How It Began
It Started In 2006
( 5 minute read )
I had started a video production business in Ocala for creating DVD's, which were somewhat popular at the time. I converted pictures and film or VHS video to digital, and then burn them to DVD. I would even add music if that were desired.
I also tried my hand at wedding videography, which I mostly enjoyed. I am a songwriter and music creator, so when you combine all of it, I starting getting a little busy. So in 2007, my partner at that time, and I built a small office with a studio just south of Belleview. I was off to the races. Sorry for the cliché. I'm a little old... school.
Most available resources had been poured into setting up the office and studio. So we decided we needed a website in order to continue growth. Unfortunately, we could not afford to hire someone to design our website.
Since, I'm a hands on person anyway, I found a $40.00 program that help me get started. I had no intention of becoming an Ocala website designer or a website hosting company.
My First Website
I started my first website in November of 2006. Little did I know, there were other people I knew that would see it, and ask me to build them one as well.
I thought... why not? So, I built a few websites in this 40.00 program. However, there was a slight problem. People began to need functionality that did not come in the software I was using, not to mention, the web was evolving quickly and the software did not keep up.
I started using code snippets posted by programmers on the web. Unfortunately, a lot of these snippets created more problems than they solved.
It was very frustrating to be in a situation where you're trying to help other people, and the resources weren't there.
The 2008 Economy
Then it happened... 2008. The economy took a plunge. Wow! I really felt an enormous desire to help the small businesses I saw struggling. But I didn't have the skill or experience. I did what I could. Since no one could afford to do DVDs or record songs I focused on web development.
My partner at the time printed out a book of HTML from a website and left it on my desk. I didn't want to see it. It was a foreign language.
I thought... Please don't make me learn HTML. After about a week or two of more frustration, I took another look at the HTML print out. I started writing HTML in notepad, and to my surprise, there really wasn't as much to it as I thought.
Then I decided to tackle CSS stylesheet development, which turned out to be pretty easy for the basic stuff.
Life Altering Events
In 2008, my shared hosting account at one of the major web host companies, which I will not divulge publicly, was compromised.
Fortunately for me and my clients at that time, I had a habit of being up around 5am checking the websites I hosted. I saw they were all hacked, and immediately downloaded a few of them to my local server. I wanted to study the malicious code later.
Once I had the compromised sites downloaded, I deleted all the websites from the server, and uploaded all of the backups. It was pretty quick and painless, because they were all static sites. There were no databases or sensitive information to worry about.
All of this took me about 45 minutes or so, and fortunately for me, my clients never knew. However, it was a very valuable lesson for me.
Post-haste I began to do my homework on website and server security, and locked down the hosting account and the websites. I thought... man, that was a close one.
But the Intruder was able to use the malicious code to overwrite and delete HTML pages that my websites were created from.
That was a long time ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Yeah, I know... that sounded pretty cliché but it's true. We tend to remember those things that alter our trajectory in life.
Thanks for reading our history. I hope it gives you some Idea of who I am, and why I'm doing this.
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