I saw a talk by Sophie Koonin today, on the early and fun days of personal websites built for fun and self expression and not for business and profit.

She made a really good point: people becoming web developers now are probably aiming to get hired, build a side hustle, or build a whole new business. And even those people make a choice not to use a service like Squarespace. For me and many others my age it was a hobby. A way to share interests and maybe find some likeminded people to connect with.

There is a huge range of options for social networks and site builders to do those things now, and the personal website seems a little quaint. The dying breaths, from my perspective, was Tumblr in the late 2010s. A social network which allowed totally custom themes in HTML and CSS. Not dissimilar to GeoCities in the 90s. People with personal sites are more than likely people who make their money building the same web sites and apps over and over again and want something just for themselves.

My site (this one) is just a thing I can mess around with, experiment with, and dump anything I want into. It still has the derivative design ideas and very little of interest to anyone else, but that's the point.