Website Builder


The following resources are mostly pulled from my own network, as well as my favorites found throughout the web...

Webmaster's Playground

Experimenting with webmaster tools, apps and open source website scripts.

As an online professional, wearing the webmaster cap is, as for most, just one of the many titles worn which encompasses an extremely diversified set of skills.  In essence, we are maintaining a marketing message, but to do it we have to be more than marketers and copy writers. We have to understand a bounty of technologies, from HTML & CSS to web hosting & FTP, to email, to website optimization, even promotional opportunities.

I had already learned positive impact identity stragies, brand symbolism, color psychologies, creative writing, graphic design, animation, art, photography, Photoshop and Illustrator before ever designing my first online art portfolio, in my quest to become an artist and graphic designer.

Since building that first website, I haven't stopped learning about branding and web design.  But to remain competitive I have picked-up other skills in order to enhance my webmaster capabilities, including domain name speculation and investment, web hosting, server solutions, search optimization, online advertising, marketing and PR.  On top of that, webmastering is a constant learning experience.  Not only are new tags and capabilities added to HTML5 and CSS3, but the standards of how they should be used properly, and implemented best, are under constant development.  Search engines are constantly improving and changing how they prioritize websites, and typically look at how you market and the ethics behind it all.

Just the webmaster profession alone requires mastery of all sorts of technology, coding, protocols, standards, marketing and ethics.  It can be overwhelming.  Which is why I have created or identified the following resources that I created to be useful, or have found useful to me.

Webmaster Reources

Do you need to set-up a website? It’s a necessity if you need a professional profile, an artist’s portfolio, are a small business, or even if you are looking for work (so that you can easily provide a personally branded site and a general online resume, allowing hiring agents and employers to download a professionally written doc or pdf version that they can print it out themselves).

The most important tool to employ first is grabbing a good domain name. Most of the generic keywords are gone in any generic/global Top Level Domain (gTLD) name extension.

I wrote an article on the different available gTLD name extensions that are available now, at my Website Webmaster Blog.

These extra domain extension choices make finding a good name easier, as the .com namespace has gotten extremely crowded and stressed. That said, it will take a little while for some to stop typing .com, and for that reason alone, the new gTLDs are best used as brand mark enforcers, as the .com quite honestly remains king among domain name extensions.  But most online promotion provides its own links, which will set in a user’s mind eventually.

Even though the basic search terms are already registered by by companies who hoard the best generic names, brand names are actually better because they can be more memorable unique identifiers.  Just make your brand easy to remember, easy to communicate. I wrote an article on how to choose the right domain name somewhere, I’ll have to find it and post it here.

Some good places to register your new domain name that won’t hurt your wallet are:

Domain Hostmaster


Site Domains

Once you have decided on your brand and registered your domain, the trick is putting it to good use. While it is easy to setup, you have to decide whether you want a free website, or if you want a complete site that offers you total control.

Free Domain & Website Hosting Solutions:

The domain name will usually cost you (unless you opt for a non-standard name extension), but the more expensive charge for a website is the website hosting and optional SSL encryption certificate.  

There are some free domain names, though I do not encourage their use.  These are usually free country code names, and unless you live in that particular country and cater to that specific country or a part of it.

Free web hosting accounts always lack something.  The biggest thing is that most are not real web hosting accounts that support email accounts, web apps, content management systems (such as WordPress, ModX, Drupal, or Joomla), SSI, or SSL encryption security certificates.  It is free after all, you get what you pay for.

Sites is a free Google solution that allows you to create a site using their clunky, proprietary interface and it does support your own domain name.  Google Sites will tell you how to get your own domain name setup so that you can use it with its free hosting.  However, Sites does not support SSL security encryption certificates, which is a big drawback for most free hosting solutions, because Google discounts the importance of websites that aren't secured with an SSL.  But Sites does support some scripting, and will not put ads on your site unless you publish them yourself.  

Blogger is another Google solution that allows you to establish a blog style website quickly and easily. Blogger will even instruct you on how to set your domain name.  You are however, stuck with their blog style system and content management solution.  Luckily, they don't show ads on your site, unless you implement them. offers a free WordPress content management system, and WordPress powers more websites than any other CMS, but the free site you find at shows Google ads that compromise the content matter because they directly compete with the content.  Furthermore, charges premium prices for premium accounts without real web hosting capabilities, or even just mapping your domain name to the website so that it brands your web address.  Although WordPress keeps the core application updated, you still have a limited choice of plugins. 

Tumblr is another easy to use and customize blogging platform, and also supports your own custom domain name. Search the FAQs for “custom domain” and they will tell you how to set it up. The set back here is that they show ads to you in the control panel.  Since Yahoo bought it they are now showing some pretty spammy and even malware adverts on your public web presence.  I have used Tumblr myself and now I regret having any of my domain names there because the adverts not only appeared, but they are often so very malicious.  Now I am scrambling to move those domains/blogs somewhere else.  So essentially, this listing is a warning of where to never go, now.  I regret once recommending them.

GitHub is probably your best option for free web hosting, if you have to have a free website account.  I haven't used GitHub yet, it seems like a maze to figure out how to establish a web space there, but they do offer a place for your static website, support your own registered domain name, and does support an SSL security certificate.  

With these free (starter) web hosting alternatives, you will still have to setup an email account through your domain name registrar.  For instance, Domain Hostmaster will allow you to setup the required CName for most of these free host sites and keep the MX name for the email account(s).  This is common with registrars.

Free hosting solutions such as the ones I point-out above are great ways to get started with enough info to introduce yourself and display your contact information to the world. However, once you get going, you will probably want to add features, and that usually requires a paid hosting solution so that you can add web scripts to accommodate those features.

Full Featured Web Hosting Solutions:

There are true web hosting accounts and there are managed apps which come with site hosting, such as Managed WordPress or Website Builder accounts.  Then, you have virtual servers and dedicated servers.   

The Blog also offers an easy-to-use “free” blogging platform, but they charge you to add your own custom domain name, AND they still show advertising to all of your visitors which may conflict with the content you are presenting, or at least compete with it, unless you upgrade to a paid solution. I stopped using my “free” WordPress site. Now, I use the dedicated WordPress site solution from Domain Hostmaster for this site. The software is setup and kept up-to-date for me by the Domain Hostmaster technical/networking staff gurus. But, that is a paid option (although it is extremely reasonable) that is much better than WordPress’ own solution (and more affordable).

Website Builders:

There are online website builders that allow you to create your own website right through your browser interface using prefabricated template designs that you can customize according to your desires. offers one such solution from Domain Hostmaster.

Web Hosting Solutions:

There is much more freedom in having a web hosting account, a VPS, or a dedicated server of your own. You can create a completely custom website and add all the features you need, within the featureset of your server configuration. I have many great solutions listed below:

Domain Hostmaster

(desktop and mobile interfaces available)


(desktop interface)

HD Web Hosting

(desktop interface)

S Web Host

(mobile first interface design for phone/tablet/PC support)

Site Domains

(mobile first interface design for phone/tablet/PC support)

Site Host Pros

(mobile first interface design for phone/tablet/PC support)

Apache Website Hosting

(mobile first interface design for phone/tablet/PC support)

All of the above web hosts offer a generous selection of fast and reliable, secure web hosting and virtual or dedicated server selections.

I should mention that you could serve up your sites on your own computer, but then if your cable went out, your computer got sick with a virus, or if you were hacked, you will put your website in jeopardy, so I advise against anything but an experimental server in the home.

The Custom Website Design

But when you get your own web host, you still have to get a site designed. You can actually hire a designer such as myself (that’s how my real business, and I have all sorts of options from economic to complete, and how I wound-up expanding into domain name sales, site builders, business hosting & web server sales, and webmaster tools). OR, you can create a site easily on your own, check out… – Info on the current easy-to-use do-it-yourself WYSIWYG website creators that use good CSS & HTML design coding systems which I have reviewed (more reviews of other software is coming soon). Note that I am currently spotlighting a free website design tool that I really like.

Reference Tools:

You will need all sorts of little reference information sites when you are setting up a website on your own, or after you take delivery on a site from your designer & developer. I have some good ones:

Standard Logo for those who are doing everything themselves and are not equipped with Photoshop, just to make a logo to get going.

Font-Journal to locate just the right font for your logo, possibly find a nice web font to use on the website. Font-Journal specializes in trying to find good fonts that are free or shareware and can be used commercially.

HTML Character Code – use it to look-up the HTML code for special characters like the Copyright sign: ©, Trademark: ™ or ®, etc…

Glossary Index can help you figure out how to spell a word.

Meta Tags & SEO offers advice on how to quickly optimize your site using meta tags.

Robots File shows how to direct the web crawlers and spider bot traffic to your website. This can help optimize your site by keeping well mannered bots from wasting time crawling around where they shouldn’t.

phpinfo() File shows you how you can check your own Linux web hosting account or server configuration without bothering the tech support guys. This allows you to find out whether or not your server is compatible with any particular web application software that you might want to install.

I swear that I will never be able to get used to the new WordPress administration panel. They really ought to create a lite version without too many of the bells and whistles that confuse the folks that don’t visit it and use it every day.