As people learn to drive, they get to a stage where they can do certain things, but while they are driving, they encounter things that they are not yet equipped to deal with.
So they are driving down the road, and everything is fine. But then they encounter a parked car, and there's something coming the other way. Generally, the way they try to deal with it is by steering to the left, when what they should be doing is slowing the car down. I often have to take control of the car in situations like this, to save my door mirrors.
And so it is with me and putting websites up.
There are certain things I can do comfortably. Other things are cropping up that are stretching me. If it's all going as it should be, I can just plod on and do what needs to be done. But when something isn't happening the way it should, I have to work out ways of sorting it out, rather than having those ways in place.
Tonight is a case in point. I've spent hours trying to get my FTP program to talk to the hosting site. Each time I tried to connect, it would try for a minute or two, then chuck out an error message. I tried all sorts of variations on passwords and hostnames and usernames to no avail. A closer examination of the error message seemed to show that the FTP program was connecting to the server, but that the server wasn't responding.
That couldn't be right, surely? I must have done something wrong somewhere. I downloaded filezilla and tried to use that, but I'm at the stalling when you drive off from the side of the road stage with it. Can't make head nor tail of it at the moment, frankly. I kept reading the email from the hosting site, and putting in the details it appeared to want, and continued to fail. I tried using the FTP thing in dreamweaver, and that reckoned the server was the problem too.
And so it was at this point that I went to the host site and checked the service status, and lo and behold! One of their servers is down.
Of course, it could be that the server that I'm trying to use (they have more than one) is fine, and I've bollocked things up in some way I haven't figured yet. Or it could be that the server is down, but that I've also done something wrong.
Update: I contacted customer services, and they got a solution to my inbox very quickly. My DNS settings were wrong, because of the arse about tit way I've gone about this. Normally people buy domain names and hosting at the same time. I bought a DNS management app because I wanted to host elsewhere, and that was pointing me to the wrong place.
So, http://www.paulsharpdriving.co.uk now leads to an actual website, although it's just a CSS template right now. I have a few more lessons today so I don't have time to do a lot of work on this at the moment, but later I will be able to really crack on with it hopefully :)