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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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