This blog has been a long time coming in ways you don’t even understand. Let me walk you through how it came to be. Before I do that, know this. WordPress is going to be mentioned in three different contexts here, as follows:
WP1 – free, WordPress.com site
WP2 – self-hosted WordPress.org site
WP3 – paid for, WordPress.com site with custom domain
If you want to know the differences, you can read this article.
Okay, now we can begin.
Back in Summer 2014, a young, bored boy logged onto tumblr.com and set up his first official blog. That boy was me. I can’t remember exactly what I called it but I remember enough to know it was embarrassing. Perhaps my poor name choice foreshadowed the poor number of followers I had. I couldn’t even wait till the end of the summer to delete the thing. It wasn’t just the name, but the content was also poor. I hadn’t properly matured my writing style so a lot of the time, a lot of the stuff didn’t have the impact I was aiming for. Almost a year later I had another attempt. This one looked more rounded. The name was naturalrobotics and it was another Tumblr blog. The name was what I believed to be an accurate description of my personality – i.e. that my social skills were so bad they could be perceived as being _‘naturally robotic’. _It’s nice to see some things have since changed. With this new blog, came a new confidence to share my posts on Facebook with family and friends. I remember the first one got 11 likes and 4 comments which was unheard of all the way back in 2015.
That’s not me showing off (clearly). That’s me showing you the origins of what you’re reading now. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way. That theme of encouragement continued with that blog. The number of followers wasn’t anything to shout home about, but my friends and family were now on my side reading, following and enjoying my posts. However, with it being a Tumblr blog, I was inclined to include content which wasn’t my own on there: reblogs from other blogs I found interesting and funny. This would have been pictures, videos, or links to other things. I desired something where it was just me and my stuff. So with that, I created a new, WP1 blog with the same name. That one would only feature my written text content, as well as gaining exposure to millions of potential new readers.
Alas, it still wasn’t enough. I craved for my own domain and for my blog to look and feel exactly the way I wanted it to. Being a lover of code, I was so keen to write up my own pages with HTML and CSS and so on.
So, in January 2016 I decided to create a WP2 website hosted by SiteGround. Creating this kind of website opened me up to a number of additional responsibilities I was completely unaware of at the time, such as: running my own server, taking care of my site’s security and configuring everything to run optimally. It was way beyond my knowledge. I hadn’t actually realised what I had purchased from SiteGround: that being a domain and a piece of a web server. Because I had no idea what I was doing, when my site was running slowly, I thought it was the fault of SiteGround’s when in fact it was my own. Worse still, I had real difficulty trying to get the blog to look how I wanted it to. I was short tempered and indignant, with no time or patience to learn anything. It’s like I wanted the best looking blog, but wasn’t prepared to actually do the work. That failure would have cost me over £70 a year, had I not seen sense and cancelled that plan.
After that, for a while, I kept my blogging habit alive with those previous Tumblr and WP1 blogs; that’s why you may have seen some posts from 2015/16 on here. However, I knew in my heart that I wanted more.
Unfortunately, that desire led me to create the same mistake I made earlier. I purchased another web hosting plan to create another WP2 site. This time, I chose FastComet to host my website. I was attracted to their super cheap shared hosting, fixed price contracts and seemingly blazing fast performance. But I had once again failed to properly understand what I had purchased. Within minutes of setting up the website on the domain blog.tundeikuesan.co.uk, I noticed slow speeds. My thinking which justified the slow speeds is so uninspired that I can’t even describe it to you. The fact remained that once again, my server was not configured to run optimally.
However, I tried with that one. I purchased a few Udemy courses on how to create WordPress themes using HTML, CSS and PHP so I could custom design my site and was actually able to get somewhere with it. But I never got to the place I wanted to be. I kept changing bits of code, modifying the idea of the website and confusing myself with a plethora of other irrelevant crap.
“Surely, something exists to see me out of this deep, dark, expensive pit I’ve dug myself into?”
I get inspiration from two friends and my Dad. One friend has a blog that loads in a snap. My Dad has a blog that loads in a click. What do they both have in common? They aren’t managing their own servers. My friend’s blog is ‘Powered by Squarespace’ and my dad’s blog is ‘Powered by WordPress.com’ – the WP3 flavour. This intrigued me. I spoke about my dilemma with my other friend and he mentioned that he also has a WP3 blog (didn’t catch the name of that one). He said it with such an assured confidence that it made me wonder why I wasn’t doing the same thing. Surely then, I had my answer to go with either Squarespace or WordPress, with the desire being to use my own custom domain. Not quite. I go off on some other tangent and decide to look up Managed WordPress hosting (which from my understanding is essentially the same as a WP3 site but usually with more storage, a heftier price tag and your choice of hosting provider). It’s not what I need. It’s actually too much. A little more research leads me to Weebly and Wix, which offer similar, easy-build, easy-maintenance web services to Squarespace.
So I try out Squarespace, Weebly and Wix and pretty much instantly hate the experience with all three of them. With that, I finally make the decision to go with WordPress in a way I hadn’t tried before – WP3. Next was to choose a domain. tundeikuesan.co.uk was nice but a bit of a mouthful. I was looking for something a little easier for people to remember. tunde.uk also sounds cool, but it’s also a bit vague. You wouldn’t think a blog existed there. So I opt for tunde.io. This works for several reasons:
- io sounds the same as ‘Ayo’ which is part of my name
- .io just sounds and looks cooler than .uk
- It’s short and easy to remember
But the tech savvy amongst you may have noticed an error on my part. “You fool! Don’t you know that with your WP3 option you can’t fully customise your site with your own code unless you pay for the totally expensive Business plan?”
I go for the cheapest paid plan which is the nicest on my budget (keeping in mind that .io domains are significantly more expensive to register than others). This plan, yes, does only allow for basic customisations. But to be honest, basic customisations is all I need. For this blog, I just want to focus on the content rather than creating something flashy and fancy. I would’ve spent another age getting the site to look and feel exactly the way I wanted, but this way, all of that is taken care of with a simple theme selection. Not to say that in the future I won’t be creating my own theme, but for now this is enough. I’m not looking to monetise (no ads for you 🙌🏾), I’m not looking to promote myself to employers and I’m not looking to build the next Facebook.
When I thought about it, all I really wanted was a simple platform where I can share my voice with the world, and encourage it with my words. That’s what this is.
With that said, welcome to my blog! :-)
*Good ol’ WordPress post imports eh? Things have since changed. Read this to find out how