Build Personal Websites

During a morning discussion at the 32-Bit Cafe about personal websites and how they exist outside of professional web developers, I asked:

How do you think the existence of wikis and fandom-like sites discourages people from creating their own websites about things they’re interested in?

Do you think it’s pointless or a useless endeavour?

Nick mentioned, “They serve two different purposes…” while Honey Bread pointed out the confines within many fandoms where specific interpretations are often deemed “correct,” potentially suppressing diverse perspectives, saying, “…there are ‘correct’ interpretations which like… ehhhhhhhhhhhh… maaaaybe but it’s sure less interesting than hearing everyone’s take.”

For me, the joy of personal websites lies in their distinctive viewpoints and creativity. Wikis and fandoms, while informative, often lack that personal touch. They act as a starting point, helping shape my ideas and exploration into a topic that sparks the basis for new website projects.

Fern observed how much of the modern web is “sanitised” to avoid offence. This sanitisation, prevalent in wikis, strips away the personality and excitement I love seeing when surfing the web.

Wikis primarily serve factual purposes, perfect for quick references or deep dives into specific subjects. Conversely, fan sites and independent pages offer a space for opinions, discussions, and interpretations, fostering engaging and creative narratives from provided facts.

Xandra wants websites that reflect the human experience, delving into personal worldviews and unique interpretations of daily occurrences. “Tell me about how your worldview shapes your family movie time or how your travel experience reshaped your perspective on a certain film. I want to read the human experience, not just what’s ‘correct.’”

Fern also made an interesting point about modern movie reviews, highlighting the shift from personal impact to technical critique. “Many movie reviews focus less on the reviewer’s experience and more on technical aspects.” For me, a movie’s entertainment value matters more than its technicalities.

In a recent post, I commented on the importance of website domain names. However, upon reflection, I contradict myself and suggest that content reigns supreme. Forget the domain, hosting, or design—Prioritise content. There’s nothing worse than having a beautifully designed website with little to say.

I’m a big fan of websites created from pure enjoyment, free of a monetised agenda. Website creation should revolve around fun.

Do you want to build a website for the hell of it but don’t know where to begin? Create a fan site. It could be for a musician, band, TV show, movie, or book. Anything that you’re interested in. A great example of a fan site that I love is It’s Not Stupid-It’s Advanced!, an Invader Zim fan site by Key.

Or perhaps your expertise lies in something more obscure? Check out Coby’s A visit to the Neverland Valley Ranch or DVDNerd’s Push Button Reviews. Both of these examples make the web a better place to surf.

Once you’ve got your content sorted, you’ll need somewhere to create your page. Check out these platforms to get started:

(Thanks, Xandra, for the links)

And if you need help, come and join us over at the 32 Bit Cafe. We’re here to get you started with building your own website.

Let’s celebrate the joy of personal websites. They offer a canvas for unique perspectives, human experiences, and uninhibited expression. They’re not merely an echo of the ‘correct’; they’re a celebration of individuality.

If you’re inspired to create a silly personal website for the hell of it, make sure to share the link with me—I’d love to see what you create!

View this page on GitHub.