Note: This site has become static. I am putting current efforts to provide technical information into two of my other sites.For the Freshest stuff go there
Getting Your Website Online
Getting your website online can be relatively easy. Then
again, getting your website online can be pretty difficult.
Great you say, this is a big help to me. It can be difficult
because of all the choices that are available to you. It can be
difficult depending on the type of website you are looking to
This page will attempt to help you determine the type of
website you are looking to have and help steer you to what I
believe to be the best choices. Use this advice not as the
definitive gospel, rather seek other advice and weigh it in as
well. Links to some external web sites are provided here for
What is the purpose of you web site ?
It is important to get a sense as to why you want or need to
get online before recommending the best means for you to get
online. Find the category that best fits your reason and read on.
Sharing a passion for a hobby or providing information to
Are you just looking to get online to share information about a
hobby or favorite interest? Are you a member of a small group like
a book club, or church small group that would like a means of
sharing information with each other and your local (or even
global) community? Maybe you have a political or social agenda
that you want to make others aware of. If these fit into your
reason for wanting to get online then you would be best served by
going with an inexpensive web hosting package. You can typically
get these for $10.00 or less per month.
We host a number of our site with Bluehost.com. There prices
are good. We have found there service to be very good.
50gb is quite a bit of disk space. To put this in perspective,
if you were going to have 1000 web pages on your site and each
page was 70k (this is a very large web page!) you would consume
70mb of space. This is a fraction of your quota.
250gb of transfer is a boatload of bandwidth. Lets say you had
100,000 hit on your site per month. This is a pretty popular site!
Okay, maybe not popular by Amazon or Ebay standards, but 100,000
page hits per month is quite a bit for a personal site! The
100,000 hits per month would use 70gb of your allotted bandwidth.
You still should do some research and shop around. Also determine
the following before signing up.
How long has the web provider been in business?
You do not want to sign up for a 12 month contract for a
service that may be out of business. Be wary of signing up for
more than 12 months at a time. The market is very competitive out
there and once does not need to make long term commitments.
How to you get your website from your PC to theirs?
Does the site use Windows or Linux? Apache or IIS?
Most of these services will have tools to get your website from
your PC to their servers. If you are creating your website using
your PC to theirs without any problems. Even if your website was
created using IIS in Windows it should run like a champ on a linux
hosting service running the Apache webserver. Only if you are
creating pages using other technologies like ASP will you need to
find a hosting service that used software similar to the software
you are using to create the website.
Do I need CGI or mySQL support?
Probably not. Keep it simple. Remember your goals are to get
content online to share with others. Half of the features offered
in these deals you will have no use for. You may want to use the
blog or forum software the web hosting service has to offer.
Trying to make a buck
I am assuming that you have modest entrepreneurial goals here.
Meaning what? Meaning that you are not trying to get online so you
can compete with eBay or Barnes and Noble or Expedia. Starting an
eBusiness can be a lot of fun. Also plan on it being a lot of
work! If you are new to eBusiness and the web you would be wise to
stick with the following 4 big names as these enterprises are more
geared to newbies (than other internet service providers). They
are: Yahoo, Go Daddy, eBay, and Amazon.
The link will provide you
information on Yahoos business packages. Personally, I would start with
the basic plans they offer as they will meet your immediate needs, cost you
The facts most internet service providers (like Bluehost.com)
offer packages that you can use to setup an eBusiness. What I like
about these sites are that they offer more flexibility in
designing your site, and they make available industry standard
open source software like Perl (cgi), PHP, Mysql for your use.
Bluehost also offers canned applications for wikis, blogs,
shopping carts, forums, etc... that are easy to install and not
real hard to implement if you have some prior web experience. Of course Bluehost
is our ISP and we are a bit parttial.
If you are planning on selling and choose an ISP like Bluehost
for your eBusiness you are going to need a merchant agreement so
that you can accept credit cards. Be careful and do your homework
here. Check with the BBB, and do web searches to see if you can
determine if the merchant is reliable. Here is an outfit that
have good track record from the internet research we have done.
Please note that they are not a gateway.
As far as marketing your business goes you should check out
Why? Look at the graph and that should answer that
If you are serious about running an eBusiness you will also
want to try to get your website listed with the main search
engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask). Why? Free advertising that
brings people to your site! The higher you get listed the greater
the traffic you will see. There is a lot of work involved in doing
this. A lot of work!!! Here are some links to get you started!
If you think you can make a lot of money with little time and
effort selling online you should not even waste any more time. Go
buy a lotto ticket as your odds will be better there.
Learning about web technologies
This is really the only category where I would recommend
running your own webserver. Running your own webserver (contrary
to what you may here) is technically challenging. You also have to
deal with security issues to keep people from hacking into your
site. I would never recommend trying to conduct business
transactions from your own webserver. If you really want to run an
eBusiness on a webserver you own and maintain you should farm out
the business transactions to someone like PayPal. Unless you are
well insured you would be a fool to try to conduct eCommerce from
a webserver you run.
Running my own webserver has been a great learning experience
for me as I have gotten to learn first hand about networking,
security, and how to implement a ton of different technologies on
the web.When it comes to my eBusiness I use Yahoo.
Small Business trying to establish an online presence
First, if you are looking to sell your wares troll back up and
read everything in "trying to make a buck".
Now, if your goal as a business is to get some online exposure
you might want to consider the following ideas.
- Offer information and resources pertaining to your business.
People are more apt to spend time on your site if you offer
them useful information.
- Keep your site current and update it frequently. People are
more apt to return to your site if you keep it update and
continually are adding to it.
- Do not inundate people with information. Find quality links.
Do not have numerous links that take folks to other sites that
pretty much offer the same information.
Jumping into the online world takes a great deal of thought
and care in planning your site. Substance is and probably the most important
thing in my book. But image is also important. The look and feel of
your website is very important.
Looking for more general information on web hosting?
The following is a great link to site that provides not only
good general information about web hosting, but includes neat
little tools on the page that allow you to "guestimate"
how much disk space and bandwidth you think you might need.
Keep from getting scammed
When should YOU get a domain name?
You should start to consider the name of your website in the
very early planning stages. Well over 50 million names have been
taken. When choosing your names be flexible and have a number of
Does the name really matter?
Type in a keyword in Google and look at the pages that get
returned. See how many times the keyword is in the URL. With
billions of page hits per month this should be a big priority for
you. I originally did not take this task seriously and when trying
to register a name got frustrated with all the names that were
taken and choose a submarine term. This would be great if my
website had anything to do with submarines. It does not.
guidelines for choosing a domain name
a domain name from a marketing perspective