Why the move?
In 2021, I made my first website and hosted it for free on Neocities. That site was the very first incarnation of this website. It was blue and buggy beyond belief, but it was mine and I'd made it by hand. I spent all night learning HTML and CSS to throw together two .html files and a very minimal .css file.
Two years later, this website has 100+ files accessible on it, most of which end in .html. Almost every one of those pages used to have an identical header and footer. If I wanted to change my header's navigation, then I had to bulk-edit all those files and hope that I caught every instance with a search-and-replace tool. To put it simply, this system sucked.
I was able to cut back on a lot of repetition by using iframes to make an article reader page. That let me cut the header and footer out of every single article page (and those make up the bulk of the site). This would still require me to track down and change the navigation for the container pages, though. It amounts to a lot of work that I don't find fun.
As much as I love Neocities, it doesn't support server-side includes (SSI) or PHP. Both of these would allow me to save repeated code in its own file, then show that file's contents as an integrated part of pages that need it. This means that I only need to mess with one file to rework my header. I'd been thinking about moving elsewhere for a while because I was starting to feel a little limited by Neocities even on the subscriber plan, and I knew there were cheaper options out there that offered more. Finding out about server-side includes was the final push I needed to find a new webhosting service.
The host I'm on now allows SSI and PHP. I've started implementing SSI and I'm already in love. This is going to save me so much pain in the long run. The new host also saves me about $2.00 a month, which is always nice- that's $24 a year, enough to matter to a broke college student.
If you're reading this, then you either saw it on my Neocities feed or didn't get redirected to the site's current location. You might be wondering what the plan is for the Neocities version of this site.
- The Roost's site changelogs will continue to be published to Neocities until I don't find it fun or helpful anymore, which is probably a long ways out (I rigged my system to make it as painless as possible). You can keep tabs on new articles and projects by checking the changelog as usual.
- The site's URL won't change. You can still get to the site at owlsroost.xyz like usual.
- New articles will not be pushed to Neocities and will instead show up on the new host (in other words: go to owlsroost.xyz, not owlroost.neocities.org!).
- I plan to keep checking Neocities on a regular basis- I love finding websites and keeping tabs on folks there. Feel free to comment on my profile anytime.
See you on the site!