Hosts: A host is the company you get to host your website. First and foremost you don’t want to host this thing yourself, I don’t care what industry you are in or how good you are with computers. You don’t have a fiber optic line to your building. You don’t have solid state hard drives with fast servers. You don’t want all that infrastructure in your building and it will never pay for itself.
You want to find a host for your website. I use GoDaddy and if you had caught me 2 years, I would have highly recommended them. Now, I’m lukewarm at best on them. You should look for someone with amazing customer service who is based in the USA with their whole staff. Ebound Host, I have heard from people I trust, is very good. If I ever get the gumption to change from GoDaddy that’s where I will head. But the pain of change is keeping me from making that move.
The hosting companies vary from do-it-yourself to we’ll-do-it-for-you. You should pick the latter, you don’t want to learn this stuff. It’s a vocation, not something you dabble in.
Platforms: There are a bunch of them out there. I picked wordpress. I had a familiarity with them. They are pretty simple. I don’t know much about the others but Squarespace is one of them. I think one is called Magento. WordPress is a good choice because it’s a mature technology with LOTS of plug-ins that help you accomplish your goals without having to know how to code. If you give up and call a consultant or hand it off to a junior staff, there’s about eleventy ba-jillion people and consultants that know wordpress. It’s a good, solid choice, like buying a Ford.
Themes: Let’s be clear, this is where a lot of the wordpress magic happens. These are the “skins” that gives a website it’s look and feel. A lot of them are free, some are paid licenses but the cost is rarely over $100 for a *forever* license. We need to talk about themes from a strategy standpoint. Stay tuned.
Plugins: Plugins are applets that help you do the things you want to do inside a wordpress website. You should work HARD to minimize the number of these you use. They add complexity to your website. They get updated on irregular intervals and every update had the possibility of breaking things inside your website. They frequently conflict with each other. Less is more.
Third Party Software: There are often things that people need to do that can’t be fully supported with wordpress. “Unbounce” is a website that I’m thinking of at the moment. Essentially you need to do something like make a good landing page so you use a third party to perform this task. It essentially sends you to a different website, or a different type of website that’s still on your website host.
Done with #1, onto #2.
Background. Hosts, Platforms, Themes, IFrame, Plugins, Third Party Software
- Nobody cares about your website, you should care less, a lot less.
- What functionality looks like.
- How you know what you’re doing is working (or not)