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 Post subject: Building a website, those who have done this please advise!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:39 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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Location: Brooklyn, NY
I couldn't find a thread dealing with this already, but if you know of one, feel free to link it.
I'm a hair stylist and I would like to build a website to house my portfolio, my contact info, price lists, a blog etc, however I haven't had my own website since before Facebook days, when I had a Geocities account (does Geocities even exist anymore...?)
I'd like this one to look a little more professional than that, obviously, but it's been so long I have no clue where to start.
I'm fine with paying monthly fees for a domain/host etc because I don't want ads on there, and I want the url to be www.myname.com (I checked and it doesn't exist already) however I'm not in a financial position to pay a person to design one for me.
I know basic html, but that's all. I don't need it to be anything fancy, I just don't want it to scream "I did this myself using the html skills I learned in a weekend long course 15 years ago".
So my questions are these: What host do you use? How much does it cost? Are you happy with it? Would you recommend it? How did you decide on the one you have?
How do I buy a url that is myname.com? How do I then attach that url to my site using the host I've chosen? (That question sounds weird, even to me)
Are there any website building tools that won't cost me too much, and aren't an immediately recognizable template?
Are there any resources you recommend I check out, that you found helpful when doing this yourself?
I apologize if these are stupid questions! As I'm sure you can tell, my knowledge on this subject is somewhere between nothing and not very much.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:17 am 
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Some hosting services will come with a free domain name, but if not, you can purchase one through Namecheap and transfer the DNS servers to your host (there's step by step guides and youtube videos for this that are pretty easy to follow).

You can install "one click" Wordpress through Wordpress.org on your site and customize a theme to your liking without having to enter code. Wordpress isn't just for building blogs. I'm using it for my (in progress) portfolio site too.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:23 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Okay, some of that stuff is my job. The rest of it is some of what the company I work for does.

Getting a domain name means finding a domain registrar. You register the domain name and pay some nominal yearly fee for that name-- don't pay more than 12 or 15 bucks a year. If you can't find anyplace that charges under 15 bucks, let me know and I'll sell you one or register it for you at cost (under $12.00/year). You might also check godaddy.com or tucows.com. (I am lazy and not checking right now because I want to go to bed soon.)

Most registars also offer some kind of basic web hosting or at least DNS service, which is what points the name at an actual computer somewhere on the internet. Otherwise you may need an actual hosting service, which can be quite inexpensive as well. I hate to recommend them since we're ditching them, but asmallorange.com aren't that bad (even if their customer service is intensely crappy). That might give you some idea of the range you're looking at-- I think we were paying $20/month for a web site and some email addresses. They might also be a little more than what you're looking for, and it might actually be easier to find an all-in-one registrar and hosting site. If you can't figure it out I'll go do more looking tomorrow and see if I can find something that looks like it's not awful.

I can't get into much more detail on how you'd set up DNS without knowing who your hosting service is. They can usually give you the IP address of the server hosting your site, which can be plugged into the DNS server, which points web users at your host when they hit your domain name. I can get more technical if you care but I don't think you need a particularly deep understanding of internet protocols and stuff to run a web site... 8) (But sometimes you do, and that's why I make the big bucks. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwyeah.)

Overall, if you're paying more than $20/month you're probably paying too much. These days web hosting is practically a commodity service...

If you have a Mac, look at iWeb and see if that does something you find useful. Otherwise, I can ask around and see if the Windows users I work with can suggest web design software.

The answer I'd give for what I'd set up for a web host is probably totally different from any non-sysadmin, so if "I'd set up a t1.micro instance in Amazon's EC2 compute cloud and run apache on it" doesn't mean anything to you, don't worry about it. You shouldn't need to worry about that if you just want a basic static web site with some pictures and HTML...

I'll check this thread tomorrow and see if you have more specific questions or have found a registrar. The registrar is easy enough to start with-- you can set up your domain name first and worry about hosting it later. But seriously, don't pay more than 12 bucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:24 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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AutumnVegan wrote:
You can install "one click" Wordpress through Wordpress.org on your site and customize a theme to your liking without having to enter code. Wordpress isn't just for building blogs. I'm using it for my (in progress) portfolio site too.


Yeah, Wordpress is decent for that kind of thing. So is Drupal, although that gets a little more complex.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:57 am 
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If you're looking to get away from something which doesn't scream "Generic template!" without a lot of work, Drupal, Joomla! and other CMS systems have too much of a learning curve, and are really overkill for your needs anyway.

Based on your criteria, I'd say WordPress is more than adequate, and there are more WP themes and plug-ins to choose from than all the other systems combined.

I've had good success with PowWeb ($2.95/month plus free domain name for one year), but any of the biggies (GoDaddy, etc.) will be fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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Thanks so much guys! This is really helpful!
I do have a Mac, but it is really old, it runs OSX 10.11.4 or something, I was told I could upgrade to Leopard, but it might just make it run slower so I haven't bothered, Anyway, it's so old I can't even backup my iPhone with it... So would checking out iWeb be redundant anyway, or no?
It sounds like Wordpress would be sufficient for what I need, so in that case, I would make an account with them, and then buy my domain name through namecheap or godaddy or one of those, and then link it to my Wordpress? Is that how it works?
I will check out PowWeb too, is that another service where I just buy the name and then link it to my Wordpress (or whatever)?
I'm going to tinker around with this when I get home tonight, so apologies if some of this stuff wil be self explanitory once I start the process.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I have an account with Green Geeks for my website, free domain name for life and it works out to under five bucks a month (though you pay up front for something like two years). Very little downtime and tech support has been great.

You don't need to set up a wordpress account first, just find a host that supports the one-click wordpress install, and it's easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:40 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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Green web hosting? I like the sound of that! When it says it comes with a free domain name for life, does that mean I can have it be whatever I want? As in myname.com, or would it be myname.greengeeks.com or whatever?

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:03 pm 
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my hosting is through below10 hosting, I pay $6/mo and I'm reasonably happy after several years. I rarely have to contact them for anything.

I've done iweb and building now a new site through wordpress. Highly recommend wordpress over iweb, I can go into details if you are really interested.

I very much like the theme I'm working with, WPfolio, which is specifically designed for portfolios. But I'm having a technical issue with it which isn't quite solved, so I can't wholeheartedly recommend it. Might work for your needs, and I might get the issue sorted out which would be helpful for everyone. I'm sure there are other themes which would work great too.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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So I am about to sign up for Wordpress and I have a question already... where it asks you to choose your blog address, it has a dropdown box, and for a .com it wants $17 a year. I don't want just a blog, but I do want a blog on my website, so do I sign up for this? and if I go with the $0 .wordpress.com option, can I then buy myname.com elsewhere and point it to my wordpress account? Does that even make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Dunebug wrote:
Green web hosting? I like the sound of that! When it says it comes with a free domain name for life, does that mean I can have it be whatever I want? As in myname.com, or would it be myname.greengeeks.com or whatever?


Just myname.com. But if all you need is a domain address and a wordpress blog, the $17 option sounds cheaper and probably good enough for your needs.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Oh yeah, if that's all you want, that's a pretty decent deal for registration AND hosting.

HOWEVER, it looks like they show ads to people visiting your site unless you pay another $30/year, and custom themes (as opposed to their preset themes) are yet another $30/year. $77/year still isn't too bad for registration (they're making $6/year on that, so not crazy profit-gouging or anything) and hosting.

My suggestion if you're using this to advertise your own business is that you go ad-free at least-- I am always VERY skeptical of businesses with banner ads for other businesses. It makes you look like a cheapskate or somebody who is seriously non-savvy. And if you aren't careful they may be advertising your competition. (Not likely, but still-- if they go by keywords on your blog, it's a possibility.)

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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hoveringdog™ wrote:
Dunebug wrote:
Green web hosting? I like the sound of that! When it says it comes with a free domain name for life, does that mean I can have it be whatever I want? As in myname.com, or would it be myname.greengeeks.com or whatever?


Just myname.com. But if all you need is a domain address and a wordpress blog, the $17 option sounds cheaper and probably good enough for your needs.


Hmm, I am confused. You said Greengeeks works out to around $5 a month, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:51 pm 
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I made a Wordpress account, but it is saying there is a $30 yearly fee if I don't want ads, is that pretty standard for all the host services?

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:58 pm 
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If you're still looking for a registrar, please, for the love of god, do not use Godaddy. They are awful, and likely to snatch your domain if you do an availability search on their service. I use Namecheap.com because they're cheap (ha!) and they're not Godaddy.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:01 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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brian wrote:
If you're still looking for a registrar, please, for the love of god, do not use Godaddy. They are awful, and likely to snatch your domain if you do an availability search on their service. I use Namecheap.com because they're cheap (ha!) and they're not Godaddy.


Good to know! Luckily I haven't searched my name on there yet...

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:40 pm 
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Dunebug wrote:
hoveringdog™ wrote:
Just myname.com. But if all you need is a domain address and a wordpress blog, the $17 option sounds cheaper and probably good enough for your needs.


Hmm, I am confused. You said Greengeeks works out to around $5 a month, right?


$5 /month x 12 months/year = $60/year
$60/year > $17/year

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:44 pm 
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hoveringdog™ wrote:
Dunebug wrote:
hoveringdog™ wrote:
Just myname.com. But if all you need is a domain address and a wordpress blog, the $17 option sounds cheaper and probably good enough for your needs.


Hmm, I am confused. You said Greengeeks works out to around $5 a month, right?


$5 /month x 12 months/year = $60/year
$60/year > $17/year


Oh right, in my head I was thinking $17 a month. Sorry, long day!

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:09 pm 
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brian wrote:
If you're still looking for a registrar, please, for the love of god, do not use Godaddy. They are awful, and likely to snatch your domain if you do an availability search on their service. I use Namecheap.com because they're cheap (ha!) and they're not Godaddy.


second this. my partner talked me into using them for our partnership website and I've regretted it since.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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brian wrote:
If you're still looking for a registrar, please, for the love of god, do not use Godaddy. They are awful, and likely to snatch your domain if you do an availability search on their service. I use Namecheap.com because they're cheap (ha!) and they're not Godaddy.


why is godaddy so bad? i was leaning toward using them..... mostly because of the templates for building the site and i liked that i could schedule a consultation, etc...... but mostly because i just know the name godaddy and don't know of other godaddy like companies....

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Last edited by bookwormbethie on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:15 pm 
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i did a search and am bumping up this post since i need some help too!

okay, i need someone to talk to me like i'm really dumb but still be nice ;) i did read this above thread and i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

my hubby is self-employed and would like to have a website for two purposes: (1) online presence to generate potential new customers when they do online searches and (2) to show his portfolio online.

currently he has a wordpress blog, with a bunch of page tabs so he can showcase different aspects of his work, and he has a few blog entries, but since he uses the blog more for pictures than actually blogging, it doesn't look up-to-date even though it is. plus, it looks so it looks bloggy and not like a professional website. still, it does have its benefits.

anyway.... i'm loss as to where to begin. i'm confident that i can build his website using templates and such, but i'm confused where to begin.

1. how do i register and pay and protect his domain name (yet to be determined)?
2. where can i build his website?
3. hosting? i guess that is when it viewable on the Internet and not just locally on our computer?
4. tell me more things, i don't know much about this but my hubby seems to think i do and has put me in charge of this project!

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:18 pm 
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bookwormbethie wrote:
brian wrote:
If you're still looking for a registrar, please, for the love of god, do not use Godaddy. They are awful, and likely to snatch your domain if you do an availability search on their service. I use Namecheap.com because they're cheap (ha!) and they're not Godaddy.


why is godaddy so bad? i was leaning toward using them..... mostly for no reason, since i've heard of them..... sigh.....


The CEO is a huge piece of shiitake, and their business practices are despicable in basically every way.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:20 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
bookwormbethie wrote:
brian wrote:
If you're still looking for a registrar, please, for the love of god, do not use Godaddy. They are awful, and likely to snatch your domain if you do an availability search on their service. I use Namecheap.com because they're cheap (ha!) and they're not Godaddy.


why is godaddy so bad? i was leaning toward using them..... mostly for no reason, since i've heard of them..... sigh.....


The CEO is a huge piece of shiitake, and their business practices are despicable in basically every way.


eep, i edited my post while you were replying to me ;)

thanks for the heads up! will stay away from godaddy!

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"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:29 pm 
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bookwormbethie wrote:
1. how do i register and pay and protect his domain name (yet to be determined)?
2. where can i build his website?
3. hosting? i guess that is when it viewable on the Internet and not just locally on our computer?
4. tell me more things, i don't know much about this but my hubby seems to think i do and has put me in charge of this project!

A lot of your questions can be answered in this thread, so read some of the earlier posts! Particularly this one viewtopic.php?p=428794#p428794 because solipsistnation has some good advice there.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a website, those who have done this please adv
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Edit: Oops ya'll already said it.

Anyhow, bookworm, reading what your needs are I really think you should also just use wordpress. You can customize a template to make it not look like a blog at all. I think it sounds like you don't anything about site building but seem to want to do it anyway, which I think you'll find is really quite difficult!

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