Indecision and the evolution of my personal websites

kaitlyn-baker-422999-unsplashYears ago, I thought it was a good idea to publish both a professional website and a personal blog. It was around the time I was able to purchase willkelly.com and willkelly.org. I was a contract technical writer and figured that the sites would help people find me in search results. Then reality set in…

For me at least, the first casualty of billable work is personal publishing. As time went on, I grew less dedicated to my personal blog because of a busy schedule and some life events. Eventually, I took my personal blog offline after the hosting provider didn’t notify me about some backend issues.

During that same time, my ambitions for willkelly.com continued to grow until I began using Drupal as the backend content management system(CMS). I saw the growing popularity of Drupal in my local market at the time. I also flirted with Joomla as a CMS during what I call my“Drupal era.” Apparently, my site got hacked so I moved the site to a new hosting provider and gave up on my Drupal ambitions for a while.’

Getting an account on Medium also stole even more of what little time I had for personal publishing. My Medium presence continues to this day.

I also began investing more time working on my LinkedIn presence. While I like their publishing platform from a UX perspective, their algorithms remain a challenge to getting my work out to the widest possible audience. Never has a publishing platform with such promise throw down such challenges unless you are one of their chosen influencers.

Coming full circle

After taking my personal blog offline, I took some time to review some of the evergreen posts I wrote. It was interesting to see how few of any of them reflected my current thoughts or just my current writing style. So I embarked on a personal project to revise and update some of the posts and republish them online. Enter the blog you are reading right now. WordPress.com is now the host. 

Moving my personal blog from WordPress.com remains an option. While it’s a rock solid platform, I’m not able to use WordPress extensions at my current tier. I could upgrade to a tier that supports but it’s pricey based on the amount I expect to publish on the platform. To scratch my WordPress itch, I’m working on a WordPress site to house a writing portfolio so I can link to it from my LinkedIn account.

SquareSpace became the new host for my website. While I like it as a CMS, I still can’t decide on a theme and design for the site. It works on mobile devices right out of the box which is important to me as a writer who focuses on enterprise mobility. Part of me wants to migrate the site back to Drupal or at least self-hosted WordPress for its next iteration.

I have a personal goal to publish 100 articles on LinkedIn then I plan to reevaluate publishing on LinkedIn to see if it’s worth it anymore. Linking to my DevOps Agenda articles does rack up some views. At the time of writing, I’m leaning on using Medium for more of the writing I’m currently doing on LinkedIn but we’ll see.

Final thought

I found an early love for online publishing dating back to the days when HTML was a specialized skill. Over the years, reality set in and personal publishing only comes in spurts. I’ve come to enjoy those spurts because they help keep me thinking and engaged in the technology industry
Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

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