I’ve moved my blog over to a hosted solution at wordpress.com. I started this project a week ago, after realizing the shared cheapie managed shared hosting solution I was on wasn’t working out well enough -as my technical brother characterized it, “there is a naughty user on the system who is triggering a kernel panic and using an extreme amount of RAM!” (doesn’t it sound exciting? What it really looked like is the website would resolve only some of the time.)
This post is mostly a ramble about DNS and the mysterious limitations every single system presents, and my eternal search for a stable, fast, hosted system that will not leave me responsible if it gets hacked. But, if you skip to the bottom, I tabulated up the real costs.
This resulted in the new address blog.brookthere.com, which I didn’t really want to move – I’ve had my blog at the same domain, same subfolder, for so long now.
DNS is something I’ve never understood very well, and so it’s this godawful trial and error thing every time I want to make ‘advanced’ changes. And every system and host has their own weird quicks, so making them all work well together is a challenge.
Since I’ve had my business email (@brookthere.com) hosted at yahoo for the entire term of the business, I REALLY didn’t want to change that. Now, Yahoo’s business services sort of suck, but their mail is good. Their business email package and their webhosting package cost the same per year, so I’ve always used them as back up webhosting. (The quick fix when I want to get off one f-ed up shared server and move to another.)
But Yahoo doesn’t publish their MX address!!! (well, as far as I could find- I found other people who had published it, but not an official source.) This means that if you want to have your business mail with them, and be sure that you’ll keep on getting it without interruption, you need to keep your name servers with them!!!
This is highly limiting, let me tell you.
And wordpress.com, unfortunately, will not allow use of A or CNAME records to map a primary domain (i.e. brookthere.com ) — only name servers. And no subfolder mapping either.
So, giving business email stability priority, I resulted in this organization.
ecommerce: at bigcommerce.com (www.brookthere.com)
blog: at wordpress.com (blog.brookthere.com)
and then a whole bunch of unclean hacks- page redirects or “we’ve moved!” links- to handle the structure I had before (which was shop.brookthere.com for ecom and http://www.brookthere.com/blog )
But! hosting my blog on wordpress.com means that I’m damn sure (knock on wood) that if it gets hacked, it’s not my problem!! Plus, it’s incentive to figure out how to build approved themes….Since, a sort of disappointing surprise: wordpress.com, even with the custom theme module, does not allow uploading of your own theme…..
So, here’s the shocking costs of running an internet based business that has a blog. The real shocker? The costs of getting to the internet!
REAL WEBSITE COSTS:
business email hosting at Yahoo ($35/ quarter) $140/ year
BigCommerce ecommerce ($39/ month) $468/ year
SSL certificate for ecom $79/ year
Payleap Merchant account yearly fee $98/ year
Wordpress.com blog hosting w/ custom options $99/ year
Wordpress.com domain mapping $13/ year
Domain, at godaddy $14/ year
SUB TOTAL $911 / year
internet at home ($54/ month) $648 /year
internet at work ($79/ month) $948/ year
(yes, I’m including those two figures because they are real. If you are running an ecommerce based business they are necessary.)
SUB TOTAL $1596/ year
TOTAL $2507/ year
(plus, obviously, 2.5% – 6.5% of all transactions processed online – the higher end of that scale is for etsy, which takes 3% on top of merchant fees- still a good deal for the exposure)
As per my method of learning, which is hands-on and trial and error, I tend to start working on something as a method of understanding. When this is DNS structures, it means that things become unavailable or unpretty for a period of time, right out there in the open for all to see. It’s embarrassing, like being naked in public. That was yesterday, and there might still be some broken bits, let me know if you find them.
I always plan to read thoroughly about something and then do it, but it never happens -though I’m determined to with a new SEO enhancement which was the original motivation to moving everything around. As it seems to turn out, the real secret to SEO? Lots of relevant words. Which means, especially on product pages, going to every single product and writing better, fuller descriptions, improving the meta info, and using the keywords people actually use when they are shopping.
hey, thanks for reading! and seriously, if you find something broken, please let me know.