Step 1. Get a Domain name.
This is a crucial step. Just as you canít go through life without a name, you also canít put up a website without a domain name. But what exactly is a domain name?
This has been defined as a Ďname that identifies one or more IP addresses and is used in URLs to identify particular Web pages.í And because it Ďidentifiesí your website, it is important that you choose a good one. There are three things that you need to keep in mind when making your choice.
It should be short (because you want people to remember it). It should be relevant (to your site). And (this is very important if you donít want legal hassles later on) it should not contain any trademarked terms or phrases. You can have more than one domain name, and your choice of doman name can have an affect on how you eventually rank in Google).
Once youíve chosen your domain name, you then need to have it registered, which you can complete by using our domain name registration service.
Step 2. Design your website
No matter what your budget is, or what web programming skills you do (or donít) have, there is an option available for you.
If youíre on a tight budget, have some web design experience and donít mind spending some time on a project, then software programs such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, DIY Web Kit and Microsoft FrontPage may be for you.†These programs offer pre-designed templates you can add content to and have features that allow you to design, edit and preview, as well as enable you to add simple dynamic elements (ex. forms and search boxes) to your pages.
If youíre in hurry and are looking for a Kiosk-type website (a few static pages and some basic functonality, plus email) our 'templates' may be your best option. You simply choose a template from our array of layout and graphics options, enter your text, add a dynamic element here and then upload via FTP or our easy-to-use cPanel interface, and voila! You have an instant personal or professional web site. Of course, we can complete these steps for you if you would prefer.
However, for a professional approach, you could choose from one of our custom designed all inclusive packages, or even choose your features from a range of option. Although more expensive, youíll have more flexibility and will come up with a more distinct look for your site. You can also add more complex dynamic elements to your website(s) as well.
Some questions to consider before making your choice, though:
- Do I like their previous work? (take a look through our portfolio and our packages)
- Were their clients satisfied? (repeat clients, referrals, client list)
- How about the companyís background? (history, designers etc.) and,
- Do I get all the rights to the completed site?
Step 3. Decide on your choice of: hosting type, web host and of course, web hosting plan.
There are a variety of web hosting setups available, depending on your budget and the type of web site you want to put up. The most common ones are shared hosting, dedicated hosting and co-location. Information on these types, as well as others, is provided on our hosting type page. For the typical small business, a shared posting package is both the most cost effective, and least technically demanding.
Once youíve cut down your list to a reasonable number, it is now time to start going through their plans. The sheer number of web hosting plans available might be overwhelming, but a good way to narrow down the list is to pay attention to your needs.
But what exactly do you need to run a website?
Now that you have your own checklist of requirements, whatís next? Well, you simply match them to the plans available. But what if youíre still left with a substantial list to choose from? Then compare and evaluate the plans. How?
Before we go to the last step, we need to recap.
After the first step (selection and registration of your Domain name), you should have already created a name server account.
After the second step (site Design), you should already have web pages that are ready for upload.
And with the third step (Decisions, decisions), you should have already signed up with a web host, paid for your chosen hosting plan and received a confirmation email containing that oh-so-important name server(s) and other information needed to view and manage your site.
The final step would then be:
Step 4. Deploy your site.
How do you do this?
You need to login to your account first where your domain is managed from (this could be Havenswift Hosting or it could be another company) and change your domainís nameservers to those that you received in the email. It usually takes between 4 and 12 hours (but can be up to†48 hours) for these changes be propagated across the Internet. Meanwhile, you can upload all your siteís files (HTML, graphics, programming) to the hosting account, either though an FTP client, a web page editor or the control panel of your site using the IP address rather than the domain name - again as documented in the welcome email.