The World Wide … What??

As much as I am a nerd and a geek (after all, I freakin’ love words), I am not a techie. As you may have noticed, if you’ve checked out my goals page, one of my goals was to talk to my friend, who is a techie, about the web this week.

I spent an hour on the phone with him on Sunday, and I think I probably said, “I don’t understand. What?” more times than I can count.

Prior to talking to him I had decided I was going to buy three web domains in the coming months.
1) – where I would host this blog
2) – which would host a site about me and my writing and hopefully collect leads.
3) which would redirect to (or vice-versa).

I have some (very) rudimentary web skills – I know enough HTML and PHP to make dreamweaver work. I’m planning to work on the site myself with some assistance from my friend, mr. big bad web developer, who frequently fields questions for me for free when I should probably be paying him a ridiculous amount to do consulting. Needless to say, he’s damn good at what he does (danny if you’re reading this, stop blushing).

Even before talking to him, I thought I understood the basics. You have to “buy” a domain name (ie. pay money to register it). Then you need to set up an ftp site, and pay someone to host your site. The way I understand it, when someone hosts your site you pay them to put it on their computer and they keep that computer (really, i think its called a server) online at all times, allowing visitors to your site to view it. An ftp site allows you to exchange files between your computer and their server, and shows you what is on each. Okay, so far so good. And then I called Danny.

Due to the number of search results that pop up when you google my name (3 pages), he says I need a higher bandwidth than most sites include with a basic hosting package. Ok, so add on that. Then we talked about hosting through wordpress (since I can just upgrade this) and he recommended against it for reasons that took a really long time to understand, but boil down to templates and how much memory or kb or w/e this site actually uses each time it downloads and how that translates to bandwidth usage.

That is, apparently Danny thinks I am WAY more popular than I think I am, because I think 4,000 pageviews a month sounded like a hecka lot and he thought it wasn’t enough – he says search engines crawl it regularly and hosts count those as page views …. and, since I know he knows what he’s talking about … I’m going to trust him on how that all works.

Then he recommended another site, which upon visiting I promptly told him was way beyond me. I couldn’t understand every third word on their page explaining what you get when you pay for their services. Too complicated.

So now I’m on the search for the perfect host. Danny’s helping – he’s tapping his group of resources to find out what’s worked for other people.

I, in the meantime, am supposed to try and do some independent research. The goal is to find a host where I can get close to unlimited bandwidth for under $60 / year. And that’s not including start up fees, like actually buying or registering a domain name.

Needless to say, I ended the conversation by taking a few aspirins and a break from doing work of any sort. Right now, I fully appreciate the depth of what I do not know, and am REALLY glad I have someone in my personal network who understands it a hell of a lot better than I do.

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