Guide to Setting Up Your Own Website
You’ve finally decided to put up your own site on the Internet, but have absolutely no idea how to go about it. Scared? Intimidated? Don’t be. After all, you really don’t need to be a rocket scientist to do so.
Creating a website involves four simple steps. We can call this the 4Ds: Domain, Design, Decide and Deploy.
Step 1. Get a Domain name.
This is a crucial step. Just as you can’t go through life without a name, you also can’t put up a website without a domain name. But what exactly is a domain name?
Webopedia.com defines it simply as a ‘name that identifies one or more IP addresses and is used in URLs to identify particular Web pages.’ And because it ‘identifies’ your website, it is important that you choose a good one. There are three things that you need to keep in mind when making your choice.
It should be short (because you want people to remember it). It should be relevant (to your site). And (this is very important if you don’t want legal hassles later on) it should not contain any trademarked terms or phrases. Some examples of more popular domain names are www.google.com, www.yahoo.com and www.microsoft.com.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, you then need to have it registered. You do this by using the services of an ICANN-certified domain name registrar, a list of which is provided at InterNIC.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of this process yourself, there are many web hosts that will do so for you (either included in their hosting plans as a free service, or for a modest price). You need to make sure though, that the domain name the web host gives you is ‘portable’ (read: you can continue using it even if you change hosts later on)1.
Step 2. Design your site
No matter what your budget is, or what web programming skills you do (or don’t) have, there is an option available for you.
If you’re on a tight budget, have some web design experience and don’t mind spending some time on a project, then software programs such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, DIY Web Kit and Microsoft FrontPage may be for you. These programs offer pre-designed templates you can add content to and have features that allow you to design, edit and preview, as well as enable you to add simple dynamic elements (ex. forms and search boxes) to your pages.
If you’re in hurry and are willing to shell out a bit more money for your site, turn-key site creation services, like J&K Enterprises, E Biz Network, and ReadyWebsites.com, may be your best option. You simply choose from their array of layout and graphics options, enter your text, add a dynamic element here and there through an easy-to-use interface, and voila! You have an instant personal or professional web site.
But if you’re an insanely rich fellow or just someone who’s willing to spend mucho dinero for your site, then a professional web design firm is for you. Although more expensive, you’ll have more flexibility and will probably come up with a more distinct look for your site. You can also add more complex dynamic elements to your website(s) as well.
Some questions to consider before making your choice, though:
- Do I like their previous work? (look through their portfolio)
- Were their clients satisfied? (repeat clients, referrals, client list)
- How about the company’s background? (history, designers etc.) and,
- Do I get all the rights to the completed site?
Tip: A number of scripts that perform common tasks on the web are available for free online. Simply key-in what you need on Google or other search engines.
Step 3. Decide on your choice of: hosting type, web host and of course, web hosting plan.
There are a variety of web hosting setups available, depending on your budget and the type of web site you want to put up. The most common ones are shared hosting, dedicated hosting and co-location. Information on these types, as well as others, is provided on our hosting type page.
After you’ve decided on a hosting type, search for companies that offer that service. (This will probably yield hundreds of returns.)
Once you’ve cut down your list to a reasonable number, it is now time to start going through their plans. The sheer number of web hosting plans available might be overwhelming, but a good way to narrow down the list is to pay attention to your needs.
But what exactly do you need to run a website?
Now that you have your own checklist of requirements, what’s next? Well, you simply match them to the plans available. But what if you’re still left with a substantial list to choose from? Then compare and evaluate the plans. How?
Before we go to the last step, we need to recap.
After the first step (selection and registration of your Domain name), you should have already created a name server account.
After the second step (site Design), you should already have web pages that are ready for upload.
And with the third step (Decisions, decisions), you should have already signed up with a web host, paid for your chosen hosting plan and received a confirmation email containing that oh-so-important name server(s) and other information needed to view and manage your site.
The final step would then be:
Step 4. Deploy your site.
How do you do this?
You need to login to your account first (from the first D) and change your domain’s name server to that received in the email (fourth D). It usually takes about 48 hours for these changes be propagated across the Internet. Meanwhile, you can upload all your site’s files (HTML, graphics, programming) to the hosting account, either though an FTP client, a web page editor or the control panel of your site.
Article from http://www.hostingvoice.com/
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