How to get a web site up and running even if you don't know the first thing about web sites

A web site, for purposes of this very simple discussion, is simply a collection of "pages", which say what you want your site to say. We will summarize first the few steps involved in getting a web site up and running, and then discuss in simple terms your options for each step.

Summary of the steps involved in creating a web site

Step 1. Arrange for the web site to be stored on a web server.

Generally the most expensive part of having a web site is paying someone to provide a home for your web site on their web server. Some ISPs ( Internet Service Providers) provide free web hosting if your website is only a few pages.

Step 2. Design and create the web-site pages.

Probably you will want to find someone else to do this for you. He/she will use either a text-editor or word processor to write the pages directly in a language called HTML, XML, etc., or one of the many programs that generate the required code.

If you are motivated, it would not be hard to learn to do this yourself. The easiest way to generate your own web page is to use your browser to download and save one similar to what you want and then use a text editor to modify it according to your needs.

Step 3. Upload the web-site pages to the webserver.

Unless your web hoster has a specialized proceedure for this, you generally will download the pages using a program known as an FTP client. FTP stands for file transfer protocol and the program will use that protocol to upload your pages to your web server. You will need to know the URL (address) of the webserver, typically something like "ftp.webserver.com", and the correct login name and password.

Step 4. Consider if you need to have your own domain name.

If you want your site be accessed as something like www.mychosenname.com you need to arrange for two things.

By far, the best and cheapest domain name registrar is GoDaddy.com.

The domain name you want must not have been taken previously by someone else.

Updated May 10, 2011


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