Niche Site Duel 4 – Hosting Dilemma and Free Tools
Now that I’ve done my research and targeted my keyword, it’s time to start thinking about the website. First step is to buy a domain name that contains my keyword. Ideally, it would be best to have the exact keyword phrase as my domain but weddingslideshow dot com is already taken so I went with weddingslideshowideas dot com. It was available so I bought it immediately.
There are many places to buy domains but I went with GoDaddy. I’ve had experience with them in the past so I used them again. I also saved some money on it with a special they had. Instead of $11.99 for the year, I paid $7.67 which includes the ICANN fee.
For hosting, I’m torn. I’ve used GoDaddy to host my other sites but from what many people recommend, I should buy hosting and domains from separate companies. I”m considering three options at this point.
- Option 1 – Abandon my Digital Camera Producer website and move some of it’s content to The Render Q. Digital Camera Producer is only a few months old and hardly gets any traffic. Shutting down this website will save me from having to spend additional money on another hosting plan. I’m ok with this because I didn’t do any research when starting the digital camera site.
- Option 2 - Buy another hosting plan that offers domain add-ons so I can use one host and point a number of different URLs to a single hosting plan. The reason I’m considering this option is because if I decide to build more niche sites, I won’t have to keep buying hosting plans. I recently learned about add-on domains and this definitely seems like a good option. I’m not sure what the downsides are to running multiple websites on a single host.
- Option 3 - Get a reseller hosting account. This one is similar to Option 2. I can add unlimited domains to my hosting plan and each site I add will have it’s own C-Panel account page. It’s a little more expensive but if I’m going to build many websites in the long term, this might be the best option of all. I have John Chow to thank for this piece of advice. I had lunch with him recently where we briefly discussed some of my website plans.
If anyone has any input on hosting, let me know! I’m going to ponder this for a bit. In the meantime, instead of cutting this post short, I’ll show you some of the free tools and websites I’ll be using to build my site.
Free Resources For My Website
A great place to find free photos is Morguefile. You can use their images with no attribution and you can use them for commercial purposes. You can alter the photos as much as you like but you just can’t resell or redistribute them. The usual legal stuff.
Morguefile is an excellent place to start if you don’t want to spend money on stock photos. You may or may not find the type of images you need. I’ve known about them for awhile but this is the first time I’ve used them. For this project, they just happen to have the exact photos I need. I’m going to do some retouching in Photoshop before I incorporate them in my site.
Free Photo Retouching Software
If you don’t have Photoshop, the next best alternative is a program called GIMP. It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s very powerful and it’s free! GIMP’s features are more than enough for most people. The biggest feature for me is the ability to create an image with an alpha channel… aka transparent background. I actually use Photoshop to create graphics so I personally won’t be using GIMP, but if I didn’t have Photoshop, this is the program I’d use.
Free WordPress Themes
Everyone wants a nice looking website and if you’re using WordPress like I am, changing the look of your site is easy with themes. A WordPress designer named Dannci has a few nice looking themes for free. He also offers a theme pack for all his themes for only $14.95! That is cheap for the number of themes you’ll receive. They’re high quality and have some advanced features in them. Definitely check it out. This is where I’m getting my theme from.
I’m not exactly sure what to call this tool, an HTML debugger tool? It’s called Firebug and is an add-on to the Firefox web browser. This is an indispensible plug-in for quickly locating code on any website and make live changes so you can see what your site will look like instantly. This won’t alter the code on your actual site (you’ll have to go into your actual HTML or CSS fils for that). For example, if you want to see what a different font or font size would look like on your webpage, just locate the code, enter a new value and you’ll see the change happen right away. Want to eliminate some extra space in your WordPress theme? Find the code, change the value and see what it looks like live! Don’t like it, refresh your page and it’s back to normal. The hard part is going into the WordPress CSS files and finding what line the code you want to change is on. I use Firebug to quickly help make modifications to all my themes.
Here’s a recap of the free tools discussed so far:
- Morguefile – stock images
- GIMP - photo editing software
- Beatheme – WordPress themes
- Firebug – edit and debug web code
That’s it for now. Hopefully you found this information helpful! See you in Part 5!
Niche Site Updates
To make it easy for you to follow my progress, here are all my posts for the Niche Site Duel in one place.