The Shell Answer Man

A list, in no particular order of frequently asked questions.

  • Why do you not allow comments on your posts? – Because, while early in my history of writing blogs, there was often a lively back and forth on posts. This greatly enhanced the experience, and improved the exchange of knowledge. However, with the rise of social media (twitter, facebook, etc), that has changed with fewer people bothering to comment and interact, and since I plan to blog occasionally about politics, I really have no patience for the likelihood of trollish behaviors that seems to dominate. Screw that.
  • Who is that guy in the picture?  – He is the Shell Answer Man. An advertising campaign in the 1980’s featured the Shell Answer Man who answered common questions that motorists might have. It became a joke when someone asked a ridiculous question, “What, do I look like the Shell Answer Man?”
  • What other websites do you run? – Well, my longest running property is tralfaz.org, and this one, tralfaz.com. I run wordsbybarbara.com for my wife, and Home2Baja for a friend to help him market his property near San Filipe, in Baja California. Then there is my professional site The Product Bistro. I have a couple of staging sites, that I won’t list.
  • You seem super-smart, what web hosting do you recommend? – If you are a true novice, I would recommend just going to WordPress.com, and get their first paid tier. That will get you a solid WordPress site, and professional maintenance of it. You really can’t mess that up. I recommend the paid tier to avoid WordPress.com from placing ads to help offset their costs.If you want more flexibility, and are willing to assume the risk of screwing it up, the next step is a managed hosting provider. There are plenty of them, hostgator, dreamhost, Media Temple, GoDaddy and others. They will get you up and running pretty quickly, and their support is used to dealing with users who aren’t too sophisticated. At the top of the list is VPS, or virtual private server. This gives you an amazing amount of flexibility, and you can even sublet, and sell services. Many consultants will use these services to run and manage their clients sites. But this isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to have knowledge of the linux operating system, and some sysadmin skills. Also, if you break it, you own it. Support can help fix major things, but if you do an rm -rf /*, you are screwed.So, the real answer is, “it depends”
  • I want a website, what should I use? – That’s easy. WordPress. It just works, it is well supported, there are tons of plugins and themes, and even a rank beginner can be up and running with it in virtually no time.

I will add to this at time goes on. Stay tuned!