Last Updated: 4/1/06
Getting a Web Address
Finding a Web Site Host
Picking How/Who to Design the Site
To start your own web site, you will first need a web site address (also called domain or URL). If you want a free web site, then simply put "free web site" into any search engine, and you will find a ton of hits. A free web site will be an extension of someone else's URL. For example, if I offered free web sites off my site, your URL might me http://www.fishpondinfo.com/mywebsite . Most free sites will have ads from the parent company on them to help pay for the site. They will also greatly limit the size and quantity of files that you can upload. For small personal sites though when you just get started, they are fine.
If you want a web site of your own with a unique URL, you need to register the domain. There are a ton of places out now who will register your domain, too many to list! I use Domain People for my site. They seem fine. Here are some tips.
In order for people to see stuff from your URL, you need a server which is just a computer that is on all the time that holds your files. Huge companies may have their own server. For most of us though, we pay to have web hosts keep the files on their server computers. I use Net Nation for my site but there are many out there you can try by searching for web site hosts. Their service has been pretty good. I was very glad when they changed to unlimited bandwidth for shared hosting as I had been paying for bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of file upload traffic that you have. It is determined not only by the number of visitors that you have but the size and number of files that they open up. In a package, you will look for the following:
You can either design your site yourself or pay someone to do that. I do my own site so I really cannot comment on hiring someone. Most web hosts will also create a site for you. There are also web designers all over the place, just search for one.
If you design your own site, you can chose to write it in HTML yourself like I do or use a program that converts to HTML for you like Microsoft Frontpage. I have never used a web creation program myself because I like to have control over the entire web page. Basic HTML is simple (see my HTML page). Luckily, my brother is a computer programmer so he can do some Java script and other more complex stuff. Do not ask me about that stuff as I do not have a clue!
You will also have to decide if you want a site with or without frames. In frames, each page is framed within the same picture if you will with whatever is in the frame. The frame follows along with all the pages. There are some bad things about frames. Search engines may not pick up the pages beyond the main page, and no one can type in unique URL's for specific pages as they are all from the main page. Searching for web site frames will give you plenty of information on that. As an alternative to frames, I use headers and footers which get inserted into each page which makes updating things like the copyright date much easier. Instead of updating all 300+ pages on my site, I change a few when the year turns over, etc.
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