Truth be told, I am always look for news ways to “brand” or “promote” myself online. I must have been around 12 or 13 when I first realized how important it is to establish a professional presence online and to make sure that it is current and presentable at all time. And thus, when the opportunity to finally option to finally purchase my own domain hosting came about, I jumped at it.
Within the last year, I purchased tommybosquez.com on behalf of my father when he was running as a candidate for the Bryan ISD School Board. He needed a way to establish himself unique from his competitor and so I encouraged him to allow me to set up a wordpress account under his chosen domain. Although he won the election in November, the very basic site is still live (but not updated – whoops!).
After browsing around the internet, hunting for what I thought I would find as the perfect provider, my dreams were slightly crushed. Very quickly I noticed how little information or legitimate resources and reviews are available for domain hosts, especially since this seemed to be like a very popular “business to be in,” handing out little pieces of the cloud for a fee. Instead of going in circles, I turned to trusted friends of whom have active and online sites, to ask them about their experiences with hosting and who they would recommend to someone who is starting out as a beginner. I had a variety of responses including Westhost, Bluehost, GoDaddy, Behance Prosite, OVH, etc. However, still no solid overall response of who the best one to choose was.
My criteria for selecting the parent for courtneybz.com (a combination of my first name and shortened first and last letter of my lastname, easily identifiable and not nearly the obnoxious 15 letter domain that it needn’t be) was to make sure that of the reviews that were available online, the provider was generally positive. I also played the price game on several occasions to see what the value was for each of the options I was considering. While searching, I thought it was slightly annoying to be teased with the 3-year monthly price, very cheap and then to be slapped with the actual year fee, several dollars higher depending on how long you anticipate to keep up your business.
What ultimately affected my purchase decision to go with HostGator were the very encouraging consumer reviews about customer care – something I knew that I would eventually need if I decided to pursue this badge. Since then, they have been incredibly helpful and very responsive to any service requests or silly “learning moment” questions that I had.
Again, I turned to YouTube and other online resources to figure out how to upload my default page using FTP and Filezilla. Somewhere in between trying to push it to the server, I accidently moved an important file out of it’s original location and caused my site to display a “404 error message.” HostGator was very quick to help me correct my silly mistake and actually led me to explore some hidden gems on the control panel and through FTP.
Originally, I was overwhelmed with all of the various buttons and options in the control panel, but was very impressed at the organization. Everything you could ever imagine having control over (or at leas that I know) is available through HostGator.
I have been the site owner for over a week now and am excited to finally develop an online portfolio for myself after learning valuable resources and skills through this class. Completing the Domain Hosting badge was just icing on the cake and a scoot in the right direction at being proactive in my next chapter of life.
Side note: I was very excited to create different email addresses for myself including the direct contact email@example.com, for photo inquires firstname.lastname@example.org, special event planning email@example.com and for any design needs firstname.lastname@example.org.