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