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Current Rants and Recent Rambles

Starting your own website

05-25-2013: The easiest way to build your own website is now to do one with a WordPress platform. Here is a video showing how to do just that, in real time (1 hour and 40 some minutes), no steps omitted, by Tylre Moore.



09/22/08 - Update for Laura, my classmate at the Women's Initiative.

05-28-04: A ClayMate was considering starting up a website of her own and she asked the list how should she go about it. I did a brain dump and this is what I shared with her.

How exciting starting up a website.

To find out if you can get the domain name you want,
seeing if it is available, go to (10-05-08 update: they wanted to charge $35 for a year and that was after trying to make me sign up for three years with an extra "protection" bit attached.) (10-05-08: Just asked for $20 without trying to squeeze more money out of me.)

GoDaddy (Has the cheapest domain registration but I went with who I was already with, you can save some money by using GoDaddy.)

Type in the name you'd like for your website. I'm
testing right now as a test and to see
if I can find prices. .... it seems to be taking a
little while to check the domain name.

When I registered my sites I paid for two years in
advance and I think it came to around $50 per site.
I'm sure now that there's other places to register
domains, a new ruling, the prices may have gone down.

Let's try another one...
Now that's better I found out that MSATClayArt.Com and are both available for registration.
Now let's see if we can find a price.
Add Catch-All E-mail Option:  $25 a year per domain
Catch All means that if someone wrote to or
will all be forwarded to your email. So the price is
the same.

Let's try another one...

2 Year Registration $35.00 $70.00
5 Year Registration $25.00 $125.00
10 Year Registration $20.00 $200.00
The longer you register the domain when beginning the
cheaper it is per year.

Now that's the first step.

The second step depends on if you want to buy a
Website building software like Front Page, which costs
- New User Price $199 US

Update: FrontPage is being discontinued and is being replaced by ExpressionWeb, which some folks said that still needs ironing out. Denise, my team mate at COCModSquad uses DreamWeaver and it's compatible with FrontPage, which is good because we both work updating the same websection for CITY-o-Clay.

DreamWeaver's cheapest edition cost $399.

If you don't want to buy a Website Building software
package you can host your Domain with a webhost that
offers templates and a built in software package.

The sites where you register also offer these packages
where you don't have to learn new software and those
costs can run $15 per page per year.

Registering is one cost, the second cost is where are
you going to have that domain hosted.

Update: For example, and the contents from the old, all the web sections are hosted with EMonsterHost and I'm spending around $100 a year to host my website. I just changed webhosts in early 2008 and it's the fourth webhost I've had since 2000. Just like landlords, you can change webhosts and it doesn't effect your website's address.

The cost for hosting a website with FrontPage is
cheaper in the long run than getting a website that is
built with built in software and templates. Now some
folks build their webpages learning HTML and they get
them to their webhost through FTP, File Transfer
Protocol. That gets one around the cost for a package
like FrontPage, which I use because learning HTML is
not on my hot TO DO list.
Here is a page that shows website hosts that are
inexpensive, $7-$10 per month.

So let's say you pay $50 for registering for two
years, $120 for webhost for one year, $199 for
FrontPage. We're up to $365 to start and we've not
taken one picture yet.

A digital camera is a must if we're going to showcase
your Fish Clocks. A digital picture isn't perfect each
time so a Graphics Program, like PhotoShop is needed
to adjust lighting, add text to the picture, layer a
bunch of items in one picture that came from a bunch
of different pictures, that sort of thing. These too
are part of the initial cost. Digital cameras are
pretty cheap especially if you're getting a model that
is a couple of steps back from what's new. The big
package PhotoShop is pricey though. There's one called
PhotoShop Elements, good for amature photographers and
folks getting pictures up to the web. It goes for $139.

So we register our domain, decide of we're going to
get the domain hosted where it has a built in web page
builder, or if we're going to host the domain
somewhere and get something like FrontPage or learn
how to FTP the pages. No matter which of the three
ways way we host it we still need to take pictures and
manipulate them as needed.

Now there's a lot of WebHosts that offer to help you
set up eCommerce, which is what I figure you want to
do, sell your Art. There's a free eCommerce service
for small businesses and it's
It provides a free secure shopping cart for your
customers. Karen at ClayAlley uses it, if you want to check it out
in action. This shopping cart is best for items that
are regularly produced or offered. For One Of A Kind
items it doesn't really work well. Pounds of clay or
tools are repeating items. Figurines that are unique
are not.

Update: Everyone I know is using PayPal. For new small businesses this is a great thing because we can accept check, debit, or credit cards. The fee comes from the transaction. So if your service to a customer is $50, add another about 5% on top of that to make up for the transaction fee.

Here's is PayPal's Fee Page

What else, this is like a brain dump here, just
reeling off everything I can think of. Oh YEAH I
almost forgot...My absolutely favorite site is
Some tips on design for the site.

The guy who founded this site admitted that his first
website he designed he didn't put a "mail to" link so
no one could get hold of him. LOL

Ok, now if you don't want to build the pages, you can
have other folks do that for you, again for a cost.
But sometimes it's better to have a webmaster who
takes care of updating the site and building new pages
than to have to do it yourself. Just depends on how
much of the work you're eager to take on yourself.

I know this is a bit MUCH all at once. Of course I
found out all of this in little bite sized chunks over
a period of years. I used three different GeoCities
sites with different log on IDs for free, for three
years before getting my own domain. The reason why I
needed my own domain was those danged banner ads made
me nuts. Some free websites have a limit on how many
people can visit your site. Each time someone goes to
one of your pages it "downloads" the information,
there's limits on how much your site can download.
I've seen situations on this list and others where
someone wanted to show something and if we were not
quick to go see we end up seeing "this website traffic
is over quota, come back again". This would be a
serious issue of you're selling things, or teaching as
I do.

I get an average of 1,000 page requests per site per
day. If I had a limit on downloads folks wouldn't be
able to get to tutorials.

So my brain is empty now. I hope that helped some.
It's daunting at the beginning as are all new
adventures, but once you're up and running you will do
just fine, you're Techno Buff after all!

Update: To get a quick and free web presence check CITY-Computer's page on Blogs. (needs to be rebuilt 2013)

Love ya, mean it




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