Rory Bowman at

“The cobblers child has no shoes,” and so it has been with my website for many years. Having learned how to hand-code HTML in the early 1990’s and done so from a Unix shell for years, I have finally decided to do what I recommend to most of my clients and go with a simple and relatively intuitive third-party host for my website, to explore and pay with some of the freedoms this provides. Rather like going from a manual transmission to a new automatic with cruise control, I am enjoying the transition. I am wealthy in proportion to what I can afford to leave alone.

For those who are not familiar with web sites, to host a website requires at least three things: a registered domain, some content and a webhost. Fortunately for small business people the days when one needed to have a computer expert on staff to do these things is long over, and a few companies such as TypePad, LibSyn, RegisterFly and combine these things in a fairly simple package for the small business person or hobbyist to deploy quickly.

Having moved up from hand-coding all of my own HTML, hosted on a friend’s machine in the basement, I went to a local host and have recently gone to a commodity-hosting service for my own site with Yahoo, because it was the tool I found myself recommending to my clients most often. Although there are other more specific tools for people with primarily text-based or audio content, Yahoo offers a wide variety of services which can grow with most businesses, don’t have a huge learning curve and which can be expanded economically as your technical expertise and needs grow.

Among the things which Yahoo offers for the small business person are:

  • Inexpensive webmail and online services such as scheduling, addressbooks and web pages
  • The option to register a domain name for as little as $10/year
  • Inexpensive business email and webhosting packages which include push-button publishing
  • Industry-standard tools such as PHP and SQL to accomodate more sophisticated design
  • Simple domain management for non-techies, including forwards and tertiary domains
  • Online tools and add-ons such as this blog, email forms and guest books if you choose
  • Expandibility to allow online sales and merchant services at reasonable cost without coding

Wish me luck, and welcome to the website, version 3.0, 2006.

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