27 August 2008

Starting out as a webmaster

There is no doubt that the learning curve when you start out running your own website is a fairly steep one. there are lots of things to get your head around; deciding on a domain name, deciding what the focus of your site will be, making content for your site, deciding how to generate money from your website or blog and deciding who to sign up with. Then there is having to grapple with the basics of HTML, php, CGI and so on.

Fortunately these days many web hosting services make this task a little easier and there are nearly always automated scripts that help make your life easier.

Nevertheless it is still important that you understand the basics of being a webmaster and that you have a good grounding in some of the fundamental aspects of website management and Internet marketing.

There are lots of resources out there on the Internet to help you do this and in future posts I am going to review some of these. However for many of us while the Internet is a great place to find information there is nothing to beat having a good hardcopy reference book.

If you are just starting out I can recommend WebMastering for Dummies from the "for dummies" series. This is an excellent starter and will have you up and running on the basics in no time. If you are looking to make money on the internet you will probably want a PayPal account at some point and the same authors have a PayPal for Dummies book available. Check out current prices on these books.

Getting in a bit deeper you need to know something about HTML , CSS and ideally also learn something about PHP and MySQL. PHP is a very powerful way to code your website to do all sorts of things and you really will need to know some of the basics about this before too long. MySQL is a database system that is offered by many web hosting companies.

I have done a search for UK book suppliers offering the best books on these subjects so if you are needing a bit more hardcopy reference material these are excellent resources. I will post some more on this on another occasion and give US sources for this type of material. I can particularly recommend the SAMS books that you will find in this link.

HTML, CSS, PHP and Linux books

Best Web Host Package for Multiple Domains

Probably one of the most frustrating things as an affiliate is trying to find a web hosting provider who provides all the services that you need without charging you a fortune. Many web users who are looking to make money from the Internet need to run a number of websites using multiple domain names. It can be a problem trying to find a web host that provides this service at a reasonable cost.

I use a couple of different hosts at the moment but have been looking to try to consolidate my hosting and trying to find a Hosting provider that will allow me to host multiple domains on one hosting account without serious limits on bandwidth or disk usage. I also needed to be sure that the hosting provider would have pHP 5+, CGI etc etc.

Finally I found what looks to be probably the best hosting package I have yet come across.

Host Monster.com are, to put it bluntly, brilliant. Their package costs only $4.95 a month ( !!!!) at the moment and uses cpanel. Their web hosting package includes ... wait for it... wait for it...
Unlimited Hosting Space
Unlimited Bandwidth
and allows you to host Unlimited Domains.

In effect you can run as many web sites as you like from the one account.

The package also includes
Unlimited Pop/Imap Email Accounts
SSH Access (Secure Shell)
SSL, FTP, Stats
CGI, Ruby (RoR), Perl, PHP 5, MYSQL
Front Page Extensions
Free Domain Forever
Free Site Builder
Best Support in the Industry

I have signed up for a web hosting package with them and I am now in the process of moving my websites across to them. their support database is excellent and very helpful whether you are a novice webmaster or an old hand.

All in all I have to give Host Monster.com a full five stars for their web hosting package which has really solved my hosting problems.

If you are looking for something more than the very basic free web hosting accounts that are around but want something really reliable, full featured and a web hosting package that will let you run multiple websites then I strongly urge you to sign up for web hosting with Host Monster.com

08 August 2008

Promote your site dont forget traditional methods

Get 250 Free Business Cards At VistaPrint.com!Even if your business is going to be exclusively an online business you need to think about the various ways that you can promote your business. Obviously you will already be thinking about optimizing your website for search and making sure you have relevant fresh content. But don't forget that the traditional ways of promoting a business can also work wonders for an online business.

One firm I use regularly is Vistaprint. They are, to put it bluntly excellent ... and a bit mad. Why mad? because after I placed my first order with them I have been continually offered everything FREE - business cards, postcards, posters - you name it. If its printed then they do it - and often for FREE. I kid you not this is one fine company to deal with. You will pay for the delivery of course but their rates are the usual for that.

If you don't already have business cards to help you promote your business then what the hell are you waiting for? Inspiration? Dont worry they have hundreds of designs that you can pick from and each can be customised on site. they also do postcards and t-shirts and loads of other items.

If you are really serious about promoting your online business then you must consider using traditional printed promotional material to back up your online efforts. Give your business cards out wherever you go. Leave them places. Use your imagination. I came up with some really novel wayts of getting my printed promotional metrial out there to people and the results have been excellent. In short I can't recommend Vistaprint highly enough. try the, - you wont be disapointed.

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