Guide to Internet Business - Web Site Setup
National Driller September 2005 e-Newsletter
After planning the design and content of your Web site, it's time to actually physically set up your Web site. This is the step where you put all your designs and plans into action, creating a Web site that will attract visitors and earn income.
Web HostingA Web host is a company that stores the pages and pictures and other files of your Web site. When a person visits your Web site, they will request these files from your Web host's server so they can view the Web site. When choosing a Web host, be careful to choose one that is reliable. After all, if your Web host has problems for any reason, people won't be able to visit your Web site, and you won't be earning any money. In addition, different Web hosts have varying services and tools that they offer. Some of the more important points to consider when choosing a Web host are as follows:
Space and bandwidth - Space refers to how much file storage space is available for your Web site. For a standard Web site with about 20 pages with graphics, 30 MB is plenty. Online stores might require more space depending on how many products and pictures you have. Bandwidth refers to how many files can be downloaded and viewed by visitors per month. A normal Web site with reasonable traffic (200 visitors a day) will need about 2 GB bandwidth. Again, if you own a business with lots of products and Web pages, you might need more bandwidth.
Domains and subdomains - Usually, Web hosting accounts are charged per domain, with $10 per domain being a reasonable price. However, you can buy larger hosting packages that allow you to host multiple domains and Web sites on the same account. Subdomains are just different sections of your Web site's domain, with five subdomains the rough standard. You will need to make sure how many domains your account entitles you, in order to calculate which is the better Web hosting package.
Emails and autoresponders - Emails are the various email addresses that visitors can write to you. Most Web sites will use about two or three emails (maybe a Web master email and a support email). Autoresponders are email addresses that will reply someone with an automatic email. You only will need autoresponders if you are on vacation and wish to leave an automated reply in case anybody emails you.
Scripts - If you want to add extra functionality (such as forums or polls), you will need to be able to run scripts. Make sure your Web host allows you to run scripts for your Web site. The more common scripts are Java, PHP, Perl and CGI.
There are a number of companies out there that offer free Web hosting, but they usually have severe limitations, and might place their own ads on your Web site. If you are serious in building your Internet business, it is recommended to sign up for a proper Web hosting service. In any case, you shouldn't be paying more than $10 a month per domain for basic Web hosting services.
ProgrammingSome people with sufficient HTML knowledge use word-processing programs to directly code the HTML for their Web sites. For the rest of us who don't have such skill, we recommend one of the popular graphical programs like Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage. These programs allow you to create your Web pages with mouse clicks with little need for knowledge in HTML.
File Organization and TransferOnce you have your Web hosting set up and your Web pages completed, you need to transfer the completed pages to your Web hosting server. If you are using a graphical program like Dreamweaver to work on your Web pages, you can configure Dreamweaver to transfer the files for you.
If you are doing it manually, you need to transfer the files via FTP. Your Web host will provide you with an FTP server, with a user ID and password for you to access your account on the Web host. Once you connect to the account via FTP, you will be able to upload (transfer files from your computer to the server) or download (transfer files from the server to your computer) or modify files as required.
You can FTP to the server using your computer's Windows Explorer, by entering the FTP server's address in your explorer's Address Toolbar. Or you can use specialized FTP programs such as AceFTP.
Additional ScriptsIf you want to add extra functionality to your Web site, such as polls, newsletter subscription forms and other interactive programs, you will need to install scripts onto your Web site as well.