Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rebirth, and a new foray into the cyberverse

Well, this blog has certainly languished. Fast-forward a few years, and I'm now done with library school and seeking work! In retrospect, it was silly of me to think that I'd have much energy left over to blog while working and taking a full load of courses. Now that the degree is complete, however, I'm ready to make use of this outlet again.

I also decided that it was time to do what everyone else was doing in 1990-mumble, and create a personal outpost on the web. Not a social networking profile, not a one-time school assignment, but my own domain, attached to my own name. I'd registered the domains a few years ago, but never got around to putting anything up. It was time to get hosting.

I'd heard good things about HostGator, and was happy with both their pricing plans and their offering of cPanel (a content management interface I'd used before and liked). It was fast and easy to get my account set up, and happily they offered a PayPal option (which I also liked). After a bit of confusion about how to set up a domain that is registered elsewhere, I was off and running.

So far I am still happy with HostGator, although if you check out the site you'll see I'm not asking much of them yet. My one quibble is with the HTML editor they offer, which is giving me fits. Either it doesn't play well with Firefox, or I am doing something wrong - I'm getting consistent hang when previewing, a basic function that should work flawlessly. The editor also doesn't create particularly clean HTML. Yes, I could code this all by hand, but it would likely take weeks.

Happily, I've found that Nvu (a now-defunct but still useful stand-alone WYSIWIG editor) serves my purpose at the moment. It works more predictably and more quickly than the web-hosted editor provided by HostGator. I haven't started exploring the CSS or other higher level tools yet, but in terms of basic text and image layout, it has been far easier to work with. And to my eye, the resulting HTML has been somewhat cleaner. I'll definitely be watching for the successor to Nvu (whatever it might be).