It has been a long hard slog, but it is DONE! I’m talking about this website, HayleStorm Interactive.
After almost a year of mental planning, this site was actually begun about 6 months ago. After a lot of offline construction work the first content, a post titled Whew! Almost done! was posted on November 15, 2011. Even then, after a couple of months of behind the scenes work we weren’t ready for Prime Time. The site was visible…it could be found if you looked hard enough…but except for a few folks whose opinion I trusted to keep HSI on the right track nobody knew about it, and that was a good thing.
When I added that first post I thought I had about two weeks to a month to go until I felt comfortable that HayleStorm Interactive would have anything of value to offer and that I could call it “launched”.
Oh well…so much for a month.
Or three, for that matter.
But the day is finally here! After almost exactly four months of birthing pains, HayleStorm Interactive is finally born…and “birth”days usually involve parties and presents and such. With that in mind, I have a present for you folks, and I’m not handing out cigars.
Over and over I hear friends and visitors to one or the other of my blogs talk about starting a blog or an information driven website. and most of the time talking about it is as far as they get. When I ask them why they haven’t started their blog yet I hear a variety of excuses, but they all usually boil down to one main reason:
They don’t have a clue where to start.
I am going to take away that excuse by giving you a gift on HayleStorm Interactive’s “birth”day, but it doesn’t expire at midnight.
When you get your domain and set up a hosting account…ANY hosting account…with HostGator web hosting through my affiliate link here, I will install WordPress on your server at HostGator. For free!
In addition to installing the WordPress CMS (Content Management System), I will install and activate the following 7 plugins that I feel are the most important for a new blogger to have on their site:
- Akismet – Akismet is so important it comes bundled with WordPress, but I will activate it along with the other six.
- All in One SEO Pack – SEO, or Search Engine Optimaztion, is very important to help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others in finding your blog, which is important to help potential visitors find it. This plugin automates many SEO functions.
- Jetpack from WordPress.com – Jetpack performs the function of 6 separate plugins while you only have to keep up with one. It shows you statistics for your blog, easily adds social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) linking to your site, acts as your editor, proofreading and checking for spelling and grammer errors, and more…with even more features added with each (free) upgrade to it.
- Google XML Sitemaps – A sitemap, like SEO, is critical to making a blog easily findable by search engines, and this is the top sitemap plugin.
- Broken Link Checker – Links from your site to others help your blogs “ranking” with search engines, but broken links (ones that do not work, as to a site or article that no longer exists) do the opposite, and this plugin notifies you when one of your links “breaks”.
- CommentLuv – Comments to your posts are, if not the first then a close second, a way to drive visitors to your site. They show activity on your site even between your adding posts (which search engines see as one item that makes your site “good”). The CommentLuv plugin is one of the most effective (and easiest) tools you can use to bring comments to your site…a VERY good thing.
- WP Super Cache – Without digging too far into the weeds, effective caching speeds up your site “loading” time. In other words, it makes your site show up faster on a visitor’s monitor. WP Super Cache is simply the most effective caching plugin available.
“There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
Yes there is. Really!
You simply have to purchase a new web hosting account From HostGator through my and I will install WordPress and the above plugins for free…period. No hidden fees, no “got’chas, nothing else. HostGator actually pays me to do this for you. Paying someone to install WordPress and the plugins would cost you $50, $100, or more, but by using this free service you get it done and HostGator picks up the tab.
“Like I said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Let me explain how and why there is no catch.
When I started blogging I didn’t know squat about how to choose a web hosting company, and without naming names (my lawyer says naming names is a no-no and a very bad idea, but oh my…I sure would like to) I paid attention to their expensive advertising and wound up with a really REALLY REALLY bad company with bad service and worse support.
I started looking for a different…and good…company.
As a result my other websites, and , are hosted by HostGator. They do a fantastic job and their support is not only great, but the support people actually speak human, not Geek-lish. Because of that I decided to become an affiliate advertiser for them, and as you can see from my advertising policy here, while I do make money from my advertisers I don’t advertise ANYTHING I don’t use myself and believe in AND I USE AND HEARTILY ENDORSE HOSTGATOR.
When you purchase hosting from HostGator through this site’s affiliate links they pay me a small commission which allows me to offer this service at no cost to you. So yes, you are right, there is no such thing as a free lunch…but lunch is on HostGator!
There is more.
By signing up with HostGator through the HayleStorm Interactive site’s link, , you will save 25% off the price you would pay if you just went straight to the HostGator website. Simply click on any of the links to HostGator and you will save 25% on your hosting. (Just in case, to make sure you get the discount, if you are asked anywhere in the signup process for a coupon code use the code HayleStormHG
“I’m a bit slow today. Will you give me the step-by-step instructions to get my HostGator hosting at a 25% discount AND get WordPress and the plugins installed for free?”
Of course! Do the following steps:
- Order a web hosting plan (and domain name if you don’t have one) by clicking on any of the HostGator links on this page. Be sure to use the coupon code HayleStormHG (They are all of the red text, ).
- HostGator will email you your login information for your hosting account. Forward that e-mail information to me at support[at]haylestorm.net
- I will install WordPress on your HostGator hosting account and install and activate the plugins I told you about a few paragraphs back.
- I will e-mail you back when your WordPress and plugins are installed within 48 hours (Usually, but not always, including weekends and holidays. I sometimes take a weekend off.)
- The e-mail I send you will contain the login information for your WordPres installation (It is different that your HostGator login info and set when I install WordPress.)
- The e-mail I send will include instructions on how to change your password for your WordPress so no one, not even the guy who set it up for you (ME!) can access your site’s controls.
- LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Start blogging!
When you have e-mailed me that you have received your login information I will destroy/delete/trash the HostGator email you forwarded to me so I could access your hosting account to install your WordPress and plugins.
“I said I was greedy. Is there more?”
OK…here’s just a bit more, but it’s from HostGator, not me. With every new HostGator web hosting account, HostGator will give you $100 of Google AdWords credit to use to promote your blog.
So, here is the elevator version:
HostGator web hosting at a 25% discount. Free WordPress and 7 plugin installation. $100 in Google AdWords credit.
Life…or at least blogging, just doesn’t get any better.
So…I took your last excuse away. Get on over to HostGator and start blogging!