The history of my website:
My first site was created in Word (saved as html) and hosted by FortuneCity. I then hosted the same content in a space provided by my ISP. Some ten years later, I found the FortuneCity site was still there! Alas, FortuneCity has now been discontinued. I'll miss it, if only for nostalgic reasons. Sniff.
About this time, I moved my blog, Random Thoughts
, to Blogger. I tried Microsoft's blogging service, but it didn't offer the customization options Blogger does. While the Microsoft service does let you have a blog that looks like it's on your own site, it actually redirects to the other site if you want to so much as see the comments, so I just went to Blogger for the whole thing. And I created several parallel blogs, including Random Political Thoughts
. Obviously that one's political in nature - you've been warned.
In 2008, I did a total rewrite. I found that Microsoft had added additional flexibility with their "advanced design features". The page editor is still fairly basic, but you can enable "advanced design" features that give more functionality. While you still can't create your own entire page, you have to use the designer for the layout and insert code into frames, it does allow basic html. That means that you have two choices for headers; either you can use the cheesy headers they offer, or you can create a "custom header" with the advanced features and get access to the style sheets. It's still tied to the frame ("zone") its in, and zones can't be added or rearranged, but it's better than it had been. And your new "header" does not span the entire width of the page unless you turn off the navigation bar, but it is doable, with a little work. They do allow using your own html from scratch, but it's an all-or-nothing decision.
Effective January 2010, the hosting fee became $15 a year for a custom domain, like I have. I kept it, figuring that's a decent cost for registration, hosting and email. Especially since they got zero advertising dollars off of me, since they let me even take off the "Hosted my Microsoft Office Live" button. The typical low-end hosting I found was is $3.50/month, or $40/year. I prefer $15.
January 2010: I rearranged the site and created a new main page. The focus is a little more job-search-friendly than before. The more personal content was moved to a sub-page, PersonalInfo.
April 2010: I changed the references to my blog to point back here, and the blog pages then redirect to the appropriate locations. Now you can comment, and my main site also sees your visit!
May 2010: I changed the main page back to being my personal info. I got a job last month.
April 2012: When I started, Office Live offered web hosting and domain registration. As noted above, in 2010, this was changed to only being free for the first year. And in April 2012, Office Live Small Business was discontinued in favor of Office 365, which has no low-cost email-and-hosting-only options; everything includes online versions of the Office products, and hosting requires an upgrade. So I found an alternative.
I now handle my registration and hosting myself, and have the pages all in html. The analytics will take some work to add back, but since I now have a regular webserver, I can add features like my own hosted blog - that will be nice.
May 2012: I added MichaelPollard.info, .biz, and .us, all directed here for now.
November 2013: Changed the main page into sections to reduce clutter, changed some text on the main page.
Changed the blog pages from redirects to frames around the Blogger-hosted pages, which keeps readers on my site.
Added a functional email contact page (and error and thank-you pages)
Changed the footer home links to go to "MichaelPollard.org" instead of "index.html" for sake of appearance.
December 2013: Changed my hosting service from free hosting to paid hosting, since I needed to get paid hosting for PrivateAmericans.com and PrivateAmericans.net. Adding another site there doesn't cost anything extra.