Category Archives: Domains

Pssst… Wanna buy a domain?

I’ve owned for many years. It’s named after my (perhaps poorly thought-up) business name. Indeed, and names have to be attached to a registered business name.

It used to be that generic names weren’t generally available, so couldn’t be bought — though somehow got through the net. When they opened them up, some bakery grabbed, then completely failed to use it.

I forgot all about this until today, when the good folk at Melbourne IT, Australia’s longest running registrar, gave me a ring to let me know it had lapsed, and asked if I’d like to buy it.

The lady on the phone made one fatal mistake: she tried to sell it as part of a package, with some kind of pre-built placeholder whiz-bang web site attached to it, for the grand total of A$595. It should have been obvious from looking at my existing site that not only do I know how to put a web site up, but also that I’m not exactly doing stellar things with the site I do have, so it’s not exactly compelling for me to own the And therefore if I wanted to buy the domain, it would be for as little dosh as possible. She really should have pitched it at the budget level.

I declined. Though of course, depending on how quickly I move, I could buy it anyway, though them or anybody else.

But I don’t think I will. It’s a business name I haven’t been entirely comfortable with recently, and it’s only maintained because I have to have a shelf-company to do contracting work through (well, and because breaking my existing email addresses and web pages hosted on it is against my religion).

Dear Mr Gullible

Dear Mr Gullible,

How would you like to renew your domain name at an exhorbitant rate with us?

Borderline Fraud Department,
Domain Registry of America

Domain Registry of America offer

Beating the queue

I was wondering how the domain name propagated so fast. Turns out since September, DNS updates have been happening about every five minutes, instead of twice a day.

We also got a quick path on getting indexed by Google, courtesy of using Google’s AdSense, which evidently bumps you to the top of the indexing queue so they can serve more relevant ads.

Speaking of Google, for people in the US, there’s now Google via SMS.

Okay, we’re running

Obviously in a geek blog, you should blog about how the blog got setup.

Domain name. and .net were already taken, but .org was free. I registered it with Gandi. They’re a French company, have been around for a while. I think I first encountered them some years ago in a list of domain registrars. At the time they were up near the top of the recommended registrars not only for being reasonably cheap and reliable, but also for having a domain registration policy that precluded all sorts of the kind of legal mumbo jumbo that some other registrars had at the time, which theoretically gave you rather less than complete control over your domain. Whatever the reason I originally went with them, they’ve been good over the years, and provide useful stuff like free domain and e-mail forwarding. At 12 Euros a year, perhaps not the cheapest around, but reliable and quick. Quicker than I thought, actually. I assume Those In Charge have improved the speed of new domain propagation over the last few years, because everything seemed to be done after a couple of hours.

Hosting. The hosting is at Aussie Hosts, a mob in Brisbane who specialise in shared hosting on Linux, and using the Plesk7 web site control software, which is frikkin’ marvellous. I’ve never come across a web control panel quite so useful and user-friendly. It does everything, and is light-years ahead of most of the other very clunky web control panels I’ve seen.

Software. Installing WordPress is dead easy. Upload the files into the http directory, create the MySql directory and its user in Plesk, then run WordPress’s install script. That’s it. It creates all the tables, creates the initial user, and away you go. Then I logged-on to WordPress and created the users, set the various options like comment spam parameters, and structure of permalinks. For the latter it tells you what your .htaccess needs to look like. You just paste it into the file and you’re done. (Admittedly it shat itself the first time I tried it. I wiped it out, and tried it again a bit later. Not sure what was different the second time, but it worked.)

Template. For WordPress’s templates, you basically need to edit: index.php (the main page), wp-layout.css (the stylesheet), and wp-comments.php (the comments section, which for some reason WP’s default installation has quirks like the caption for the comment fields appearing after the fields themselves. Wacky). I’m not entirely a master of CSS yet, so I just fiddled with the fonts and colours, and fiddled a bit with the links and so on. I’ve messed the template up slightly — right now the XHTML validation gets a thumbs-down. Will fix that when I get the chance to look at it.

We started creating a (perhaps over-ambitious) hierarchy of categories for articles to fall into. Hmm. Probably should have just copied out of DMOZ or Yahoo or something. (Just the hierarchy that is. If you look around, it’s incredible the number of directory sites that have swiped content completely from Yahoo.)

Also created a basic logo in my trusty old copy of Corel Photopaint, added in a Google advert to try and recoup some of the hosting and domain name costs, and that’s about it for now. Further fiddling can (and no doubt will) come later.