All about this website

This website is 99% HTML and CSS

It was 1996 when I started making websites. I had barely learned to type and was amazed that we could publish things instantly for the world to see.

Over the years of making websites, there has been an increasing demand for data-driven websites. Websites that change dynamically over time and are responsive on different system displays data that is all cleanly labeled and stored in a database where it can be queried and re-used.

Data-driven websites free up the common person from having to understand code and be completely oblivious to how their interactions give away valuable information. When you go to Facebook the screen is filled with information and ads from Facebook and advertisers suggesting things to you. In the background, they are monitoring what you look at and searching for things that might interest you.

What interests you is not always healthy for you. It is easy to be intrigued by a horrific car crash video, then find yourself watching hundreds of them on YouTube all stitched together an hour long with weird background music.

When I post a long rant on Facebook it is read by two people maybe, then drifts off into nowhere to be found again. Tumblr always seems to be showing my articles to exactly the wrong audience which causes a frenzy of hate that makes Tumblr traffic go wild. Maybe that is just my conspiracy theory.

The point is that you never know what is going on with your data when you submit it, who it will be dished to, and what it will say about you.

So there is no CMS or blogging system managing this website. It is mostly HTML and CSS snip-pits I have collected and learned over the years. There is very minimal javascript used, and jQuery is only called on specific pages for aesthetic functions and can easily be removed. You can copy my entire site, change the data, and make it your own by right-clicking on any page and view source.

Terrible Experiences with Blogging Systems

Making your own website became a chore as technology advanced. Depreciated code, and web languages that came and went or stayed niche and faded away. Losing all your work will happen to every developer at some time.

During college, I realized the sheer power of information when it is placed in a relational database. You can query and relate just about anything you want. This began my journey of developing the perfect CMS (Content Management System). It seemed like every time I would learn a new advancement someone else came up with a better way to do it. I surrendered creating my own CMS and started using WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and many others.

I would install the CMS, import all my data, transfer all my files, configure the app, buy a nice front-end theme, and configure it all. When you are just about done, the whole site crashes because of a plugin you installed. Now you re-install your site with the fancy backup plugin you cleverly thought to install. The next month you get a call from all your web design clients you installed WordPress for saying their site was hacked. It was hacked because it is full of holes. To have functionality you have to have holes, and any customizable open source CMS will be a target for hackers.

Even if you lock your WordPress down rock solid, if you are hosting it on a shared server - the server is not secure. Just like apartment complexes there are people doing all kinds of things on that server or are just completely oblivious to any security practices. My name is on a Chinese wall of shame for hacked websites and it was not even my fault. Every website on that shared server is on that list too.

CMS systems like WordPress make their money off plugins you have to pay for. There are plugins that are dependent on plugins, and various developers are all actively working on them together. There are going to be lots of problems.

In 2013 I surrendered to using managed CMS blogging systems like Tumblr and Blogger. They worked fine, keeping my data for years, but the styling was limited and challenging for development, and they are limited to their user base.

It was 2022 when I checked on one of the first websites I developed back in 1998. It was for a metal fabrication company in Kansas. I was paid $100 an hour to develop an HTML/CSS site in FrontPage. It was still online! 20 years later it looked as aged as Windows 95, but it was all intact with the exception of a FrontPage plugin for the contact form.

So this website is hand-coded. It has errors and is messy, but functional. It is stable and hack proof. If you take my server down, I will re-upload it elsewhere. There is no hidden information or data to be breached. My interaction with the public is limited to seeing an anonymous visitor on Google Analytics and the emails I get from this domain.

Open Source and No copyright

I have a friend who published a book and it did not take off in the US. A guy translated it into Chinese and it is a top seller in China.

All I share on here is not perfect, but meant to be shared. That includes the website itself. You can right-click on any webpage and select 'View Page Source' then you can copy that page to your own server, change the content, modify and improve it, and even call it your own if you want.

Every page is designed to be able to be modified and updated as easily as posting to Facebook. Everything can be updated remotely on my cell phone using a simple text editor and file transfer app.

I am old school and after chasing my tail fixing major CMS systems for many years of my life, I am using simple, down-to-earth HTML for storing my data.

They are hack proof and there is no data to steal. The website will never go down because a database crashed, PHP hung up, and SQL injections. It can be backed up and restored easily to any server. I do not believe in duplicating my data for each device or using multiple templates. I use CSS to make my page as responsive as I can on every device.

My code has lots of comments for easy reference when I am putting together new pages. It is modular in a very basic sense. You will have to put all the pieces together. For instance, Twitter and Facebook share require a bit of HTML, CSS, and Javascript placed in different sections of the document and their little buttons will not work without it. For stability and coding when I am not in range of the internet I keep all CSS, JS, fonts, and other linked files in local directories on the server. If you View Page Source, those will appear as links. Make sure you copy that file down too if you steal a page.

The code on every page of this website was hand coded, copied from saved snippits over the years, shared by other developers, or learned on W3schools and is free of any proprietary plugins. I do have one page that requires jQuery but I rarely make use of it. My motto is to keep it simple. I am impressed by simplicity. In fact this very page was based on a free CSS parallax effect another developer named Ryan came up with and posted on Codepen here. Cheers Ryan! 🍻