Getting Started With Your First Web Site - What You'll Need
So you have decided to take the plunge and start your very first web site. You have the basic theme of the site and a great deal of content mapped out in your head. You have decided that you are going to commit an hour or two of your time to the site every night, 6 days per week. You have decided that this will be a labor of love, but you are also hoping that one day you can make some extra money off of the site.
So what's the next step? How do you go from a vision in your head to reality?
The first step is: think of a domain name. What do you want your site to be called? And most importantly, is the domain available? You preferably want a domain name that ends in *.com. My advice is to jot down a number of different name ideas and then head over to Godaddy. There is a box about halfway down the page that says above it "Domain Name Search". Search for some of the domains that you wanted to register for your site. You will likely find that most have been taken. Cross off the ones that have been taken, and then narrow down the remaining list. Take your time with this part of the process, as you will be stuck with this domain name for the rest of the site's existence.
The next step is: register your domain name. You can do this at Godaddy as well. They are a solid and reputable company with great customer service. We have all of our domain names there. Click on "Create an Account" on the right side of the page and go from there. You will have your first domain name registered in about 15 minutes. I believe that Godaddy takes a wide variety of different payment options, including Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.
The next step: buying some web space. You have the domain name, now you need the web space that will host your site and hold all of your files and images. My recommendation is to sign up at Bluehost.com (no, they aren't paying me to say that). The reason that I like Bluehost is because if you are planning on running a blog (which is very likely), they already have the blogging software built into your hosting package. So instead of having to go to all of the trouble to install Wordpress (the blogging software) yourself, Bluehost will simply switch it on for you and you will be up and running in seconds. Installing the blogging software is usually the most confusing part of the process for people.
Next step: you need to change your Godaddy settings so that your domain points at your web host. Bluehost will email you, and in that email they will tell you what your "nameservers" are for the web site. You need to change these nameservers in your Godaddy account screen for the domain that you chose. Simply log in to Godaddy and bring up the list of your domains. You should be able to click on the domain, and a tab will appear near the top that will say something like "Nameservers". Click on this, and you will be able to change the nameservers for your domain. If you have any troubles with this step, then I would highly recommending emailing Godaddy support or contacting them on the phone, and they will walk you through it. It seems difficult, but it's not. It really only takes 10 seconds to implement the change, and then another hour or so for the change to be effected on Godaddy's side.
Ok, so your domain now points towards your web host. Your blogging software is set up. The site is live. Now what?
The first step is: Start writing. Don't worry about making sure that your site is looking perfect at this stage: it won't be. Write your first article, get the site off the ground, and then proceed to the next step:
Submit your site to the search engines. At this stage of the game, I will usually submit the brand new sites to Yahoo, MSN and Google. Simply go to each search engine and type in something like "submit a site to Google", etc. You will see a link that will allow you to easily submit a new site to their search index. They will send out one of their spiders to locate and spider your site.
So your site will now be live and indexed in Google. In our next article, we'll talk about how to optimize your site for the search engines, how to create traffic and how to make your site look more beautiful.
Filed under: Making Money Online | General Knowledge