I have a personal website hosted on http://a-dahl.dk. This should just be a very simple easy maintable website used for publishing information about me and my family, so I didn't want to code a big website and I definitely did not want to have a website that required Visual Studio or similar every time I need to update the site.
So with this my journey began in a search for some CMS that could fulfill my needs. I did not want to spent much money on a website either for this use. So my first move was to find somewhere cheap to host my website. I found http://www.unoeuro.com/ which for 1 euro each month could provide me with a .NET webserver, so I was ready to go. With the site came a MySql database for free use.
So my initial setup was .Net combined with MySql.
First attempt - 2007
Initially I though of the idea of creating my own simple CMS that had the features that I needed. This went fine to begin with and I got everything working just like I wanted it. The only problem was that I wanted my wife to maintain the website too, and when it comes to usability I might need some more education, to get it just right. So even though everything was as I wanted to, then I was the only one who could update it, so that wasn't the right solution.
Second attempt - 2009
A couple of years later I felt that it was time to do something about the site again. http://umbraco.com/ was an upcoming CMS which had various options and had many positive mentions. I though that I would give it a shot. Starting with MySql it was a real struggle to get anything going (Umbraco cannot be blamed for this though). But once I got it up and running I just didn't get the right feel for it and I never managed to get a regular website running before i gave up trying. I think this experience my have been caused by the MySql database, because many times even during the install process I got various connection issues, so I never got the the point where I felt I had a basic Umbraco solution to work with.
So my second attempt failed
Third attempt - 2009
Since Umbraco didn't work out, then I had to do something else. Then I came accross http://www.mojoportal.com/. It was simple to install and I was up an running in almost no time. Unfortunately it was a little short on usability. I managed to build a site though and we figured out how to perform the simple tasks that are required in maintaining some simple content, but there was never any desire to develop the site or configure it beyond styling
Fourth attempt - 2011
Another two years had passed and it was now time again for trying out something new. After having postponed my want for another database for so long I finally went ahead and ordered a Microsoft SQL database from my webhost. Suddenly this opened up to new possibilities that i have previously avoided. And now the most logic path to me was http://xpress.sitecore.net/. I have been working as a Sitecore developer professionally for nearly 7 years, so the choice was very easy to make. I just had a few obstacles to overcome first though. The first and foremost was to get basic Sitecore up and running. I had 1 database available and Sitecore required 3, so I had to overcome that first.
But I managed and I now have my very own hosted Sitecore solution running on just a single database. This time I expect my solution to last longer since I have gotten pretty good at extending and configuring a Sitecore solution to fullfill my needs. But follow my blog and I will keep you posted.