The truth is that I still very much see Everyday Linux User as a hobby. It isn’t a job and I am not actively trying to make money by doing it. I find the Blogger interface easy to use and the spam filters work quite well. I tried using WordPress a while back and it became quickly apparent that with more power came more responsibility as I spent more time trying to keep WordPress from being bombed by spammers than actually writing.
People more serious about their work use WordPress because it supposedly has 1000s of plugins and is far more powerful than the Blogger style interface provided by Google.
Whilst web sites are built on technologies such as HTML, CSS, PHP, AJAX and .NET, most bloggers and small business owners don’t really care because with the adoption of site builders and blogging platforms you don’t need to have any coding experience to create a website.
Obviously big companies still use web developers and software developers to create bespoke websites and software but your average hairdressers and driving instructors are quite happy with a point and click template builder where they can set up a logo, add a few images and accompany the images with text about their business.
People wanting to sell products can use off the shelf shopping carts and there are loads of add-ons for creating polls, charts, chat rooms and photo galleries.
Everyday Linux User wasn’t my first foray into doing stuff on the web. I had a web site about 10 years ago called “Easy Web Page Design”. I won’t post the link because I can’t guarantee the content that is on there anymore but you can still find it on the wayback machine.
The site Easy Web Page Design did really well for a while especially when MySpace became a big thing and everybody wanted to learn how to customise their MySpace profiles.
You can still find some of the tools and scripts that I gave away for free at hotscripts.com. For instance there was the JS Menu Maker which was used to generate CSS sliding menus. Remember there was no JQuery at the time. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend using any of the tools I created back then now because time has moved on and things change.
At the time that I created Easy Web Page Design I used Linux web hosting for various reasons and the main one was of course price. Other reasons included the support for PHP and MySQL which generally wasn’t provided with web hosts selling Windows hosting.
The cost of Windows hosting back then was extremely prohibitive because not only did you have to pay for the cost of hosting but the database options were very limited. In many cases you had to use Microsoft Access unless you could afford to pay for Microsoft SQL Server hosting.
If you want to get a website up and running very quickly and you just need to use a shared web host (which is basically a virtual server running 100s or sometimes 1000s of websites on it) with a site builder or WordPress pre-installed then there are literally hundreds or maybe even thousands of web hosts available.
There are loads of adverts on television and on the web for sites such as Godaddy, Host Gator and 1-and-1 hosting where they show point and click web site creation at incredibly low prices and quite often they will throw in a free domain name.
What is clear is that each of these web hosts prefer to sell Linux based web hosting. I looked at http://www.top10bestwebsitehosting.com/ which is a web hosting comparison site and clicked on each of the links.
Most of the hosts don’t even bother telling you it is Linux hosting they are selling and very few offer Windows hosting at all and if they do you get a lot less for your money.
For web hosts, Linux is heaven. They provide a bit of disk space and bandwidth and the rest of the tools that they provide are available to them for nothing, yet make them look like they are giving you everything.
For instance web.com boast that their hosting gives you PERL, Python, PHP, MySQL, WordPress, Ruby On Rails, Drupal and Joomla. (Wow, do people still use Joomla? I remember creating sites for Dressage Scotland and British Riding Clubs using Joomla over 10 years ago). What price do web.com offer for this service? Less than $1 a month.
Linux makes it possible for small businesses, entrepreneurs and bloggers to take a punt on a domain name and cheap hosting. Basically if you have an idea you can test it first using one of the cheap web hosts first and if it takes off scale up to dedicated servers.
Obviously there is an issue that many of the cheap web hosts offer the world’s best service at the world’s lowest price yet many fail to deliver. In addition because web hosting is so cheap scammers can quickly spin up a dodgy shop front and steal from thousands of people and shut the site down again before anyone has noticed.
The only real solution to this is to use comparison sites for comparing prices and user reviews and to search for bad reviews of the companies listed, using Google or on Youtube. When people have had a bad experience they aren’t frightened to let the world know.
Thankyou for reading