Your friends are doing it, teenagers are doing it, and now you feel it’s about time to give it a try. Don’t be shy. Say it aloud: “I want a website.” ... Ah, that’s better.
In 1991 a man working for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, created the first Web page. While it wasn’t much to look at, it was the beginning of something grand.
The World Wide Web has evolved to become one of the most powerful resources of information and creators of wealth ever designed. Although it used to be a tool restricted to big business and those who understood the “language of the Web,” things have progressed to the point that just about anyone with a little desire and some time can create powerful, interactive websites.
The hardest part of any venture is determining where to start. Once you know what it is you want to showcase, the starting point becomes a domain name. First, write down names that are short and descriptive of the site you want to build.
Once you come up with a few that sound good, go onto the Internet and find a Web hosting company where you can do a search for available domain names. I like 1and1.com, but there are a multitude of others—GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc. Be prepared to purchase the domain name, as there are companies out there that scan domain search records and will purchase the name in hopes of reselling it at a higher price later.
If your project is for personal use—maybe posting family pictures, creating a Web log or a high school reunion site—the hosting company you signed up with will often have design templates that are easy to implement and can even be password-protected. Wordpress, 1and1 and Drupalgardens are especially good in the areas of template design, ease of implementation and tutorials. In the case of 1and1, the support desk is open 24/7.
Business sites start out the same and would certainly add credibility through the use of a clean template and personalized email, but they give you more to consider than a simple personal site. Will you be selling something online or even providing the ability for people to comment on posts and articles?
Extensibility is important for business sites, which is why 1and1, Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress are great. Fortunately, most of those options are still fairly easy to implement. They just need a little bit more of a cash outlay but don’t need to break the bank.