Creating your own website. You can either do it yourself, or you can pay someone else to do it.
To do it yourself, follow these steps:
Website Step #1: Get a Domain Name.
Go to GoDaddy and invest $10 bucks in a Domain Name. It’s the absolute first step, and it takes less than ten minutes.
There are several tools out there that can help you to determine a good Domain Name, but I prefer good old-fashioned brainstorming. Think about who you are, what you are offering, and who you are trying to appeal to. Write down tons of ideas and words that you like.
Discuss your favorites with your friends and family.
One of my favorite tricks is to write down ten adjectives (fat, tall, funny, amazing, fast) on separate pieces of paper, then write down ten words that describe the business or project that you need the Domain Name for on pieces of paper as well… and then start moving them around on your desk, making combinations. That’s how I came up with 7 Minute Websites and The Faster Webmaster (The names of my programs).
Keep it short and sweet.
You don’t want to select a Domain Name that’s long. If you have a company called Bill Johnson’s Collectibles, for example, then you don’t want a Domain Name called [http://www.billjohnsonscollectiblesonline.com] because it is just too long. People won’t remember it. People will have problems with it, and that is a problem for you.
A Domain Name like [http://www.collectabills.com] would be much better in this instance. It’s short and it’s catchy.
Website Step #2: Get a Hosting Account.
So the first step is done. Getting a Domain Name is not enough though. The second thing you have to do is “host” it. Host it? What the heck is hosting?
I want you to think of hosting as renting a small apartment where your website is going to live. Small website or big website: all websites live somewhere, and this is what hosting is. Hosting is basically paying a hosting company, (who you can think of it as your internet landlord) website rent each month. Hosting packages, like apartments, run the gamut from bare bones and simple to penthouse fancy with lots of extra stuff.
Basic hosting will work for us, because we just need some minor functionality. We are going to need access to an Email address, for example… and we also need FTP access.
This is pretty standard stuff, so we will be able to find you a hosting package that is somewhere in the $10-$15 a month range.
You can pay for hosting by the month or by the year.
Typically when you pay for the entire year up front you will get a better discount, so you should do that if you can afford to. When you factor this all in you are looking at paying like $110 a year or so for your website rent. Not too bad, eh?
That’s less than ten bucks a month! Quit eating so much pizza!
Once you have a Domain Name, go ahead and get a basic Hosting Account. Again, this takes ten minutes, tops.
The biggest factor to consider when it comes to hosting, in my opinion, is to make sure you get excellent tech support. Especially if you are not terribly tech savvy. If you are not a technically-minded code geek (and who is, honestly), then you want to find a hosting company that is incredibly patient and is available all the time.
Website Step #3: Update your Name Servers.
There is one more quick administrative task that you need to do in order to get everything pointed properly: you need to go back to the registrar where you registered your website (GoDaddy) and you need to enter the Hosting Company’s (HostGator) DNS information.
DNS entries basically tell the registrar where to point people to when they type your Domain Name into a browser. Make sense?
Right now when people type your Domain Name into a web browser they are going to get a page on GoDaddy’s website that says “coming soon” or “under development”.
We don’t want them to get that!
We want people to automatically get redirected to the little apartment that you’ve rented from HostGator where your website is going to live. So go back to GoDaddy and update your NameServers. Call them if you are confused.
Website Step #4: Get some HTML/FTP Software.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the easiest and most secure way to exchange files over the Internet. Whether you know it or not, you probably use FTP all of the time. The most common use for FTP is to download files from the Internet. Because of this, FTP is at the heart of the MP3 music craze, and is also vital to online auctions and game enthusiasts.
In addition, the ability to transfer files back-and-forth makes FTP essential for anyone creating a website.
So FTP is essentially the ability to easily send files from your local computer to the apartment you rented for your website to live in. Remember the apartment we rented for Hosting? Well, it’s time we started moving in! But first we need to get some software. Software that will allow us to build a website page, and will also allow us to transfer it to the apartment!
For building website pages and uploading files, it’s tough to beat KompoZer. Why? Because it’s easy, it’s powerful, and it’s FREE! The KompoZer HTML Editor is designed for professional web development. It will allow you to create, edit and FTP website pages with absolute ease and precision. FTP Software is bundled right in with it as well… which makes our lives much easier. So let’s get right to it:
Download and install KompoZer. It’s free, it works on MAC and PC, and it’s really easy to use.
Configure the software by plugging in your details (received by email in website step#2) and you are ready to roll!
All you have to do is build some pages.