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Website Tools Summary

Part of the purpose of writing this blog and starting the website was to learn about how to build, host, and maintain a site and explore the issues revolving around those technologies. Here’s the various tools and decisions I’ve made:

  • Domain registration and hosting:  They’re cheap and convenient.  They also have lots of low cost modules available for adding on functionality.  Being a Microsoft guy, I chose the ASP.NET environment with SQL Server but they actually have more modules available for the Linux/PHP environment.
  • Content Management:  Microsoft Expression 3 (html and asp).  I considered and researched drupal, dotnetnuke, and wordpress but in the end did not trust their somewhat closed systems.  With Expression I create simple html and asp and just copy the files up to the website.  I don’t have to worry if something misconfigured at the hosting site or they go away.  With a CMS, I’m just not comfortable I could get my content out easily and quickly if needed.  There’s something sort of comforting about having total control over how content is created.
  • The Expression suite of software along with copies of SQL server, Visual Studio and other software was supplied for FREE by Microsoft. I participate in the Microsoft Websitespark (details here) program which helps small businesses get on the internet and publish web content for minimal cost. Microsoft provides a lot of free software to help out and I’ve found it very easy to participate in and use the program.
  • Blogging software: Google’s Blogger platform. Usability is very good and easy to add analytics and adsense modules.
  • Traffic analytics: Google analytics.  Just put a bit of code in your webpage (I put it in my master template file) and you can use this excellent analytics program to slice and dice who’s visiting your site, and which search terms generate traffic.

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