i've had multiple sites before this one. this isn't my first site, nor is it my first neocities. in my 3 or so years of making mini sites, i've figured some things out when it comes to having healthy habits.

1. you don't owe people activity

this one's particularly hard if you have a site which isn't strictly "personal"- it's easy to get caught up in requests or this expectation that "content" should be provided regularly.

but in reality, nobody is owed anything. you are volunteering your own time, and your own effort. people can live without that anime review they requested. people can live without that award they asked for. they'll forget about that guestbook comment you forgot to reply to.

(that's not to say you should actively be rude to people by ignoring them- that shit stings.... but it's not as huge of a deal as your mind may want you to think to slip up.)

2. you don't owe people a follow back

with the amount of attention this site can give you, it's easy to get caught up in certain traditions of the site- you will follow them back, reply to them, put their button on your site.

but....sometimes you're just not too interested in their content. sometimes they make you uncomfortable. that's okay. you don't owe people that. most people will not think hard about not getting followed back, i promise.

3. you don't owe people "real content"

i put "real content" in quotation marks because there's not any content realer than others.. but i think that for some it's very easy to feel like

your site can just be a button collection. your site can have tons of purposeless pages and overdramatically edgy "mysterious" pages and image collections. you can make an about page and that's all.

it's your site- do what you want with it.

4. the person who should like your site the most is you

pretty much, make your site exactly how *you* want it. if you like your stamp collection but someone else thinks it's overdone, keep it. if you hate a page but everyone else loves it, it's okay to delete it.

if someone loved it enough they could easily save a copy, screenshot it or archive it! (something i actually recommend- if i see a layout i like i screenshot it for the future)

5. you don't need to have an expansive site to have a "good" site

it's easy to look through these huge, incredible sites and be amazed by their scale. some sites are like looking through a library, at some point even just the scale of the site amazes you regardless of content.

it's easy to look at these and feel like your little site with a diary and a link collection and feel like your site isn't as worthy of being liked due to your small page count.

which leads extremely well onto the next point.....

6. try to have reasonable expectations of yourself

upon making a new site (whether it's your first or not), your mind is often generally flooded with ideas. so many things you want to make- a page for this, and that, a huge shrine for every single favourite game, a journal that you update daily.

and then you get halfway through it and....yep, you're a little too tired for half of that now. but you've promised it- the wip pages are linked on your site.

it's okay to scale back a site if you can't fulfil it. it's okay, we all have a tendency to overestimate ourselves, otherwise the saying "eyes too big for our belly" wouldn't exist! but in the future, try to reflect on what is /realistic/ for you, rather than ideal. you can still dream big without expecting it from yourself!

on my first site, i fell into this trap a lot. i tried to have areas that i updated weekly and failed miserably. i just couldn't deal with routineness and it stressed me out- it should be easy to do, right?

at that moment, what i ideally should have done is just say, okay hey, this is a bit much. maybe i should make it monthly, or not have a routine... but i just kind of let it eat myself up. and so, with this iteration i'm attempting to be a lot more realistic about what i can achieve, and i encourage you to be similar with your own sites!

7. it's okay to cut corners

do you have a huge collection that you want to show off but not the energy to photograph them? use stock images! just use a list!

do you have lots of pages but no will to update every sidebar? use a javascript insert! frames! have the front page be a link page and each page self-contained. (like my website) direct people to a sitemap instead of a manual sidebar.

want to make a new page but have no energy for the layout? a temporary layout is okay.

desperate for a pretty site but new to coding? it's okay to use a template (with permission).

want to update your site's code? it's okay to have pages on old layouts as long as it's functional.

once again, nobody is owed your fullest effort. effort is only owed to yourself, but if you don't think the effort is satisfying to yourself, you don't need to do it.