With so many new startups being launched/ideated by fellow courageous (or foolish, it depends on how you look at it) entrepreneurs in India, I thought, it might be a good time to share some frugal ways to jump start your venture. I am not going to talk about writing business plans, team formation, raising money etc. What I am going to talk about are the tech pieces you need to get in place after you’ve decided to bring your idea to fruition.
Right off the bat you’ll need to start thinking about getting your domain name, hosting and running your website, email accounts for your team, wiki, blog, source control etc. It can be quite mind baffling to even get started, not to mention the time and money involved in getting these things up and running.
I am a huge believer in open source technologies and generally believe it is beneficial to stand on the shoulders of giants. There is no point re-inventing the wheel, so most of the technologies that I recommend/use are open-source and are available freely for use.
You are forewarned that this (and subsequently related) posts need a high tech quotient. So let’s get started without further ado.
When booking your domain, try to get it from a reliable, cheap and no-hassle source. I’ve booked several dozen domain names from GoDaddy.com and they fit the above criteria perfectly. Godaddy.com allows you to setup custom nameservers (I’ll tell you why this is required later in the post). Godaddy charges around $9 for a “.com” domain. If you are serious about your business then book the domain for atleast 3 years. Google uses the duration of your booking as one of the parameters to rank your site. So it helps with SEO.
Again, I’d recommend going for someone who is cheap, reliable and provides high uptime (uptime is the measure of how long your servers are available to your users. 99.99% uptime translates to a total downtime of approximately fifty two minutes per year). That’s damn good for most of sites.
Start out with a shared server, which is cheaper than say a dedicated server. The shared server should be good enough for your plain vanilla “coming soon” website. You can later switch to a dedicated server once you are closer to launching your product. Shared hosting should cost around $19/month. Dedicated servers go for about $100 – $200 per month. With a dedicated machine the hosting provider leases the entire server to you, while in a virtual setup you share the machine with other users.
In part II of this post, we’ll cover setting up email accounts for your team. Subsequent posts will cover setting up the wiki, blog, issue tracking etc.