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6 Reasons why Running My Own Website is more Empowering than Social Networking or Working as an Engineer

6-14-19


My website, misc-stuff.terraaeon.com, is the eleventh website I've created, and the second blog. I host my website on my own computer. I've been blogging now for the better part of a year, and I've discovered that I enjoy it. For anyone who may be considering doing this, is technically inclined, and is not afraid of putting in some work, I can highly recommend it. Here are some of the reasons I like owning and hosting my own website.




  1. I decide what I want to accomplish with my website. As an engineer, someone else always decides what should be accomplished on every project on which I work. Actually, several someones make those decisions. Unfortunately, they are rarely people who have any idea how the problems will ultimately be solved or which solutions are optimal. But, that doesn't stop them from making top-level decisions. They are company executives, marketers, and accountants. On my website, I am the executive, the marketer, and the accountant.

  2. I have 100% control of the day-to-day operation of my website. I define the rules. If I don't want advertising, I don't allow it. If I want to ban Google, I do. If I don't want readers to make comments, I don't provide a comment box. If I want to respect visitors enough not to track them, I don't track them. I take care of all the maintenance and administrative details. I don't have to wait for anyone else to get around to doing that. I take care of things when I want them done, on my schedule.

  3. I can say whatever I want, and no one can stop me. It isn't that I want to have a platform for abuse, but if I say something on a social media site that someone doesn't like, I can be kicked off. That can't happen on my website. If I want to complain about Walmart's green bananas, I do. If I don't want Al Gore's name to appear on my website, it doesn't. Oops! I guess it does after all.

  4. I can get as involved in the technical details as I want. I can decide what computer to run my website on, what operating system to use, and what webserver software to run. If I want to write my own software to avoid having third parties advertising on my website, I do. If I don't want to bog down my computer with a generalized, and therefore inefficient, database program, I don't. I decide whether to run a single website, multiple websites, multiple sub-domains, and so forth. Unlike being an engineer, where just about everyone can veto any decision I make--on my website, no one can veto my decisions.

  5. I get to use the code I write. After I have written whatever code I have chosen to write, I get to deploy it and directly receive the benefit of having well-written code running on my website. I am almost never able to do that as an engineer. As an engineer, I'm often sweating bullets to make something work for someone else, to solve their problems. Then, when I get that something working, they take it, and I never get to play with it again. On my website, I get to play with everything! Since I have chosen to write all my own HTML files and PHP code, I can decide exactly how I want my website to look. I don't have to work within a Wordpress template. I don't have to live with Wordpress or Google logging the IP addresses of everyone who visits my website.

  6. I have learned so much about how websites and the internet work. I know all the details of how to get a website up and running: details like like how to secure a webserver, how to buy an internet domain, running multiple websites on the same webserver, writing PHP code and HTML, TLS encryption algorithms, webserver configuration files, enabling PHP, HTTPS self-certification, disabling hot-linking, setting up static and dynamic IP addresses on a local network, router port unblocking and port forwarding, SSL/TLS security certificates, and how to generate a stronger Diffie-Hellman parameter for key exchange. I also have a much better understanding of how Google controls the internet in ways that are beneficial for it and detrimental to us.



Yes, it's all about me, me, me for a change. I get what I want by running my own website on my own server. If you are someone who is fed-up with being at the mercy of the major social media companies or who is tired of dealing with internet hosting companies, you should look into setting up your own website on your own computer. It is a LOT of work, but it has been worth it for me.



--Tie






  

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