Fifteen plus Years Building This Website

July - 2015
TODO: Figure out why this isn't working in MDX


Today, this site is _officially_ fifteen years old.

TODO: Restore image here: {{% img src="screengrab-20150713--1032-01b.png" %}} 

Crazy as that seems, it's actually even older. I started it in the late '90s. The records database doesn't go back that far. So, I don't know exactly when. I tried using the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to figure it out. No help there. The first snapshot wasn't until [July 18, 2001](https://web.archive.org/web/20010601000000*/http://www.alanwsmith.com). 

I still get a kick out of that iteration of the home page. It refreshed every four seconds. Each time presenting a bunch of  "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy." sentences in different layouts. An ode to [The Shining](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shining_(film)). 

TODO: Restore image here: {{/* img src="screengrab-20150713--1133-01a.png" */}} 

That page was hand built in language from Microsoft called ASP (for Active Server Pages). Every time someone loaded it, the server would pick a random selection from the dozen or so different "all work..." layouts and display it. Nothing fancy. Just a fun little experiment. 

In September 2005 I started blogging at Blogger.com. Within two months I decided I was going to keep at it and migrated everything here. The [brief post I wrote about the move](/the-blog-is-dead-long-live-the-blog) had this line:

> I like the idea of having my stuff be mine and not under someone else's control. 

Could've used some editorial help on that one but the sentiment holds. After a decade and a half working on a personal site, I can highly recommend it for everyone. And, thanks to the march of technology, it's easy for anyone to do it for free. 

If you're not a tech person, go to [Wordpress.com](https://wordpress.com) and click the "Create Website" button. You'll be up and running in a few minutes. Over time, you'll be much happier working on your own thing than something in someone else's social network. 

---


_Notes_

- Wordpress is "Open Source Software". That means you can take your site off "Wordpress.com" and put it somewhere else.
- Wordpress is a great choice for tech folks too. It gets you up and running and is easy to migrate away from if you find another platform to use later.