Search our web site: Search Tips
Setting Up a New Website

If you are starting a new website from scratch here are a few basic things that you will need to obtain, or do, to get started:

  1. You will need to secure a web hosting service to host your website. If you are a hobbiest, a free website will do. If you are wanting to host a business, you will want to secure a hosting service that will host your domain name. Web hosting services typically will charge anywhere from $8 or $9.99 on up depending on options and features and will include mutiple mailboxes that you can use.
  2. Next, if you are a business, you will want to register a domain name for your site. Domain registration services will charge $15 to $35 per year for this service. This step can relate to the previous step in much the same way as trying to figure out which comes first. The chicken or the egg. In order to register a domain name, the service usually will need to know the server address where the site is to be hosted. You get that from your hosting service. However, in order to get that you usually already have to already have a domain name registered. See the problem? Here is the best way to handle this situation:
    • Select a few domain names that sound good to you. Select several because sometimes it is hard to find just the one you want available that hasn't already been registered.
    • Find a 'Whois' search on the internet that you can use to determine if the name you want is available. If you want, you can use the one on my site (click here).
    • Once you have found the name that you want to use and that is available (and before you try to register it) contact the hosting service that you have decided to use. Let them know what you want to do and they should work with you to coordinate the setup.
    • The hosting service will give you the names of the hosting server and usually a second backup server. Example: mine is NS0.robertscomputing.com and NS1.robertscomputing.com. You will need these when you register your domain name. (Note: some hosting services also handle domain registering services and can actually take care of all this for you.)
  3. You are going to need a way to create and maintain your HTML scripts. You can use notepad or some other editor to do this.
  4. You will need to have a way to upload your scripts to the server. Some hosting services offer a way to do this via a HTML uploading script. The best way to do this however, is to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload your scripts and images. These programs are not expensive and I have provided links to some of them on the reference page. HTML uploading scripts typically only allow you to upload 2 - 4 scripts at a time. This may be ok for you. I, on the other hand, often upload 30 - 40 scripts at a time which is why I use FTP. If you are doing some serious web site maintenance, you will eventurally want to get a FTP program.

Selecting a domain name.

In selecting a domain name, you should pick one that suits your business, organization or hobby. Keep these things in mind:
  • Make it descriptive of your business. If you are in the business of selling red widgets, selecting a name link http://www.asdf.com would not make any sense. It is not at all descriptive of your business.
  • Keep it as short as possible. A name like http://www.thebestlittleredwidgesintheworld.com is way too long. People would have a hard time remembering it and would, quite frankly, get tired of keying it in before they finished. Besides that it is too long to print on a business card.
  • A name like http://www.redwidgets.com makes a lot more sense. It is short, to the point, and easy to remember.
Well, there it is. All in a nutshell. You really don't need to outlay any cash at all to get started playing around. You can get a free hosting service and use notepad for your editor. You can get started today. Your next step would be to get your own domain name and a hosting service. That will cost you, at the most, $20 for the use of a domain name for 1 year and about $10 - $20/month for a good hosting service. Where you go from there is up to you.

As always, let me know if you have a problem or need any help.

©1998-2003 Roberts Computing Systems, All Rights Reserved