For a simple, very inexpensive web presence both Google Blogger (http://tinyurl.com/2wlwv3) and WordPress will purchase a domain for you, and host the site and allow you to use the blogging tools to maintain the site.
Create your Google Blog and then domain hosting costs $10 per year, using GoDaddy.com. Your URL drops "blog." ie: www.montanascribbler.blog became www.montanascribbler.com.
WordPress.org has a similar deal. Create your website with WordPress, and then have it hosted with a company like Bluehost.com.
For hosting your website, Domain.com is a bit more expensive, like, say, $15 bucks compared to $10.
WordPress software is far more sophisticated than Google, with uncountable widgets that allow a person to tailor the site.
BetterWebSpace (https://www.betterwebspace.com) is a UK company, but they have servers both in the UK and US. They are inexpensive - hosting on US servers costs about $23 a year. The only extra they charge for is backups and their support is superb.
Weebly.com (www.weebly.com) is a completely free option, where you can point your domain to it. Thehe design is done by a GUI that's easy to use. It's possible to setup an entire site in about half an hour, no cost, using your own graphics and one of their built in themes. Really, really good for a light-weight web presence.
If you want a fully functional group interaction kind of thing, try out Groupspaces.com (www.groupspaces.com.) Not quite as pretty and customizable as weebly, but very, very functional. Mailing list, forum, news feed, event RSVP, file vault, photo album, and a 'website' front where you can put up a description and allow people to join.
Both are free, and great for getting on your feet as either an independent web presence or an entire group.
Other sites like Pinterest.com (www.pinterest.com) can also act as a sort of billboard website, and Deviantart.com (www.deviantart.com) and Hitrecord.com (www.hitrecord.com) that allow you to show off individual works.What About Those Domains That Host Your Material on the Internet?
(Originally published June 20, 2013 in The North Palouse Washington e-Newscast.
)Jenn Allen, whose passion is writing but now works in healthcare IT, shares what she learned from more than a decade in the IT industry.
"Ask these four questions of a DNS registrar to determine the real value:
- Jenn wrote, "IT puts food on the table. My education was from Internet Service Providers (ISP) big and small. I worked for several ISPs during my career and have worked on DNS and website implementation for many customers (as well as my own). Domain Name System is the Internet system used to translate names into IP addresses.
- "I've watched the DNS sub-industry transform from a monopoly held by Network Solutions. In those early days, it was closer to $100 than $10 to register a domain and there were few extra hoops to the diverse jungle of registrars and super-cheap registration service bundles it is today.
- "The biggest thing to watch out for, if I had to summarize it, would be that cheapness never comes cheap, Registrars offering insanely low deals most likely cut corners on domain services and ease of use after you get the domain, or they have so many customers that you're unlikely to get an audience should anything actually go wrong.
- "I used a particular DNS company (name withheld) for their balance between cheap and featured, until I heard of some of its business practices ~~ difficulty transferring domains, holding domains 'for ransom' after they expired - it costs more to get a domain re-registered if you let it lapse, or did when I looked into it. Then I switched to Domain.com, and completely love it.
- "It is a tiny bit more expensive (closer to $20 than $10), but I get all the features, less obnoxious ads, and I can also now point [my domain.com], instead of just [www.mydomain.com], which is a subtle, but important difference for someone who doesn't host a full web server in some colocation facility with static IPs.
- What process/fees are required hoops to transfer your domain to a different registrar?
- Do they provide free DNS? If so, do they point to the domain name, eg. register.com, or will they only point hostnames, eg. Register.com, www.register.com, to a third-party server?
- What do they do if you miss your expiration date? Do they hold your domain hostage for 6 months, and then sell it to a third party reseller, knowing it's wanted?
- What are the renewal fees? Any hidden fees for contact info updates, DNS updates, etc.?