My name is Radu. I'm a 33-year-old web professional from Romania.
I've been working online, from home, for 9 years, focusing on websites, blogging, and pretty much everything related to them: SEO, optimization, performance, web development, design, etc.
I believe that my passion for blogging, websites, and the world wide web, in general, started in high school when I created a blog that didn't last very long.
That passion reignited after college when a friend and I started playing around with WordPress and working on different projects over the years. At the same time, I discovered SEO, and I started learning and reading daily about it to this very day.
My most significant project was ThemeSkills.com, a website where I offered WordPress services, along with guides and tutorials. It lasted 5 years until I sold it in 2019.
After selling the site, I started diving into web development, which I always wanted to learn. This allowed me to create WP Site Icons, a free web tool that allowed you to generate site icons for WordPress based on text. I sold it, eventually.
For several months, I also worked as a freelance blogger for ReadyShip's WordPress blog. After that ended, I started to part ways with WordPress, focusing more on web development, which I like very much.
I started this blog in 2018. It was actually called "WebStoked" before I merged it with Radu.link. Obviously, since I was still neck-deep in WordPress then, I used WordPress with a light and optimized theme called GeneratePress. It has served me well.
But, when I started to have financial problems, I had to cut my expenses. So, I decided to create my own custom theme. I used a bare-bones starter theme called Underscores to build upon, along with Tailwind CSS for the design.
It was a hassle, but it was worth it. The performance had improved, I didn't have to worry about another update, and it was free 😁.
Since I'm still struggling financially, I also started to think of a way to host my blog for free, especially when it's a small and simple blog where I write for pleasure.
That's where SSGs (Static Site Generators) come into play. As the name suggests, these tools produce static websites or blogs. So, there's no need for complex platforms with databases and whatnot. Therefore, there's no need for powerful and expensive web hosts.
After doing a lot of research and giving it a lot of thought, I decided to take this path. So, I went with:
- Hugo as the SSG, with a custom theme created by me;
- Tailwind CSS as the CSS framework;
- Netlify as the free but very good web host for static websites, which I used in the past.
It was a lot of work, struggle, and frustration, but it was totally worth it. I feel completely free now. No more worries about money, updates, security, breaking changes, clunky, and messy CMS.