Choosing Your Web Platform

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This was written in response to an email question. I’m paraphrasing the question.

I’m just trying to figure out how to get on the web with very little expense…. I had dabbled in HTML years ago and thought I might go that route with some help….

There are plenty of helpful step-by-step videos on YouTube for each of these suggestions. Vary your keywords when you search for best results.

No expense, well you will need to spend ~$10-$30 yearly for a domain name if you want to offer visitors convenience and appear professional with a custom forwarding email address.

HTML, know of the GitHub service, check out GitHub Pages (free hosting) and Jekyll (static site generator). A domain name can be tied to this. I’m using this for my website. You build the site on your computer with files and Markdown, Jekyll builds the site for you, then you use a GitHub repository or other to host it. Use Disqus for comments.

You can also use an application on your computer to do the hard work for you and you send the finished site to an online host it supports. This tool is free and is multiplatform by name of Publii.

If that’s too complicated for you, then decide if you want a website with a blog focus or only a website with no blog.

For a blog focus with pages, use Blogger. For a website with no blog, use Google Sites. Both can be tied to a domain name.

If you have it in the back of your mind to ever go big, then sign up for WordPress.com. You can extract your data later without manually using copy and paste for most of it.

Stay away from Wix if you want to be found and have aspirations to move to a different website platform in the future. Weebly is recommended over Wix but it’s hard to move away from later. Tumblr, not worth your time. Squarespace is another recommended solution for a website or website with a blog. Hard as in you’ll be copying and pasting quite alot to move away.

If you need a website that also functions as an ecommerce store, the best recommendation now is Shopify.

If you need a hosting solution, I recommend SiteGround(affiliate). I recommend SiteGround because it is not part of a larger farm of hosting servers like Bluehost and Hostgator companies share, and they offer Let’s Encrypt easy and free SSL certificate installation for your domain name.

Need a domain name, use NameCheap. I do not recommend GoDaddy for domain names or for hosting.

It is not recommended to use one company for both your domain name and hosting. If by some chance the company disappears so does your domain name and website together. A lost domain name normally takes two years to resurface as available again unless a robot buys and sits on the domain selling it for an exorbitant sum of money.

I have used all these services. Make a good choice. If you want to hire me, use my contact page.

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