How to: Get Your Own Website
Here, you'll find the basics on how to get yourself your own web site and web address, and how to create your first web pages.
Your first website
A few years ago, getting your first website live on Internet was an expensive process. Publishing your first site required some basic knowledge of web design, Internet publishing, and in some cases, coding. As this was out of reach for most of us, creating a webpage either fell to a friend or family member with some technical knowledge, or a web design company that would charge you to create, publish and maintain your online web presence.
Today, getting your own website online is far easier and cheaper, and there are several different packages that make website creation within everyone's reach.
Some terms explained
If you're thinking about your first site, there are a two basic concepts that you need to know about:
The first thing that you need to think about, is a web domain name for your website. A domain name will typically end with a.co.uk, .com, .net, .biz, etc. This website's domain name is filesaveas.com.
Domain names are unique, and many of the best names have gone. When choosing a domain name, look for something simple, that looks OK when written down, is memorable, and can be spoken easily with little room for error.
The other part of the website, is the hosting. This refers to the place online where your website is stored. When one of your visitors types in your domain name, or tries to find you via Google, they will be directed to your web space and your web pages shown to that user.
In most cases, it makes sense for your domain name and your web hosting to be with the same firm. This makes setup easier, and in many cases cheaper as the two can be bundled together.
When considering your web hosting on a there are a couple of factors that you need to consider.
The filesaveas.com website is hosted in the UK by Namesco, and we have been very happy with their web hosting and domain name service. Take a look at their website for details of what they have to offer: names.co.uk
Publishing your website
Buying web space and a domain name is pretty straightforward, but actually creating and uploading your site for the first time can be tricky if you have not done this before. For that reason, it may make sense to look at a solution that includes domain name hosting, and some kind of basic design and publishing service. Here are details of two such solutions:
If you're looking to create your first website, the Mr Site Takeaway Website package option could be you. You can buy one of these off the shelf in your local PC World, or order online from Amazon.co.uk for around £18.
The standard package is very easy to use, and you can create your own website without the need to understand complex web coding or Internet jargon. As part of the package, you are provided with your own domain name, an initial five web pages, 150 MB of web space, and 20 e-mail addresses.
There are hundreds of web designs to chose from, you can also have a PayPal powered online shop, basic forum, Google map widget, and website visitor statistics. Here's a screenshot of the Mr Site interface:
The Takeaway Website package is supplied to you for a single fee which includes a domain name, but you will be required to renew each year to ensure you keep your domain name. At the time of writing, renewal is £20 year.
For more info (plus reviews), check out the Mr Site page at Amazon
Here at FileSaveAs, our web hosting service of choice is Namesco. This site is hosted by them, and we are happy to recommend their services.
If you're looking to get your first online presence, you could look to buy a hosting package and domain name from Namesco, and use their Site Maker to get an online presence with domain name, hosting and a page creation package.
With one of their SiteMaker packages, you can create a website from one of 4,000 designs, create up to 15 pages, add videos, images and a discussion forum.
The SiteMaker package is free (if you're OK to have adverts), or at the time of writing, you can get a .co.uk domain, web hosting and ad-free SiteMaker for £55 a year. Full details at names.co.uk
The Wordpress Alternative
Rather than creating what is known as a static website (a collection of pages and images uploaded to web space), you may want to consider opting for a blog as your first way of getting an online site. You can create an online blog for free, no publishing skills are required, and this is very easy to do. The big name in Internet blog hosting is WordPress, and we're very happy to recommend this free service.
With WordPress, there are two options:
- You Host: You can download and install the WordPress package to your web hosting service - this does require some technical knowledge, and also requires that you have suitable web space (your web hosting package as to support something called PHP).
- They Host: If this sounds too complicated, you can let WordPress host your site for you. You create a free account, set up your blog, choose the design, and then start publishing. There is a misconception that a blog is simply a "what I had for breakfast" type of thing, but in fact, you can use a blog for a number of things, such as publishing news updates about your business or product, or for adding articles, features and static information about your particular topic.
- Maximise Your Website - Advice on how to get more from your website, from EssexMax