20 February 2008

New Look, New Feel

I've been kicking this idea around for a while now, and I think its time has come.

Snickollet (the blog, not the woman, although, well, let's not go there) needs an upgrade.

I'm ready to pounce on the domain www.snickollet.com and make it a real deal. Here are my issues, and they are many:

1. I don't know where to register my domain. There are lots of cheap places to do it, but are they to be trusted? Suggestions, please.

2. Related to #1, I don't know where to host my domain. I'd rather register and host at the same place because there is elegance in simplicity. There is also simplicity in simplicity, and I need to simplify my life anywhere I can.

3.  This is a big one. In addition to going to my own domain, I feel like the site as a whole needs a design facelift. Actually, what it really needs is a design of any sort. The problem is that I don't know jack crap about design. Who can help me? I really know NOTHING about web design, so by "help," I mean "Who wants to do any of the following?"
  • teach me something about web design
  • recommend a book to teach me about web design
  • redesign my site
  • redesign a portion of my site
  • redesign my site, but teach me how to update it
  • something else that I haven't thought of because have I mentioned that I don't know jack crap about web design?
I can't offer much in payment for any of the above, but I would be happy to discuss some creative barter. I am a great baker, for example, and would gladly send a whole mess of cookies to anyone who can lend a design hand. 

I've also been giving a lot of thought to content. I'm not numbering this item, because it is driven by me and me alone. I've been thinking a lot about my goals with this site. I seem to be having the existential blogging crisis that most bloggers have at some point. Blogging has been my therapy through a lot of troubled times, and I plan to continue to use blogging as an outlet for personal things that I need to work out. Blogging has also brought me some opportunities in the writing arena, and has been a great way for me to write frequently and enjoy the benefits that come with the regular practice of any endeavor. 

To that end, I'm thinking of giving my blog a bit more structure. Maybe I'll share a memory of John on a specific day every week, or a story about the twins. I have used my blog as a way to log those kinds of things, but totally on an ad hoc basis. Giving more structure to my content will be a good way for me to be sure to post regularly, and to have a record of things that I don't want to lose. I can feel John slipping away from me, and any parent knows that kids grow up so fast and change so quickly. I want to record my thoughts about John and the kids while I still have said thoughts.

I'm also thinking of trying to regularly write about other topics, such as my time in the Peace Corps, my take on current events, or who knows what. I want to write more, and push myself into areas beyond my emotional navel-gazing. I will continue to navel-gaze, but I'd like to also try to look beyond a bit.

Regarding the design stuff, anyone with suggestions can feel free to post a comment or to e-mail me directly (see sidebar). I need all the help I can get with that side of things. Hey, look at me asking for help! I have learned something over the years. It's a slow process, but I'm getting there.

20 comments:

Anastasia L said...

I've been using Dreamhost for the last year for both registration and hosting, and I totally love them. The support's been fantastic, and they're good at providing different levels of support to people with different amounts of knowledge.

Cass said...

From personal experience I can say that Yahoo is really awful and frustrating to work with. I'm also making the commitment to doing the whole domain thing - I have a goal of getting that part of it done by the end of the week and all the people I've polled (and I work in Internet Marketing with a whole host of developers) all say Go Daddy. So that's where I'm going. Good luck!

Robin said...

I came in to recommend Dreamhost as well. You can do a Wordpress install and register your domain (which is, I think, free when sign up for hosting). It's pretty easy, and you have lots of Wordpress themes to choose from. There are also lots of people who can customize a theme for you. Wordpress itself is super user friendly. Good luck - I look forward to the new blog!

sarah said...

I have used godaddy for a LONG time and have never had issues (and its super cheap!)

I also use typepad which has great templates and is easy to use :)

nuvs said...

Hi! I'm a short time lurker, first time commenter...

I suggest hosting with (mt) Media Temple's (gs) service. I just moved all my hosting to them this weekend, at a reasonable $20/month. If you want less, let me know and I can suggest some other places.

(mt) can also register a domain for you, at $15/year.

As for design, you can use iWeb '08 on your Mac and use their built-in templates to make your site. It's very easy—point & click.

You can also use iWeb to make photo albums, static pages, etc.

If you wan more web design sw/hosting suggestions, just let me know…and say hi to the twins for me!

Little Things said...

I use https://www.domaindiscover.com/ for my domain name registration for the last five years. They can host your site as well, but I've not tried that, even though I've found them completely reliable.

As for design, I'm lame and boring and have the same issues you do. I guess we can't all have dooce's flair for such things...

As for content, I think you should write what touches you instead of boxing yourself into anything specific. Just go.

About losing John... I cannot imagine the day to day of it, but I do know that you never really lose the essence of the person. The pain becomes less in your face, but it's ready to come back at any time, and often will smack you in the face with the done-ness of it all. All you can do is to keep breathing and remember the love. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

We had a problem with Dreamhost when our site had too much traffic--they just shut us down. Fortunately my dh knew how to hack in the back door (I'm sure there is a more elegant, technical term) and we got it up and running again. Aside from shutting us off w/o notice, Dreamhost support was good.

]We moved things to amazon, but that it WAAAYYYY above the ability of most (myself included).]

We've used godaddy for other sites and have been happy with it. Their site is a major PITA to navigate though. I actually ordered something incorrectly because I didn't understand what I was doing. I called godaddy support and they got it all straightened out for me. I think the hosting plans are dirt cheap--less than $20/month. And plug ins are pretty easy too--we installed Gallery with just a couple of mouse clicks.

Hope that helps.

P.S. Because of you and Moxie, I made the switch to cloth diapering for my 9 mo old. We're using cloth wipes too. Thanks for the inspiration!

P.P.S. For some reason, I can't post this as Pollyanna, so I had to use anon.

riam said...

dear snickolett...

i've been reading your blog for a few months now and thoroughly enjoy and appreciate what you are doing as a blogger, mother and wife (the way you speak of your husband i just can't make sense of using the other "w" word -- sorry if that sounds lame)...

i would like to recommend the hosting offered by www.bluehost.com... i have NEVER had down time or been shut down, but then again i am not a high-trafficked blog... i pay about $7/month for 15 GIGABYTES (yes i said gigbytes) of space to host my blog and web sites... like some of the more well known hosting companies when you log in you have a great control panel to help you navigate all the features of your sites including stats, space used, setting up databases etc. to name a but a few of many things that help you deal with the backend of hosting...

all my domains are with godaddy.com... i agree that their navigation BLOWS and is a total MESS but since I don't do much more than have my domains there for super cheap, it's a good compromise...

on my site, I am running an out-of -date version of blogging software Wordpress (i desparately need to upgrade but I do recommend it!) and using a free template which jazzed up myself...

one option to consider is purchasing your domain and then pointing it to a free blogging service such as the one you are using, or say Typepad or Wordpress's web based version... this avoid the cost of hosting your site and dealing with all the backend issues (there aren't many but you still have to deal with some techie stuff once in a while)...

anyhow.. this was much longer than planned.. i hope it helps you out...

best of luck!
rIAm

buddha_girl said...

I have a GREAT idea for your new design. Check your email, woman!

curlymumsy said...

I believe that i could help, with using dreamweaver and over 10 years of experience.

Anonymous said...

I am no expert, but have recently taken on the job of creating a website for my church. We registered the name with HostGator. They are also hosting the website. Finding a place to register your name and host your site should be easy. As for the webpage, I had no idea on how to do that. So I got some web creating software - its called WebEasy7. It comes with 135 templates you can choose from. You pretty much drop and drag to create the website. Its very easy. I have found the whole process of creating a website a lot of fun as well as exciting. Hopefully you will too. Good luck!

Elle said...

You know, blogspot.com will let you register your own domain name and host it for $10 through GoDaddy. I've used them for years, and my dad's business site which I maintain is hosted through there. I'm going to convert my own blog to a domain name in that way, and one benefit is that anyone who goes to snickollet.blogspot.com will automatically be redirected to snickollet.com. That would also allow you to continue using the blogger templates, which you can gussie up with your own design ideas.

That might be your best option for now, as an independently designed blog site, while not rocket science, does take a bit of time and effort. You can always move the domain to another host later, if you feel you've got the hang of the technical end of it down the road.

Meggan said...

I emailed you, but just to reiterate:

Go with Godaddy for your domain name registration, but not hosting.

I'd recommend Site5 for hosting. They're fantastic!

I'd also recommend using WordPress as your new blogging platform. It's easy to use and works great. Plus, it's free.

Good luck, and I'm available to answer any website-type questions you might have. :)

Jenn said...

I used Go Daddy for my domains and my blogs are hosted by Typepad. Design work I did myself and I think it shows lol.

Kara said...

I've had nothing but good luck for 6+ different sites with hostmonster.com.

babybound said...

Well as a professional web designer, I guess it could be said that I have lots o experience in this area. I'd be willing to chat about it with you if ya want. I am a little on the insane busy side right now, but advice is easy :-)

My biggest piece of advice would be to take a look through the templates that they have on godaddy first. See if there is anything there that you even remotely like (layout, colors, overall look) because they are all somewhat adjustable with custom images that make a HUGE difference.

Contact me if you want more and good luck!!! I can't wait to see what you do!

halfmama said...

Hmmm... I design but don't program so it's hard for me to get past the first stage without major help from G. There are tons of free templates out there or even templates for a small fee though.

Let me know if you need help... I can guide you through some of it, I think! Can't wait to see what's next!

Amelie said...

there's an extensive repository of easy-to-read (and search) information about HTML & Co. on http://selfhtml.org/ -- however, the original website is in German. There appears to be a translation into French. If you can read any of those, it is great. If not, sorry :o

Julia said...

You go, girl!
I hope your visit with your mom is going well. The snow, though, the snow!

squad said...

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