How Did I Build This?

This site is a work in progress. It’s a proof of concept I’m working on to provide a digital autobiography and memoir of my life. I’m still modifying many aspects from the design, to the content as well as structure. It will continue to evolve over time.

Below I have provided all of the details regarding the tools and services used to build this site. I want to help anyone else who is considering creating their own version of this site. You can learn much more about this process that I’ve been tracking at my blog.

Domain Name Registration

I register all of my domains through Namecheap which inludes which is used for this site.


I researched many different hosting companies and through that process found that SiteGround was always one of (if not the) top provider. They offer great server speed, excellent support which I’ve experienced first-hand, and extremely competitive pricing. I highly recommend them for your shared hosting needs. They also offer a free SSL certificate with easy configuration which I’m using on this site.

Content Management System

After considering several options I decided that WordPress was the best option for my needs. Even with that choice I focused on finding the right theme and plugins to manage the requirements I had for this website. I also wanted to try and minimize as much development as necessary so I could focus on the content. While it took months of research I believe that I’ve found the right combination of tools to achieve this.

WordPress Configuration

Note: I tried to configure the site as close to my requirements with free tools and in some cases I paid for add-ons that these great free tools to extend their features.


  • Astra – After spending countless hours testing over 20 different themes I decided to go with Astra for a few reasons. It’s reasonably priced, very fast, and plays well with Gutenberg (WordPress blocks).


  • Media Library Assistant – I wanted the ability to use categories and tags as additional meta data for the media I add to the site and this plugin provides that ability as well as making those features exposed in the media dialog box when adding assets from anywhere within the site. This provides a much easier way to filter and find media as your site library grows over time.
  • Spectra Content Timeline – There are many timeline plugins and services I could have used but this one provided the closest functionality to what I was looking for. It didn’t meet all my needs but was the closest to what I was looking for. I only use it for the excerpts in the Milestone section of the site and link to blog posts for full stories.
  • SG Optimizer – This is a custom plugin created by SiteGround for caching your website.
  • UTubeVideo Gallery – I use this for displaying all Youtube videos on the site. It provides great control including ability to import complete playlists.

If you have any question feel free to contact me using the form below:

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