Christened for Launch

14 February 2015

And we’re off!

 

I’ve launched a few blogs before, but none of them were proper ships. They floated along alright but didn’t meet my expectations. This won’t be problem here: There are no expectations. This isn’t to say I don’t have goals–I do–but they aren’t tied to lofty outcomes. Some wise person said something along the lines of “We’re not entitled to the fruits of our labor, but we’re entitled to our work.” I’ll stick by that.

 

The primary goal of this blog is learning. It will never be finished and will never fully satisfy me, but I’ll keep iterating to improve it. Throughout the process, I could learn about proper blogging principles (if they exist), spruce up my coding, and stick to a writing schedule. I’ll share my thoughts to anyone who cares to read, and if nobody does, they’ll be archived for my reference. This blog will serve as a mental mirror, so to speak.

 

Starting this blog, I wanted to have something that was clean–both on the back-end, front-end, and in the content. Not something that was pure and perfect–I’m not looking for expectation hangovers–but something that was wholesome and tidy. Before I understood coding, I used consumer-facing blog machines–Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, etc. They’re great for focusing on content, but their lack of customization was crippling. After I learned some web development basics, I began using WordPress.org on one of GoDaddy’s shared servers. This was messy. The server was slow, my code wasn’t clean, and the cPanel interface was limiting. Also, GoDaddy isn’t a nice company. They have that early 2000s “I can be a jerk because I’m on the Internet” vibe. I’m giving them the web-equivalent of a cold-shoulder by not linking to their site. Their SEO can starve.

 

So I’m moving my domains elsewhere. Namecheap seems like a good alternative. They sponsor hackathons and give back to the developer community. If you’d like to move from GoDaddy to Namecheap, this is a helpful guide. For this blog, I’m hosting with DigitalOcean. They’re a more-socially conscious company. They have decent documentation and are working to teach less-back-end-oriented people (like me) how to properly serve a website. Making a WordPress blog with them is pretty straightforward. WordPress.org offers a nice, open-source content-management-system (CMS) and a thriving community to help customize your site with countless themes and plugins. If you understand basic PHP and MySQL, you can build a pretty decent blog in a short time. While PHP isn’t the most beautiful language, it’s reliable and get’s the job done. If you’re more of a hacker than I, consider using GitHub’s Jekyll framework for a light and easy blog platform. Since this blog isn’t a tech-blog–at least in the hacker sense–WordPress is a more fitting CMS. Plus it’s fun to mess with CSS, build out themes, and tinker with SEO. Again, this is learning experience.

 

You can join me for the ride! I’ll be writing about my interests: Design, fiction, and the ever-dynamic information industry. I may veer off-course with stories of my projects, adventures, and micro-epiphanies, but we’ll find new seas. This ship isn’t perfect, but here’s to perpetual beta. For now, it’s time to break the bottle.

 

Ship Launch

 

Bon voyage!