Knowing Your Toolbelt – Web Developer Resources

This past January I started working as a Web Developer at Wolf Creek Technology in Polk City. Work sputtered out at that job and I managed to freelance over the summer as a sound and lighting technician. In September I started working up in Ames and launched my own company. As my own company is considerably technology focused I still haven’t given up my pursuits in web development and that is actually featured as a service that I provide.

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WordPress Dictionary

WordPress is a content management system based primarily for blogging. There are 2 different “Flavors” of WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Here is a brief dictionary of the basic fundamentals of WordPress. Let’s get started:

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HostGator – My Review of this Hosting Giant

When I first started out with my very own custom domain I went to biz.nf. The lure of a cheap domain with free hosting was to much for a brand new website owner. The temptation cost me though. The domains weren’t as cheap as I thought and the hosting really stunk. After installing WordPress I put Jetpack (a must for any WordPress user) and a few other plugins. Soon after I received error after error message about not having enough ram on my server. It was free shared hosting. After contacting customer support (which mind you took 30+ minutes just to reach someone via online chat) I was told that because of my current hosting plan I was subjugated to these infamous errors. That is when I decided to look for a new hosting and domain service. Here is my review of HostGator:

The Hunt

I needed better hosting. Server crashes became increasingly frequent and I found their control panel incredibly hard to navigate. Quickly I searched and searched. I wanted the best hosting for the buck. I also needed great customer service. I was still pretty new at the whole idea of hosting was pretty much lost when it came to domain management. I found HostGator.

The Prey

HostGator was always in the top 5 when it came for hosting. Bluehost came up frequently as well. Being so new I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick with WordPress or if another CMS was feasible. BlueHost isn’t only WordPress but from a cost perspective….

Domains

Domains were always tricky. You can buy a super cheap domain then change your name servers to match your hosting. This spreads things out and makes it harder to keep track of it all. In an effort to keep my domains on the same hosting I transferred my domain over to HostGator. I certainly recommend that anyone in my shoes keep their domains lined up with their hosting service. This also makes it easier when you use a Content Distribution Network (Cloudflare is awesome). This is just my 2 cents. Different domain strategy’s work for different people. Domains on hostgator are about $15. Go Daddy will offer cheaper hosting but their provocative advertising has been a bit “no” for me. You can usually find a good deal for domains on HostGator. They are constantly running promotions. Nearly any national holiday and they will be running a “half off domain” or something.

Hosting:

For 5 bucks a month I got superb hosting, 1 click installs, cPanel and amazing customer service.

HostGator Plans:

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I went with the hatchling plan. This plan doesn’t have everything but really I don’t need a whole lot. Just 1 domain and that’s that.  

Unlimited bandwidth and unlimited hard drive space was awesome! Last month I upgraded to the baby plan so I can start expanding my services. I now offer hosting and basic web design services.

The Catch

Their customer service is excellent. They see everything until the end and are very helpful. I cannot recommend them enough as they are consistently striving for excellence. There may be a better deal out there but HostGator is the best for a lowly blogger like myself.

All in all I am very satisfied with HostGator and I plan to continue with them.

Happy Blogging,

-Cody

Sources:

HostGator Comparison Chart