Building your own website can be a tough task. And believe me when I say it, its really tough than it sounds. Finding and sticking to a platform that suits your needs needs extra effort and thought. And since I have faced such problems myself, I decided to write out how I chose a platform for my website so that others can take benefit of the process.
Inititally when I purchased my domain in 2010, I had no idea what to do with it. I was new to the concept of domain names and it really seemed interesting to me to own a property on the Internet, an identity on the virtual online world. So to satisfy my curiousity, I went ahead and purchased asitkhanda.com for ₹1500 ($21) from Go Daddy. And like anything we purchase in life, I simply left it at that. And it wasn't until 2013 that I decided to do something with it.
In 2013, I found out about Blogger and how you can use it to have your own blog but I couldn't find of a way to point people to my blogger site when they typed in asitkhanda.com so with extensive research for months, I finally learned about redirections and used it to point people to my blog. So whenever people would type asitkhanda.com, it would redirect them to asitkhanda.blogspot.com. That was my first attempt to have my own website. The site still exists today but with no content whatsoever because I didn't write any posts back then. It went on for a year when I finally stumbled upon Wix.
Wix was particularly new to me and at the time, it hadn't even come to India. But the 'free' option is what really attracted me. Also, being a design obssessed guy I was definitely in for the beautiful design (for the time). Drag & Drop to create a website? That was freaking mindblowing in itself. Cause all I knew back then was that you have to write huge amount of code to get the theme you wanted. But there was one big problem (which still exists today), the free plan doesn't allow you to link up to your own domain so I ended up using the same redirection technique I mentioned earlier.
Two years passed by with the Wix platform, I mainly kept my photos on the site to highlight my photography and blogging at the time, was completely out of the scenario. Then WordPress jumped the to India and made a big splash. It was already available for India but it was never localized, especially the pricing. And with that, a huge swath of hosting platforms bursted onto the scene and out of nowhere, Indians suddenly had access to cheap hosting plans. That was the first time, I became interested in the idea to pay for hosting my website. I did my own research and found out that hosting on wordpress.com has its own disadvantages and so I instead opted for Cloudways managed hosting. It costs me $10/month back then using Digital Ocean servers. Blogging now became the prime spot as WordPress sites are usually primed towards that unless you make massive modifications on the backend. But what kept troubling me was how complex WordPress was, it wasn't a problem in general but for a person like me who just wanted to blog, there were way too many options than I can ever use.
It was during this time that I learned about Ghost, the open source blogging platform built on Node.js unlike WordPress which is built on PHP. Ghost really provided a clean and minimalistic interface and it immediately caught my eye. It was built for bloggers and writers. But the problem was Node.js hosting was very knew at the time and the only Ghost hosting was provided by the people at Ghost themselves and it was way too expensive for me to be able to afford it.
I also happened to stumble upon carrd.co, a minimalist website creator. It has a yearly pricing which is very affordable and offers you 10 different website from the same account. I immediately switched to it and off loaded my blog to Medium. Until very recently, I was using that when finally Digital Ocean announed affordable Ghost hosting plans and now, with this redesign I intend to keep this for the forseeable future, writing about topics that I actually want people to care about.