It was a long murky process launching my first website. Since 2010, I had great desire to start blogging about technology.
How it all started
I got my first computer in ‘14 and all I wanted then was to make the dream of running my own website a reality as soon as possible. I came across freelancerkenya.com and everything changed. There I found a cool getting started guide about websites.
Going through the small PDF guide allowed me to speed through the process of creating and launching my first website. It taught me everything from the domain to launch. I acquired the domain techkenya(.)com as I planned to write about technology.
The website didn’t look fancy, but it had all the features I wanted. It used the Point theme which is a free theme from the WordPress.org community. There’s also a premium version of the theme.
The first article? It was about something Apple. I guess macbooks and iPhones fascinated me.
What I learnt Building and Running My First Website
- How to self-host WordPress
- WordPress security
- Basic SEO techniques
- Basics of Google analytics
- Using the famous cpanel
- Working with forms
- Caching techniques for WordPress
And much more.
The challenges I encountered
After a few days running the website, I noticed that WordPress was really slow and resource intensive if used carelessly or when it is not well optimized.
Example: I came across an image optimization plugin and installed it. The plugin recommended that I let it optimize all the more than 100 images that I had there. Little did I know it would use all the server resources to process the images and my Hostgator account would immediately get restricted. I didn’t even know what restriction terms Hostgator had in place; I could no longer use advanced features unless I corrected the issue that caused restrictions to be imposed.
After some time, I had to learn about caching plugins and the optimal settings to improve the website’s response.
Advancing in knowledge and skill
Then I came across the CDN thing when I visited one website and read about Akamai. Curiosity set in and I later I found a free alternative; Cloudflare.
After a few months, I wanted something more than just a website and a blog. I wondered how forums functioned and even tried a few WordPress plugins but I did not like their performance. I went for other solutions outside of WordPress and none made me happy still.
Eventually, coursework caught up with me and I could only dedicate the remaining time to other money-making projects. Consequently, the blogging spirit receded.
I have since left WordPress for the simplest of projects and I use it only when the client specifically requests it for its robust content management offers.
If I could go back to day one of making websites, I think I’d approach it the same way. The path I took allowed me to learn from my mistakes; I can now deliver super fast and extremely optimized web applications, thanks to the mistakes I made and lessons I learnt along the way.