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Topics covered in here tend toward Gadgetry, Weapons, Books, Tools, and a lot of other things that have captured my interest.

Please note the "Linked From Here" tab on the results, which lists search results from sites I have linked to in my posts.

MMHosting: To Build a Website

Having a web site can be fun, makes sense for a business, and is fairly easy to do.

First, decide on a name -- or two. Unique names are getting harder to find. Then go HERE and enter the name you want, using the .com or .biz or .org extension on it, to see if someone else is using the name.

The next step is to find a place to host your website. I would advise against your local Internet provider and would suggest not using Yahoo or a free host. I went those routes and the experience was quite forgettable.

Whoever hosts your website can register your domain name.

I did a lot of homework and went with MM Hosting's NetMega package a couple of years ago. They offer the best service I have ever seen, and at a bargain price as low as $5.95 a month. When my site crashed at nine PM on a Sunday night, I sent an email to their tech support, had a reply within half an hour, and the site was back up within another half hour. It doesn't get much better than this.

The services they offer are overkill for what I want, everything from blogs and forums and email accounts to shopping carts, but the prices are hard to beat.

I did have my site hosted by Yahoo, but it cost three times as much and the tech support was non-existent. To add insult to injury, when I switched my domain to MM Hosting, both MM and I had to jump through a time consuming and complicated series of hoops. What should have been a matter of hours took days, and the fault was with yahoo.

The next step is build your web page. MM offers a free website builder but I wanted to learn a little about the HTML language and went the expensive route with a commercial program.

MM gives you the free use of RVSiteBuilder. That site says "The tryout module is the separate application running on your own disk space. Users can try it and test it in action. If they like it, they have an option to buy any hosting account. You, as an administrator, just click a single button and all data and hosting accounts will be created for you."

Anyway, I can't speak from personal experience about the SiteBuilder, but I assume it is as good as the rest of their services, which are excellent. I also can't give any advice on design, except KISS -- Keep it simple, Stupid! Simpler is always better: forget the animations and background music.

Having some idea of what you want your site to look like before you start can help. It might be cheating a little, but if you see a website you really like you might use its basic layout as a pattern for your own.

I would recommend one of these books as a starting place.

Book CoverBook Cover

Did I follow KISS for my own site? Nope, but this is because I like to tinker and experiment with different effects and because my web site, like my life, is a real mix of personal and business, homogenized fun, so to speak.

Bottom line: It works for the business. It tells where the store is, what my hours are, what the basic layout and policies are, and some photos give an idea of what the place looks like. I have sold a few books I listed there and gotten inquiries on other books.

It also works on the personal end, and gives me a place to express myself without the limitations of places like Facebook.

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