Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dumping my web host for free stuff

I'm at a crossroads with my personal domain, cmcdonald.com. I've had the domain since 2000, first publishing photos of my kids for the grandparents. Having our own email domain was cool, too. I've run the domain through Register.com and the hosting through Hostway.com since day one.

In 2004 I "graduated" from Adobe Go-Live to using Blogger to publish the latest family goings-on. I chose to publish those files to my Hostway server using FTP because it was the only way at the time to keep my domain. I've used that service quite a bit in past years, creating blogs on for church things, friend things, kids things, etc. Other than that, the hosting is really just convenient FTP space. Sure, I once tried to install Drupal, but quickly figured out I didn't have the time or inclination to deal with all that.

Now Blogger is doing away FTP service. You'd think I'd be up in arms, but I'm OK with it. I understand their logic, having had to support aging, resource-intensive systems long after they should've been retired. What makes it easy is Blogger says they will provide tools to help convert blogs to custom domains hosted on their servers. That totally works for me if it redirects traffic like they claim.

All this means is I *think* I can dump my $160/year hosting bill and basically move everything to Google. I have an Apps account for cmcdonald.com, though I originally bailed on it for email because my wife and I already have Google profile accounts tied to Picasa, Reader and other Google applications that are not a part of Apps.

But now I think I *do* want to move my email to Apps, and either a) bite the bullet and transfer all I can to the Apps account and just log out/in for services that aren't, or b) pull in cmcdonald.com to Apps and then pop/forward/imap email into my regular Google account. Thing is, I'm not quite sure what they will offer there ... I can't really find the exact answer in their documentation. Pulling other email INTO apps seems fine, it's pushing/pulling out that could be interesting.

So, in short, I'll:

* Move DNS from Hostway to Register, which is my registrar anyway.

* Send email to Google Apps for my domain.

* Move my blogs to Blogger hosted custom domains and maybe some blogspot.com.

* Use Dropbox for simple file transfer, which is an awesome service I've been using anyway. It allows me to share files across all my computers (Windows XP, Mac and Ubuntu Linux.)

1 comments:

Christian McDonald 3:32 PM  

A buddy was conversing with me through Buzz about his entry and made a pretty decent point about the merging of Goggle Apps and personal Gmail profiles and why *maybe* that won't happen:

I'm guessing they prevent this on purpose because Apps is primarily designed for companies & institutions---while Picasa, Blogger and YouTube are consumer applications that work with the standard consumer G-Mail log-in.

"The Apps account (sometimes integrated with a company's Single Sign-On) would belong to the worker's employer---and so that account would be closed-out when the employee resigned or got laid-off from their company or the student left their university.....so I think that's why when an Apps user goes to Picasa it asks them to log-in with their personal G-Mail account---or create one if they don't have one yet..."

That actually makes a sense to me.

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