January 31, 2010 06:12pm
Kasey's Domain: Website Under Budget
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Kasey Grant
Setting Up a Website Without Losing Your Life Savings
For this installment of Kasey's Domain, I'm going to give you some tips on how to set up a website without spending an arm and a leg. After all, amputee porn is a tiny niche market, and well...I'll just stop there. There are lots of ways to go about doing this, including going through your hosting service, third party websites, and open-source content management systems, also known as a CMS.
Using Your Hosting Service
First, you have to choose one, if you don't already have one. There is a plethora of different hosting services available out there, so finding one is pretty much a matter of personal preference, pricing, and reading the fine print to be sure that there is no issue regarding hosting an adult site on a server there. Godaddy.com, 1and1.com, JustHost.com, and HostGator.com are some examples of decent and inexpensive hosting services. Many of these offer free domain name registration with the purchase of a hosting package as a bonus, in case you want to pick up an extra one or do not have one yet.
Once you have a hosting service, inside your control panel should be different options for building websites. These usually contain simple templates and are generally easy to set up. Some of the services may offer Adobe Flash site builders at an additional fee. This is a simple way to set up a site because all of your settings will be automatically added to whatever domain name you have chosen at that service, instead of having to import something manually, which is a much more complicated venture.
There are many websites that give you the ability to design a site online or by downloading free or inexpensive templates that can be customized with text and photos of your choice. Some of the websites are completely free, but ad- supported, and others have a small fee. Some, like Wix.com, offer either. Wix.com is one of my favorites. It is for designing sites in Flash, and the user interface is simple and intuitive. If you choose to use the free version, the ads are unobtrusive, but you are limited to using their link system. To link to your own domain, there is a small monthly fee. A simple site there can be built in approximately 30 minutes. Wix has the added benefit of automatically adding Google Analytics and being search engine friendly.
Other good sites with a similar payment structures are Homestead and Webs.com. Homestead.com will host your site for you as well for a low monthly fee. Both sites allow for online site building with relative ease. For so many options that you don't know what to do with yourself, just search Google.
Some places that you can download free or inexpensive templates to download and customize yourself, which is the most difficult of the afore-mentioned options, you can check out Open-Source Web Design at www.oswd.org, Free Website Templates at www.freewebsitetemplates.com, and Free Site Templates at freesitetemplates.com. Of course, as before, there are many more to be found by searching.
Using a Content Management System
Many hosting providers also offer the option of automatically installing a CMS, or you can upload one to your database (which I can't get into this time), but there are a few free options out there for people who want to be able to customize their websites and have some web proficiency. You can go to www.opensourcecms.com to test-drive many different free CMS demos. There is also www.cmsmatrix.org that allows you to compare different CMS features side-by- side to pick one that will suit your needs.
Joomla! Is probably the easiest to use, and there are free templates available all over the place that can be easily installed from within the administrator panel. The downfall to using Joomla! Is that it has poor compatibility with Internet Explorer 8, but in my opinion, everybody should be using Firefox anyway. Lol. Joomla can be downloaded for free from www.joomla.org and there is a support forum and tons of add-ons and extensions that can be found there, as well.
Drupal is another option that offers a little more flexibility, but is slightly more complex to use than Joomla!. That is available at www.drupal.org. There is a Drupal developers forum for assistance if you need it, but you will find a lot of tech-speak and probably be totally lost if you aren't very web-savvy. CMS Made Simple at www.cmsmadesimple.org and concrete5 at www.concrete5.org are two CMSes with which I have no personal experience, but seem to be relatively easy to use and implement.
To sum up, there are lots of options for site development that are fast, easy to use, and inexpensive. The easiest options are going to be from within your hosting provider, because it won't require you to change any settings or upload anything to your database, which can require some coding proficiency. Behind that, using a third-party service or an online site development tool can be almost as easy, especially if you just want something on the internet quickly and aren't particularly concerned with ads. Using a content management system isn't particularly difficult, but does require some basic knowledge as there will be updates and other changes to the site that will have to be made for customization or routine maintenance, but they are the best option if flexibility is your main concern.
Until next time,