astrofish.net deals

Friends and Family Deals and Steals

The goal? Take a complicated process, and make it as simple as possible.

There are three tools. Three steps. Super simple.
Might not even need all three.

Just the first two, all it takes.

Friends and Family Deals and Steals

Domain Name Register, Web Hosting, and WordPress Theme (framework).

Step One

Domain Name Register

I recommend a single domain registry service. A non-evil one. Simple, straightforward, no hidden fees, no upsell, absolutely nothing special — which is what makes it special. Rock-solid and reliable. No half-naked females, no cute animated characters, just a dead-simple product, done one way, the right way.

Register4Less.com
(domain name register endorsement)

I started uploading a website and working in “web” type of code in 1993. Since then, I’ve probably used a dozen domain-name-registers, or more. One stands out.

Register4Less.com.

I don’t recall, I’ve been with them for some time now, but the deal is that the security layer is included in the price. All the features that cost extra, like hiding the registrant’s name and email address? That’s all included. There is no upsell, no hidden fees, no extras that run over budget. One price. One service. Rock solid performance. Technical details that count, but to the naked eye, might not be visible. Good, good stuff.

On a technical side, the last time I swtiched hosting environments, updates to registry, the little thing that points where web browsers go? Register4Less.com updated immediately.

With a certain, well-known for its ads, company, the domain name registry took more than 48 hours to update. Register4Less.com? 20 minutes. Or less.

No hassles. Non-evil. Perfect. Bonus points for excellence in tech support.

Register4Less.com

After buying that domain?

Step Two

Web Hosting

Web Hosting. Scared?


Don’t be. I have — personally — worked with at least half a dozen “server” configurations. From running my own, to a reseller, to using a shared hosting arrangement, with just about every combination in between. Too techincal?

    There’s an easy answer.


While I’ve only been with this hosting company for a few years, in that time? Other services I used to recommend had “technical glitches,” all of which is avoidable in a managed WordPress site. No Fear web hosting.


The subtext I like best about this service? It adapts to a surge in traffic. Like suddenly on TV, or a mention in social media? This managed service is adaptable and can grow to accommodate just such spike in traffic and business.

All that is required is the innate creative spark of the individual. The company does the rest. No headache web hosting.

    “Why WordPress?”

    When I first moved my sites to WordPress as a web motor, I did some digging. It is open source, scaleable, and there is a ton of free resources available. A click of a button and site’s “theme” — appearance — can be changed.

    WrodPress is stable, mature, extensible, and open-source. Think “free.” From a single guy working on an idea to entire industry devoted to its support and propagation, the platform’s developement is time-proven to be a sucess.

    Want to do something special with a WordPress intall? There’s probably a plugin and theme, easy enough to install with the click of a button, which makes it all, superbly “user-friendly.”

The managed WordPress site takes care of all the behind-the scenes work. Design, publish, and sell or deliver. WordPress accepts audio, video, text, and graphics of all formats.

Want to sell an item online? Write descritpion, take a picture, post it, and you’re good. So easy.

Step Three

    This is strictly optional.

WordPress Theme

I’ve set up many WordPress sites. Most stay with the standard theme, as it is effecient, tractable, Search Engine Friendly, and just plain works well, right out of the box. It’s generic, a plain white box. Or one of those cop cars, a four–door Crown Vic, right? Want flames painted on the side? Big tires? Loud pipes? Tinted windows? Low Rider that bounces? All of that is easy to do with various WordPress Themes, but one framework gets my endorsement.

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

While other themes are available as either free or paid, but pause, and look around on the web, those themes, they tend display a link at the bottom of the page, basically, advertising for someone else.

As I shifted to WordPress, I was bothered by the concept I had to advertise for someone else’s ideas. On one site I ran, it was purely a labor of love, I was accused of running a commercial venture because the site’s theme — at the time — carried an affiliate link.

There are as many themes and theme options as there are stars in the sky. However, one theme — really the technical taxonomy is “theme framework” — I found, and when I first started with version 1, this was a the best — and legal — option. Still seems that way: best framework option.

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

The way WordPress works? There’s a database, MySQL, that contains the text and images’ locations for the site. When a web browser hits it, WordPress does two things, rolls out the appearance, based on the theme, and then, calls up the data — the content — from that database.

Me? I’m a freak for back-ups. Have been ever since a single hard drive failure resulted in a half year’s lost data. Learned that one a long time ago. So with theme and database thing, it keeps the website modular. Easy to change the outside, like a coat of paint, and the reason I prefer this one framework? I don’t have to show the brand of the paint I used. It’s quite simple to make a site that doesn’t look like a WordPress site.

There are a couple of options, but the best one? Just buy the ”developer,” or whatever it’s called now, just buy the expensive option. That means the framework can be modified, legally, morally, and most important, ethically, as much as the end-user wants. It’s possible to use that theme on any number of sites one owns.

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

The Thesis Theme has some back-end, technical bits and pieces that are integrated in that framework, like speed of delivery, built in Serach Engine Optimization, availably of skins (further visually styling), and more, but suffice it to say, the technical baclground is rock solid.

In the last few years, I’be purchased a couple of “skins” for the Thesis Theme — just stylized packages with all the options rolled up into it.

At one point, I was “Rolling my own” skin, but the amount of work required, compared with a purchasing an off–the–shelf package, and with a few clicks, making it my own? Simplicity and ease–of–use sells.

Reasoning:

astrofish.net — started online in 1993, got a page on the web in 1994, and then moving to a weekly column format in 1995, so it’s been online for a while. This is a simple distillation of all the results, mistakes, my trial and error, all wrapped into three simple suggestions.

Friends and Family Deals and Steals

Recommendations:

Register4Less.com
(domain name register endorsement)


Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community
(wordpress theme endorsement)

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