It was briefly a writing blog from August 2015 - December 2015, but eventually when I moved hosts, from Kya to Of Blue, I decided to make it a portal instead. Its current layout is designed to be minimalistic and gridlike, the underlying skeleton to the rest of my websites. The title is "Seabed" as it is the portal — the hub — the root.
The username comes from my desire to arise — or having arisen — from my past self. Simply, to encourage myself to keep growing, while acknowledging that with each day that passes, I have already grown quite a bit. Not staturely, of course; I'll be 5'3" forever.
It can also be read as a rose — pink roses are my favorite flower, and I went by Rose for a brief period of time. "Arose" also has a very similar letter structure to my given name, Alice; contains my internet alias, Aro; and the URL itself is not far away from my actual internet username. aroceu.nu is too many u's; arose.nu is just right.
Of course, I'll reuse themes and ideas if I've tried them once and I know they work well. But even then, I try and slip in something new; I want to learn as much as I can with everything I do, be experimental with multiple styles and crafts. I do my best to experience as much as I can, when it comes to writing, designing, and, yeah, living. Repetition and comfort zones are boring; it's much more fun to attempt everything you possibly can.
For me, writing and webdesign are very closely intertwined, both in how much I'd like to progress and how much I enjoy them. If I had to pick, though, I would pick writing — I often compartmentalize webdesign as the thing I do when I'm not writing. I'm awfully good at procrastinating, though, so the time adds up somehow.
Like many other things I make, it represents that I want to create things for myself, and from myself. Though I, like general existence, am not without influence from others, my desires lie in self-indulgence and fulfillment — things that I can feel proud of myself for making, more than anything. aroceu as a username is evidence of that. I want to be true to my own feelings and values more than anything else.
All current themes for websites are designed to be semi-permanent, with tweaks and potential facelifts if needed. Themes are mostly coded in SublimeText and tested in Google Chrome for OS x with necessary support for Mozilla Firefox and IE. WordPress themes are tested in XAMPP. Graphics are made and edited in Adobe Photoshop CC 2017. Many scripts come from Dynamic Drive, notably the dropdown code. Everything is built with love, and memes.
I started with really basic HTML and didn't understand CSS at all. It took a lot of trial and error; reading articles and pages about how to do things didn't help me very much, if at all. I worked better reading and toying with other people's code, so that's what I did for months on end.
Eventually I got a Freewebs site, aliceinwonderland-xo, or Alice In Wonderland [XO]. It came from my given name (Alice) and my attachment to Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland — well, the movie, though I did read the book eventually. The [XO] just came from a love for usernames related to XO, fairy tales, daydreaming, etc. at the time.
I started AIW[XO] when I had my old computer of roughly seven years (a PC) and limited financial resources, so all of my graphics were made in Paint. They were not great. Well, for Paint I suppose they were pretty impressive, but. They were not great.
I moved onto Photoplus in 2007, which was a nice transition, though admittedly I had no idea how all of these new tools worked, so the quality still wasn't fantastic, to say the least. For the most part I made (and enjoyed making) static pages for websites like Mibba (when it was relevant), Quizilla (when it was up), and Webs (when it still had a decent userbase). I grew better at both Photoplus and actually knowing how to make things look nice. This was also the time I used a lot of iframes.
I transitioned to my first subdomain in January 2009. My motivation for the site name and subdomain Wonderland was simply because I wanted to leave "Alice[in]Wonderland" in the Name field of people's cboxes. I used a lot of imagemaps and Cutenews, and began to blog like other people, though the site was still mostly content-centered.
In July 2009, I decided to move to a domain instead, as I felt that I was getting better and enjoying design even more. So for my birthday I registered moon-strukk.net and got free hosting from For Always (foralways.info) and later Parade Hosting when For Always shut down. Both sites are now closed.
Moon-strukk.net was supposed to represent for my love of the moon (I do, still, love the moon); a frequency to describe myself as weird, crazy, or random, which is more or less the definition of "moonstruck"; and a reference to 3OH!3's song "Starstrukk", which isn't even my favorite song by them. I used the site to blog and post visitor content, and attempted to create a subspace for my writing.
Then, er, I got into k-pop.
Moon-strukk.net eventually expired in July 2010, and I moved all my designs to a Webs site called Heartknot, just for the sake of archiving and in the case anyone stumbled upon my designs and wanted to use them.
In August 2011, I began to miss design and code — never blogging, really — and so I registed a subdomain with Bubble.nu (now closed), called rice.hugs.nu. I wanted it to be both a blog and content hub in equal parts, though as time went on it began to get cluttered. It was fun, though; the first time I ever used WordPress (and learned how to), and actually tried to keep my blog regular.
I kept rice.hugs.nu (referred to as "ricehugs" in my mind) for about a year and a half. Despite its oddities and lack of organization, it was easily the most fun of my websites at the time. Eventually, though, I decided I wanted my own domain, so in June 2013 as a(nother) birthday present, I registered ricetard.nu. That was when I began separating my content (make.ricetard.nu) from my blog (the main domain), as well as putting in a separate contact form (contact.ricetard.nu), a portfolio (eat.ricetard.nu), and my collective (fan.riceard.nu).
At the time my mental health was debilitating rapidly. I had very little motivation and focus, so all that got regular updates was my main domain with not very cheerful blog posts. Eventually my general association with the site, as well as my growing discomfort with the username, escalated to my wanting to abandon them both. (I did, however, learn how to make responsive CSS!)
So in 2014, after I pushed myself to be healthy — after I made my most different and cheerful theme — after I made the resolve to get better — I started over.