Got ya! While I would love to report that I was able to spend my day learning everything there is to know about the subjects in the title in just one day, what I really learned was how to even BEGIN to learn about these things. One would think that with the overwhelming need for a website in business today, that it would be pretty easy to get one up and running; to this I say “ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahaha ha. ha. ha.” Seriously. The amount of coherent, BEGINNER oriented information out there is next to none. While looking for information about best web hosting sites and what to know about them, I uncovered website after website, forum after forum with instructions such as: “If you wish to publish your website/data worldwide, you need to contact Web Host. The company that provides web hosting services are call as Web Host.” Call me dense, but I struggle to find this little gem of information helpful.
All of that being said, I did manage to stumble around enough to figure out a few things. I’ve decided to just go with it and try to teach myself as I go. So let’s just call this ‘Everything About Website Creation, Web Hosting and Reseller Hosting Part One-of-who-knows-how-many. In fact, this inspires me to designate my first weekly installation: Website Wednesday’s. Without further ado, here are some things that I actually learned, instead of what I did not:
Step 1: get a domain name. This can be done through a variety of websites, most notably GoDaddy.com. You may have seen their somewhat racy ads like this Superbowl commercial. I ended up going with Go Daddy to buy my domain name because their site was the easiest to navigate and if the .com I was looking for wasn’t available or was too expensive, they give you some alternatives to look at. For example, if AwesomeBusinessName.com isn’t available, you might be able to register AwesomeBusinessName.biz or Awesome-Business-Name.com. Go Daddy always seems to be running some sort of promotion too, which will help save you some money on the domain name. For the New Year all ‘.com’ domains were on sale for $9.99 instead of $14.99, but I also checked retailmenot.com and found a code valid through January 4th 2013 that let me get mine for just $.99/year, so make sure you check around for coupon codes before you buy at their so-called ‘special’ price.
Step 2: decide how you much control you want over the design of your website. If you are looking to just have a few basic pages with information and details about your business, the web site hosting packages that sites like Godaddy.com, hostgator.com, site5.com usually include the hosting of your site and some basic design templates so you can manufacture a passable generic site. Trying to compare all of these options definitely made my head spin, so you may want to check out a few of the reputable reviews that can be found at Lifehacker, cNet or another ranking from a site that you have heard of. The biggest problem I encountered when researching web hosts was that because the hosts actually host websites as a business, many of the ‘reviews’ are just sites being run by the web host to promote them as a number one ranked company.
Personally, for me, my end goal is to build my website using Dreamweaver and ultimately start a Web Design company. For this reason I am oriented myself more with reseller web hosting. Many of the big name hosting companies also sell reseller hosting packages, what is what I am messing with now. Basically what this means is that instead of paying a company 5 dollars per month to put my site onto a small section of their much larger servers, I can pay a monthly service fee that gives me access to my own server. Then, depending on the size of the server I rent, I can put my website in the space, as well as x number of other people’s websites. This will allow me to build someone a website, the actually design and layout of the pages, and then host it for them as well. Right now I am doing a one month free trial of site5.com’s reseller web hosting basic package while I learn more about the design of web pages in Dreamweaver and to actually host sites with the tools that they give me.
In the next few weeks I am hoping to post about creating packages in WHM, selling web hosting packages, and building sites in Dreamweaver and then actually publishing them to the web. For now, this is pretty much all Greek to me, but I feel like I can learn these things now that I actually know what specific things I need to learn. Eventually I would like to put together a start to finish guide for making an amazing website that doesn’t require you to decode every couple of sentences with a web site building dictionary, so stay tuned for that.
If you already have an amazing website, or are a web host reseller, please leave any tips, tricks and great resources in the comments. Also, if you too are trying to get a website up and running, but you are getting stuck on the logistics, ask your question in the comments and maybe someone else can answer your question, or I can answer it in a future Website Wednesday post.