I’ve been blogging since 2005 at least. For several years I hosted this site on my own server instance.
There are more efficient ways to have a presence on the web. But running your server has many advantages. You have control over what software the server runs, starting from the operating system. No need to pay extra for installing custom themes or plugins, or place ads on your website. You can use the server to run experiments besides blogging. You learn a lot, which is always one of my drivers. Also, you are responsible for keeping the server running, fine-tuned, and up-to-date.
Years went by. The website ran fine. I spent less time tinkering with the server. One day, WordPress notified me that I needed to update some software packages to a more recent version, which my old 2016 Linux installation did not support by default.
Upgrading the specific package itself didn’t take too much time. But the upgrade affected other packages which I had to fix. Several hours went by. This time I didn’t enjoy the process. I was not learning anything new. Hours later the site was up and running again, but I was not happy with what I perceived as wasted time.
In our last monthly meeting with my Vistage peer-advisory group, the conversation went around what got us energized, and what our drivers were. For most of us, learning was one of our key drivers. It certainly is for me.
This site is no longer self-hosted. Shortly after upgrading the packages, I shut the server down. At the time, I thought it was because of the time I wasted. In retrospect, it was a waste of time for me because I was not learning anything.
What are your drivers? What keeps you motivated and energized?