> Quick Start
Quick Start Guide
to getting a website Published
As a quick start, there are three main things you need to get a website:
- Domain Name
- Web Design
- Web Hosting
The domain name is your identity
online - as long as you keep renewing it, no one else can claim to have it. For more information, we have a more detailed domain information page
to help you understand how domains work.
You will need a web design so that people can navigate your website. There are four different options you can choose when getting a web design.
- Get a Webpage Made for You - The simplest and most expensive option. By contacting either a professional or a company, you can have your entire webpage built for you with no work on your part. Depending on what options you choose, the web designer may even provide the web hosting for you, saving you that problem too.
Just as there are scammers in web hosting, the same exists for web designers. Before awarding work to one, it is usually best to check their portfolio and to do some research on them. But for the average user, a professional designer can create a truly amazing website!
- Do It Yourself - Learning HTML is not hard to do. As it is really a 'markup' language, there is no programming to get a website up. And with emerging standards such as XHTML and CSS-P becoming more used, making a good design that will work on all browsers is not very difficult.
For those not very comfortable, the easiest way to create a webpage is to use Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010. Designed to be very easy to use, you can quickly whip up a web site design. Furthermore, many hosts support FrontPage Extensions. These are add-ons that let you update your site and add functionality right though FrontPage!
For those wanting even more control over the process, programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Arachnophilia provide more flexibility and power. These programs let you directly modify the HTML of your webpage, giving you control over every aspect of your site.
One thing to remember is that most of these programs, be it FrontPage or Dreamweaver, come with pre-made templates. You can simply load these up, edit in your content, and a generic website is ready for you.
- Use a template - A sort of compromise between #1 and #2. With this option, you buy a ready-made design, and then proceed to fill it up with content yourself. No changes will be made to the design for you - you must do it yourself or hire someone else to.
For Free Web Design Templates, we recommend Open Web Sources Design
- Site Creators - Think of this as a cross between #2 and #3. With this option, a user signs up for a service where he can generate a webpage. This can either cost extra or your web host can provide the service for you. You choose a design you like, and then proceed to modify it all online. Things that can be done include adding your own logo, modifying text, and even creating a message board for your site.
The thing to remember is that your creativity will be limited to whatever the online service can do - you can only do what the online tool will let you. But for someone looking to get a site online fast and inexpensively, this can be a good option.
You have to remember that the above-mentioned options all create static pages. For more elaborate sites that require user interaction with features such as search (like this site), programming will be required. Either you can find free web scripts or pay someone to do custom work for you. A good resource is Hot Scripts.
There is no one 'type' of web hosting - the most popular are virtual hosting, dedicated
, and colocated
. Unless you have extremely demanding needs or have your own server, virtual hosting will suffice. Virtual hosting itself is synonymous with 'web hosting'
- it just means that your site is hosted on a server with other sites.
The steps usually needed when getting a web host:
- Select a Web Host - We have our own large directory of web hosts that you can look through to find a host.
- Sign up - Once chosen, you must actually sign-up with the host you are going to use! Most hosts accept credit cards, and many also accept PayPal and check/money orders.
- Change Nameservers - To make sure that people are actually going to your site, you must change the nameservers of your domain to that of the web host you signed up. This is done so that when someone enters yourdomain.com (yourdomain.com being whatever domain you have) they will end up at your site. This may take up to 72 hours to be fully functional.
- Upload Your Site - Again, there are many ways to do this, but the most popular is FTP. To use FTP, you need an FTP client we like FileZilla.
- Sit Back, and Enjoy! - Your site is now online for everyone to see!
Of course once your site is online, you will have to market it so that others know that it exists. This in itself is a whole new topic - a good place to learn about this is at Webmaster World
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