Sam Wilson's Website

T16: websites

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  1. I’ve got a couple of static websites that I generally want to be low-maintenance and ignorable for multiple years at a time. About the only active part of them is their 404 Not Found pages: they contain Google Analytics reporting, because I want to know if people are failing to find things. I sometimes think it’d also be nice to know what pages people do find, and how often etc. — which of course is what GA does, but I don’t want to load it on every page. I don’t like the idea of feeding the Google machine any more than the bare minimum!

    But I realise that actually the resilience and longtermedness of the websites isn’t all that impacted by some stats-gathering. I can just install Matomo on my VPS, under the same domain names even, and use it there. If one day the VPS is turned off then it’ll stop working, but nothing else will break with the sites. I think this is a better way to do it.

    (Does this mean that I’ll now end up putting analytics on my own blog? Probably! To a person with a Matomo hammer, every website is a data nail an’ all that…)

  2. Someone has grabbed an old domain that I used to host. I don’t really mind of course, I’ve not renewed it for ages, but there’s a slight feeling of having let a good thing go!

    It was, and when I was involved with the Fremantle Society we had an idea to set up a “civic wiki”. It never really went anywhere. I’ve still got the data though; I have thought about putting it online at

    I found about it being online again thanks to UptimeRobot, who helpfully told me it’d been down for 8894 hours, 8 minutes and 59 seconds.

  3. Geocities was an online collection of metropolises, each with their own neighborhoods built around shared interests. The city metaphor helped make a whole new group of users understand the world wide web for the first time. At its peak, it was the third most popular destination on the internet, but it quickly fell out of fashion as the web became more commodified and professional. Before it shuttered, a few digital archivists scooped up as much data as possible before all that early internet experimentation could be deleted.

  4. WRITING FOR THE INTERNET ACROSS A HUMAN LIFETIME No more walled gardens, no more chains of complexity.

    Today I declare what once was, is again. Never again will I run another invocation of a static site generator or document renderer. 80 to 100 characters per line is and will continue to be maximum width of English documents. No longer do I pull from social networks, but they will pull from me.

    This is MY writing platform. Mine. Me. There is no way to censor or revoke my power. The Internet does not forget one byte, or one bit.