Helping, Rather Than Victimizing
If you are about to build your very first website – a start-up – you are at a distinct disadvantage these days. There are many who wish you to believe that it is easy and simple to build your own site, and truly it once was. Indeed, it was very easy when I began. WordPress was just one year old and simply a blog platform. There were no plugins yet, no SSL certificates, and if you wanted to customize something you simply coded it in. Sounds simple, huh?
Yeah, not so much, but it really was. You just had to know how to code.
Or you could code your pages up from scratch and add tables and columns and all sorts of neat tricks, but you were coding and that was all you were doing. I know, that doesn’t sound simple, but it was.
So many elements have been added behind the scenes of websites, elements you never see but merely see working invisibly. The crew screaming at you from those advertisements for GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace Weebly are never going to fully inform you about all of them. If they did you would never sign up.
A lot of folks offer free hosting. Though this sounds to be very good at first, you should remind yourself that the employees of the company don’t show up for free each day. Wix and wordpress.com are two of the most promoted free hosting solutions. Yes the hosting is free, but their company name will appear in your URL, and they will be running their advertisements on your website, unless you pay.
The idea is to get you, with your so-far limited technical knowledge, secured onto their platforms before you figure out what the downsides are. Their platforms do not communicate well with other platforms so if you decide to move it, you have to rebuild it again, with a whole new user environment to get used to.
So far we haven’t gotten past the hosting question yet, there are more pitfalls there as well. For instance did you read the T&C closely enough to see that GoDaddy will double your hosting costs whenever your contract expires? Well they will. Or they will secure you at close to the old rate but only if you sign on again for multiple years.
Have you heard about the notoriously poor hosting companies all owned by EIG?
Do you know the very serious downsides of Network Solutions?
Did you know that most hosting support is iffy at best? On the rare occasions that I need to call them for something (I managed VPS servers for years.) I have to throw something into the conversation early, as a test, in order to see if I am talking to a knowledgeable person. I might say something that is patently untrue and wait for a correction, or I might ask something that I know. If I don’t get the right answer back, I hang up and call back in twenty minutes. I usually get a new voice.
If you are just too excited about your new website and can’t wait to buy your domain and secure your Hosting I can wholeheartedly recommend;
This is not an affiliate link, just a link to their site. I recommend them to all my new clients and use them for all of my sites. They handle domain names and hosting and have almost all the features of Siteground but at a fraction of the cost. I avoid affilliate sites to keep my recommendations commercial free and honest.
And More Pitfalls
I am a tight-wad. The idea is to bring money in, not to let go of it unnecessarily. Having said that, there are costs which are completely necessary.
Raging River will guide you through these costs and explain why the necessary ones are necessary, and why the unnecessary ones aren’t.
A good example is Let’s Encrypt free SSL Certificates. This can be a good solution for many websites, but it does require renewal quarterly instead of annually. The free aspect of this still makes it very attractive, but it’s simply not right for all applications, and someone has to sit down and renew it every three months.
However, if you find the right hosting company, MightWeb being an excellent example, installation of your SSL can not only be free, but one click install and automatic renewal every three months.
And Even More Pitfalls
This list just goes on and on today. Google Dashboard, GDPR requirements by the EU, CDNs, Cache Plugins, Anti Spam, Security Plugin selection, Robo hackers, it’s almost endless. and there is quite often still coding to be reckoned with as well. In fact, had it been this involved when I started working with websites I might have never begun at all.
Over the years I have absorbed these things as they came, it was incremental. If you are starting up your new site your best bet is to find someone with the level of experience I have – even if it’s not me – to guide you through this potentially money wasting morass.