A Newbie’s Guide to Setting Up Your Website…
If you want to start your own website but aren’t sure how to go about it, this article will teach you the 5 necessary steps to get your website up and running. Having your own website is THE key element to your online success and the ability and knowledge to customize it will help you become successful in your online endeavors.
As a newbie on the web you probably don’t have a lot of money to get your first site up and running. The good news is that web services today are lower than ever and you can get a site set up and running for about $50. The monthly cost for web hosting is around $6; add in a yearly domain fee of about $10 and you’re ready to roll. Is that cheap enough for you??
Let’s get started…
Step #1: Brainstorm ideas and put them in writing.
Outline your websites structure. Don’t worry about what your site will look like yet, just get the basic structure down and the overall layout. What do you want in your website? At the minimum, you’ll need a main or home page, a product description page, an “About Me” page and most of all an order page.
Once your outline is complete, you’ll need to figure out a way to get that information into your computer. There are lots of resources to help with this step.
“HTML” (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the programming language used for your website. You can hire a web programmer to program your site, but that can be very expensive. You can go buy a book like “HTML for Dummies”, which will teach you how to code your website, but that is a difficult and time consuming task and we want to do things the EASY way. The EASY way is to use a program like MS Frontpage, which is included for FREE nowadays on many new computer systems. Frontpage is a text based system that allows you to type your webpage in plain English and then have it converted to HTML for viewing on the web. With a few hours of practice you can have your website coded and ready to upload.
Step #2: Use a professional website template.
If you utilize a pre-designed template you can have a professional looking website in a matter of minutes. Templates provide the online graphics and overall look and style of your website. A professional pre-designed template can be purchased for under $40 and can save you many hours or even days of design time. If that price is too high there are also many professionally designed FREE web templates available, although they are very basic in style and may not be suitable for your website. Even if you have a small budget, purchasing a professional template is an efficient way to begin.
Step #3: Purchase and register a domain name.
Your ideas are ready and you have adapted them to your professional template, so now it’s time to purchase a domain name for your website. Registering a domain name allows web surfers to view your website by entering (www.yournamehere.com)
You’ll want a catchy domain name that is easy to remember and tells a little bit about your business (ex. LowCostAutoInsurance.com). You’ll need to choose a name registrar such as GoDaddy.com to register your name and if you are having trouble finding a name they even have a domain name suggestion tool that will help. You can register your domain name for less than $10 a year and once it’s registered, that name is yours for as long as you pay the annual renewal fee.
Step #4. Choose a web host.
Your site is ready, your domain name is registered and you’re ready to go, Now What…
You need to hire a company to host your website. There are hundreds, if not thousands of web hosts available and your job is to sort through them and choose the right company. Since your web host is your 24 hour connection to the web, you’ll need to make sure they are very reliable. If your web host has technical difficulties, your website will be invisible to all your customers and you will not be successful. Monthly hosting fees can range from FREE to hundreds of dollars depending on the services you choose. Most beginner websites can be hosted for under $10/month by a quality web host.
Step #5: Upload your website.
Now that you have chosen a web host you need to transfer your new webpage’s from your computer to the computer at your web host so they are visible on the internet. While this may seem like a confusing and technical process, it really is quite simple. One of the easiest transfer processes is to upload your site using “FTP” (File Transfer Protocols). One of the easiest “FTP” programs is CuteFTP, which allows you to drag and drop files from your computer and place them in your web directory at your web host. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with your “FTP” program because as a webmaster you will be utilizing it quite frequently.
That’s it. Your site is now up and live on the web. While the process may seem technical and difficult you’ll find that with practice this will become an easy and rewarding experience. Practice with your new tools and you’ll be an expert webmaster in no time.