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Day 3-Setting up Hosting and Analytics

October 14, 2011

Day 3 of my Louisville real estate journey.

Setting up Hosting

The next step for me was setting up hosting for my new domain name. You could just host the site where you registered it. There are many registrars that make great hosts too- Host Gator and Godaddy are two of the big ones. Any of these hosts are fine for a beginner, but when you require more personalized support, and finer control of your web hosting environment, I recommend Hard Hat Hosting

You see I build all my sites using the LAMP stack, which stands for Linux, Apache, Mysql, and PHP. These are the applications that I run on my web server. Hosting the server with Hard Hat lets me worry about the software and they take care of the hardware. It also means I get near full control of all my server applications, and what versions I am running. I think most people will be just fine leaving their site hosted at one of the big providers I mentioned above.

Host Locally

Picture of sidewalk in Louisville with the words Buy Local

Photo by Steve Rhodes

I am not following this advice…yet. I think you should host your server locally whenever possible. My reason for this is twofold:

  1. I think you should always buy local whenever you can. Support your local economy and you support yourself. http://www.keeplouisvilleweird.com/ :)
  2. Your IP and physical location will be local and therefore content delivery will be faster.

Google does see your server’s IP and knows it’s location, how much weight they put on that I have no idea. But I don’t think it is too far a stretch to think that some weight is placed on server location, either now or in the future. When your site is downloaded to a user’s browser, the number of routers placed between you and them slows things down. So if your market is local like mine, then you want your local users to have the most direct route possible to your server. This philosophy assumes that all other considerations are equal between the local host you choose and the out of state host you have now. Here in Louisville I am lucky to have Hosting.com, and I am planning on talking with them soon.

Putting up a placeholder

So I pointed my domain name from 1and1 to my server at Hard Hat. Then I created a hosting account for the new domain. Next I fired up my handy text editor (I use Notepad++) and typed out this temporary page.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
</head>

<body>
<h1>House in Louisville</h1>
<p>Welcome to <b>house in louisville</b>, soon to be louisville's center for home shopping.</p>
<p>We will be providing services to the Louisville and Southern Indiana areas. The site is brand new, so we don't have much to offer yet. Thank you so much for stopping by, we will be providing great service to louisville home buyers and sellers soon!</p>
<h2>Resources for buying a home</h2>
<p>Until we get our act together, check out the current #1 place for home buying info in Louisville.<a href="http://louisvillerealtors.com">Greater Louisville Association of Realtors</a></p>
<p>Thanks for Visiting! Be sure to check back soon, we've got plans, Big Plans!</p>
</body>
</html>

Hah! You didn’t know you were going to learn code on this journey… :-).

This code is all my website consists of at the moment. I just want a placeholder for now. I need a place to setup my google analytics. As you know my entire strategy for success is going to be based on the internet, and the most important thing I could do right now is start tracking my site.

Setting Up Google Analytics

Fake Google Local Logo

Image by Michael White

Setting Google Analytics up is easy as pie. If you don’t have an account, create one. Then grab your code and paste it in between your head tags. Mine looks like this:

<script type="text/javascript">

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-26213451-2']);
  _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
  })();

</script>

What this little snippet does is send everything about your sites visitors back to google. You need to have your code on every page of your site. You can’t just use this code above, you need to get yours from your analytics account. Once it is in place, we will see results in just 24 hours.

Next steps

The site is setup, and we have our analytics in place. But no one knows it even exists. There is not one link on the internet that leads to it, and Google has no way to find it. Tomorrow I will explain how I got the site picked up by Google. Thanks for reading, and remember to comment!

About Me

Michael Lewis White is an aspiring Realtor based in Louisville Ky. He blogs regularly about his city and his passions.
You can find out more and follow him at:
Twitter – http://twitter.com/houselouisville – Where I tweet like a bird.
Squidoo- http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/Michael_Lewis_White – Read my informative lenses on Squidoo.
And always http://www.houseinlouisville.com.

One Comment
  1. Remember I love to hear from my readers. If you want more explanation or detail, just ask!

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