If you are a newcomer to web hosting, you might feel confused, frustrated, or both; most beginners find the seemingly endless list of computer jargon and various web hosting options overwhelming. Don’t feel intimidated, this article will prove to you that web hosting is not an inherently difficult venture.
After reading the sections that follow, you’ll be comfortable with the modus operandi and you will be well on your way to make an educated decision when looking for a web host. You will be armed with the necessary knowledge to make child’s play of the web hosting process and you will be able to get your site up and running in no time!
Step One: Registering your domain name
The initial step when setting up a web site on the Internet is selecting and registering a domain name. This name will serve as your online identity; each web site on the on the Internet has a unique domain name (also referred to as a “web address”). Web surfers wanting to visit your web site will enter your domain name to access your site.
This process is similar to phoning your friend on his cell phone – he has a unique cell phone number that you dial when you want to speak to him/her.
Remember: The golden rule when selecting a domain name is to keep it short, memorable and descriptive.
Short: The maximum allowed size is 63 characters, but keep the name as short a possible. That’s easier to type and remember.
Memorable: Names with special characters like hyphens and underbars are harder to describe to customers over the phone. Visitors aren’t as used to them either and you may inadvertently send customers to your competitors if they have similar names without special characters!
Descriptive: Use your company name or a description of your product instead of company initials. People would instantly know what a site called “BuyBicyclesOnline” is about. The full title is much more descriptive than the acronym “BBO”.
Step 2: Creating Your Website
Once you have successfully registered your domain name, the next step is to create your web site and to give it the look and feel you want.
When deciding on a design for your website, it is extremely important to do a good deal of research to see what works for a website like yours or alternatively speak to an experienced professional who will be able to provide you with guidance on what works, and what doesn’t. If you are a true beginner, you may want to consider hiring a design company to help you create your web pages.
Step Three: Choosing Your Host
After you have finished your website, the next step is to choose a host. Without getting too technical, the “host” refers to the server on the Internet where your web site resides (where the files are saved). This server is connected to the Internet 24/7 and when a visitor wants to access your site, he/she will be directed to this server and your web site will be displayed. Be sure to choose the correct host that makes the most sense for both your site and your budget.
Step Four: Uploading Your Site
This step entails getting your site “up” on the Internet by uploading (copying) your web pages, text, and image files to your hosting server.
With most sites, you will need to use an FTP program, which these days are relatively simple. The role of an FTP program is to upload your created web pages, text, and image files to your server. Once you have uploaded your files, your page files will then be served to users who enter your site.
Step Five: Promoting Your Site
Now that your site is available on the Internet, you can’t sit back and watch as the visitors browse your beautifully crafted web pages!
To ensure that your site enjoys the best chance of success, it is vital that you do your fair share of promotion. Prior to passing out flyers or putting up billboards, make sure you register your site with the major search engines. The search engines will help drive traffic to your site.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this short introductory article on getting your web site on the Internet. Please feel free to contact me should you require any additional information.