I Hate GoDaddy

Have I mentioned this before? Have I written about how the GoDaddy control panels are a Kafka-esque, spaghetti-like, flaming wheels-came-off-it mess?

Have I written before about how GoDaddy’s website and control panels are one gigantic, heaving, shrill, continuous upsell rivaled only by Cairo marketplace stall owners?

When I work on accounts hosted at GD, I sometimes spend more time fighting with and hunting through the various popup pages, menus, click-thru agreements and other insane GD crap than actually on making the website changes. True story.

Have I told you how much I hate GoDaddy?

Have I?

Have I?

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What Fonts Can I Use on my Website?

Play it Strict!

This is the very strict set, compliance is almost guaranteed if you choose one from this list. Choose and forget.


I bend that rule a little and use Century Gothic (all caps, in green) on my Volvo Forum http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com.

According to CodeStyle.org, Century Gothic is available to 86% of Windows web users (probably higher on Macs). To me that’s fine, if I go for every last user on Earth at 100% compliance not only is it a chore, but the fun gets sucked out of it.

Whatever the case, all browsers have a “fall-back” font (“Times”, etc.), and in between any font you pick and that font you can define your own fall-back fonts. Personally I think Georgia can look fantastic in designs. Arial Black and Trebuchet also can look better than they look “on paper”.

More ->


Linking in WordPress

The link and unlink icons in WordPress

I got an email today from a client asking how to make words in his blog go to other sites. Good question! He was talking about creating “links”, also called hyperlinks <- there’s one.

The button on the left is the link button, the other is the unlink button. Those appear in the WordPress editor’s toolbar when you are composing a blog post.

How to Link In WordPress

1. write something
2. highlight the word or words with your mouse
3. click the link button
4. enter a URL (must start with “http://”)

You’re done. To unlink, highlight the word(s) and click the unlink button.

When you publish that blog post, the word(s) will take the user to whatever URL you put in. The word(s) will usually be underlined, which is the universal convention to identify a hyperlink.

If you’re talking about writing on an older version of WordPress, or a non-WordPress blog, it should work the same way, or very similar. This is a standard used for over a decade in all kinds of computer programs.

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Subdomain or Subdirectory?

A client asked me if he should put a blog on a subdomain or a subdirectory, in other words blog.domain.com or domain.com/blog. His concern was about the future: he’s heard a subdomain will scale better. Good question, but don’t let it hold up progress because it’s not that important any longer. From an SEO standpoint, conventional wisdom said to make it a subdomain. From a scaling standpoint, conventional wisdom said make it a subdirectory.

Scaling issues are good problems to have, it means you’ve got tons of traffic and are probably making a nice sum, thus able to pay someone to do work for you. Having a scaling problem is like having a boat so big it’s hard to find a marina.

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My Thoughts on Hosting

How do I know television advertising works? Four out of five new clients now bring me their GoDaddy-bought domain names. It’s an epidemic.

I prefer hosts that don’t make (much/any) money off of domain name registrations, so that we’re all saved from the inane upsells with which GoDaddy pummels their users. Ask anyone who’s logged into an account there.

I sometimes log into clients’ GoDaddy accounts and personally think it’s a disaster, but their tech support is quick. However fast responses to problems don’t make up for it. I steer clients away from GoDaddy when I can.

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Breaking Up Long Pages = SEO Benefits, User Glee

Usually my clients don’t have enough copy. Here’s a case study of (and actual email to) a client’s site that has too much copy. Well, too much copy per page; there’s really no such thing as too much content as long as it’s divided into sane-sized pieces.

A client contacted me about reducing the long stretch of dense, small-sized text with hidden paragraphs that can be revealed by the user with a show/hide button. Here’s my response:

I think that would be the right idea but the wrong method. Personally, if this was my site, I’d break each of those sections into their own pages. It would help users and help spiders.

Your pages tend to have a lot of small-ish text, and I think it gets a bit daunting. I know you’ve done your best to break it up nicely with bolded subheaders.

For spiders, when you have a laser-focused page, you increase your chances of coming up in Google’s top 10 for that term because there’s no extraneous content to dilute the page’s message to Google (and thus users).

As individual pages, we can put a nice big arrow at the lower right to create a flow to move through your content in bite-sized chunks like I do on my site http://www.sitesforphotographers.com.

Three well-marked steps and you’re dropped at the Contact page… reducing the falloff rate and driving the user to an action.

Moral: 1) breaking up long pages into multiple shorter pages is a win-win. It helps your users and it helps your site’s SEO effort, 2) guiding the user with Next buttons helps you convert users into customers.

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What is Hosting?

I sent my hosting invoices out a few weeks ago and got a good question from a client: what is this bill?

The first inclination of my client was to say that she already paid for the domain name… the yearly GoDaddy bill.

Background: since all my clients choose to pay for their hosting on a yearly basis to save money and save me extra billing paperwork, this client has been happily running her site for a year, and this invoice seemed to come out of nowhere.

Here’s my response, and my summary of what hosting means:

GoDaddy is who you pay to buy (to lease or to rent, really) your domain name, and your domain name is where people find you on the ‘net: yourcompany.com or yourname.net etc. Hosting is the service that allows your site to exist on the web. Web sites need both.

All web sites need a computer somewhere — a “home” — to run on. Hosting is what this is called, and I lease a computer at a data center (big warehouse full of large noisy server computers) that runs your site, making it accessible on the internet.

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