In the age of blogging, it seems that there are an overwhelming amount of ways to obtain an online presence. The free options are plentiful, though they will inevitably leave you with a less than desirable website address (e.g. endings with .blogspot, .wordpress). This led me to investigate buying (or technically renting for a choice of years) a domain name for what I was surprised to discover was a relatively modest sum of $8.99 a year for a .com (though I’m sad to say it’s now up to $11.99; lying on the first post, not off to a good start…). I hate to admit that TV commercials work at times, but I went to GoDaddy.com not really knowing where else to go. I am now aware that there are many options for this, and I would encourage you to explore. Just be aware that this blog relies on certain free software available through GoDaddy, though I’m sure the techniques can be adopted to other simple, entry level software found on competing sites.
Now onto choosing a name. A simple solution to this is your own given name, with maybe some following description, though I went a different route mine since www.danielchiappettawoodworking.com just didn’t have the ring I was looking for. The story behind 9×7woodworks can be read about under my workshop section. A big decider will most likely be what is available.
Once you find an available selection, you will be presented with lists upon lists of choices urging you to spend more money on .infos and .mobis and such. I would hold off for now, as I don’t see any threat in “yourselection”.mobi being swept up anytime soon should you need to jump on it in the future. After declining, they will try one more time to get you to buy, but for the purposes of this blog you should walk away with a domain name and nothing more. You can upgrade at anytime once you find something you need, but it is far harder to cancel something you don’t.
With your domain name you get “credits” you can use towards additions to your site. Here is where you want to open a “Website Tonight” account, which will be the page editor that will serve as the means to avoiding html coding and all that other stuff I’m personally a bit afraid of ever confronting.
Once you have Website Tonight open, I would recommend going through establishing a “Coming Soon” page just to publish your website quickly.
Feel free to use my example above, but you should try to be a little more creative. We’ll leave it at here for now. Have fun typing in your address and getting comfortable in your new virtual home. It may be cheap, small, and have a funny smell, but oh the possibilities.
-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com