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Avoid Feeling Like An Arse: Website Building Blocks

Does anybody want to push the Arse button on themselves? I think not. We would rather be well-informed and have a professional, trustworthy person backing us up, right? Let’s look quickly at 3 basic building blocks for any (and every) website or business blog.

After you read this, you will know what the building blocks are and will have the power you need to avoid any unnecessary arse-ness.

An important point to this post is the suggestion that you consult somebody you trust and who has more experience that you before you do any of the following :

  • Buy domain name(s)
  • Buy website hosting
  • Choose website platform

Those are the 3 building blocks.

It’s critical that these 3 items be well-thought choices that you don’t make alone – regardless of how much reading and research you’ve done yourself. There are far more good-hearted people out here than you may expect, meaning plenty of people who will give you free, neutral advice and the benefit of their experience.

Domain Name

DON’T GO CHEAP! IT WILL BE COSTLY AND COMPLICATE THINGS IN THE LONG RUN

Avoid the attractiveness of super-cheap domain name prices. Often, they are “sucker” prices to lure you in and then raise the price dramatically when it’s time to renew. Sure, you can always change Registrars and move each year to save that 3 or 4 bucks, but think ahead: moving domain name Registrars equals website downtime, administrative work and, quite often, modifications to your website. Just avoid the problems by getting your domain name from a reputable “1st Degree” domain name Registrar. Don’t buy from a domain name reseller. Seriously, pay attention to this and avoid it like the plague.

For domain name purchases, I like Dreamhost. They are a direct Registrar (not a reseller) and they have a flat rate price on ALL the domain name extensions that they offer – $9.95. And after the first year, that price doesn’t shoot up like a Mexican jumping bean.

Last week (and countless times before), I spent a lot of billable time straightening out the domain name/Registrar mess of a new client who came to me and had already made innocent but uniformed decisions about their domain name purchase. Be informed. Please email me, call me, use the contact form or send a coffee-gram to Hollister; do what it takes before you buy. I will help you with free advice about this. It’s that important.

Here’s the key: you must have complete and direct control of your domain name.

Website Hosting

DON’T GO CHEAP! IT WILL BE COSTLY AND COMPLICATE THINGS IN THE LONG RUN

Yes, you saw this emphasized earlier, too. There is a pattern here.

Website hosting can be one of those overly confusing decisions for people who don’t deal with hosting providers on a regular basis or as part of their livelihood – you should talk to a professional to get the best possible advice. Again, contact me at no cost; I have nothing to gain other than the satisfaction of helping you through neutral advice based on my first-hand experiences. Factors such as price, technical support, customer service and ease of communication are amongst the common touch points. You can expect that I will recommend an established hosting provider that is well-equipped to handle WordPress hosting, that has excellent U.S. based support staff and that has professional pricing.

Dreamhost is my Ace. I use them for all of my own websites and heartily recommend them to every client. They have a shared hosting package for $119 per year. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited email addresses and many more goodies. Optional email integration with Gmail (it’s seamless), and fully outfitted to support WordPress hosting. They have a VPS service and dedicated servers, too, for those who need something more than shared hosting.

Don’t go with your web designer’s “personal” hosting service. Many will offer to host your website on their own server. This can turn into a big headache and even into a dispute about who controls the website. Avoid it like Bo and Luke Duke run from the Sheriff.

Here’s the key: you must have complete and direct control of your website hosting account.

Website Platform

Here, I do not invoke the “Don’t Go Cheap” warning. This is because I say, “Go free. As in zero software cost. As in open source!” WordPress is my platform of choice. It makes the most sense to me and every client I have worked for. See What Is WordPress? and WordPress, A Wise Investment to learn more. If WordPress is not the best solution for a particular need, a straight HTML/CSS website is the second and last option I will consider building for you. Yes, there are tons and tons of other options out there but I have learned to be good at what I do – a small slice of the business website world known as WordPress – rather than take the shotgun approach and be mediocre at many things.

I truly enjoy helping other people and when I can do that and they can apply it to their business life, then all the better. I can help you to build a professional business website at an affordable cost…. or, I can just answer your questions. Get in touch.

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