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Web Sites: Getting Started

by | Jun 24, 2010 | Articles, Tutorials, Web Design | 1 comment

Breaking into the world on web design can be a daunting task, especially when starting from scratch with little or no knowledge of what you are supposed to do, and where you are supposed start. When you want to start your own web site, it is difficult to figure out what to do, because there are so many different methods out there to design a site.

You can hire a web designer to create a web site for you, or you can learn how to do it yourself. You can also purchase or download third party software that makes it as simple as clicking through a few menus to build a basic site. Whatever method you choose, there are some things that need to be considered that are concrete decisions that are difficult to change later. It is best to weigh out all of your options, so that you get what you want out of your site, and that you don’t have to go back and do a lot of backtracking. You don’t want to do a great deal of work to find out that it was all a waste of time and you didn’t even get the results that you wanted.

The main things that you need to get in order before actually designing your web site is to decide on your domain name, and who is going to host it. If you are designing your own site, the domain name needs to be simple, yet let the people know what it is. For example, if your company is named Sprint Packaging, then your site couldn’t be named, because that is a huge cell phone carrier’s domain name. Your domain name needs to be simple and easy to remember, because you may be advertising or directing your customers to the site via radio or television, or vocally via word of mouth or in conversation. A rule of thumb that I use is that I try to avoid dashes of overly lengthy domain names. The domain name for our example could be, or www. Make it intuitive. The harder you make it for people to find your site, the less likely they will actually take the time to make it there. Making your domain name would be a bad idea, because no one will remember to add in the dashes, and it is annoying to even type out in the first place. If your direct and to the point domain name is taken, then you might use an abbreviation. For example, you could use the domain name It is easy to say and easy to remember. It has a total of 4 syllables for the actual name and has a nice ring to it.

Another thing to consider is your hosting. There are hundreds of hosting companies, all with their unique plans out there. They all have their own features, as well as advantages and disadvantages. This is not a plug, but I personally use Godaddy as my hosting company. For my use, they work great. They have a lot of features that I like, and if I have a problem, they have excellent customer service. They are reasonably priced, and fairly secure. They have integrated WordPress capability, which makes getting started with WordPress a snap for beginners. They also have the ability to easy host new domains, set up email accounts, and they have a handy domain search feature as well, along with a suggestion generator that will give you some alternatives if your chosen domain is already taken. Another great feature that I love and have used and is a complete life saver is the ability to roll back your site to a previous day. For example, let’s say that you accidentally delete a vital file with a lot of intricate code from your server side. I will admit it, I am not perfect, you get in a hurry and realize that you are working on the server side instead of on the local version and you delete the wrong file. Instead of having to do your work over again, you can retrieve files from a previous day. Godaddy backs up your site every day and saves your files and your exact set up per day. The downside to Godaddy is that they are absolutely huge. They are a big target to hackers, so if your are a novice and keeping your files safe, your site can be at risk. With a little know-how you can avoid this problem and keep it to a minimum. Also, when submitting a need for help via online support, it takes a while to hear back from them. They also tend to make major changes to the site structure and layout, so once you get used to knowing exactly where everything is, they change it, and you have to get used to it all over again. They are also a little pricier than other smaller hosting companies.

With these tips in mind, it shouldn’t be too difficult to establish a domain name and hosting. Another tip is once you create a solid domain, you can also set up other domains that redirect to your main site, so if someone is close to your domain name, it will go to your main site. This can be costly to purchase multiple domains, but it is an option to set up multiple subordinate domain names.

There is still a lot to cover in the vast world of web site creation, but you should have your domain and hosting set up for now. There is much more to do to get everything ready so that you can create a site that will work for you and your purposes.

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