Making a personal website

==I’ve been trying to do this for four years== ***

The timeline of me trying and failing to make a personal website

Senior year of highschool

I wanted to make a personal website for myself for applying to colleges. I was daunted by the prospect of making one because I was too hell-bent on making it exactly want I wanted for the the all-forseeable future rather than simply making a temporary google sites that would get the job done and then I could toss it for something later. That was a mistake.


The primary strategy that I was looking into at this time was using Wordpress with a template. Wordpress is kind of a behemoth because it’s really more a system/framework for creating a website rather than a hosting service or something more specifically dedicated to making a personalized website.

When I made my senior project I used Wordpress with a template, google domains to buy the domain, and Gator Hosting to host. I remember Wordpress had a lot of integrated stat-tracking for seeing site viewership and settings, but overall it was very complicated.


Freshman year of college
Github pages

I think it was freshman year of college that I learned about Github Pages which is free! It just takes a github repo and hosts a live but mostly static page from it. If you want to use this to make a website but you don’t know front-end development then you’ll want to use something like Jekyll to pick a theme and run with it (Jekyll is especially good for blogging).

I actually did a ton of research and set up my own Jekyll website with a documentation-style template that I picked after a lot of deliberation. I still have the infrastructure on my laptop for editing my website code in vscode, then pushing my changes to github and seeing it update. However, once I finally got all the infrastructure set up and I was like alright! now it’s finally time to actually make the thing!” I stopped working on it because it was once again daunting.

I think the issue with this is that it still requires a lot of time dedicated to figuring out formatting issues with front-end, it’s like the equivalent of using Linux instead of MacOS.

I liked the fact that my theme had a level of integrated wikipedia style documentation, so I was planning to use that for essentially writing posts about stuff I’m working on all the time and serve as life-documentation. However, I eventually discovered Obsidian much later and that ended up being a much better option for this purpose than a Jekyll website.



Junior/Senior Year of College

A lot of time passed between my last attempt at a personal website and now, mainly because LinkedInsufficiently served the purpose of being my this is me” website during that time, and it pops up to the top of google search results.

I was also using Google Keep during this time as my notes app. These notes were basically stream of consciousness without any consistent formatting or infrastructure around them.

But everything changed when the fire nation attacked Lucas Lucia introduced me to Obsidian. At the time that he had introduced it to me I was actually working on transferring my notes to after a suggestion from Sabrina Olson, but Lucas pointed out that Obsidian was locally stored and based on simple markdown, so more transferable.

Obsidian Publish

Obsidian allows you to publish your entire vault to a website - you can specify which pages you want to be published and which ones you don’t. You can click through all the links just the same, although it is missing some of the UI elements/features of the desktop app (depends on how you configure it).

Square Space

This option has always been kinda there but since it’s so mainstream there are always gonna be limitations and strings attached”. I didn’t know this until I’m writing this right now but its $16 a month! That’s a lot for a service that still has rabbit holes, limitations, non-transferability, and tacks their big logo on the bottom of your site without your opting out.

I think people usually choose this because they don’t know about any other options and they want the equivalent of microsoft powerpoint drag & drop but for making websites. Squarespace also only really saves you time if you’re happy with a template of the box, but if you want to do a lot of configuring then it’s still gonna take as much time as Jekyll or something else.



What do I want my personal website to look like?
What are the options?