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 Post subject: Self hosted vs. .com... help!
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 4:54 pm
Posts: 53
Location: US
*recites to herself "we all have to start somewhere... we all have to start somewhere"*

Ok so I am wondering if you all can give any advice, or help me find some guides on this topic. Should I switch from .com to self hosted?

Here are my dillemas with my current blog on wp.com:

My blog was created sort of on a whim, and I now have discovered that my name is probably kinda lame... so I'm thinking about starting fresh, maybe linking from my wp.com blog to the new one in a post or something. (side note: does anyone have an idea for a better name?)

I hate that I can't use javascript, I am a novice when it comes to HTML or Java, but I know how to copy and paste a script and I'd like to be able to use more widgets like a questions submission form or entrecard, and I can't because Wp.com doesn't allow java.

Any opinions on anything I've said are welcome, even if it's "ya your name sucks" lol. I'd also very much appreciate any guidance on what to do to start a selfhosted wp blog as I am currently a novice and I'm not really even sure where to start.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:04 pm
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Location: Minnesota
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When you say your name, are you talking about "Dezdemone" or "Will Tank for Healz"? Personally, I like the title for your blog. The URL does not necessarily have to reflect the title (but as I can tell, it does tell me that it's your character's name, which is also fine). I've seen people change the title of their blogs and keep the same URL.

I agree that WP.com is somewhat limited in terms of JavaScript, but you can actually still do a lot of stuff with it. I like what you've done with making the text all colorful. :) It all depends on how far you want to take your blog. People with .com's have done amazing stuff, but I think I like the simplicity of WP.com, even if it means I have to sacrifice having fancy things like the Wowhead plugin or other design scripts.

Good luck with your decision!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Location: US
I was talking about "will tank for healz!" when I was saying my name's probably lame. I dunno, I am my own worst critic, so maybe it's lame or maybe I am just thinking too much LOL. I appreciate that you like it, that does make me feel a bit better.

Either way, the whole no java thing is really annoying... However I am not sure that I have the know how to do self hosting. I'd like to do some more research to see if I can figure it out though, but you're right that WP.com is easy and that's part of what's kept me from going for it.

My grandfather is a web designer (no I am not a kid, he's in his 70s) and he's offered to host a blog for me for free. So money's really not the issue (I am not worried about paying for the domain name, it's not cost prohibitive) it's more a question of how much time will I need to invest to figure out how to make a graphically pleasing and admin/user friendly blog? The other question is where do I start learning this stuff?


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 1:57 am 
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Location: Manitoba
Server: Quel'dorei
I found it very easy to set up Wordpress on my own. The Famous Five Minute Install may be a bit of a misnomer, but it's not that far off the mark even for noobs like me. :) Browse the install page and it should give you all the details you need.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:32 am 
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Location: Minnesota
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Well, you don't necessarily have to go all out and design your blog straight away. WordPress still lets you use templates when you install its application on a domain name.

After that's done, you can learn HTML and JavaScript bit by bit. One of the best places for learning standards-compliant HTML is http://www.w3schools.com/

You can see how other .com's have done it and ask around how you might be able to adapt a feature or two. The important part is how to make it not look cluttered. You may be tempted to add all the cool JavaScript applications you've found, but you have to see what's the best for your type of blog.

Hope that helps! :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:32 am 
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Location: A thicket...duh :)
Personally I just find it so much easier to have it hosted on wp.com. However I'm annoyed that wp.com won't let you do all the fancy little things that you can do if you host your own.

I've tried it both ways and if I blogged more often I'd have to go with hosting my own because it does look a lot better. But for my own casual blogging I appreciate the ease of wp.com.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:46 am 
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I am currently in the same boat as you Dezdemone. I am getting somewhat tired of all the limitations on WP.com, but I am afraid that I will make a complete shambles of the whole affair if I go to self hosted. The cost also scares me a little (although it's not much, I am a poor uni student, and it doesn't take much at all to break my budget!) and I don't want to spend a bunch of money on something that I will screw up. I guess it all comes down to a matter of time, and confidence!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:22 am 
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So I just realized that WordPress has its own little replacement for Wowhead plugin. The page snapshots that come with external links in entries in a WP entry pretty much gives the same information as a Wowhead plugin tooltip if you hover over them. It's no Wowhead, but it solves that part of the JavaScript problem. 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 4:54 pm
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Quote:
So I just realized that WordPress has its own little replacement for Wowhead plugin. The page snapshots that come with external links in entries in a WP entry pretty much gives the same information as a Wowhead plugin tooltip if you hover over them. It's no Wowhead, but it solves that part of the JavaScript problem.

Yes, WP does have snapshots. Which is handy for viewing stuff from wowhead, but it crops up in the worst places.

I wish there were a way to make sure it didn't come up for individual links. For example, I like to have a return home type link at the bottom of each of my pages to take you back to the main page. I mostly use this for family or friends who aren't internet savvy enough to know they can just click on the header. However, as you can see here: http://dezdemone.wordpress.com/gallery/ snapshot comes up on the link making my "home button" look very unprofessional.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:46 pm 
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Location: Romania
Dezdemone, Will tank for healz! is an awesome name!

Try getting willtankforhealz.com (6$ from name.com) install wordpress and copy your content over, whilst redirecting each post to the new one so that the search engines don't consider it double content (I know, it's a lot of work ,but still).

Regarding the snapshots thingie. I haven't tried it, but if it's too problematic, try out http://www.wowdb.com/syndication.aspx . It's implemented on www.wtfl2p.com and hasn't troubled me so far (it's also very easy to set up).

Thanks btw, you were the first person to comment and subscribe to my blog ^^

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:39 am 
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The benefit to purchasing your own domain is that you basically have free reign to do whatever you want with your blog (within the limits of the software, depending on how code-savvy you are). The draw back is that it can sometimes just create more work for you, and also--it's not free.

There are hosts out there that have WP software already installed on their servers, and all you need to do is configure it. My current host, LunarPages, is one that did come with WP pre-installed (though I have worked with hosts that did not have it installed), which I would highly recommend.

One thing to consider if you do plan to purchase your own domain: reputation. There are TONS of hosting companies out there. Some are great, some are... definitely not great. My advice would be to check the Better Business Bureau web site and look for hosting companies with good reputations (that's actually how I found my current host) before deciding on which company you want to give your business to. I've owned websites continuously since 1999 and have had very mixed results with various hosts, so this is a lesson I've learned the hard way. (No one wants to pay $15/mo. for hosting that isn't reliable or is not adequately supported.)

Like anything else, moving to your own domain has it's benefits and drawbacks. Whichever is best for you depends on your own priorities. Don't feel like you need to have your own domain to be a successful blogger (MANY successful blogs are hosted on free sites like Blogger). Make the switch only if it's something that would genuinely make YOU happy.

Whichever direction you decide to take, good luck! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:20 pm 
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I moved my blog to blogspot for the time being. I've decided that while I want JavaScript I didn't have time to self host yet.

I am in college at the moment and I'm graduating this summer. Once I graduate I am going to start working on a self hosted blog I hope to see it go live within about 6-9 months from now.

Thank you all for your help and advice on this matter, your knowledge and experience has been invaluable to me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:18 pm 
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Location: Sisters of Elune (US)
I have a self-hosted blog, and I love it. I can do whatever I want with it, without limits. The biggest thing you have to consider, though, is cost.

Hosting plans can cost from <$10 a month to... well, a LOT. If you're just going to use it to host a blog and you're strapped for cash, then I'd advise against it. But if you use it for other things, then it's well worth the money.

I use MidPhase to host mine, and they use cPanel for their main command center. It includes a tool called Fantastico that will automatically install all kinds of different websites from blogs to image galleries to bulletin boards, as well as shopping carts and full-bore CMS.

When installing Wordpress, Fantastico just asks you few things like what directory you want it in, what's the admin's user name and password, and the title, and then Fantastico will install the software, set up the databases, and everything. It takes three clicks and you're done.

I've only had a few problems with my hosting service, but they were quickly resolved by very helpful support staff.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Location: Dayton, Ohio
I LOVE the name for your blog. I always have. Don't change it! :D

It was that name that got me to reading it in the first place.

The rest of it ... I am dealing with the same things but with a different platform. I have used blogger for the past several months to host my blog and have done 2 different re-designs during that time. My problem with blogger is my in ability to add depth to the blog. Different pages and such.

Good luck with what you decide to do. I went and bought "Wordpress for Dummies" last night and have started reading before I make the plunge.

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 Post subject: Re: Self hosted vs. .com... help!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:08 pm
Posts: 24
Server: the Venture Co.
Please let me recommend Dreamhost (http://www.dreamhost.com) for blog hosting.

They have a couple of different levels of blog hosting including a wordpress version that auto updates, but you are stuck with what they provide for added value. They call it Easy Mode
Quote:
(In easy mode, you cannot access the files for the installation (so you can only use the themes/plugins/languages we've included), but installation, upgrades, and maintenance are all handled for you!)

They provide about 20 themes to choose from, and you may be able to get them to add a theme but they have the option of saying no.


I use a middle ground offering that lets you know on the web panel when an update is needed and then runs it from there.
They call it Advanced mode.
Quote:
(In advanced mode, you have full control (the software is installed to your web space), but installation and maintenance is a tiny bit more involved.)


either option is good for getting the blog up and running in short order.

I will admit I do get a kickback when people sign up, but it also means that I can set promo codes. (note: I am not just linking for the kickback, getting people hosted and set up is a good thing because it grows the community.)



I created a promocode for you folks here if you want to use it, it includes the following:

1 free domain registration (and you can keep it as long as you stay with Dreamhost)
10 dollars off of monthly hosting or 30 dollars off of 1 year or two year Hosting.

Click Here for the promotion.

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