Blacknight FTW!

July 9, 2008

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A couple of weeks ago I registered a couple of domains at Blacknight Solutions.  Some of my twitter buddies had talked scathingly about Hosting365 (which was down a lot at the time) and I’d seen various references to Blacknight over the last few weeks so thought I’d give them a go. All I need for now is a personal site, as I already have two business sites — one that’s been up and running for years, and one that’s waiting to be designed.  I should add that I’m a newbie, a total techno-numptie, and my existing site was designed, executed and entirely run by somebody else, so I hadn’t picked up any knowledge from that.

To cut a long story short, with immediate help from the good people at Twitter and Blacknight, I was up and running in no time. I had some initial problems with Blacknight and complained about them on Twitter, but within half an hour the sales manager had called to see how he could help: he had been prodded by a Twitterer who knows someone in Blacknight.  A follow-up phonecall to an indirect, non-phonecall complaint? That IS impressive.

Register365, on the other hand have been slow to resolve issues and some things are still not as I would like. Unfortunately some of my sites haven’t been with them long enough to transfer away, but I will move them when I can. As others have reported, their support system is permanently broken, though they do eventually answer emails.

So then it was time to install WordPress and get it running.  Twitterers were quick to step in with advice. Remember that at this point I’d never even heard of a  root directory so it was uphill all the way, and if there was any eye-rolling on their part they didn’t show it. :)

So thanks to these lovely chap & chapesses at Twitter and Blacknight, the first stages were sorted out very easily. Since Darragh Doyle asked for a low-down on what I did I thought I’d better oblige.

Having used Blacknight’s ‘Installatron’ and had a problem or two (with multiple uninstalls/reinstalls) before discovering that it’s not very popular, I had a go at installing WordPress manually. Since the “famous five minute installation” instructions include things like “create a dabatase” (eh?) there was a LOT of pouring over this:

The Blacknight tutorials were very helpful too, as were the tech gurus, and I figured out the file directory system, MySQL, FTP-ing and so forth. My first ever FTP worked! (FileZilla is great.) Thanks to the gurus I now know what file ownership and file permissions are (and, yes, a databse!). Instead of being exasperated and making me feel stupid, I felt like I’d really achieved something. I still have only a hazy grasp of some of it, but the mist is gradually clearing and I think I’ve moved up a rung on the geek ladder.

Onwards and upwards.

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