Breaking Things

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Breaking Things

The design of my old personal site
I didn’t have much love for my old site.

I hate my personal site. Although it car­ries my name, it says next to no­th­ing about who I am today.

I hate how it looks. I hate how it behaves. I hate that it’s a blog. I hate that it runs on Wordpress. I hate that it forces me to deal with PHP and MySQL. I hate that it’s still host­ed on the same hosting account that I’ve had for over ten years, that I’m paying way too much for, and that dutifully crashes on cue whenever there’s any spike in traffic. I hate that I have to stare at the butt‐ugly sewer beast of a site administration panel that is CPanel…

Yes, I believe it can be said with some level of certainty that I’m really not too fond of my personal site.

The worst thing is, I’ve known about this for quite some time now. And, instead of do­ing something about it when I first realised it, I started ignoring the problem. I’m too busy, you see (but not too busy to watch all four seasons of Merlin, followed by both seasons of Legend of the Seeker*). The cobbler’s children have no shoes, you must under­stand… Pick a whiny ex­cuse of the hour and I’ll recite it back to you with all the confidence and charm of a man in denial who hates his site.

Sometimes, you need to break things before you can fix them.

The longer I left the site, the more a­shamed of it I got. And the more a­shamed of it I got, the harder I ignored it. It was a vicious cycle that meant that before long, I stopped blogging com­plete­ly. Al­most imme­diate­ly, I start­ed to feel the ache of my unfulfilled desire to write in my very bones. And my followers be­gan to feel the pain in their timelines as I vented my unblogged frustrations in a staccato of bite‐sized squeaks on Twitter. But Twitter is no substitute for a good, meaty, long‐form rant that you can really sink your teeth into.

Breaking Things has allowed me the freedom to write again without being ashamed of where my words are being read. However, it’s time to stop ignoring the ele­phant in the room: I need to do some­thing about my per­sonal site. So, today, I took some action. I broke it.

Picking up the pieces

If you visit the site that carries my name today, you will see a very basic page that has my ugly mug, bio, and contact details. It took me about an hour to put together and I already like it better than what was there before. The blog posts from my over a de­cade of blogging are still there but not linked to from the main page. Don’t worry, I have no intention of breaking the web; I’ll export static versions of the posts before I move away from Wordpress and my old host and issue permanent re­directs so all existing links will still work.

Breaking the site was the first step.

Sometimes, you need to break things before you can fix them.

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