Finding a Host

9 Apr

Your web host is the company that provides the server space for your site.  This is the “place” where all of your files reside and the machine that has the software to run your site.

There are many choices and advantages and disadvantages of each.  The larger hosting services tend to be more expensive than the smaller ones.  But some of the larger hosts can be more reliable and stable.  It does a company no good to  have an amazing website if the hosting server is down all the time!  The bottom line is this:  do your homework; research several hosts; talk to existing clients if you can.

One also has to consider the type of site.  If your website is an site, make sure the host you choose can run/support this type of site.  Not all hosting servers can.  Make sure you find out.

On this topic, when designing your website you may want to consider using CSS wherever you can instead of JavaScript.  (Specifically, menus, photo viewing, and hover changes are more elegantly handled in CSS many times than invoking JavaScript.)  CSS is universally supported/accepted and many times can be the difference in someone viewing your site as  it was intended, and viewing it with missing effects when JavaScript is disabled.

There are many websites that review hosts. is just one website that offers comparisons of different hosting services.  Use several resources to check out a web host.  Remember, just because you see it on a website doesn’t mean that information is accurate or true.  Cross- check!

Domain Names

26 Jan

To publish a website you need 1) the website content, 2) a domain name, and 3) a host.  Let’s talk about the domain name. 

Think of the domain name as your website’s name/address.  This is how it is identified.  For example, the domain name for the wordpress blog home page is  Domain names can end in com, net, org, edu and a number of other extensions.  It’s a good idea to make your domain name descriptive of your venue.

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you have to register it with an ICANN registrar; ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  You can register your name directly through a registrar or through you web hosting provider.  (Sometimes the web host providers will have a special deal when you purchase hosting for a discounted domain name.)

Personally, I prefer to register the name directly with the registrar.  A google search on ICANN registrar will give you a list of registrars.  Right now, Yahoo! is having a special deal.

When you go to the registrar’s site to register your domain name, they will search and tell you if the name is available.  You may have to regroup and come up with a variation if your name of choice has been taken.  You will have to pay for your domain name, either with a credit card or PayPal.  The cost can vary from a few dollars to $35.

You should also consider making your information private.  (This will probably cost you an additional $10, but then your address and phone number, which is required by the ICANN when you register, is not publicly available.)

Next – Ok, I have a domain name, now what?

Web Page

25 Jan

There are several ways to go about having a web presence.  Let’s start with the easiest ways first.

Blogs:  There are several sites where you can set up a free blog (like this one), and you can be up and running in minutes!  Blogs have several advantages.  You don’t have to be an IT guru to set one up and update it.  With the different appearance options available with most blogs, you can also customize your blog to reflect you and your purpose for a web site.  Adding pictures and links is very easy as well.  Here are several links for free blogs:,,

Free web space:  Microsoft has a small business program where they will give you web space free.  This is a good way to get your feet wet.  On the down side, your website address is a fourth-level domain, which means it has at the end of your domain name.  (But it is free!)

There  are other offers of free websites on the internet.  One suggestion – “buyer” beware. 

Finally, you can purchase a domain name and web hosting and build and customize everything for your site.

Next – Getting a Domain Name

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