Posts Tagged ‘Host4Africa’

How did I set up my Blog?

January 5th, 2010 Fred 7 comments

Setting up my blog was surprisingly easy.  Let me tell you the story, maybe it will encourage you to set up your own blog.  It is really much easier than you might think.

I wanted a blog with my own name attached to it, not one which is associated with a blogging site like Blogger or Blogspot.  That meant that I had to register my own domain name and then have it hosted by some hosting company.  Some of my other websites are hosted by Host4Africa, and I decided to use them again.  And as always, their service was suburb and I can highly recommend them to anyone (to all my questions they usually respond to within half an hour and their systems are professional, automated and allow you a lot of control).  I filled out an online application on their website at 4:28 pm yesterday, and by 5:13 pm I received an e-mail that I could log in to the system and begin to configure my website.  This means that I now owned the domain name and that a DNS entry would be generated to associate by website address with one of their computers.  These DNS entries propagated throughout the world through the night, and by this morning my website was ready (and I did not lift a finger).  Yesterday no website, today website.

How much does all of this cost I hear you ask.  The domain registration is R150 (this is levied not by them but by the people responsible for the .net domain name).  In addition they charge an administration fee of R50 (which covers both the registration of the domain name, and doing the DNS entries).  And for R9.99 per month (and a collection fee of R4.50), I get unmetered bandwidth (the site is hosted in the United States), 50MB disk space, 5 e-mail boxes and support for technologies such as PHP and MySQL.  Cool huh?  So it works out about R200 per year and about R15 per month, or about R30 a month if you factor in the yearly cost.  So for the price of two 2l Cokes or half a Ster Kinekor movie ticket, I get to say what I want on my own blog under my own domain name.  Kudos to Host4Africa!

The next thing was to set up my blog.  I decided to use WordPress, one of the most popular pieces of bloggin software out there, being used by more than 200 million bloggers.  And the best of all is that it is free and distributed under the GPL licence.  The newest version at the time of writing is version 2.9, and takes up about 2.4MB.  It can be easily downloaded from their website.   Once downloaded, I unpacked the .zip file on my local hard drive, and used the FTP program FileZilla to upload it onto my website.  FileZilla is a free open source tool that I can highly recommend.  The WordPress software uses a database to store the blog entries, and so I had to create a database on my website.  I did this using the control panel provided by Host4Africa.  After that, all I had to do update a single configuration file with the database name, username and password.  And voila, my blog was up and running!

The default WordPress theme is a bit dull, so I checked for other themes on the WordPress website and installed one (using the blogging control panel, really easy) that looks a bit more appealing.  All of this took me perhaps 20 minutes (admittedly, I am somewhat more familiar with the involved technologies, but it is actually so easy that anyone can do it).  Hooray for modern technology!