3) You should get your own domain name, which you essentially "rent" from a host provider. I rent the WebguyDavis.com address through GoDaddy and they typically charge $35 per year ($29 per year for two years, but rates do vary). They also have “deals” where you get the domain name for free if you sign up with them to be your Internet host. These costs, and what you get for what you pay, can vary greatly by provider so check carefully.
4) There are two basic ways to build your own website.
A) You can start from scratch by using a website construction program. This program allows you to put words, pictures and files on web pages and see what it looks like before you post your pages on your host provider. These are “drag and drop” programs. One of the best programs is named Adobe Dreamweaver CC. While Dreamweaver is a very powerful program, learning how to use the program requires a steep learning curve.
B) The second way to construct a website is to use companies that have set up pre-made template websites. These sites allow you, for a fee, to use already constructed “boiler-plate” templates of a website. You fill in the information, navigation system, photographs, etc. into a pre-made form. While template websites are much easier to use, there is still a lot of learning prior to making your own site. I use GoDaddy's "Website Builder" program for all my template websites, but there are many other companies that provide a similar service. Costs will vary, as will the hosting companies requirements. Some are very inexpensive but in return require you to have advertisements on your site. Check the fine print carefully before selecting a template hosting company. This website is a template site hosted by GoDaddy.
5) In working with clients I have found that they typically underestimate all the time and energy that goes into constructing and updating a website. To begin, you need to decide on a color scheme, a logo, what the overall look of the site will be and what will be included in the navigation system. Once the overall look has been determined you will need content, photos and/or videos. As I eventually end up telling my clients, “the devil is in the details.” As a Webmaster you are starting out with a blank computer screen - when you're done you have a website. Inbetween there are a million decisions that have to be made and a lot of writing to be done.
Welcome to my former business website To simplify my life I have placed some of my websites into this one location. Unless you are a friend, I am no longer accepting new website clients. I have deleted much of the "business portion" of the site and have posted some general information for those of you hoping to make your own site.
Are you interested in getting a website up and running for your business, organization or yourself, but don’t know where to begin? I can help you get started on your path to the information superhighway.
What Do You Need To Construct a Website?
You need to have some basic hardware and software – and you need to know how to use it. This is usually the “Achilles heel” of website construction. For every piece of hardware that you use – you also need to know HOW to use its software. It’s a steep learning curve to put up your own website if you are new to computing. To construct a website you will need the following:
1) A computer with an Internet connection. The computer must be fast enough to handle the speed of the Internet connection that you are using. If you are going to include a number of photographs and large files (if you are going to post your newsletter on your website for example) you will probably want an Internet connection faster than dial-up. (Approximately 3% of America's population still use dial-up, over 2 million people still use AOL's dial-up alone!)
2) You will need a website host provider. A host is a computer where your Internet site is stored and is the computer where other people actually go to access your website. It is NOT your personal computer. I use two companies, one is Network Solutions and the other company I use is GoDaddy. There are many other companies from which to chose. Prices, terms and size of the website that you can post vary by provider. Check carefully before you sign up. Some Internet providers have pricing plans which limit customers in the website size and access speed. Don’t pay for more access than you anticipate needing. If you exceed the space that you initially sign up for you will be notified and can always increase your access plan.