So the webguy was out and about looking for a good hosting provider and thought a good deal was found at ImHosted, well the webguy was WRONG!!
I set up the account the night before last and received my order confirmation email, which stated that I needed to activate my account, so I click the link to activate my account and follow the instructions, which I'm then prompted that I'm already activated. Funny thing was I had no host account details, so I tried to contact "live" online support, this required that I install ICQ and attempt to talk to dijo, who doesn't ever answer. I give up and open a support ticket, late the next afternoon I received the Account Activation email, which has all my details. I wonder what happens if my site is down, do I wait a day and a half for a response? So I log into the cpanel to check things out and find that the Unlimited domains, Unlimited hosting accounts on the account I paid for means nothing, since there's no way to modify my DNS zone records within the Control Panel, so I fire off another email and support ticket, which went unanswered today. I'm tired of waiting for support to get back to me, I found another account with more space, more bandwidth, and less money at 1&1 Internet and I have plans to call and cancel the other account in the morning, provided they honor their 100% Satisfaction guaranty.
You may have noticed that I'm short on entries this past week. New to blogging and easily distracted by shiny things, wordpress plug-ins are my Kryptonite. If you're not hosting your own blog and not playing with plug-ins all the time I imagine you're probably a much more productive blogger than me. I got off to a good rolling start, a few thousand visits last week, which I can see in a nice pretty chart thanks to Google Analytics and the wordpress plug-in that goes along with it. Every time I see a cool plug-in on someone elses blog, I feel inclined to try it out myself.
My current plug-in list looks like this:
- Ad Rotator - Let's you stick your banner ads line by line in a text file and rotates through all the ads in the file, you're able to specify the ads by name.
- AJAX Comments - Adds some of that AJAX shininess when users post comments, a little animations that let's you see the comment post without a page refresh. I know it's absolutely useless, but cool.
- Akismet - This one blocks spam in the comments.
- AuthImage - This one puts a captcha image in the comment section to avoid automated comment spamming. I like it but can be a bit annoying, I really have a hard time reading the letters from the images, which at times can cause me to lose my comments when I submit.
- diggIT - Let's you display the number of diggs on your site and have a nice big visible Digg button, I kind of stopped using this one because it seems like it can hurt page load times.
- Executable PHP widget - Nice sidebar widget that let's you place code into it, you can place pretty much anything in the widget, I think mybloglog is in mine.
- Feedburner Feed Replacement - Supposedly this one replaces all of your feeds with your feedburner url, I never quite got it working, time was wasted, I was frustrated, finally I edited the them and replaced the feed urls myself.
- Google Adsense widget - Let's you stick Adsense code into your widgetized sidebar, you could also do this with the PHP widget, may be redundant.
- Google Analytics - Adds the snippet of code that Google requires for your analytics account, I had the code in there before so I probably spent more time downloading this plug-in and installing it than it really saved me.
- Google Sitemaps - Generates a sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz every time you post an entry, the sitemap's are supposed to be compatible with Google, Yahoo, and MSN's search.
- Jerome's Keywords - Let's you assign tags to your posts so that you can have one of those fancy Web 2.0 tag clouds.
- keywords-tagcloud widget - Integrates with Jerome's Keywords to display a tagcloud in your sidebar, it's Web 2.0, it's cool.
- Kramer - This supposedly takes all your technorati links and turns them into ping backs, I have it installed activated and have yet to actually use it, me wasting time again.
- MyBlogLog Widget - This displays a picture of all the other MyBlogLog people that have been to your site, it's a cool community and the people seem to be nice so far.
- Share This - One of those social bookmark widgets, this one is very Ajaxy but lacks in other places, for instance whenever you select a place to bookmark the site to it takes you from the page, which then makes it hard to fill out the information to bookmark the article.
- Sidebar Widgets - This is a required plug-in if you have a widgetized theme, it provides that nice drag and drop interface to drag your widgets to your sidebars.
- Snap Preview AnywhereTM Plugin - This plug-in pops a preview of the site you're linking to, I used this for about a week when I realized it slowed page load time when trying to retrieve a snapshot of the page and it was just plain annoying everytime I hovered over a link for a second this preview popped up.
- Webvirtue Share Your Post-2 - Another Share This type of plug-in, but pops in a new window and allows you to bookmark the article without leaving the article.
- WP-PostRatings - Another AJAX plug-in that allows your users to rate your postings, this is one of my latest additions, I'm the only one that's rated anything and that was just to test the plug-in
- WP-UserOnline - Tells your who's logged into your site, which seems kind of pointless since this is a one man blog, I like that I can see the number of users viewing the blog.
- WP-UserOnline Widget - Widgetizes the plug-in above, so I can drag and drop instead of editing the theme.
So, as you can see, I've been busy, not writing my blog. Hopefully I can get back to writing, as soon as I check out this last plug-in....
There are several sites such as wordpress.com and blogger.com where you can sign up for free and start your blog right away.
But if you're like me, that's not good enough, you want to express your individuality, make your own name, control your own destiny. You want your own domain and your own host so that you have everything you need to express yourself. This article will give you the down low on where to reserve your own domain name, set up hosting, install blogging software, all this at the low cost of $8.95/yr. for the domain and $3.95/mo. for hosting.