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to Get a Website
How to set up you own website and be on the Internet with your own Domain and Hosting...
to Get Your Own Website
If you don't understand The Internet, this page is for you. I've often heard people say they don't have any idea how to get a website or how to register a www or what hosting is etc. So, I decided to explain this carefully so everyone can understand. I hope this helps! Here goes...
To set up your own website you need several things: a hosting, a domain, the content, and connectivity. To take an oldfashioned analogy: To get a horse & cart you need to have: a horse, the cart body, and wheels. In the up-to-date "Let's get a Website" idea, I'll explain each of the elements and why you need it:
* DOMAIN: a "domain" is the www something, the name which the website has. It's like an Internet telephone number, where people putting in www.[company-name].net get YOUR website. I'll explain later in this page how you can get a domain and what nasty pitfalls you must beware of!
* HOSTING: a "hosting" is, in effect, a computer plugged in 24 hours a day connected up to the Internet, and on that computer your website CONTENT is stored. The pages of your website are files within that computer. If anyone anywhere in the world asks their computer to look at your website or one of pages at your website, the metaphorical hard disc drive light on the HOST computer blinks and the computer sends them the page. Don't worry, as this notional "HOST" computer doesn't have to be your own computer, so you won't have to leave it plugged in 24 hours a day! I'll explain more about this later in the details.
* CONTENT: the CONTENT of a website is whatever you want to put on your website for all the world to see! This is for you to decide on, according to your own taste. The old expression "it's a free country" might have gone out of fashion when the country became an oppressive police-state, but the Internet is above all that, so, you say what you will! However, there is a technical matter with the "content", as it's got to be changed from the notes you've made and things you've thought up, into webstuff. There are two approaches to that, which I'll explain in a subsequent paragraph. Either way, this CAN BE DONE, so don't worry.
* CONNECTIVITY: Your website needs to be connected up with the rest of the Internet. A website doesn't live in isolation, and is more INTEGRATED. It's a bit like you moving in to a strange neighbourhood and making sure you make friends with the neighbours. The practicalities of doing this on the Internet with your newcomer's website are explained later in this page.
Those were the summaries, and now come the details and extra matters which are where my experience might do some good to help you to avoid some of the snags, difficulties, elephant-traps, and hazards generally on setting up your own website.
* IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE DOMAIN: You need to have a domain name which is something like www.[your name here].net and it's important to know how to go about achieving this. Most importantly you must avoid the terrible evil scourge of cybersquatters. Don't be fooled by companies trying to sell you a domain, or claiming that they have your domain, and any such nonsense. Read carefully the page How To Choose a Domain and make the right decisions in a well thought out way in advance. Also note that your domain needs to be Renewed so you still keep it next year. In any case, make sure your domain is registered to YOURSELF and is kept separately of the hosting company. I recommend 123-Reg as I have been able to trust them with my domains.
* IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE HOSTING: The good news is on the HOSTING that you don't need to nominate your own on-the-desk computer to be the HOST of your website. You can, and some people do, but it's going to get a bit busy, isn't it? Everyone around the world looking at your website will be accessing stuff on your computer. What if it can't cope, or there's a power cut, or you need to upgrade the computer? Fortunately there is a sensible solution, as there are hosting companies with stacks of high-powered computers in converted bank vaults and old cold war nuclear bunkers, all powered up day and night with backup generators and with special high-speed Internet connections. They are not expensive, and all you need to do is to get an arrangement agreed with a hosting company. Important: You keep "the original" of your website (the definitive copy) on your computer at home, and then you UPLOAD (ftp) it to the HOST computer. This copy of your website on the hosting computer is easily accessible around the world. However, there is an important matter to consider when choosing a hosting company to host your website. Just as surely as when you choose a bank to invest your money in, you wouldn't want to support a company that supports slavery in the third world, organised crime, or cybersquatting. Most hosting companies stay away from the evil of cybersquatting, but it's best to check up. Just do a search for the name of the company and the term "cybersquatting". I have seen many cybersquatted domains coming up with GO DADDY on them, so I would advise that you AVOID GO DADDY when having a hosting. Together we can make a difference and can put an end to cybersquatting, which I feel is like the trafficking of souls.
* IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE CONTENT: On a lighter note, the CONTENT of your website is for you to decide. You might want to promote your business, or make some philosophical point and get your message across to the world, or you might want to tell your story how you see it. It's up to you! Freedom on the Internet! Now onto the technical aspect, which is that computers speak a different language to us folk! Internet websites speak HTML, so you can either learn HTML yourself and write in a fluent dialect, or you can get someone else to translate for you. This is known as "building a website". See Basic website plan. But be careful, as many snazzy swanky companies would like to charge you a ridiculous price for it! There is no need for this, and I think a much better plan would be for you to put a sign up on a school notice board saying something like "I need a website. If anyone can build a website for me, please phone!". There's always some bright kid who can write a brilliant website and who will be happy to be paid much more than they get on a newspaper delivery round but still a lot cheaper than the snazzy companies. Children as young as about 8 years old can sometimes write HTML, so it might be best if you clear it with their parents so everyone knows you're above-board. Remember though, that although you might get a technically adept person to do the computerishness for your website, someone's got to write the content, and you can't expect a computer expert to be psychic as well and to be able to guess what to say on your website. To make it YOUR website, here's How to Sketch Your Website so it ends up with the right material on it.
* IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE CONNECTIVITY: The connectivity of a website gives it a fair chance of being seen. When you have the website built, it's a matter of getting other websites to give you a LINK. You don't need to pay anyone to submit your website to search engines, and if anyone writes you a spam message saying "your website is not being seen" you can report it as SPAM! I recommend AddMe, who you can see on my front page, and also I recommend that you get a reciprocal arrangement with a few friendly websites. That is, helpful websites with a few dozen links, not link farm scam bulk places!
Other useful things:
* When you've got your website up and running, make sure you keep it running, and be patient. It takes a while for it to be recognised. Search engines like to make sure it's not a flash-in-the-pan fly b'night website!
* Make sure you keep a future diary entry for your domain renewal, as you must not let it expire!
* Further information about How to Get a Website is featured on the old page How to Get a Free Website, but there are some differences. I recommend having a proper domain and a proper hosting, because even though these things cost a small amount of money, they are worth it.
* If you find you really can't cope with HTML, there are some relatively reasonable simple website editing software tools by which you can build your website without having to know HTML, yet without the curse of bloatware cramping your style and scoffing all your bandwidth.