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Your Own Website

Your Own Website

Your Own Website

Does anyone else around here run a website/blog/vlog outside of your main job?

educational / hobby / side-hustle / blog / fun-and-games / etc.

I started the url in my signature back in 2015 as a response to constantly seeing similar, yet grossly uninformed, websites trying to tell riders about motorcycle lubrication topics. It was making my actual job harder by constantly having to debunk myths from these other sites and re-educate people. The frustration eventually drove me to the point that I said I might as well do it myself, and I started my site to provide an unbiased and unaffiliated source of information about the topic.

So does anyone else have something similar that they do? Does anyone run a site or YouTube channel as a hobby that you either do for free (or pay to do in my case), or just isn't part of your main source of income?

Andrew H.

RE: Your Own Website

I've had several over the course of the years. Each serving their own purpose. Some, if free to maintain, are still in the aether. Others have long been shut down.


RE: Your Own Website

I make no money from my sites so it's probably safe to link to them. They are merely archives of hobby information that I find useful/interesting/worth sharing sometimes:
www.sparweb.ca for some wind turbines that I built
www.rigel.ca for some of my favorite photos (but never finished)


RE: Your Own Website


I have a website of my own, and I run websites for a hiking club and a pub trivia league, linked from my site.


RE: Your Own Website

Where does one go to start/create/develope a website? I have a few in mind to start...just not sure where/how to start.

Also: are there tools to develop a forum (like this one)?

The cheaper the better. I wouldn't be making money off of these sites.

This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: Your Own Website


The HTML language is idiot simple. This is especially true if you use the cascading style sheets (CSS) to make it pretty. Beware of books on HTML 5. I do not know how well the new <section> tag is supported by browsers. The style sheets are a bit more work, but they still are not very complicated.

There is lots of stuff like this online.


RE: Your Own Website

I use Wordpress for my website. I'm sure it isn't the best, but I never really did any shopping around. I just picked one that was relatively cheap and went with it. I've been happy enough to not bother looking elsewhere so far. It offers a lot of functionality, a lot of free "widgets" and tools, along with pretty professional appearances, which I like.

There are plenty of other ones out there too though. Square Space comes to mind just because I've heard that one referenced a lot.

Andrew H.

RE: Your Own Website

I think Wix and GoDaddy are worth looking into.
Depends on how commercial you want the site to be. There are professional web consultants that can give you a "package". I haven't had good luck with these people because the long-term support isn't there.
Whatever you choose, ask questions like "how does my company do business through the website?" "will I get paid through my website?" "Do my customers want detailed product information from my website?" "Do I need to integrate a bunch of social media to my website?" "Will I loose a sale if my website doesn't do [X]?"


RE: Your Own Website

I'm currently maintaining three sites.
  • A small (half dozen pages) Wordpress based site for a choral society - they paid a chunk of money to someone to build it for them, then got cold feet when he tried to ramp the maintenance (ie looking after security patches etc) cost up by about 1000% halfway through the first year. Now runs on space rented remotely on a shared server.
  • An 11 page site that got thrown together in a hurry for a chamber choir (by the then-chairman) on Google Sites.
  • A 15ish page simple site I built for our church, hand coded in HTML on a text editor (Bluefish), served off a Raspberry Pi that sits under my lad's desk in the study.
Although Wordpress and Google sites are intended to be maintainable by people without explicit coding skills (which is how they got sold to the respective choir committees), I find both a little bit too prone to put their own spin on what I ask them to do. Changing a couple of paragraphs of text here and there is no problem, but when I want to fine-tune the layout the result is, compared to my original intention, inevitably much as the output of the Nutri-Matic Drink Dispenser® is to a nice cup of tea.

Wordpress is an utter resource hog. With layer upon layer of caching, I can get it to serve content to the audience at a reasonable speed. As soon as I log onto the dashboard to do any editing (which bypasses all the caching) the whole thing runs at the speed of a geriatric tortoise on Largactyl. A pretty basic site (half a dozen pages without any video or sound) chews up the better part of 400 MB of server space.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how well the bargain-basement solution for the church site works. It took me a few days' planning, and a long day's coding to come up with a CSS file and a collection of template pages to give me the behaviour I wanted but after that, maintenance is a real doddle. It's easy to forget how much HTML can be generated through simple copy and paste. The files are small (the whole site takes up just 2MB on the server), so the pages load fast even though they're served off a toy server down a home broadband link. Most of the pages are effectively complete inside 200 ms. If I accept that I'm already running the Pi full time and paying for a DynDNS account for other purposes, the annual costs are a little bit of my time and about a tenner for the domain name registration. Although this approach commits me to keeping the server fully patched, that only takes me about two minutes maybe twice a week.


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