Personal

Behind Live In Estonia Project

What's the reason behind why I developed the Live In Estonia website? You can read it here.

Photography, especially landscape and street photography, is my hobby besides music production. I bring a mirrorless camera, Sony A6000, almost every day wherever I go. This hobby escalated since I moved to Estonia in October 2021. Living in a new country with beautiful nature makes me more excited to take photos. The problem is, what will I do for those photos?

People gathered around the bonfire.
The Midsummer's Eve celebration in Tallinn.

Uploading it to the Internet is the definite answer. The easy solution is to upload it to Instagram. Of course, I did that. But, I'm not a person who trusts 3rd party social media platforms to upload all my works. I started prioritising my domain as my house of content in 2019 rather than posting it on social media platforms. Furthermore, I like the IndieWeb concept, "your content is yours, and you are in control."

Because of that reason, I casually searched for a .com domain name related to Estonia in Namecheap a few weeks ago. I need a domain to be a place for all photos that I take almost every week. Lucky, I found an available good domain name liveinestonia.com.

After buying the domain, I started to develop the website. The goal was to make it as cheap as possible, even better if I could make it free of cost. The first option was using WordPress to avoid coding effort. But, I couldn't find free WordPress hosting. So, the tradeoff was no coding effort, but I had to pay for the hosting.

No, I won't go for that option. So, I chose to code my blog engine as simple as possible so that I could host it for free. There is a lot of free hosting for a static website. That's why I must use a tool that can produce a static site with which I'm already familiar to avoid a learning curve.

My choice of technology stack was Next.js as the static site generator, Google Photos as the content management system (CMS), and I hosted it in Vercel. With that technology stack, I didn't spend additional money to operate the website besides the domain and Google Photos. I already have Google One subscription for a year which includes Google Photos. Moreover, I open-sourced my photo blog engine if you want to use it. You can visit and fork its GitHub repository.

Finally, enjoy my photography works on the Live In Estonia website. You can contact me if you have an exciting project and want to collaborate with me.

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