When I saw Zach Leatherman’s tweet over the weekend, I smiled as I read the responses.
And thought back to when I created my first personal website and what technology I used.
How long have you had your personal web site? What was its tech stack evolution?
I’ll go first: https://t.co/ggcRs3SQVf was
1️⃣ 2007: WordPress
2️⃣ 2013: Jekyll
3️⃣ 2018 to now: @eleven_ty
— Zach Leatherman (@zachleat) February 14, 2021
What a trip down memory lane as people responded to Leatherman’s question, with many people sharing how they started out by hand-coding HTML and CSS for their website.
1️⃣ 1994 hand-coded in emacs on a college server. I could only see it in the computer lab. It was all text. Upgraded to BBEdit, FTP, and images as time went on. There was a ~ in the URL!
2️⃣ 2000 Blogger
3️⃣ 2003 Moveable Type
4️⃣ 2005-now WordPress
Jeez I’m ancient.
— Jen Langley (@jen_langley) February 15, 2021
2003 to now (with occasional experiments with WordPress): HTML and CSS powered by Notepad.
— Richard Morton (@accessibleweb) February 15, 2021
2009: I wrote it all myself in html+CSS and a friend hosted it
2013-now: Squarespace (should prob switch to webflow but I don’t hate the website enough yet)
— nicola 🖍️ (@nicolarushton) February 15, 2021
1999 – 2002: HTML with tables for layout
2002 onwards: Handcoded HTML + CSS and a bit of PHP
Bollocks to overly complicated stacks 🤓
— Jakester13 (@webfundi) February 14, 2021
I wasn’t surprised to learn many people use (or used) WordPress for their personal website.
And that’s it.
— Bruce Lawson (@brucel) February 15, 2021
2000: Hand-coded HTML
2002: PHP, MySql (custom CMS)
2006 and current: WordPress https://t.co/uKoGmpUBJn
— Kim Johannesen (@overflowhidden) February 15, 2021
And others who started with HTML and CSS, took a turn with Flash, only to return to HTML and CSS.
2️⃣2004 HTML/CSS + Flash
— John Henry Müller and 4 others (@johnhenrymuller) February 14, 2021
My friend Meryl Evans was one of the early adopters of a personal website; she had her first personal site online in 1994!
When I chatted with her this morning, Meryl told me she used onramp to upload HTML pages.
Over the years, she’s used Blogger and MoveableType. Since 2003, she’s used WordPress.
What a surprise when Meryl shared a screenshot from her site in 1995!
3️⃣ 2003-2018: WordPress 0.7 to current. Initially no template. Custom-designed with a lot of workarounds thanks to a brilliant developer and a bad idea on my part.
3.5 2018/2019ish: Briefly on Divi. Distaster.
Attached is screenshot of website in 1995! pic.twitter.com/XyKDCkSrNL
— Meryl Evans is speaking @a11yATX on 25 Feb (@merylkevans) February 17, 2021
My Personal Website Technology Journey
As for me, I created my first personal website in 1997, using the Windows Notepad text editor to hand-code web pages with HTML and CSS.
From 2000-2002, I started using an actual HTML editor: HoTMetal Pro. (Note how the capitalized letters in the product number spell out HTML.)
Here’s a screenshot of my site from April 2001:
And sometime during that time period, I started to write HTML/CSS with Server Side Includes.
The early to mid-2000’s was an experimental time for me, where I used a number of different technologies:
In the late 2000’s, I continued trying out different technologies. I found Frog CMS to be a simple, elegant content management system, one that I preferred over WordPress.
I used Frog CMS from 2007 to 2010. And started a separate blog in 2010 using Posterous.
Soon after Twitter purchased Posterous in 2012, they announced they were closing it down in April 2013.
I migrated my 500+ Posterous blog posts to WordPress in early 2013, which is what I use today for this site.
What a journey back in time, reading what technology people used to create their personal websites over the years.
Thinking back to the technology I used to create my own website, I remember how I enjoyed researching new tools and platforms.
How about you? When did you publish your first personal website? And what technology did you use? Share your experience in the comments.