When Emily was born I purchased a domain in her name. I never really had a plan of what to do with it but I thought it would be worth securing so she could use it one day. Emily has since grown up around technology. Although she knows how to use computers, tablets, phones, and just about any other piece of consumer technology, she really doesn’t have a concept of how this stuff works. Two weeks ago I decided it was time to start showing her how to create an online presence.
We first setup a trial website on Squarespace.com. I have heard the ads for this service for years on various podcasts I listen to and it seemed a great moment to give the site a try. It wasn’t nearly as new user friendly as I had been expecting. The DNS setup was more involved than Emily could understand but I tried to teach her the basics of how websites end up being displayed to the user. I don’t think I did a very good job but I hope she got some of the basics. Then, Emily tried setting up a site under the Squarespace account. It went OK but overall she found it frustrating and very unclear on how to lay things out and quickly lost interest.
Sunday I decided to switch gears and got a traditional hosting package from A Small Orange. This host was suggested to me recently and I thought I would give it a try. The basic account setup went fine but finding the FTP information and DNS settings was a little less obvious than I would have hoped. I wanted to show her how setting up a hosting package and then uploading and configuring WordPress worked but she lost interest quickly. I chose to give her a break while I did the basic WordPress setup for her. Once that was installed showing her the dashboard went quickly and it seemed much more understandable to her than the Squarespace system. She chose a theme, created an “About” page and then a quick first post and it was time for bed. I am really planning on encouraging her to work and post on the site because I think getting solid exposure to web technology outside of the basic things like Facebook, Yourtube and Twitter will be valuable in the future. It will also be good for her to see that there are many ways to get her creative work out into the world.
If you want to follow this process her website is www.emilynicolemoore.com. There isn’t much there yet but with luck and a bit of work she can make it her own.