Friday, October 2, 2009

Not Impressed

As some of you may know, I keep a little side site where static information about my writing is kept. Things like my progress when I was working through the Advanced Diploma, my bibliography, current work in progress - that type of thing.

Not many people went there, but it was a little place I kept things of interest to me and occasionally others. It was a free site plagued by ads. Well, it seems the hosts have migrated over to a new tool for people to create and edit their sites with. I knew it was coming was not keen to move. Now I know why.

Today I finally clicked on the migrate site option (I needed to update my bibliography anyway) and it totally screwed up everything!

I'm not going to fix it. It's time to find a solution to my issues which will allow me to host the information I want (writing tips, bibliography, WIP, etc) and possibly/probably my blog posts, without looking overly crowded or with it being too difficult to master.

Don't get me wrong, I work with computers everyday. Many may laughingly call me an IT professional, but I'm not interested in the field. It pays the bills - that's it. I am seriously not interested in learning new languages, manipulating HTML, or coding complex algorithms to present a website. It's one of the reasons I use blogger - it's point and click, dead easy, leaving the little amount of grey matter I have left to think on other things.

I may also bite the bullet and register a domain name to tie it all together.

So consider this session of the people's court open. I need to hear arguments for the platforms out there, both the good and bad side. Take nothing as granted. What you consider an easy interface may be as good as something written in Klingon for me. Explain to me why I should be looking at LJ, or Facebook, or WordPress, or some thing else. Tell me where help can be found. Tell me why you don't use the other platforms.

Help me to help me and you. A lot of what I put up on these pages is for the benefit of other writers just so they know they're not alone and others have made the same mis-steps before them, but I need somewhere I can blog and keep all the static information together.

Any and all suggestions, advice and help is appreciated. If someone wants to offer web help for advertising space or is willing to provide web services for a reasonable fee I'll also be willing to listen.

Please be seated. You may call your first witness...


  1. I doubt Facebook will suit your needs. It's more pure social networking, and you get plenty of that via blogging. (fades into the shadows to listen to the other perspectives)

  2. I figured that was the way of things but a good argument could persuade me. I'm pretty much open to all suggestions at this point in time.

  3. LJ's pretty much the same as blogger only not as good (in my opinion), I pay about £14 for a domain name with google and all their tools. It's pretty basic but it does the job.

  4. I'm using Wordpress and have my own domain name for my main site - very easy to update and customise.

    I blog via LJ (as you know), which has the advantage of the friends-list function; people actually READ the posts, without having to visit my blog specifically. By comparison Blogger is a kind of lonely place.

    Facebook, MySpace, Twitter - all cool for distributing info, but don't replace a website or blog, in my opinion.

  5. I am a dolt when it comes to these things so I am of little help. Sorry.

  6. My brother runs his own server and lets me have all the space I want, and he set up my domain name for me last year, so I haven't tried any other services, sorry. I build my website using Kompozer, though, and upload it with Core FTP Lite, if that helps you. They're both very easy to use.

  7. I bought my domain names (.com and .net) from godaddy, who have been good for hosting in the past, but currently my friend hosts me. I didn't do the design on my own pages, I actually paid a designer friend, but I've tinkered with WordPress a lot and it's simple in terms of creating pages and getting them to do what you want.

    That said, it might be disorienting without very basic HTML manipulation for things like your bibliography page, etc. If you're picky about things being exactly as you like, almost any platform I've seen would require as much. But if you don't mind templates and can make do, then you could be good to go.

    I've also used Dreamweaver to build sites, and it's pretty intuitive, but pricey and has a slight learning curve.

  8. I have my domains in one account at, and most of them are set up using wordpress. It's just easier to update the various sites when I don't have to update a dozen or more pages at a time. It's about $120 a year for my package, including the original domain name. The other two were registered elsewhere, but are hosted as subs off the original one at Drak. I have the smallest package, I think (not including the intro account) and I'll never run out of bandwidth or space. They're extremely generous with both.

    I do my own designing, mostly following set templates by other designers (I'm far too lazy to code a theme from scratch) and basically let the sites take care of themselves. Sort of. ;)

  9. So I either need a family member or a friend to set me up or it seems I need to bite the bullet and figure out how to use WordPress properly.

    Of those who do use WordPress, can you please point me in the direction of the manual for Dummies on webpage creation and integration.

    Thanks for everyone who has offered advice or comment so far...keep it coming