Queen of my own Domain

Warning: this post contains geeky technical talk that might be wrong anyway.

In the last few days there has been progress on the business name registration situation. After nearly two weeks of waiting I found out my business name was registered, but I had not been notified because of a computer glitch. I don’t know how much time I waited for something that had already happened, anyway, I am glad I contacted them to get it sorted out.

This has enabled me to register a domain name ( eg somethingorother.com). After a bit of research I decided to register the domain name separately to my email and web hosting so that I wasn’t tied to one company. Registering a domain name wasn’t too difficult, but there were a few decisions to make where I had no idea of the implications one way or the other.

Next I signed up with Google Apps (google for business) for an email address using my own domain name (me@somethingorother.com). That was fairly straightforward until I worked out that DNS Hosting was required. Forgive my bumbling explanation, but I had to tell the company that the domain name was registered with about the company that was looking after the email. Since I did not know Domain Hosting existed, I had not paid for it, so the first thing I learned was I had to pay extra for the right to point the domain name to the email. This made the “cheap” domain name much more expensive.

I am a big believer that a  relatively intelligent person should be able to get things done by following instructions, but the instructions to set up this DNS Hosting business for my domain register referred to a screen shot which was replaced by  ?  which linked to Page Not Found. Unfortunately the screen shot contained the codes I had to type in.  I eventually got around this by looking at the instructions for other domain registration companies, which did contain the information I needed. It seemed like a small miracle when I was able to email myself at my own domain by 7pm at night after working on it all day.

So far; so so. Next job was to choose a webhost, which is the company that is going to house my new wordpress website on its servers. I decided to go with a cheaper overseas companies as the local ones cost a lot more and provide much less (except perhaps in the area of personal service). Despite my obvious need for personal service, I felt it was more important to keep costs down. I managed to get the sign up done, but couldn’t download wordpress, then realised there were other steps involved, mainly telling the company that owns my domain name about my webhost. I eventually found instructions for this at the webhost and at the domain register, and with a little bit of help from my friends worked out what I needed to do.

At this point I am going to send my webhost to the naughty corner. Their instuctions included a step called “transfer the domain registration” as if it was a routine step in the process. This effectively means dumping the company I had been using to register the .com domain name and using them instead. Had I done that, I assume I would have lost the money spent on registering the domain, and the link to my email. It seemed to me that this step was not essential, so I ignored it,  but it would be very easy for people to think they had to do it. Goodness knows I was operating at the edge of my understanding (and probably a bit over the edge). I sent them feedback telling them it wasn’t helpful to tell people that had to do something unnecessary without adequate explanation. It damaged my trust in them, as I see it as blatant business grabbing.

It takes about 24 hours for the redirection of the nameservers to take effect so I am doing other stuff before I go ahead and install wordpress at the webhost. Pause for breath, I am using big sentences I barely understand myself. Its like playing Trivial Pursuit, you need to know things that you don’t even know if you know or not.

So the upshot is, I think I am going to make it, but in hindsight if I was starting all over again I would pick a web host then register the domain name and set up the email with them. It would have been much quicker and easier for a novice like me to do it that way. I was concerned that doing it all with one company would lock me in with them and make it difficult to move, but to be honest, splitting it all up made it difficult to even start.

The whole process highlighted the fact that I am doing all this at home alone without the back up of an IT department.  Fortunately I have technically competent buddies at my old work who are willing to help out. I am really missing my old work team at the moment, and not just for technical support. Its nice to be able to swivel in the chair and say “You won’t believe what just happened…” I have to remind myself that this technical set up process is just a stage I am going through to get myself a website so that I can explain what I am doing to potential clients. Once I get that going, I won’t be tied to the computer with my head in my hands all day.

PS Just got an email from a fruity computer company saying my hard drive could fail and has been recalled. Fun and games.

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