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Forum topic by becikeja posted 01-09-2016 01:50 PM 974 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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becikeja

649 posts in 2281 days


01-09-2016 01:50 PM

I am thinking about getting on the web.
The idea is to have a page about my woodworking niche and display some of my pieces. Eventually, I want to turn this into an on-line business but seriously don’t see that happening for a couple of years. As I research all the various options out there, I am overwhelmed. I don’t know what I don’t know, so I don’t even know the right questions to ask.

So I once again turn to the LJ community for advice. Specifically those of you who have a website.

What do you wish you knew before selecting a webhost company?

-- Don't outsmart your common sense


16 replies so far

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1646 posts in 1785 days


#1 posted 01-09-2016 04:14 PM

I don’t wish anything because I’m happy with my first choice. Hostgator has provided me with trouble-free service for every site I’ve built (three so far). If you feel like doing me a favor let me know and I’ll provide you with a referral code but otherwise, you can just hop on their site and pick out an annual package.

Wordpress sites are pretty easy to work with and Hostgator servers support them along with other types of content management systems. If you go with Wordpress, I’d suggest going to Themeforest and picking out a custom theme that has high reviews.

Both the sites in my signature use Wordpress as the content management system and were built by myself on Hostgator servers. The Remmert Studios site was done almost 10 years ago while my own company’s was done about 3 years ago.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1043 days


#2 posted 01-09-2016 04:48 PM

make sure you don’t get a host that ends with your company /your brand/hosting company.com,people anymore as programmed to use one word.com/net/etc.
use one with templates that reflect your business and allow you to add your logo to the base price service.
For most people use the base priced template,your most likely not going to need all the back office,web emailing,etc.if down the road you do, it’s easy to upgrade.
$2.95 go daddy, is as good as a 100.00 host;They both go to the internet.One may have lower down time than another,but your website is most likely under a 100 visitors a day,not selling stocks.So that’s ok.

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Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#3 posted 01-09-2016 06:39 PM

I’m also happy with my first choice, Hostgator, which I’ve been using for 8 years.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

649 posts in 2281 days


#4 posted 01-09-2016 11:46 PM



make sure you don t get a host that ends with your company /your brand/hosting company.com,people anymore as programmed to use one word.com/net/etc.

I don’t understand your point here. I want my company.com, are you suggesting that the host company be in the name? I definitely don’t want that.

Definitely will want to add a logo as well.
Good input thanks,

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

780 posts in 1970 days


#5 posted 01-10-2016 12:08 AM

I think daddywoofdawg is making is that you need your own domain (e.g. abcd.com), which means you should expect to pay for your hosting. Free hosting sites generally give you a subdomain only. (e.g. abcd.hostcompany.com). One exception that I found to this was x10hosting.com.

When you pay for hosting, they will often offer you a “free” domain (for the first year only). There is merit in registering your domain first and separately from your hosting company. That way, should anything go wrong with your hosting arrangement, it is easier to switch your site to a new hosting company.

I have just set up a site for a small charity. I looked at HostGater, BlueHost and a few others. In the end the key factor was how many e-mail addresses we needed (10, whereas many only allow for up to 5). This is unlikely to be a real limitation for you, but be aware that sometimes it is the small unexpected detail that determines your choice.

It is possible to change later if you need to. The main points are that 99.9% up time should just be a given, you need to like and be able to work with their interface, and they should respond to help queries. I also like to be able to understand what the cost is going to be in the second year, or whenever it is that their special offer runs out (when comparing HostGater and BlueHost, I found one of the two to be much better at that).

FYI, the site that I set up is hosted on SiteGround.com.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

649 posts in 2281 days


#6 posted 01-10-2016 12:37 AM



I think daddywoofdawg is making is that you need your own domain (e.g. abcd.com), which means you should expect to pay for your hosting. Free hosting sites generally give you a subdomain only. (e.g. abcd.hostcompany.com). One exception that I found to this was x10hosting.com.

Thanks for the clarification, that makes sense.


There is merit in registering your domain first and separately from your hosting company.

How would you go about this. Everything I have seen so far offers the domain as part of the hosting. But this does concern me, because once I build the site I want to be the one that owns the domain. Is there something to look for to make sure this happens.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View FancyShoes's profile

FancyShoes

509 posts in 832 days


#7 posted 01-10-2016 01:50 AM

I wish I knew webdesign, because my wensite just sat empty for 3 years. Finally stopped paying. For it since I paid all up front. Oh well

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4247 posts in 1667 days


#8 posted 01-10-2016 01:56 AM

How would you go about this. Everything I have seen so far offers the domain as part of the hosting.

The domain is registered in your name, and you pay for it every year, so it’s yours. Some hosing companies will do the registration for you as a convenience and to get more business – since not everyone wants to or knows how to register a domain name. Many registrars also provide hosting capabilities, such as GoDaddy or Network Solutions (formally InterNIC), and will add a small fee for that service as part of your annual domain registration renewal fee.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: I’ve registered thousands of domains over the years – it ain’t that hard :)

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

780 posts in 1970 days


#9 posted 01-10-2016 02:26 AM

Just Google “domain registration companies”, have a look through the list and pick one that you are comfortable with. GoDaddy is an option, but there are others. Sometimes, such as if I would want a ”.com.au” or .co.uk” domain, I would specifically look for a domain registration company in that region since they might be cheaper. Not such an issue for a ”.com” domain though.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

780 posts in 1970 days


#10 posted 01-10-2016 02:33 AM

Fancyshoes

Have a look at www.weebly.com. You do not need to know web design, just how to place objects on a page.

I actually use Weebly for my own sites. I only run free sites with a Weebly subdomain address because that is all I need, my sites are for a very limited audience so the address is somewhat unimportant to me. You can link a domain to Weebly, but that ability comes at a cost.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 921 days


#11 posted 01-10-2016 02:34 AM

Godaddy.com for the domain. Yahoo has unlimited storage hosting plans starting at $10/mo. Be sure the site is NOT windoze hosted. Make sure the have MySQL (database) and PHP (programming) support.

Post your projects here and link back to them.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View KarnWoodworks's profile

KarnWoodworks

9 posts in 331 days


#12 posted 01-14-2016 06:18 PM

Hey, hit me up!

Maybe I can help you out with that. I’ve been running websites for the past 7 years.

Btw, if you need a quick answer then here’s what I’d suggest:

1. Bluehost – For cheap hosting
2. WpEngine – For High End Wordpress Hosting

-- Hey, New guy! http://planerreviews.net/ http://routertablereviews.net/

View beahan's profile

beahan

19 posts in 325 days


#13 posted 01-21-2016 12:01 PM

I have made 3 websites in my life and I think the main thing to consider is the price that you want to pay on a yearly basis. Yes the more expensive hosts may be a bit faster, but it’s not significant enough to worry about when just starting. My most recent site (in my signature) is on godaddy. They are offering a very low price for the first year. I would recommend that you try out a host that has a cheap first year so you can try it out and then if you don’t like it, you will only be out like $30. Wordpress is most likely what you would want to use for content management and it is very easy to use. There are also plugins for anything that you might want to do but may not know how. If you do choose Wordpress, make sure you get a reactive theme that looks good! There are so many free themes out there that just don’t look good for certain business types. You should start by sketching out on a few pieces of paper the general idea of how you want your page to look and then search for a theme that can give you that look.

-- http://www.cfbcreations.com

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 644 days


#14 posted 01-21-2016 01:14 PM

Over the years I have help people setup and manage several web sites. I always used a web site editor and created the site from scratch (no themes). Since Microsoft (until recently) gave me free copies of their Web Expression software I would use it.

If found that GoDaddy would offer a good price BUT I had major problems getting Web Expression to properly connect and upload the web page. GoDaddy SUPPORT WAS OF NO HELP. All they would do was send me an outdated set of instructions for an old version of the software.

One company I was working for forgot to renew their Domain Name (companyname.com) and suddenly they had no web site and no external e-mail. It took several days and late fees to get the domain back up. So the moral of this story is don’t forget to renew.

The Internet uses a distributed system to convert domain names (i.e. companyname.com) to the numeric address of the server (i.e. 17.150.12.205). The official story is that it can take up to 48 hours for the entire system to update to any changes. This means if you change hosting companies you may be out of commission (web site and / or e-mail) for up to 48 hours. Usually, I will tell a customer that it will take up to 4 days for everything to settle out and they are pleasantly surprised when it happens in 2 days. The moral of this story is changing hosting provides can cause downtime for your web site and e-mail.

Make sure you get in writing that you are the owner of the domain name you own. Own is the wrong word because you are really renting it. If you forget to renew it you loose it. In the past some shady hosting companies would leave themselves as the owner of the domain. This means you cant transfer to a different hosting company.

An online business would require an e-commerce web site. This opens an entirely different can of worms. So make sure that your hosting company can supply a preconfigured e-commerce solution. You don’t really want to spend your time trying to configure a web site to interface with different credit card providers. A good system will be able to follow your shipping rules to determine shipping costs and determine if sales tax should automatically be charged. It will also send the buyer a confirmation e-mail and then send the seller an e-mail with the necessary information. A lot of cheap hosting companies claim that they offer a turn-key e-commerce system that is easy to configure but all of them I have used take quite a bit of work to setup.

Once you have your site setup you then need to be found. There are entire books dedicated to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and unfortunately the rules change regularly. It seems by the time web professionals have figured out how GOOGLE and others do SEO and start using the tricks to get you site at the top of the list GOOGLE will change how it ranks sites.

One thing that GOOGLE has announced is that it will rank sites higher if they have good support for mobile phone users. So you may need a site that will look good on a cell phone. Even if your customers don’t care about accessing the site on their phones. You might not get found if you don’t.

There is the old wisdom that your site ranks higher (appears closer to the top of a search) based upon the number of other web sites that link to yours. One hosting company was advising their customers to buy six domains and hosting and them every time they post a new product on one go to the other five and add links. Sort of like:
when you create and post a new jewelry box go to your other web site where you sell bangles and say “Hey I found this beautiful jewelry box that would be a great place to store the bangles you buy from me”. I would suspect that GOOGLE has heard of this technique and is taking it into consideration when it determines rank.

One proven technique to get higher in the SEO rank list and therefore closer to the top of a search is to have changing content. Don’t setup a web site and they leave it alone. Change the pictures, change the descriptions, change anything. That way every time GOOGLE scans your web site it will see changes.

Another proven technique is to use important search terms in page titles, alternate name for pictures, the top part of descriptions on a page, and in the “keyword” tag within the page. The closer to the top of the page these appear the better chance the search engine will notice them.

I was attending a class on Social Media and the instructor, who developed web sites professionally, said that the under 30 something crowd was more interested in finding stores on business Facebook (this is different than personal Facebook pates), Instragram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. than on individual companies web sites. Her suggestion was every time you complete a project post it on your business Facebook page, twitter about it including a picture, and them post pictures on Pinterest.

I hope this helps. I am sorry about the length of this post, but if you waded through it you should see that using the Internet to sell products can be a complex process. You may want to check out the local community college’s continuing education offerings to see if they have classes that will help.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Don Kondra 's profile

Don Kondra

114 posts in 3354 days


#15 posted 01-21-2016 01:26 PM

I wish I knew about weebly before I paid up for a site on iPage :)

Short story…

My IPS hosted my website for $5/month for years but quit offering that service.

Much research into paid sites and I chose iPage which was on sale for $2.99/month with a domain name for $15/year.

Then when I needed another site I discovered weebly and chose the free site option.

Both sites offer the same free site creator tool but weebly actually allows the use of more pages…

IMO having a domain name such as donkondra.com isn’t that important. Chances are you are going to be giving out your site address or people will find you with a search engine. IIRC my old domain name was donkondra.sasktelwebsite.com. It was easier to just tell clients to google Don Kondra instead of reading off the site address :)

The free site and domain address of donkondraproductphotography.weebly.com works for me…

One thing to be aware of. After my three year “on sale” period expired on iPage, the pricing reverts to the normal price of $7/month (?).

I paid up, sigh…

It wasn’t worth the time it would take to upload all the content to another site.

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

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