Behind the Scenes of Natural Jenius

I was going to spend the first post introducing you to the blog and telling you about me, but I blew my wad on the About page.  Check it out if you want to learn more about me.  Instead, I am going to give a few details about this site’s setup and my experience getting it up and running.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Software

We are running the latest version of WordPress (v3.2.1 at the time of this writing).  This is my first blog, so I don’t have any previous experience with blog software.  I chose WordPress because of its popularity and so far I haven’t been disappointed.  The setup was very easy and I had test posts in the system within a few minutes.

The theme, designed over the weekend, is custom for this site.  I’m using a few plugins, including Jetpack, Akismet and Quick Cache.  There are so many choices in plugins it’s hard to know where to start, but these seemed pretty crucial.

One of the benefits of WordPress is the massive amount of available information to solve almost any problem. The documentation is excellent, and there is plenty of extra help available by searching Google.  I definitely have a lot of reading ahead of me.

Hosting

GoDaddy is our hosting provider.  How can you go wrong with a company that spends millions on risqué Super Bowl commercials?  We already had an account there, so I stuck with them because it was the fastest way to get this joint up and running, but I’m not a huge fan.  Their site is plastered with so many ads and attempts to up-sell it’s like a used car salesman is my web host.  Their tools are as slow as molasses, and I’m on a shared host with over 6,500 other domains, which really slows the site down.

The biggest hurdle was that the domain wouldn’t transfer over to the host correctly, giving me the dreaded “Sorry, this page is not currently available” page.  I double-checked all the DNS settings and verified that the DNS changes had propagated to me.  No dice.  It was definitely something on their end.

On the plus side, their customer service is very good.  I had a real human, named Todd, on the phone within two minutes.  Todd found the problem immediately and told me that they were working on it.  By the time I woke up in the morning everything was working perfectly.  Thanks, Todd!

I will eventually move over to a different host when our current account is up for renewal.  If anyone can suggest a good web host, please let me know in the comments.

  1. Jackie says:

    Nice website. Looking forward to your ramblings.

  2. Renee says:

    Impressive, Andy! I’d like to hear more about your “quirky web designer wife!” ;) You two truly are meant for each other!!

  3. Mom says:

    When I try to click on “subscribe”, I get a page of tech jargon. How do i get past that?

    • It’s an RSS feed. You need an RSS feed reader, like Google Reader to subscribe. The feed reader will periodically pull in the list of articles from all of your feeds and then you can read it all in one place without having to go to each individual site you are interested in. Most sites provide feeds for their content these days.

  4. Greg says:

    I will be checking back to see what other good info you have. Wish you would have had this when I was in my SQL class.

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