We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, July 2. 2010
As such, it's probably high time you get your little buns in gear and grab a domain name before they're all taken, and think about slapping something — anything! — up there just to prove you're a citizen of the 21st century.
The bottom line is, you're probably going to get online sometime, so you might as well have at least a meager selection of domain names to choose from. Every minute you wait could mean that yourname.com will be taken. And the domain name is free if you go through the link below, and so's the software, and the site, itself, only costs $6.95/mo to host, so it isn't like it's some big wallet-killer. You got any other bills that low?
The software we'll be using is called WordPress, and whether you want a blog site or a standard web site, the stuff can't be beat.
There are two places where it really shines:
— It does a great job of automatically organizing everything. Readers can hunt up older posts a number of ways and it has an outstanding search feature.
— But it's the 'themes' that can change the entire look of your site with a single mouse click, from cool-and-hip to snappy-business-professional, that set this software apart. There are literally thousands of them out there to choose from.
If you're away from home, you can write your posts on the laptop and then email them to the site when you get online, each one scheduled to display at a certain time.
And here's the thing:
Frank, my neighbor, knows almost nothing about computers and never dreamed in a million years that he'd one day set up a personal blog site, much less put photos of his boat on it, much less videos. But, over the course of a few hours, with a little help from moi, he did just that.
Frank is 84 years old.
And you know where this is going, right?
If ancient, creaky old Frank can manage this difficult, ponderous task, I'm betting that you can, too.
The jump-off point is Cool-Blogsite. That'll walk you through the entire process from this moment on. If you just want to dip a toe in the pond, it's real easy to get up and running. If you want to jump on in, it's "challenging, but not difficult" to tweak the site to your exact liking.
This would also make a wonderful gift for some not-so-computer-savvy member of the family. They might not have the know-how to set up a site, but anybody can hit the 'Save' button. Install a bunch of themes and watch their eyes light up when they see the big thumbnail preview pics and how easy it is to choose between them.
But back to the domain names, I was in some webmasters' forum the other day and they were bitching about how hard it is to find an unused name these days, even using a person's first, middle and last name. And it certainly makes sense, given the massive number of people getting online and wanting their own domains.
As I said, it's real easy using WordPress just to get online and establish a 'beachhead'. The main idea is to nail down your domain name while it's still available. Click on the above link and just take care of steps #1 and #2. That's your 'beachhead', then you can relax and continue at your leisure.
Any questions, please ask in the comments.
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Glad to see you spreading the word to the world. I still refer to your earlier series of posts as I fiddle with my site. Thanks, Doc.
Hey, bud, nice to hear from you.
I'm still keeping the site up to date. Had a 'Redirect' plugin on there (to redirect page links to web sites) but it wouldn't work with a theme I was using the other day so I dug up a better one.
And it looks like your own site is going great guns. Anything special you'd like me to link to tomorrow?
I've got a site, but I've yet to make Wordpress work on it. I've followed the instructions, yet it doesn't want to come up.
It's all your fault. :>)
"I've followed the instructions, yet it doesn't want to come up."
That's what she said.
I'll try to keep these ugly rumors to ourselves.
"HEY, GUESS WHAT, EVERYBODY, TOM'S GIRLFRIEND HAS TRIED EVERYTHING AND-"
"I've followed the instructions"
1. Are you using BlueHost, as the wise and kindly Dr. Mercury recommends?
2. Where's the snag? What's the message? I think I covered all the bases in the guide.
"Oh yeah - and you still owe me an email."
I do? I thought you owed me an article. Wasn't it going to be "Girls of the South Seas"? "Bikini Bombshells Gone Wild"? I remember it had something to do with boats.
Did this myself a few months ago. It was really easy to get going. It was also easy to crater the whole thing (don't mess with the directories if you don't know what you are doing).
Although I never followed through, it was your original series of posts on setting up a website that got me started.
I have found WordPress very easy to use.
Haven't yet figured out a use for twitter yet. A future post for you?
I was fussing with a WP theme when your comment drifted in. No Twitter on this end. Like you, I'm awaiting a use for it.
IC - I'm here if you hit a snag, bud. The only thing I can't promise is what happens if you use the latest version of WP, rather than the one I recommend. I (again) tried the latest just the other day and came to the same conclusion I did on the site.
Doc: I just had a lot of fun transferring an Olde Domain. This is fun.
I did, however, spend some money.
Oh well. A man can't be both good looking AND rich.
You know how it goes.
Er, hopefully not more than $6.95/mo. That's for unlimited everything, and using BlueHost makes a handful of other small things easier. But as long as it works.
Unfortunately, washingtonrebel.com has been stolen by someone, but I have that name at wordpress and, of course, typepad.
I haven't finished reading your course, so I haven't decided what to do.
. . . . dang. Hate to have to think up a new name.
By the way, you did a lot of writing on that little course.
It's very helpful.
Great post! It took me two hours but I was able to set up my first web site using your instructions. I'm having trouble placing the text where I want on the page using Word Press and am tempted to upgrade to WP3.0 to see if this helps.
Thanks a bunch.
Text placement problems will almost always be due to the theme. I doubt upgrading WP will change anything, but it won't hurt to try. The bottom line is whether you're having any problems with other themes, like the default.
Also, the stock editor is pretty crude, hence my recommending FCKEditor. Let me know how it goes.
I installed the FCKEditor plug-in and text placement is easier now. The font, font size, and other font info keeps defaulting to blank and when I preview the post only the title appears, not the text of the post.
You didn't say anything about themes. What happens if you start all over and use the default? And when you say "defaulting to blank", do you mean the text is stripped away during the save, or it's there but not displaying? Is it white text on a white background?
I have been using the default theme and have not changed it.
In FCKEditor I set the style to Big, the format to Normal, the Font to Verdana, and the size to Medium. I set the text color to black. If I am at the top of the text area and hit the Backspace all of the text setting revert to blank. So I reset them as indicated above and the text appeared fine when I typed it but did not appear when I previewed the post.
I should clarify what the text does not appear when I preview the post but when I return to the editor the text is still there.
Which version of WP?
Did you get the FCKEditor from my site?
Except in rare cases, the style should always be normal.
Have you seen anything at all on the site yet?
Did you do the HTML test page routine?
Is this a new domain? If old, did you open a new account on BlueHost and, if so, did you switch the DNS numbers over? They might take upward of 48 hours to propagate.
Thanks for all of the responses. It's a new account that I opened today on BlueHost. The version of WP is 2.6.5 or whatever you recommended on your site. Ditto for FCKEditor. I was able to successfully post a page, including photos, prior to activating the FCKEditor plug-in.
I'm not sure what an HTML test page routine is.
I deactivated the FCKEditor plugin a few minutes ago and wrote a test posting and the title and text appeared just fine. Maybe there are bugs in FCKEditor version 263, which is what I downloaded using the info on your web site.
The HTML test page routine was in Step 3. But if you've made a post or two, the account's working and it appears to be a snag with FCKEditor.
You're using the download from my site?
You uploaded it via FileZilla, not One-Click Updater, right?
What happens if you try a new theme?
Yes, I used the FCKEditor download on your site and I uploaded the files via FileZilla. Yes, the account is working fine.
I am going to check out some different themes tomorrow. I appreciate all of your suggestions, especially the one on your site about selecting a theme before doing a lot of posting.
Maybe something got corrupted or whatever in the Zip file? I'm going to re-Zip it and re-post it. Back on that in a bit.
Okay, go back to the FCKEditor page, download the Zip file, delete all of your current FCKEditor files and replace them with the download. It's a 'pure' version 2.6.0, rather than the 'hybrid' I had on the site.
What I've noticed is that occasionally FCKEditor has a problem with a theme, so maybe they're being confused by the hybrid aspect. On the other hand, they should all work with the default theme, so that was pretty weird yesterday. Try some other themes today and let me know how it goes.
Also: You didn't touch anything on the FCKEditor 'Settings' page except the top number, right? You might reset it to default, just in case something slipped. Also, disable any other plugins during the test.
I removed FCKEditor from the plug-ins, downloaded version 2.6.0 and uploaded it to WP. I get the same result. Neither the photos nor the text get posted, just the post's title. I'll try some other themes and see what happens.
Can I email you? Might make it easier than using comments.
In additiion, make sure you keep track of your domain. When it comes time to renew, renew. And keep in touch with your registrar. I forgot to, and Go Daddy stole my original domain.
COM is what most people think of, but NET and ORG are good too. BIZ is right out, and some folks are wary of INFO and WS, so be wary yourself
BTW, boycott Godaddy.com. They are domain thieves and not to be trusted. You know of somebody who uses, or is thinking of using Godaddy, get them on somebody else.
You're absolutely right about GoDaddy, Alan. I've heard at least two stories of people who lost their domains to GoDaddy because they let them lapse. The hosting company I like, BlueHost, sends you about nineteen letters pestering you to re-register your domain, just the opposite of GoDaddy.
Merc: I'm stuck on wp-config. Can't seem to figure out the right names, or whatever. I get the "Error establishing a database connection"
The db is up and working. I guess I don't understand how the username, et cetera need to look.
I only spent about two minutes doing the same thing the other day. I'd made a copy of a working config file for a new account but just changed the database name, not the account name. Doi! So yeah, they're confusing.
When you first signed up with BlueHost, you were issued a user name in the email. It's usually eight letters. That's the first part. Then there's the underscore _____, then the name of the database. That's the name you made on the first page when you made the database on BlueHost's Control Panel.
Then the second line is the same except you use the database user name, the name you entered on the second page when you set up the database.
BlueHostname_database user name
Then the password you created goes on the third line.
All of those go carefully in between the apostrophes. Give it a spin and get back to me.
I would say I love ya, but that would be intemperate.
I.e., I got it!!
"I would say I love ya, but that would be intemperate."
I knew I should have put a PayPal button on that site. :)
Glad you're off and running. You're going to have a ball with the themes. Be sure to download the pack I included, there are some great ones* in it.
*I'm still trying to get up the nerve to use "Rainbow Garden".
Dare ya. :)
Yeah, yeah, Merc.
Say . . . . It's pretty tough to get past the Spam Gate around here. I had a bunch of Sarcasm ready for ya, and was cut off by the Devil his'se'f.
"Say . . . . It's pretty tough to get past the Spam Gate around here."
I have it set so that only bloggers who use the Rainbow Garden theme are allowed to comment. Sorry, thought you knew.
If by the 'spam' comment you mean you got hit with that box of red text, click on the "Advice for..." link over to the left. While it's true I have the 'Security' section of your user profile set to "Watch this guy carefully", it shouldn't have been triggered by mere mockery, sarcasm and defamation. Hell, if that was the case, it wouldn't let me comment at all!
Looking forward to the new site. If you get stuck with a theme tweak, let me know and we'll work it out via email. When it's ready, let me know and I'll run a feature on it. I promise to say at least two good things about it, so you'll have that going in your favor.
At least in the first paragraph. :)