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Web Development (Read 11,169 times)
 
Travis Higginbotham
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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
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Web Development
Jan 5th, 2014 at 9:16am
 
Hey all,
So my father and I are trying to get a website started to showcase some of our work hopefully leading to some sales down the road.
We started by researching free website builders and it appeared the easiest and most powerful was wordpress, simple 5 minute install, easy setup etc., etc.....
I should mention that Dad worked building and maintaining networks for a fairly large company for 12 years so he is rather tech savvy.
After a day of dealing with database creation errors it magically installed and we thought we were on the way. So after another day of trying to get one simple plugin installed we decided maybe this wasn't the way to go after all.
We have also tried a website builder called Drupal which doesn't seem to work much better.
So now that you know our story I would love to hear from some of the members about thier experience with building thier website. What builder did you guys use? Was it free? What problems have you run into?

Thanks,
Travis
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Bill Neff
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Barronett, Wisconsin, USA
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Re: Web Development
Reply #1 - Jan 5th, 2014 at 10:24am
 
I used Wordpress and the only problem I had was when I launched the site.  The hosting company had moved servers just before I launched and I didn't put the addresses of the name servers in correctly (I had a typo that if I had reread what I had entered I would have caught it).   Fortunately my son who used to work in tech support and customer retention for the hosting company fixed it in 2 minutes.   It took me a couple of days to actually put the site together. But several days getting pictures taken and edited for posting.

I had a couple of plug ins that I tried that I couldn't get to work so I uninstalled them and tried different ones.  With wordpress there are plenty of plugins to choose from that do the same thing.

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Travis Higginbotham
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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island
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Re: Web Development
Reply #2 - Jan 5th, 2014 at 12:48pm
 
Hey Bill,
Thanks for your response, and nice work on the site Thumbs Up
Unfortunately we couldn't get any of the pugins to install in Wordpress, kept coming back saying it couldn't create the file directory. We went through many tech forum posts and everyone seemed to have a fix but none of them worked Angry
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Doug Zarra
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Maricopa, Arizona, USA
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Re: Web Development
Reply #3 - Jan 6th, 2014 at 12:39am
 
you could probably manually create a directory, or use a different plugin.  Some of those wordpress plugins are finicky.
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Charlie Zapalac
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Carlos, Tx, Texas, USA
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Re: Web Development
Reply #4 - Jan 11th, 2014 at 9:13am
 
I was about to start this very topic.  I just got my domain, crossesbycharlie.com and I'll be setting something up soon.  I watched a video on using Google to build a website.  Our office is a heavy Google user.  After getting my domain thru them, and starting to use the Google sites to build a website, i've discovered what wasn't in the video was Google does not host websites.  So now, I've got a domain that's tied to Google for at least 60 days before I can have it hosted somewhere.  I'l probably go with GoDaddy for hosting.  I have read where I can probably go ahead with a hosting service and make a DNS change with Google and get the site u and running, but after Christmas and having to help my son with a financial issue doing anything more than getting my domain is all I can do for now.  I plan on using etsy for my sales gallery.  I also plan on getting a separate bank account for the financial part of this.  I don't want our regular accounts getting compromised by this in any way.  I want to keep things simple yet look somewhat professional and clean.  I don't want  a ton of financial commitments and burdens out of this.  And as for the domain name.  I make crosses and so far give them away.  I will still do that but to keep doing that I need to supplement my hobby somehow.  I've got people begging me to sell them crosses an other turning.
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Travis Higginbotham
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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
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Re: Web Development
Reply #5 - Jan 11th, 2014 at 12:00pm
 
We registered our domain with hostpapa, we chose them mostly because the are a Canadian company based in Toronto and they seemed to have most if not all the features that came with godaddy or hostgator, etc. We finally got a builder called Drupal working on a localhost server and it seems to be a powerful tool with an almost overwhelming amount of features. I would recommend it if you are fairly handy with a computer, it can become confusing doing configurations and whatnot if you dont understand the lingo but there are scads of documentation that go along with it including a few video tutorials on Youtube. We are, like you, trying to get this setup without a massive debtload right of the bat and not surprisingly it is quite a bit of work but it's all a learning experience and we will have gained a ton of knowledge by the time we are done.

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Charlie Zapalac
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Carlos, Tx, Texas, USA
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Re: Web Development
Reply #6 - Jan 11th, 2014 at 12:21pm
 
Digging thru things, like the godaddy dns, it looks like for my domain, they have a redirect in place that sends traffic to the google sites section.  Probably because I actually got the domain thru Google.  So with that, maybe I can setup a website using the Google Sites app and make it go public.  I did this the first day with Sites and a quick free template but nothing would ever show up to the real world.  I did also find that my transaction to Google for may domain wasn't completed yet because it was waiting on a verification email to be returned which I did but I guess it didn't all happen anyway.  I did ask about 10 times for the verification to be resent this morning and it took about an hour then a ton a verifications showed up and when i replied on one the transaction went thru my bank.  I'm wondering now if all will be OK now and I can go back to Google Sites and make a website work today.
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Charlie Zapalac
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Carlos, Tx, Texas, USA
Carlos, Tx
Texas
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Re: Web Development
Reply #7 - Jan 12th, 2014 at 11:19pm
 
After a long weekend, banging heads with Google, I got everything worked out.  As a summary of what i did..I purchased a domain thru Google ($12) then subscribed to Google Apps for Business ($5 a month).  The domain is considered parked at GoDaddy with a permanent forward into Google.  Then with some crazy DNS (Domain Name Service) Entries that got published worldwide, my site is up.  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register; I started all this with a ministry of sorts, making crosses to give away when I felt led to do so.  I've also made some turnings to give away.  I've had so many requests for crosses and turnings, I finally decided to look into finding a way to pt some up for sale. I'm working on an Etsy thing to list items and make the $$$ transactions.  I also applied for my Tax ID yesterday.  We can't leave out Uncle Sam.   My idea is to keep expenses down, keep it where I still enjoy doing this, and finance that hobby without interrupting our usual family finances.
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Dan Christensen
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Re: Web Development
Reply #8 - Jan 22nd, 2014 at 11:29am
 
I have used Weebly (Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register) and have been very pleased with it's ease of use and I plan on upgrading past their "free plan" in the future.

Dan
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Dan Christensen

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Philip Peak
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Re: Web Development
Reply #9 - Jan 24th, 2014 at 1:21am
 
I did my website using Adobe Dreamweaver.  I am taking classes at the state community college for an associates degree in visual communications with a concentration in web design.  In addition to Dreamweaver I also was able to fine tune some things using HTML coding when necessary.  I went with Ipage as my host but I am thinking of leaving them as they seem unwilling to help me get my contact page working.  I have a form on it for people to contact through and it use some php scripting but I need them to do something at the server end to make the php work but it seems like everyone there I talk to there is stupid.
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Jurriaan Kalkman
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Re: Web Development
Reply #10 - Feb 5th, 2014 at 8:00am
 
I have a background in computer administration (unix) and I recognise html when I see it. I'm not a web developer.

My website would have to be as maintenance-free as possible, so I made some general pages (text + pictures) by creating a single page in an office program, removing anything in the html that I didn't like/see the need for and tweaking the rest until it looked like I wanted.

Then I researched a photo viewing technique without javascript, java, php or anything else than raw html.

After that, I wrote a script that basically went through all my bowl descriptions, matched pictures to them and wrote html files.

This means I have a webpage without any hackable script components. There's text, pictures and an email-address if someone wants to buy a bowl.

I had some experience on another website where an older component with known vulnerabilities instantly led to hacking activity and a shutdown from the provider, and I vowed 'never again'. I have better things to do than check daily if my provider did install that latest php-version or updated the latest cms plugin.

Adding bowls to the website means updating my data at home (description files / pictures), transferring these to the server, calling the script and presto, the website is up to date.

I'm sure this is not for everyone, but if fits me well.
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« Last Edit: Feb 5th, 2014 at 8:05am by Jurriaan Kalkman »  

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Larry Matchett
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Re: Web Development
Reply #11 - Feb 6th, 2014 at 11:48am
 
Here is a good template to setting up a e-commerce web site.

1.  Find a hosting company.  Preferably one in your community.  Easier to deal with when you can pick up the phone and talk to the person who runs the site.  Ensure they have site security certificate for your transactions.  A face to face meeting is a big help when setting up an e-commerce site.

2.  Buy your domain name through your hosting company.

3.  I use this software to build web sites    Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register/.   Inexpensive and does a great job.  Many online tutorials for those who don't know how to write html.  Not necessary with this software and that includes CSS3, PHP, layers etc.

4.  Preview your site on your computer before you ever go live.  Nothing worse then publishing a site that does not work.


5.  Publishing updates is as simple as clicking on a button.


By the way the principle of KISS applies to e-commerce web sites.  The customer could care less about fancy web sites.  They want to easily see your product and it should be easy to buy with security.  Get in get out quit mucking about.
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