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So you need a website, but don't know exactly how to go about getting one? This article will help explain the steps you need to get a website of your very own, and have it available for all the world to see.
The only three (3) things you need to get a website up on the internet are:
2. domain name
3. web hosting account
|You need a Website |
The first step to creating your online presence is actually getting yourself a website. You can either hire a web designer or web design company to build one for you (in which case they will likely also set you up with a domain name and a web hosting account), or you can built it yourself. If you would like to build your own website but don't know how to write HTML code (the language used to make web pages), then you can simply use one of the many available "HTML editors" or "Website Builder" programs. These programs can make building a website as easy as writing a document in Microsoft Word. Click here for more information on building your own website.
|You need a Domain Name |
You also need a domain name for your website..... an address that people will type into their Internet Browsers to be taken to your website. Examples of domain names are: www.microsoft.com, www.yahoo.com, and www.hostedtoday.com. Everything after the "www" is considered the domain name, and is registered to the owner of the associated website. In order to get your own domain name, you have to "register" one at a "domain name registrar". Registering a domain name is a relatively simply process.... you merely have to search for a domain name you want, see if it's available (i.e. make sure no one else has registered it), and complete a registration form at the registrars website. You will also have to provide payment details because domain name registrations are not free. Domain name registration prices are typically anywhere from $15.00 to $50.00 per year, depending on the registration company you choose. Even though there are hundreds of domain name registration companies to choose from, they are all affiliated in some way with the main registry where all domain name registrations are held. Therefore, when you register a domain name with any domain name registrar, your registration will be placed with the main registrar so that no one else will be able to register the same domain name. Your registered domain name will remain yours as long as you continue to pay your annual registration fee. Click here to learn more about domain names, and how to register them.
|You need a Web Hosting Account |
Finally, you need a web hosting account where your website will be hosted. Websites must be stored on a "server" that is connected to the internet, and allows other people to connect to it, to view your website. A web hosting account is basically your own designated portion of a server, that you are given access to in order to display your website. Without a web hosting account, your newly created website would simply remain on your own hard drive (where you would have created your website), and no one would be able to see it except for you. Uploading your website to your own web hosting account on a server will make your website available for all the world to see. Click here to learn more about web hosting.
|What do I do first? |
It really doesn't matter in which order you get the above three items, because you need all three in order to have a fully functional website. If you are concerned about your branding and feel it is important to secure the domain name you want (i.e. before someone else registers it), you might want to register your domain name first. But that doesn't mean you have to immediately go out and build your website and get a hosting account. In fact, there are many companies that simply register a domain name for later use.... and then wait years before actually putting it to use.
It would seem to make the most sense to have a website ready to be published to a web hosting account, before actually ordering the hosting account...... however, that is not always the case. There are many companies that want to set up email addresses, and have them working prior to actually having a website. In those cases, they would have to get a web hosting account, because email is an integral part of the hosting account. With a web hosting account and a domain name, you can setup and have your email accounts functioning properly, before having an actual website. You can then proceed to build your website whenever you're ready.