Sometimes I really hate the internet. What happened to the good old days when I used to make plain-text web pages in pico and read webpages using Lynx? Rahul has been bugging me for a while to set up my own site, which seemed like a good idea, but I spent ages yesterday looking through hosting plans and trying to buy a domain name (featherandfan.com; I finally managed, though GoDaddy’s site is the busiest, most hideous piece of garbage I’ve seen in a long time).

I do like using WordPress, so I’m thinking of switching to a self-hosted installation of WordPress. Does anyone have words of advice for me, or recommendations for a good web host? I have no idea how many GB of bandwidth I use or how much storage I would need–since my photos are hosted on Flickr, I assume not that much, but maybe I’m overlooking something here. And what about backups? I don’t like the idea of having to back things up manually.

I want:

  • no setup fee
  • short contract period or monthly billing (since I don’t know what tier of hosting I need, and would like a trial period with any provider to see if I like working with them)
  • cheap rates, preferably under $10 a month
  • clean, easy-to-use interface (for example, I loved the site design of asmallorange.com, recommended on Ravelry by HelloYarn, but it seems like you they don’t give you as much for your money as other hosts)
  • reliable

Rahul hosts stuff on nearlyfreespeech.net, but they have a weird pay-as-you-go system and I would prefer for my site not to go down if someone links to me and I run out of bandwidth money in my account. Maybe this is not a big risk, really, but it seems like they’re more catering to people with small sites that don’t get a lot of regular visitors. I don’t get a ton of regular visitors (yet! hope springs eternal) but would like to, so having to refill my account balance all the time seems like a hassle…

Also, PayPal. Ugh. I don’t know if I should upgrade my account to Premier right now or not. I probably will have to eventually, but my year ends in June, apparently, so I can receive 5 more credit card payments before then. How am I supposed to know if it would come out better for me financially to upgrade now or later? I have to guess how many credit card payments I’ll be getting between now and June and in what ratio to funded payments?

Stupid internets.

Here are some things that make me happy, though, in the interest of keeping things positive or at least neutral, on balance.

  • Kroger’s house brand of organic ketchup. Way better than any other ketchup I’ve ever tried. (This Malcolm Gladwell article has some really interesting things to say about ketchup, by the way.)
  • A new cafe in Bloomington called The Pour House. All proceeds and tips go to charity. It’s right on Kirkwood, across from the library, and has a fireplace, couches, wi-fi, and is generally clean, well-lit, and comfortable.
  • This new reversible scarf pattern I’m working on, tentatively called The Water Is Wide, knit up in Malabrigo Silky Merino in Indiecita. The colors look kind of weird in these photos, but it’s really quite pretty–lavender, slate blue, teal, pale yellow, rose, mint green, all mixed together, but with similar color values, so the yarn doesn’t read as too variegated or blotchy. I don’t know if I’ll have enough yarn to make this scarf decent-sized, actually–I have 300 yards, but the pattern is kind of a yarn eater.
    I really didn’t mean to cast on for a new project, but inspiration struck while I was in the shower and I ended up making a couple of swatches. I can’t decide what other yarn to knit it up in–I kind of want to do Patons SWS in Natural Denim, but I also kind of feel like I should use something I already have in my stash.

    • One side of the scarf
    • The other side (I think it will look better once it’s blocked)
  • Hulu. I’ve been addicted to Bones, in particular. I just wish they would buffer content when you have the video paused, since my internet connection sucks sometimes and it makes it choppy as hell to watch.
  • Tiny baby tortoises!

Also, final note. someone on Ravelry wanted to know what Prickle looks like from behind. Here it is, in case you were wondering too:

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