning with W3Schools. In fact, I wasn't even learning from the true W3Schools, but an imitation of it.

That was my first step, before I got into building more complicated (and dynamic!) websites using PHP, with the help from lecture videos of Harvard's open course CS75. Shortly afterwards, I hosted my first dynamic website on the free hosting space RedHat OpenShift by 2016 (though it served more as a proxy server for me to get around the Internet censorship—that would be the topic of some other day). Sadly, all these codes were lost during the years (I didn't even know how to use git at that time).

Since then, I have hosted different sorts of personal websites: portfolios, WordPress blogs, and many lightweight alternatives like typecho or hugo. But to be honest I was more interested in the process of trying out new frameworks or toolsets, instead of actually settling down and writing something. And what use are websites of if not for sharing information?

In fact, that's what motivates me to still build blogs and websites to this day, in the year of 2021, when most people are turning to centralized social media platforms like WeChat, Instagram, Twitter ..., when small websites are almost extinct from public sight. I became so fed up by the frequent warnings of "sensitive words" that force me to water down and censor my comments so I finally decided to start (again) a website of my own to at least have a place to myself where I can actually write something undisturbed. And that's why, out of the innumerable possibilities, you are reading this article right now.