As an IT professional, I am asked this question quite a lot. In this post, I will attempt to give a brief overview of what’s required to get your own website up and running.
Disclaimer: Yes, I do gain something by mentioning Go Daddy and Arvixe, but that’s not why I recommend them!
Simply put, a domain name is your address on the World Wide Web. This is the address which people will type to get to your website.
For a more detailed explanation, please read the entry on Wikipedia. I use Go Daddy to register all my domain names, except for country specific domain names. Though Go Daddy and other domain registrars (as they are called) offer a few country specific domains, you may need to check in the country you are in to figure out what you need to get a country specific domain name. For example, to register for a “.com.au” domain that is specific to Australia, you need to look for a registrar that deals with Australian domain names.
A .com domain name will cost you between $7 and $10 a year. If the registrar you are looking into is charging more, look elsewhere!
Just because I use Go Daddy, it does not mean that you have to register your domain names there. Please research and make your own choices. There are a lot of scammers out there, so beware!
If a domain name is your address on the World Wide Web, then the web host is where your domain resides or is hosted! The web host provides you with space on their server to host your domain and build your website. Again, if you would like a more detailed explanation, head on to Wikipedia!I use Arvixe for web hosting and I am very impressed with their features and service, not to mention the fact that their pricing suits my budget very well!
Once again, I caution you to be careful with your choice for a web host. There are many hosting providers out there who will offer you unbelievable deals! But realise that they are unbelievable because most of them are unable to deliver what they promise. So, choose wisely!
Once you have a domain name and a web host sorted out, the final step is the actual website itself. Honestly, this is the trickiest bit and for so many reasons.
How should it look?
What content should it have?
Can I do it myself?
How much will it cost to get it done through someone?
The questions can seem endless.
If you are brave and patient, I would encourage you to go for it. The vast majority of web hosts allow their clients to quickly build a website using some sort of software application. I try to stay away from these because based on past experience, the website that you get out of such wizard based applications are nothing to write home about.
I prefer to use an established CMS application like WordPress to build my site on. This is what I have been using for the last few years. There are alternatives to WordPress, but in my opinion, it’s one of the most popular platforms and is constantly being improved upon.
Out of the box, WordPress gives you a simple website, which you can then populate with content. Another reason why I like WordPress is the fact that it can be expanded through Plugins. A plugin is something that you add to WordPress in order to extend its feature set or functionality. And WordPress has a lot of them too. It has everything you need (paid or free) to set up a fully functional feature rich website. Don’t like the way your WordPress website looks? No problem! Install one of the countless themes available and you can make your website look anyway you like!
I have just given a very high level overview of what you need to do to get started. For example, if you are planning on setting up an online store and want to deal with financial transactions, there are many more things to consider, like SSL certificates, Shopping Cart, Payment Processing and so on. If you are wanting to be more visible on search engines like Google, then Search Engine Optimisation is another aspect that has to be addressed. So, there is more to establishing an online presence than what I have stated here, but as I said, this is a very high level overview of the process involved.
Setting up a website doesn’t have to be a headache or an expensive ordeal.
If you decide that you don’t have the time to spend on this task and don’t want to go through all the hassles, you can employ my services and I can help you get everything sorted out.
I hope this short write-up has been helpful to you.
SriThank Sri 🙂