Packing up (literally and metaphorically). // 2017-06-08
Before you ask, no, I'm not getting rid of the website, nor am I taking some extended hiatus of some sort.
First of all, I have properly split up the blog and site updates two seperate pages, so you won't have to go check the blog to see random site updates scattered about anymore. I'm actually going to probably use this as a... proper blog from now on. Go figure. I'll write more long-form stuff here sometimes, such as what's going on in my life. Stuff that's too big or heavy for Twitter and Tumblr, you know. Second of all, I'm working on revamping the site... again. A new layout will be happening within the next few months, so stay tuned for that. (I might consider doing a newsletter for people who want to stay updated on site updates, but I'm not sure yet.)
Second of all, (and the most important point I want to make), I have switched webhosts from Neocities to a DigitalOcean droplet. You might be wondering why this is. Well, I have a few reasons as to why I've finally decided to move somewhere else.
1. No FTP uploading. That's right, no FTP. If you haven't ever used Neocities, you might be wondering, "WELL GOSH GOLLY GEE SPRITECLAD, HOW DO YOU UPLOAD STUFF TO THE SITE THEN?!" You have to drag and drop all of your files and folders to the site to upload them. Now while this might not be bad if you have a small-ish site, for me it starts to get really annoying really quickly because I have to make sure I dragged in the right files and whatnot. Plus, when I'm in my site editor, I can't even move files or folders without deleting or reuploading them! Now, I will admit, Neocities does have other methods of uploading, such as a command line app (via RubyGems) and WebDAV. However, a) the WebDAV hasn't worked in ages and it's honestly surprising how they haven't fixed it in over a year, and b) I can not figure out how to use Ruby/RubyGems on Windows, and the app looks somewhat flimsy to begin with. For comparison, DigitalOcean allows me to set up my very own cloud-powered Linux machine and use FTP for uploading things to said machine (known as a droplet), which is pretty straightforward. However, I am thinking about setting up a version of Git on my server that allows me to push my site to the server via Git. If I do that, it'll be much easier to update the site because I actually installed a custom plugin for my editor Brackets that allows me to commit AND PUSH straight from the editor. Which means that, if I set this up, I can upload my website without even opening my web browser. I love technology.
2. The community isn't great. Like... okay, as you can imagine, a website that has its mission to revive old nerd culture via personal homepages has its drawbacks. I can't count the sites I've seen that are either memes, "vaporwave", fauux ripoffs, little kids, or just edgy Trump supporters (eckh). Plus, some of the cooler people I've seen on the site (such as Moo or Flufferton) end up disappearing without a trace! I've even had people copy my friend OpenBooks's site, and stuff like that ain't pretty. Heck, that same friend in question even had their old guestbook blasted with extremely racist, white-supremacist comments. Eckhhhhh.
It's a darn shame it had to end like this, because Neocities seemed really promising when I first found it in 2013. A static webhosting service based on Geocities closing in 2009? With social features and 100mb of space? That was made from scratch and is open-source?! Sign me the heckie up! In fact, there are still a few good sites on Neocities that I still link to on my Other Links page. But as the years went on, as the Neocities webring I co-founded had came and gone over the span of two years, I realized that Neocities was no longer the utopia I had made it out to be. It was fun, but as I grow and change, my needs grow and change, and Neocities is not the community I want to be a part of anymore.
I'm not going to completely delete my old Neocities site. In fact, I'm actually going to find a use for it in the future, but I have zero idea on what it would be yet. We'll see on that front. In fact, if you want to use Neocities for your static site, then by all means, go ahead! I even put in a section for it in the Static Site Comparison Table in the Webdev directory this update, so. (Just don't touch the community with a 35-and-a-half-foot pole, though.) But for the time being, I am completely done with Neocities. It's been an incredible journey, but it's time for me to grow wings like the Angel of Death and fly into the sunset.
Until we meet again, Neocities,
Senior Slacktivist, Ph.D.