Free Domains from FREENOM

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A rose by any other name would smell as sweetJuliet in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet

What to call a domain name for your site?

I’d suggest you do a bit of research on that. At the bottom of the page is my experiences with site naming, definitely not the most successful.

All I will say is Keep it short, make it easy to remember if you have to type it in.

Also, try a few domain names for Free and then if you want to purchase a .COM or .ORG or something similar then you can do so knowing that you have explored a few variations.

Enter FREENOM, http://www.freenom.com/en/index.html?lang=en

This is their information on it.

Freenom is the world’s first and only free domain provider. Our mission is to bring people online and help countries develop their digital economy.

We support generic top level domains, such as COM, NET and ORG, but also country domain extensions. Even the new top level domains such as .BERLIN or .BLUE are sold at Cost Price.

So, you can register for FREE domain names for a year, (then I think you can renew for FREE but you only have a small window in which to do so near the end of the Year term).

 

For a web site on a windows server, eg the Amazon AWS EC2 instance, as per these posts:

How to setup a Free Virtual Private Server (VPS) on Amazon Web Service (AWS) EC2 instance Part 1

How to setup a Free Virtual Private Server (VPS) on Amazon Web Service (AWS) EC2 instance Part 2

You can then set the new web site to:

zomboza.gq and put in files in the file structure to link to, eg a index.html file.

Then you can go to your browser and type:

http://zomboza.gq

And this should take you to:

http://zomboza.gq/index.html 

and display whatever you have set up in that file.

Setting up Freenom Domain to accept Emails

Now, for me, whilst grinding through setting up OpenMAINT, one of things I wanted to test out was emails (for workorders). So I needed a few email addresses.

On your VPS you can setup a Email Server.

In this Post, OpenMAINT Email Part 1-Challenges on Server at the end , there is a short piece on how to setup Mail Server ENABLE.

I then found that I needed to have SSL for the email so had to set that up. Discussed in the next 2 posts:

OpenMAINT Email Part 2 -Working on Localhost.

OpenMAINT Email Part 3- Server sort of working.

What this meant is that inside the Domain manager you need to add a couple of other items

For your email server to connect into that domain name.

There is more information in the Freenom Knowledge base area of the site.

Background- A bit of a waffle for interest only

I started to think about using a website about 8 years ago and got a free google setup with a URL pathname as long as your arm, so unless you sent someone a link, noone was going to find the pages.

A couple of years ago I used Komposer to develop some static pages to display information for some work I was doing for a local council. It had links between pages and displayed content that I wanted to suggest we adopt for the project. It was a useful tool to sketch out all the different areas that needed to be developed, also identified different user groups and their needs.

Later, after the council project I had developed some ideas that I wanted to put “on the web”. I was not too sure what they were or the form they needed to take , nor the exact audience. I browsed around on the interwongle and youtube and was bombarded by a lot of acronyms such as Web Host providers, domains, SEO,  IP4 addresses etc, and they confused me a lot.

I ended up purchasing some cheap web hosting to try them out and purchasing domain names, all normal ending ones seem to be about $14 US odd for the year.

I also explored using WordPress as a website and blog using their free service. They too have a weird URL path to the site, but the ease of use is quite pleasing even if the page designs are a little restrictive for the free stuff.

The next part of the journey was to find a free site where I could break things with abandon.

My preferred self-teaching method of diving in, trying everything, seeing what works, what doesn’t, blowing it all away and starting again with a little more understanding of:

1/ What my realistic goals are and

2/ what those tools limits are that I need to adjust to.

And working between the 2 getting something functional.

The next site I tried was https://www.awardspace.com/

This is a German service provider, and what I like about the Germans is they  are pretty direct and are pretty straight with delivering on what they say they will provide. Being on the other side of the world, in New Zealand, their downtime is our uptime so I found their sites responsiveness adequate to my needs.

I initially used their free service, but with only one Database it is a bit limited, and at the time I was playing with Google Maps and databases and soon needed more database resources.   They have specials on and i got the next service up for about 2 Euro for a year (that gets ratcheted up for the following year, so you either need to move on or pay the raised price).

Again I had to buy another domain name for around the same price of $14 US for a year.

About this time I was developing a few ideas that I wanted to explore, learning some HTML, JavaScript & CSS and how to set up some basic static web pages and playing with databases too.

Also started to develop a theme for where I wanted to blog, so moved the WordPress blog site to AwardSpace and set it up there and looked into Joomla and Drupal. I did a bit of exploring in the Drupal area but decided to stay with WordPress as I didn’t want to spend a mass of energy getting up to speed with Drupal that has a steep learning curve.

I ended up with 3 sites all exploring asset and facility management, data capture and visualisation.

I moved to the higher hosting plan Max Pack Plus at AwardSpace and you get 2 free domain names for life.

This was looking better, but what names to choose, when signing up you need to choose them right away, so I made my choice and went with them.

I am now looking to run the openMAINT open source AM/FM tool that needs a VPS (virtual Private Server) as a minimum and am slowly transitioning over to https://contabo.com/ another German web service/ server space provider.  This is where I want to move my other sites prior to getting the more expensive 2nd year pricing at AwardSpace and they do not do a windows VPS and I do not want to spend my energy at the moment setting up a linux server (although far cheaper as you do not pay an OS licence fee (about $7 Euro/month extra)).

Experience of Site Naming

If you see below, my journey on the interwongle has gone through a number of iterations. The ideas and thoughts I have been developing and expressing have changed as I have gone through the different iterations, and my understanding of what seems to get a  response in hyperspace is not necessarily what I thought it would be in the way I did my initial targeting and expression of the sites I was developing.

So purchasing a few domain names to try different ideas could be expensive.

A little fiend I found lurking on the interwongle was web analytics. Google Analytics is one, and Fullstory another, I am sure there are others lurking out there.

With a little snippet of code that you add to your website, these programmes will monitor your site and tell you how many times your site has been visited and some demographics of whom did the visiting. Fortunately the whoms are anonymous and are given an exotic alias such as Client ID  1911089787.1506251894.  Makes you feel as if you are just a number in the world, not a real person!!!

Jesting aside, it does help to know that you are not doing all the work for an audience of one.

In some ways, what I was developing was initially for myself, I wanted to test and develop some ideas, but after a while you see that some blogs or items are responded to more than others and this makes you lean towards ideas that are getting some traction.

I ended up with 3 sites all exploring asset and facility management, data capture and visualisation:

  1. A development ideas site where I could get some ideas up and running to show others
  2. A blog site to discuss the development of those ideas
  3. A sort of marketing site for some of the ideas. It could potentially be used to store clients information so needed to be  a stand alone site.

What I found was I had completely different reactions to all 3 sites.

Site 1. My main site,  has hardly any visitors, which is sad, as this is the area that took the greatest effort to get these elements working. There are some good ideas that I wanted to get out into hyperspace but they do not seem to be accessible and are obviously hard to find. I used the word “Visualise” as the main key theme on the site, and it does not seem to be on the main search path of ….. Very much at all.

Site 3. Gets lots of hits, as many as the blog, but only because of the heading Property Information Package (PIP), as session time was extremely short, they came , they saw, they left in a hurry.

Site 2. The blog is becoming more popular, again the visualisation header does not seem to be a key search phrase, but recently I have been blogging about openMAINT AM/FM open source package and I noted on a web page that “HOW TO….” blogs seem to be popular, so putting this in the title seem to help the visits go up.

This is a long winded way of saying you can’t know where your journey may take you so its best to be flexible on the way.

 

 

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