So what do you need to make your own web site? To start your own website you will need:
That’s it! It sounds simple, but there are various considerations when deciding on each item. It all depends on what you want to do.
Before deciding on any hosting company and domain name, first you have to ask yourself what do you intend to do with your website. And starting out with a blank website is like giving you a piece of blank paper and telling yourself to do anything with it. Do what?
Give yourself some thought about what you might want to do with a website, would it be a personal site, a hobby site, a business site, or perhaps a combination of it? A personal website or a hobby website is more of putting your interest and passion into play, while a business website is more about doing promotional and marketing activities and selling products or it could be just having a web presence to compliment your existing brick-and-mortar store.
Some people just don’t get it, and can’t differentiate a domain name and hosting company. A domain name is the name of the website. Call it a brand identity or an entity in the internet. Choosing a domain name can be tricky because once you have selected it, it is usually difficult to change it without losing your web presence in the internet. And you will have to go through all the process of rebuilding the new domain name again in the internet.
A domain name can be sweet and short, but with new websites being set up every second, the chances of having a short, sweet domain name is no longer so easy. You will have to make clever combination of words to create a unique domain name for yourself.
If you are choosing one of those free hosting site like Yahoo! Geocities or Lycos Angelfire, then there is no need to set up your own domain name. In this case your login id latches on the host and become part of the web address. However using a free site is more akin to setting a personal or hobby site and they are usually not really serious into making a strong web identity. If you are serious into setting up a business website, it is best to avoid using free site. Setting up a proper website lends some credibility to your business and shows that you are serious in doing your business and not some fly-by-night business, here today, gone tomorrow. Besides it is now cheaper more than ever to set up website than before.
A hosting company is where all your web pages and content will reside and where your domain name will latch on. This is where you will store your data and information. When a visitor keys in your web address, they will be directed to your hosting company where all your web pages reside.
It is important to choose a good hosting company. You don’t want to choose a hosting company where their servers are down very often or where their technical support is very poor.
Hosting company cost can range from free to the expensive, depending on what features and services that are provided by them. It also depends on what you want out of your web site. If you are just planning to have a website just for fun and experimentation without any serious consideration about increase web site traffic, then just go for the free hosting companies.
Geocities and Angelfire is a good place to start for free web hosting. However do bear in mind that free web hosting has very limited traffic bandwidth, limited storage space and are ad supported. But if you just want to hone your web creation skill and for practicing, these are a good place to start. You don’t need to purchase a domain name either, but rather your login id will just latch on to their main domain.
For example, if your id is johndoe, then the geocities web address becomes www.geocities.com/johndoe
I have also come across those who use blogger to set up a static website instead of using it for blogging as it was meant to be. Using a blogging site is not really a website per se and this kind of site don’t do very well in the web searches. In fact it would be better to use a geocities or angelfire account to set up a simple website.
However, do note that free web site is not recommended if you plan to start a web site seriously. Firstly, the bandwidth is limited. Bandwidth is the amount of data measured in bytes that is allowed to be access by visitors to your web site. Once the bandwidth quota has been used up for that month, your web site cannot be accessed. A web site that is down has serious implication to your web site reputation and it also jeopardizes your business if you are running an online business.
Secondly, free web site may be ad supported. In order for the hosting company to provide free hosting, they will need to recoup their cost by placing their own advertisement all over your web site. You have no control over what advertisement that is shown on your web site.
Other downsides include very small storage size, no technical support, and various other features that will be included by a paid web hosting provider.
Therefore it is most recommendable that you use a paid web hosting provider like BlueHost or Host Excellence.
- How to choose a Web Hosting provider
- How to decide on a domain name for your website