gifting websites

Mar 08, 2020 – Leo Robinovitch

Over the past year or so, I have gifted friends a few websites. I think the sites are fun, relatively unique gifts. As a bonus serve, they illustrate some of my progression with basic html/css/javascript static websites.

Site 1: averyrobins.com

averyrobins.png

I set up an Amazon S3 bucket for static hosting, bought a namecheap domain name, configured the custom DNS, and voila - I now pay $1/month to host this profanity-laden ASCII art. 90% of the time went to setting up, hosting and routing the content - I spent about 20mins on the actual index.html file.

When my content first appeared when I typed averyrobins.com in to my browser, I was so stoked. I was suddenly a contributor to the previously untouchable monolith of public knowledge, beauty and idiocy that is the internet.

Avery was a fan! Much as I felt when this site went live, it’s generally pretty cool to have a public URI that points out your existence. Anyone can see it anywhere from any connected device. For me, this also brings a healthy level of discomfort.

Site 2: lettikittel.com

lettikittel.png

A similar gift exchange with the same group of friends rolled around this year, this time for Valentine’s Day - a “sexy” gift exchange. I decided to step up my website gifting game with some basic interactivity. What’s a sexier gift than a static website with some basic javascript?

Since the days of averyrobins.com, I had taken a few courses on scrimba.com and learned how to style up a mostly-responsive site by building this one you’re on now. My site is currently hosted through Github Pages connected to a namecheap domain. I realized I could save the $1/month AWS fee (and a bunch of setup time) by creating a github account for Letti and doing the same thing there for her site.

Since the setup was so quick, I was actually able to focus on the styling and content of the site a lot more. It was fun to mess around with something that ended up pretty much looking like a customized MySpace page.

Site 3: katerinejimenez.com

katjimenez.png

Kat was hosting her blog on wix.com, and without paying the annual fee, the wixsite.com subdomain was displayed in the URI. How could anyone take the content seriously with such a subdomain!? It was absolutely necessary for me to invest hours into porting the content to an entirely new platform.

I made Kat buy the domain name on namecheap and gave her a list of Jekyll themes. She picked one she liked and I emulated the layout and style, again hosting it on Github Pages. I think it looks quite nice.

In conclusion, websites can make a great gift for any occasion. These little projects taught me a lot about how the web works–I started from quite an unknowledgeable place–and I enjoyed making them a lot!