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Why You Should Localize Your Website: An Introduction

Make Your Own Website: Getting Started
By Jonathan Bismark

There are many ways to start a new website. The very first thing you must do is choose what the goal of your new website is going to be.

Personal Websites
If the goal of your website is to post information about you or your hobbies, etc. you will probably want to get a free hosting account from geocities, angelfire, or myspace. There are many places on the internet that offer free website space.

Business Websites

The goal of these websites is to make money in some form or another. Even the free websites offering free services or fun games to play are making money from their websites. Let's break down the different types of business websites.

Informational Website

At this type of website you may find any sort of information from "How To's" to "Reviews". If this is the type of website you would like to create you may be wondering how does giving away free information make any money? The answer is, they make money the same way radio stations do, Advertisement. The internet however, has an unlimited amount of ways to advertise and get paid.

Affiliate Programs

Many companies offer programs that you can sign up for to earn commission on sales that were generated from your website. You add a banner or link onto your website with an "affiliate code" that tells the company's website that, that person came from your website. In the event that they purchase something you generally earn a percentage of the purchase as commission. This is an excellent way to earn money from a website.

Standard Advertising

After awhile a website may grow to be a major destination on the internet. This sort of website may offer advertisers a way to place ads on their main page or even in their newsletters or ezines. This is generally very costly and a big informational website can earn a lot of money doing this.

Pay Per Click Engines

Furthermore, webmasters may sign up for a pay per click advertisement program, such as Google's Adsense. Something like this would put a small section within your website that has links to other websites that match the content of the page. When people click on these links Google pays you a percentage of what they earn.

Product(s) or Service(s) Website

Most product and service websites will generate all of their income from pure sales. It seems to be a popular notation that these sort of websites do not like to "plague" their customers with advertisement. To get started with a product or service website you would need at the very least a shopping cart. Prepackaged shopping carts can be found on the internet for free such as osCommerce, a very nice shopping cart and very popular choice.

Recreational/Fun Website

Other websites shoot for fun games to bring traffic to their website. They may offer free games to play and then a subscription or membership to the other games or in some way restrict access to parts of the site to members only. This type of site generally combines advertisement with membership fees.

Company Website

Sometimes companies just set up websites to inform their customers of company specific information like phone numbers, store locations, closing times, etc. While they may not bring in any money they may promote the business and bring more customers to the physical building thus increasing sales.

Get A Webhost

With any business website you will need a web host. While it is possible to host a website on your own computer, if you do not have the skills and resources to do so, it is much more practical to sign up for web hosting through a web hosting company. Web hosts range anywhere from a few dollars a month to a few hundred dollars a month. Unless you have a specific need for some of the fancier things I would recommend getting a cheap web host that is reliable.

Register a Domain Name

After getting a webhost, you will need a domain name. A domain name is the internet address your website can be found on. Many web hosting companies offer plans that come with domain names as part of a package. If your web hosting company does not offer this, you can always register your domain from another website like register.com or godaddy.com.

Choosing a Domain Name
When choosing a domain name you may want to consider some search engine optimazation tactics. You will want your domain name to be easy to type, easy to spell, and easy to remember. Your domain name should also contain keywords that will be used to find your website. For example, if you are creating a website about race cars, you would want to have race cars in some form in the domain name. This really helps your rankings on search engines for those particular keywords. Do not include dashes in your domain name and try to get a .com as it is easiest to remember.

Building your Website

If you don't already have skills in HTML, PHP, or other programming languages, you will either have to learn them, hire someone to build your website, or use a prepackaged website. Yes, as a webmaster you will come to love open source projects. Open source projects are software programs that are built with anyone having access to the code used to create them. You can find projects like this that you can easily install on your website like postNuke, a content management system that is good enough to actually be an entire website by itself. There are all sorts of projects like this for almost anything you can imagine, and people are constantly improving them. You can get a message forums, photo gallery, content management system, blog, and shopping cart just to name a few.

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