… what would you do differently? What would you avoid? What would you design in from the start?

Admin's comments about his website infrastructure (http://www.hawaiithreads.com/showpos...6&postcount=49) have given me food for thought.

I'm getting ready to publish a book for military veterans on financial independence & retirement. I spent my career blowing things up with the Navy's submarine service, but I have a 20-year-old computer degree and can probably fumble through creating a website. I'm conversant with programming and the Internet but I haven't bothered to do anything with servers or websites. I know TCP/IP and the infrastructure and programming techniques and a little about the newer languages. I can learn what I need to learn, build it, troubleshoot it, and tinker with it-- but I don't really care to spend much time on it. I'd rather drive the car than change the head gasket or tweak the valve timing. I can do my own maintenance but I'm happy to pay for a good mechanic.

I'm enamored of the apparent benefits of going with Google. I already have an account there for e-mail, alerts, and making payments to online merchants. It probably wouldn't be much effort to keep piling more onto that. It looks like I can keep it dumbed down or, if I wanted to, tweak some of the features.

For starters I think I'd want:
- no-fuss hosting, backup, & bandwidth-- for which I'm willing to pay a little
- marketing the book with text & images on a couple of pages
- storing files for downloads (sample chapters, appendices)
- linking to other sites like the publisher or recommended info/products
- sparse, clean, fast
- http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/ is about as fancy as I'd go.

Later I'd want to expand to:
- advertising (Adsense)
- some blogging
- e-commerce-- if I self-publish, I'd want to do the selling & downloading from the site
- drop-shipping paperback copies to APO/FPO addresses?

One advantage of a publisher is that I think I'd quickly get tired of clicking on website order-fulfillment buttons, stuffing envelopes, and arranging for mail pickup. I don't even much care for putting ads up on Craigslist, let alone eBay. But if Google can automatically handle most of that while I'm out surfing then I'm willing to pay for the convenience.

Anything else I want to consider?