Celebrating 5 Years Online: Exploring the History of My Personal Website

Today marks the five-year anniversary of personal.garrettfuller.org!

To celebrate five years on the internet, I decided to write a quick history lesson about how this website started and its growth.

My first personal website was created when I was just seven or eight years old. Using Geocities, this website mostly catered to my interests at that point in time – mainly school buses. When Yahoo pulled the plug on Geocities in 2009, I migrated away from Geocities to using other free website services such as Weebly and Wix.

After the original GeoCities site went down along with the rest of GeoCities, I created new websites on Weebly, Wix, and other free website design solutions. Among these sites, I also created a text-based role-playing game (RPG) for a school bus/student transportation company. (Screenshot from May 2010.)

Later, in middle school, I learned to create websites from scratch using HTML and CSS. These basic websites were hosted on free hosting services. These websites covered a variety of my interests, from school buses to Ford Model Ts and HVAC systems.

In early 2013, I created my first WordPress-powered blog. This blog was tailored more toward my HVAC interests at the time. (That site is still online, but I cringe thinking about the content on it.)

The first post on my former WordPress-powered site. That site mainly catered to my interest in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and installations at the time. (The first post on that site was made in January 2013.)

In early 2014, I formed Garrett’s Websites – my freelance web design “firm.” I allocated a small portion of the hosting for the main website for personal content, which included information about Ford Model As and Kewanee Boilers. The oldest pages formerly found on this site, which detailed the 1968 American Standard/Kewanee Type C boiler found in my high school, were created in 2014 and originally hosted on that site.

A former incarnation of my personal website was hosted as a subdomain on my freelance web design firm, Garrett’s Websites.
This page – the original Kewanee Boiler webpage – was the oldest page formerly hosted here on my personal website. It was originally created in spring 2014 and hosted on the Garrett’s Websites subdomain, before being moved here. Eventually, I would dedicate an entire section of my personal website to Kewanee Boilers.

In 2016, I ended Garrett’s Websites. In July 2016, I decided to purchase the “garrettfuller.org” domain name to feature my portfolio and use for other professional purposes. While the main website didn’t feature anything until 2018, I instantly went to work on the personal section – personal.garrettfuller.org. The site originally consisted of very basic static HTML pages. I installed WordPress early on, but rarely used it until later that year.

The original landing page for my professional/portfolio website. Not much existed at garrettfuller.org until 2018, when a separate WordPress-powered site was installed.

Since, the WordPress site has become my main personal website. I’ve removed the majority of the “legacy” static pages created between 2016 and 2017. The Kewanee Boiler website, which is the only remaining static HTML/CSS section of my personal website, is currently in the process of being moved over.

A screenshot of the original personal.garrettfuller.org homepage, from October 2016. (Click here to explore it on the Wayback Machine.)
A later screenshot of the personal.garrettfuller.org static homepage, this time from March 2018. By this point, the WordPress blog had become the backbone of the site. (Click here to explore this version in the Wayback Machine.)

In 2016, when I started the current incarnation of my personal website, I was a senior in high school. Now I’m a recent college graduate looking to start working on the next chapter of my life. I wonder what my life – and this website – will look like five years from now at the 10-year anniversary. This website has played a huge role in my life, by allowing me to share my passion for my hobbies and interests with the rest of the internet.

For all of those who have and continued to support this website by reading, following me on Twitter, or engaging – thank you! Your support is greatly appreciated!

Website Update

A short update on the website: I apologize for the lack of content this year. I’ve been going through a rough patch in my life as I try to start the next chapter of my life. Among other things, my depression has started acting up and I’ve lost interest (hopefully temporarily) in vintage computers. I also haven’t been biking much since the end of May.

I hope things can return to some sense of normalcy soon. I have some big topics planned for when that time comes, such as resuming the SuperSE project and possibly tackling some new, interesting content ideas.

Until then, I’ve decided to continue “working at my own pace” on this website. In more specific terms, I don’t plan on working on any new content until things stabilize in my life (hopefully later this year) unless something comes up.

This post written on the 1991 Macintosh Classic using Microsoft Word 4.0.