Web Host Siteground

I once heard a friend who owns a boat complain about the price of gas when he goes to Florida. I was sympathetic, but almost immediately replied, "Yeah, but you can't put a price on not getting stranded in the middle of the ocean."

You might believe a website builder that only provides a drag and drop site is getting over, but if you assign your own domain name to it (which, in order to be professional, is essential) the monthly fee could be about as much as that for a full fledged hosting account.

There are other posts offering opinions on hosted website builders, so I won't repeat them. Despite some advances in features, there are still a number of relevant crucial points.

If you've made the decision to be in full control of your resources; to have as much reasonable latitude in growing your business; in leveraging all the possibilities and cost efficiencies of online operations; to protect and maintain your online assets, then you'll want to consider Siteground web hosting.

Siteground hosting offers exceptional performance and security. It's one of the top hosting companies for WordPress. I chose it for this site and have remained for these reasons and because plans included a quality SSL certificate. At the time they were the only ones I found to offer this feature. They've continued to demonstrate innovation in their services as well as provide useful technical/business tips.

If you have 1 website the Starter Plan would be a great fit.

It's worth looking over.

I am an affiliate and will receive compensation for purchases. Thank you!

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The Site (Road) Not Taken

For many years I've strongly advocated for having as much control over your website as possible, as evidenced by
several posts in this blog. This perception has grown for the "committed technical novice" with many of the DIY products that have come along since I wrote "What A Website Can Do" in 2010.

But there are still limitations with website builders, not the least of which is the charge for the most basic
requirement, using your own domain; typically about as much as it costs for a hosting package complete with gigs of disk space.

However, let me say at the outset that I'm not as partisan against website builders as I was. They serve a purpose
of getting a presence on the net quickly, and some have a nice selection of templates.

But for a truly scalable and flexible long term solution, to name just a few advantages, there are better platforms.

As usual, knowledge pays.

I was recently contacted by a past client seeking help with their website, currently written in php. My first
contract with them, I implemented a WordPress site, upgrading from a website builder that allowed just 5 pages, addressing one problem of crowded content. A support plan was not negotiated. The WordPress site stayed up for a
while, then I noticed one day that it had switched to a website builder platform.

I don't know why it was decided to go back to a closed platform; I can only assume the WordPress admin dashboard
might have been intimidating (a situation that appears to be common among those who have yet to be convinced otherwise), or were overwhelmed by the nearly daily plugin update emailed notifications (updates which can be managed by -- say it with me -- a plugin).

Some years passed, during which I de-emphasized work for clients who decided to abandon provided solutions, feeling
it might create a negative perception.

Such was the case of the client I mentioned who now needed help updating content. As I said, when I'd last visited
their site it was using a website builder; now it was written in php (a scripting language that can generate html).
(When I learned this my first thought was '...but - but so is WordPress...?')

I agreed to provide an analysis which revealed a few things that went beyond their scope.

For example, I found pages where a tagline was rife with misspellings. I found text obscured by an image.

The template I use for detailing specs and tasks has space to show business rationale/advantages. I think it's important to be as explicit as possible in the hope that what is quoted is agreed to be fair and accurate. At least it helps.

That being said, ultimately the client determines what services they'll receive and the provider must decide if they are the right one to do so. It's not as if disclaimers can appear in mid-air like a holograph when work they may be credited with is viewed by the general public. Cost can be a primary driver, and it is up to all parties concerned what that cost, immediate and future, will be.

My Builderall Experience: Email Marketing

Builderall was eight years old in 2017 according to information I obtained in May of that year. Customer support
also said the size of their user base was > 100,000. I used to be a developer and one of the quickest lessons
I learned was that those who used systems I constructed or enhanced want them to be responsive, intuitive, and
accurate.

I appreciate the engineering skill that went into making Builderall (although I think some functionality
needs to perform more consistently) but there are "little" things that I think should have been addressed with
the first release. For example, setting a password on the email account. There is a static line of help below
the password prompt that tells you what the length of the password must be, but no more than that.

There's also a bar graph that will indicate the password strength.

So various formats are input, the password strength becomes green (i.e. passes), click a button (improperly labeled
in my opinion) and...nothing.

No error message. No sign that input was even acknowledged. With all of the testing I was doing, I don't recall
if it accepted a special character, but I'm almost certain it did not. Password strength still implies it should
have been accepted.

It only worked when I added a number.

Support confirmed they received the same results (and may have encountered it in other password setting contexts
since they said "they all seem that way").

This "little" thing actually has huge import when considering credibility of a system, particularly when a
subscription fee is being paid. And if someone is my subscriber and perceives this inconvenience...I can expect
a high volume of support tickets.

The email address set in "reply to" (verified according to Builderall criteria) must receive messages and be
accessed for correspondence.

I elected to use the internal mail manager Mailingboss, although other tools are permitted such as Mailchimp.

One anomaly encountered was an embedded link in a subscription confirmation email that didn't get formatted properly
even though it worked in previous tests, leading to a 404 error.

I began to feel as if I'd have to constantly record my activities to convince those occasional respondents who
merely replied "it worked for me."

I saw many complaints that emails were getting delivered to spam folders even though domains were verified.
Support provided extensive guidance on email etiquette and best practices, somewhat countering the admonition in
one of the tutorial videos to ensure domain is verified.

(As an aside, I am extremely impressed with the number of tutorial videos that have been generated. The ones in
the dashboard Knowledge Base have been supplemented by a slew of others independently produced on Youtube. Some
became obsolete needing revision. It became abundantly clear that one needs to consume the entire set of these
short tutorials to get as complete an understanding as possible of a feature.)

There are status indicators for subscribers such as "disabled" which I still have no idea how they aid
automation of administration. I was able to send a subscription invitation to a test account with this status
and able to register it. Similarly this account could register for a free trial. There is a provision for setting
certain types of automation rules, one of which checks custom field values. But associated custom fields did not
get changed from "N" to "Y".

While I was unable to fully conclude that assigning multiple values for a custom field -- while allowed --
render a false test for one or the other value to enforce the rule, the testing I was able to complete seems to
lead to this outcome.

My perception is a significant amount of manual intervention is required.

The mail servers were changed/upgraded some months after I began my membership, evidence that Builderall is
sincere in their mission to be "the greatest marketing platform on the planet." It's only a question of one's
ability to fund that mission.