If you've never heard of my website before, well, you probably don't notice anything out of the ordinary. However, if this isn't your first rodeo on the ol' Alex Weber Network, you've probably noticed that this is not in fact the old website you used to know and love. Here's a quick story:
In 2011, many moons ago, I created the website alexweber.tk because I had a makeshift webserver at home and I was terribly bored. I developed my young website into several subdomains, dozens of directories, hundreds of files, thousands of lines of code. All for fun. 'Twere merely in jest, yet I gained unbelievable knowledge along the way. Fast-forward several years, and in September of 2017 I found myself attempting to connect to alexweber.tk, only to find that my domain didn't resolve correctly. I was being redirected to one of those horrendous webpages that tries to make it as complicated as possible to inform you that the domain is currently up for grabs. "No!" I panicked. "This can't be right! My domain doesn't expire for another couple months!" And so I checked my domain control panel with Freenom, one of the shadiest companies I've every had the displeasure of working with. Nothing. My account was empty. No websites. No tickets. No messages. No notifications. Now I'd been renewing this domain for going on six years, so I knew that they sent emails if your site was pending expiry or wasn't working correctly and therefore pending deletion. No emails. Silence. Well, I suppose I should just reregister the domain, right? I've accidentally let old domains expire in the past, and I can always register again, can't I?
Now, mind you, Freenom offers - you guessed it - free domain names. You don't technically own them, but you can use them for free. Well, this gives Freenom a lot of power over you. If they want, they can take your domain away. Now, they have every legal right to do that. It's not fair, but it's certainly legal. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Flash back to that unconcerned Alex typing in that domain into the registration search. "alexweber.tk" Search. Click. "This domain is available!" But wait, what's that? For $120 A YEAR?! Hey but that domain was mine! Well, not really mine, but they let me use it! For almost six years! And now they took it, with no notice, and are going to charge me for it? Charge me for a free domain? Ba-SCUSE ME?
Imagine you have this friend. Let's call him Terry. Now, Terry is a cool guy, and he is always happy to let you use his tools since he has a fully-stocked garage. Now Terry has started to hang out with a bad crowd, let's call them Freenom, and now he's becoming a little less friendly. And one day, you ask to borrow his hammer to build your mom a beautiful new birdhouse. You work for six years on this birdhouse - wow, that's dedication - and you use Terry's hammer he so graciously lent to you. And then, one day, Terry sneaks into your house and takes his hammer back. First of all, not cool man. I mean, I know it's your hammer and all, but you can't just break into my house and take it back. Like, at least give me some notice or something. Whatever. Anyway, you want to keep working on that birdhouse but you still don't have a hammer. Better go to Terry's house and ask him for it. Man I hope he's not hanging out with the Freenom gang. You see the Freenom gang leader's car in the driveway. "Ah crap," you think to yourself. "Let's just get this over with." You knock on the door. "Terry! Hey, can I borrow that hammer? I just need to finish that birdhouse for Mom. It's looking great by the way!" Terry gets an evil grin on his face, and replies, "Yeah, you can use it. For a hundred bucks." Woah, hold on now. A hundred bucks to borrow a hammer? I could just go buy a hammer for like, 12 bucks. That's ridiculous! I can't believe my good friend Terry could be such a money-grabbing cotton-headed ninny-muggins!
* * *
And so, I went and bought my own hammer. And I named that hammer alexweber.me. And you're looking at it, baby. Here's to a refreshing new website. Since that day back in 2011, I've upgraded just about everything. New server - custom built. New OS - Ubuntu 16.04. New organization. New features. And the biggest change of all: New name. Welcome to the new and ever-improving alexweber.me