Learning how to build a website

Building my own desktop PC was a seemingly impossible goal I set for myself in 2012. I had just moved to another town for attending college and I was homesick, sad, and unemployed. I needed a project to focus on. 

I knew next to nothing about PC parts. Not to mention the only building experience I had prior to this was messing around with Legos. The Internet is a pretty big place with pretty bad information at every corner, so before I started researching PC parts I had to research how and where to look for information on PC parts. The journey was going to be a long one.

I turned to Reddit and found a wonderful community over at /r/buildapc. It has 1.3 million subscribers at the time of writing. It’s huge. Subreddits have a reputation for getting toxic as they grow in size, but this is not the case here. I love the people over there. They have very useful resources, too. In fact, you can learn most of what you need to know just by reading the material if you are digitally antisocial.

Anyway, long story short: I researched PC building for a couple of months before choosing my parts on PCPartPicker. It’s an incredible website. You absolutely want to use this when you build your PC. Philip, the guy who created it, is a genius. In January of 2013, I had received all my parts and decided to build. I used PCPartPicker’s build videos as a reference and it was a lot of fun.

Fast-forward to 2018. I hit a rough patch: personal problems, lost my job, etc. Not good. I needed a new project to focus on. I decided to once again learn how to build something seemingly impossible: a website. Of course, I was once again facing the same problems I had before. A lot of stuff to read and research. Web hosts, domains, WhoIs, SSL certificates, front end development, back end development, etc. But you know what? It turns out you don’t need to know all of this stuff to start building a website in 2019. Many platforms now offer a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor along with drag & drop functionality. There are dozens of companies to choose from, but I settled on Squarespace for 3 reasons. One, it’s the most popular one within my Internet bubble (podcasters I listen to, YouTubers I watch, and bloggers I read). Two, it’s an all-in-one solution: you can buy the domain from Squarespace, host on Squarespace, and do everything right on Squarespace. They even give you free WhoIs privacy. Three, I had a promo code. Thanks, John Gruber.

This is it. This is the website I’m building. I started on Valentine’s Day, so not long before publishing this blog entry. It would be cliche to say it’s a work in progress, but it’s a work in progress. I’m going to document the process of building a thing inside the thing I am building. I had a lot of fun setting up the first version of the site, and I’m looking forward to learning more. 

If you have tips or simply want to say something, shoot me an email and I’ll read it.