I really love to engage the web as a medium for creating content, whether for pure personal enjoyment or as part of my professional capacity in marketing technology products. For the former, I’ve been maintaining a personal website, self-designed and built from the ground up.
I use my site as an opportunity for personal branding, but also as my own “playground” to learn new web development skills, and experiment with various ideas for crafting visually appealing layouts.
Below is a graphic that shows the specific resources I use on a daily basis with my personal website.
Because I’m not a full-time web developer, I choose to stick with the basics. Keep it simple and don’t over-complicate things.
I use WordPress as the foundation for my blog because of its reliability, massive popularity, ease of use, customization capabilities, and the continual support of a incredibly large and resourceful community around the world. I’ve done quite a bit of customization for my WordPress blog, using my own child theme and several bits of PHP coding to create custom page templates, and deliver specific functions to my needs.
My site is hosted by a virtual private server and a standard technology stack for serving up web content to a browser. Basically, VPS is a small virtual machine running in the cloud. I chose to go the VPS route for a combination of low cost and predictably fast performance and reliability. Most of us will opt for an inexpensive shared web hosting service, but I’ve found website access speeds highly variable and often unacceptably slow.
Going to a VPS requires quite a bit of manual installation and configuration, but you do get to learn interesting stuff along the way about web servers and how to set them up.
When creating your web content and functionality, you’ll want to do this on your local computer before deploying to your live web server. For code editing, I use the extremely popular Visual Studio Code from Microsoft. It’s awesome, free, and also includes a wealth of great third-party extensions to complement its very good lineup of features. On my computers (Mac, PC, and Linux), I’ll use a local instance of the Apache web server for testing and debugging. For the blog, I use MAMP on my Mac which easily provides the necessary web stack for WordPress, without having to build it from scratch.