When a Simple Article Becomes a Monster

I love to write. This is a good thing considering I write a lot, for several different things. However, like a lot of people, I will occasionally find myself writing much more than I originally intended. My topic might relate to other ideas or may possibly have core concepts that can be branched out on even further. This becomes a problem when what I’m writing takes on a life of it’s own and becomes a monster.

Just a few moments ago I was writing an article for Webmaster Notebook entitled “Understanding Shared Web Hosting”. The article is intended to be a generalized view of what to expect out of shared web hosting. I wrote about the same topic a little more conservatively back in 2012 for my web design and development company, so it seemed fitting to revisit the topic here and flesh it out even further for beginning webmasters and site owners.

As I got through a few paragraphs, I found myself writing quite easily. By page 3 (according to Google Docs), I found that I may have ventured further into life of shared web hosting than I wanted to. I started backing up, pulling apart different ideas and separating them into their own articles. It was during that time, somewhere around the part I discuss the true nature of Unlimited storage and bandwidth, that I had the idea for this article.

Make a wireframe for your writing

Back when I was teaching a student from Asheboro High School how to create web site mockups, I explained to her the importance of wireframes. A wireframe in this respect is a very basic idea of what a website will look like. It’s often a sketch of where specific elements will go. This allows the web designer to have a good grasp of what the site will look like before they actually start designing.

When you start writing, it’s a good idea to work from a wireframe. Pull out a list of specific parts of the topic you want to cover. As your list grows, you will inevitably find that there is a lot which can be removed and written independently. Move those ideas to the side and try to stick to a short, concise group of ideas which you can focus on. This will prevent your writing from straying too far into different ideas and leaving your reader bored, overloaded or simply lost.

A wireframe for your writing doesn’t have to be overly complex. Try to keep things simple. Even though my article about shared web hosting is a topic that can be very complex, it doesn’t have to be. After all, the target audience of this site has always been those who just beginning, those who want to learn the basics. Making it too complicated would destroy the reason it exists.

Follow your rules, remove the excess and use it to build more

Your wireframe should be easy to understand, stick to the core concept and allow little room for deviation. If you do this, it will help you stick to a much more clear path.

When you find yourself writing more than you intend to, take that writing and store it somewhere else. Revisit the parts you remove and explore the possibility of turning some of that excess into additional writing, perhaps as a follow up or supportive to the original article.

The more information you can provide, the better. Just remember that you don’t have to put it all in the same article.

Resize and Compress Your Images

A common mistake by beginner webmasters comes from the use of images. Too often have I come across a website that uses photos that are physically huge but display much smaller. This is done by using a large image as the source file and then setting the height and width to be a fraction of the size.

I primarily see this happen with photos that have come direct from a camera without being resized or compressed. Most digital cameras and smart phones take photos at file sizes and dimensions that do not belong on a website. I’m talking about pictures that are three or more times the size of your screen and upwards of 10 megabytes. A photo like that does not belong on a webpage with other content.

Why you should resize and compress your photos

You may be wondering why you should bother resizing the image. After all, you may want to show the big version to your visitors.

The reason you should resize and compress your images is because loading a massive image on your page is going to take time. Though it may only be a few seconds, seconds on the web can mean the difference between a visitor sticking around and leaving. The images will load slowly, and if you are showing more than one of these large images on the same page, you’re only causing your visitors to get annoyed with the lack of speed.

Another issue with using these oversized images is bandwidth consumption. The larger the file, the more bandwidth you are going to use. For some hosting accounts, bandwidth may be limited. Reduction in file size can keep your bandwidth costs down.

Resize Your Images

There are many tools that you can use to resize your images, both commercial and free. One great free resource is Picresize.com. Upload your photo to the site and set the dimensions you would like. Set only the width and the image will resize the height appropriately. You can even set an effect to apply to your photo. There is no required registration and the whole process can be finished in under a minute.

Compress your files

Yahoo! provides a tool called Smush.it which can reduce the weight of your photos. It applies file compression to bring your photo down to a smaller file size without not much noticeable visual difference. Simply upload your photo and Smush.it does the rest. Like Picresize.com, Smush.it does not require registration to use.

Make your visitors happier by resizing and compressing your photos. It will speed up the loading of your site and reduce the amount of bandwidth you use.

Transfer a domain from Godaddy to Namecheap

If you’re someone who is looking to jump ship from Godaddy, you may want to take a look at Namecheap. An ICANN-accredited domain registrar, Namecheap offers fantastic prices on domain names. If you would like to transfer a domain name from Godaddy to Namecheap, follow these instructions.

Godaddy – Step 1
Log into your account at Godaddy and shut off the domain lock and privacy option (if enabled).

Namecheap – Step 2
Go to Namecheap and transfer your domain.

Godaddy – Step 3
Send your EPP code (Authorization Code). This is often listed at the bottom of the page that shows your Domain Details. It will send to the email address on file in your contact information for the domain name.

Namecheap – Step 4
Go to the Transfers page. Click the domain name and enter the EPP code from the Godaddy email. Wait for the transfer email from Enom. This can sometimes take 30 minutes or more. When it arrives, click the link in the email and approve the request on the form it provides. Wait again.

Godaddy – Step 5
An email will arrive from Godaddy, indicating your request to transfer. Instead of waiting for the automatic transfer, go to the Transfers page in your Godaddy account by clicking Domains in the top navigation and then Transfers. Click on Pending Transfers, then Accept/Decline. Accept the transfer. Wait for another set of emails.

Godaddy will send an email alerting you that they are transferring the domain. You will also get one from Namecheap when they have received the domain. When this happens, double check your domain at Namecheap to be sure the contact information and DNS information has transferred correctly.

That’s all! This gets you over to Namecheap and out from under Godaddy. Right now (10/11/14), Namecheap is providing free Whois Protection for the first year for any domain transferred to them. You can also use a coupon to drop the prices of the domain further.

For the current Namecheap coupons, visit this page: https://www.namecheap.com/promos/coupons.aspx