How do I set up a website?

How do I set up a website?There are three basic things you need to set up a website for yourself or your organization.

  1. A domain name.
  2. A place to “serve” or “host” the website.
  3. Content (the words, pictures, and other goodies that make up your website)

This article explains each item and shows you how to acquire each one. It also offers warnings of things to watch out for and provides links to additional information.

1. Domain Names

A domain name is a user friendly name that points to a place on the internet. In our case, the place is a website. NetFlint.com, www.Google.com, and www.Yahoo.com are all examples of domain names that point to websites. It’s very easy to register a domain name. In fact we’ve made special arrangements for you to register yours really cheap right here.

Remember a domain name is not a website. It is a pointer. After you secure your domain name you must point it at your web server and content. If you do not have a server or a host yet, keep reading…

More Information on Domain Names:

2. Web Servers or Web Hosts

In order for a website to be available on the Internet it must reside on a properly configured web server that is connected to the Internet. This arrangement is called “hosting”. A single web server can serve or host any number of websites. The key is to match the power and functionality of the server to the requirements and popularity of the websites it hosts.

Web Hosting prices can vary greatly from no-cost advertising supported hosting to hundreds of dollars a month for powerful, fail safe, dedicated servers. Businesses and organizations should stay away from “free” hosting. Cheap hosting plans can be had for less than $5 a month. Choose a host that allows later upgrades as a website’s popularity increases. Make sure your host provides the features, reliability, and support your site requires to meet your needs.

More Information on Web Hosting

3. Content (a.k.a. Your Website)

The last thing required is your actual website content. A website is made up of text, pictures, links, and other media, laid out and formatted using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and often other code. The content of your website is its heart and soul. The golden rule of websites is “Content is King”.

Web pages can be extraordinarily simple or very complex. They can be static – meaning they are always the same for everybody that looks at them, or dynamic – meaning that the page or elements of the page are generated on demand or change depending on conditions.

There are tons of ways to create the content that makes up your website. You can build from scratch, start from templates, use on-line or standalone software to create webpages or hire a designer to do the work for you. How you create your content depends entirely on your skill and your goals for the website. Do not be afraid of creating website content. There are many tools that allow complete beginners to create things of beauty.

I am a big proponent of WordPress for creating and updating website content. It provides an excellent balance between power, effectiveness, and ease of use. All of our hosting plans offer automatic installation and upgrade of WordPress. We have a great article with a checklist for setting up WordPress. However, if WordPress is overkill or still a little too complicated, we also offer a simple website creation wizard that includes hosting and provides step by step set up and design instructions.

Putting It All Together

Many website service providers allow you to acquire a domain name, hosting services, and content creation tools all at the same time in a bundle. Purchasing bundles from the same provider is an excellent way to make sure that all elements will work properly together. If anything is not working properly, one support call should solve all your problems. However, depending on the terms of the bundle, it may be difficult to move your website to another server or host later if required. While there are excellent reasons for purchasing as a bundle, there are also strong arguments for purchasing elements separately and configuring them to work together. These arguments can include cost savings, flexibility, power, and control.

NetFlint has arranged to offer the savings and simplicity of a bundle with the flexibility and control of separate services. Check out our current offer of domain names for $1.99 with the purchase of a hosting or website wizard package.

Depending on where you buy your domain name and services there will be different processes for making them work together. Check with your service provider for specific instructions. At the end of the day, you want your content configured properly on your web host and you want your domain name pointed to that web host. For NetFlint services there is an excellent help center with all the step by step instructions you will need.

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