Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Website Design Step 1: Registering a Domain Name

A few years ago I created and maintained a personal website for my photography and art business.  I let it go because I needed to focus on work instead for awhile.  Well, it's 5 years later and it's quite possibly time to create a new one. But, things have really changed.

  • I used CuteSiteBuilder back then but that software is no longer available and I'm 1 computer and 2 hard drives away from those old files.
  • Adobe GoLive was my next choice but now I see that's been replaced by Adobe Dreamweaver which is definitely too complicated for a quick "structure and show" project.
  • Services that used to come bundled together have  now been parted out into infinite tiny pieces.  Domain name registration, privacy registration, hosting, shopping cart, SSL etc and most are on a SaaS fee structure.
  • You used to pay one time for proprietary software offered by places like ValueWeb to build your website.  Now it's also SaaS so you have to pay every month for that privilege with no additional functionality over the old model.
I made it through buying my domain name this morning. While it doesn't really need to be a first step, I did it first anyway. I expected it to be easy (silly me) but it took me 2 hours because of these GoDaddy operations glitches:
  • Bombed out of the purchase process several times from trying to add previously deleted line items 
  • Shock and awe when pressing "Pay with PayPal" authorized up to $500 monthly purchases from PayPal for a $40 transaction covering 2 years resulting in my immediate exit and damage control in my PayPal account.
  • I was a previous customer but login can't find me and I can't find my info and any password reset would go to an e-mail address I no longer have therefore must create new customer account
  • Customer Service people won't talk to you unless you have this CallIn ID number, which I also don't have so must create new account
  • Human contact requires that you deal with a very long phone tree, so I didn't.
Whew! I'm guessing the rest will go at about the same pace. Advice about whom to host with especially appreciated at this point. I prefer something much easier than this route. I'm taking a break!


vineshkumar said...

Nice blog .really helpful information about the web design
website design New York City

richard said...

I have a number of domains and I registered them with Why? The price was right and I have never had any problem with them. Whether it is available to folks outside of Canada, I don't know.

As for hosting. Well, I use FastWebServer for one domain. I have nothing on that domain except an e-mail address. It is pricey (about $100 per year), and fairly limited when compared to those sites offerring unlimited bandwidth, diskspace, etc for $1.99 a month or whatever.

Some other domains are with Host Papa. Clearly, I am sharing a server with many other people. Sometimes I find my site to be slower than I would like, but I am not sure if this is because of the server or because of latency to get it over to Madrid (where I am right now).

I have had some downtime with Host Papa, but it doesn't seem serious (for a blog, at least). I have been monitoring my site's uptime since before 18-Oct-2009 and it has gone down 6 in the last month / month-and-a-half. Reported downtimes ranged from about 1/2 hour to an hour.

The tool is use to monitor my uptime is a free third party site.

I use Joomla! as my web software - not the easiest thing in the world to use (but much better than a lot of other CMS systems). Wondering if I should continue with Joomla! on my next site or switch to WordPress (right now, I am leaning to still using Joomla!).

For editting posts, I use Microsoft's Live Writer. Works mostly well and is a darn sight better than using Joomla!s article editor. It will also work with Blogger. Very nice to be able to edit articles on your own machine and then hit publish and them uploaded. Comes with built in automatic spell checking.

Finally, check out The Free Country which is the best site for free programming / development resources. Also contains a lot of info about website, hosting, web development, etc.

Ginney said...

Hi Jenn,
I use
I put my website up 3 years ago, and haven't touched it since. It was cheap, and their cust. service is in the US. I had to call them when I uploaded the original site, they were great at the time.

For the last month I've been creating my own site using Dreamweaver. It is difficult, I took a 2 weekend Dreamweaver class at KALA in Berkeley (for artists).

I've been so slow because I know so little about Dreamweaver, and when I test my design on folks, my navigation isn't intuitive. I'm closing in on the end, and will upload it in the next few days, hopefully.

Good Luck. Here is a person who's created good and reasonable sites for several of my artist friends. With all the time I've spent, using her would have been more cost effective.

Good luck, Ginney

Jennifer said...

vineshkumar, richard and ginney, thanks very much for taking the time to give me some advice. I'll check it out! Happy Thanksgiving!