Today marks 7 years since I registered mitchellhislop.com. Though it is now just redirecting to this site, mph.io, it marked the beginning of a journey that lead directly to where I am today.
I was 2 months into my college career, and decided that it would behoove me to own a domain, mostly because I thought it would be cool to have my own email. So, using Google Apps, I secured mitchellhislop.com. Apps setup was easy enough for someone "techy" like I was at the time - I read a few Google articles, did some searches, and made the MX record changes with crossed fingers. Since that went well enough, I soon found myself on WordPress.com starting the first iteration of this site.
That lead to wanting to self-host WordPress, which lead to wanting to learn more about development and system administration, and gave me a home to test out online marketing experiments. Flash forward, and it snowballed into jobs, a career, speaking engagements, and surprisingly strong opinions on protocols like DNS (which I firmly believe will cause the death of the Internet at some point).
Now, the email goes to FastMail (as a bastion of non-Google in my life), and site is now hosted on Squarespace, in what was a near-complete blowout of old writing. I still have it all, sitting in Markdown-formatted text files, but I think it may just stay there. I've been struggling with what to do with it all - it represents my sort-of "teenage years" of the internet, where I was a college kid trying WAY TO HARD to make a name for myself online. Now, as that name turns 7, I find myself more content in my own niche. This site is a collection of me - some business, some pleasure, some opinions and ramblings, and some sharing of things that inspire me, or that I just think are cool.
This site has been through a lot of iterations, on quite a few platforms. Off the top of my head:
- Tumblr.com (still found at tumble.mph.io)
- Before Squarespace, I also considered Grav, Tumblr, Octopress, and Wordpress.
I like not self-hosting this site. I have various services backing up my writing, so I don't have many concerns over a third-party being the front-end. It lets me devote a bunch of time I spent worrying about my setup and tinkering with configs to actually writing, or even getting off the internet. I'm not in a development role right now, and have no real need for an always-on server right now. Personal sites shouldn't be a burden.
The Name Change
I've always loved my initials. I've long had a theory that they at least influenced my name choice - my dad was a mechanic for 20 years before he went into technology. I knew that I would never be able to snag mph.com, so I settled on mitchellhislop.com and kept my eye out for opportunities. I grabbed mph.name when it came up in a search, but nothing else really fit what I was looking for. Then, on May 6th, I saw a thread on Hacker News about .io TLDs being treated as top-level domains, and found out that mph.io was available. I immediately jumped on it, and ended up in this multi-site setup where I had mph.name hosting a flat HTML site that was a psuedo business card, and mph.io which pointed to my Ghost blog.
After considering it for a while, I decided to go all-in on mph.io. It really is the perfect domain for me. I've now got just my one home online - the central hub for my digital self.
(Would I ever make a run at mph.com if I made stupid money? In a heart beat.)