The ABC'S of Getting Your First Web Site
If you've been wanting a website, but aren't sure just what is required to get one up and running to your advantage, this outline will hopefully explain what is needed at a minimum to get a web site built for you from the ground up. One of the most important factors of site building to understand so that you will be prepared to plan your web site budget is cost. You can design a web site yourself for free, but then that entails two more factors - time and expertise. Since this outline is based on what someone else with the time and expertise can do for you and how much it may cost you, we will stick to that format here. The costs discussed are the minimum - you can always add more features later and pay seperately for those items. After your minimum site is built, you will have a better idea of what features you might like to add to enhance its chances of promoting your product, cause or for other purposes such as providing more information or adding a photo gallery or entertainment section. You will also need to choose a domain name, have your site hosted and decide a marketing strategy for it. With all that in mind, let's begin our journey to building your new web site for you...
There are basically three independent costs involved in a web site operation:
Step One - the Domain Name
Every web site on the Internet has its own unique name which is known as a Web Domain Name or site name and often a company name. Think of it as your "property" or "real estate" on the web. The URL is the actual technical Web Address or Web Site Address of your domain - the place you will refer to when discussing your personally owned space on the internet. You will send your visitors and/or your customers to that address to view your web site. Needless to say, getting a Domain Name is your first step in building a web site. JollyGerman.com is a good example of a Domain Name.
Getting a Domain Name is not difficult, but you will need to choose a name that is not already in use by someone else. This is where a little research will be needed. Let's say for example you would really like to get the Domain Name "MyWebSite.com." You type that address into your computer browser such as Internet Explorer and find out that someone else is using it. If they are, you will have to choose another name for your domain that is not in use and shows up as "available" for you to purchase. We can do all that for you, so don't worry about that, but you should understand the basic terminology and what it means.
Buying Domain Names can be a little confusing because there are several choices of "extensions" available for each domain. The most commonly used extension is the .com extension. You can buy as many variations of your domain as you like as long as they are available, but the most popular ones are: .com, .net, and .info. There are many other extensions like .tv and .biz, .us and many more. You might want two or three of these in the future, but for now if you can buy the .com extension for your domain, it will get your site the most recognition from the start. Here is an idea of what the extensions represent:
- .com = Commercial, general purpose web extension for individuals and businesses alike.
- .org = Organization extension for various groups and organizations.
- .net = Network extension often used by large companies or networks of companies.
- .edu = Education institution extension limited to schools, colleges and universities.
- .mil = Military extension used solely by the military.
- .gov = Government extension used exclusively by the government.
Once you've decided on at least 3 possible Domain Names that you feel will best suit your needs, you can contact us and we will research their availability, OR you can try to register an available Domain Name yourself. We recommend you have us take care of the actual registration, since a simple mistake can possibly cost you your domain name and a lot of technical headaches. We can help you avoid this, but of course, it's all up to you. You have the hardest job - choosing the name you want to use! Your web site name will establish the basis of your new Internet Identity, so please give it careful consideration. We charge $15 a year for this service for as many years as you want to register. You may register for one year and renew annually, or register for 2, 3, 4, 5 or more years at a time. Another choice for your budget. You decide.
A quick word of caution on registering a Domain Name at a lower price: there is a growing number of companies set up to register Domain Names at seemingly bargain prices. However, some (not all) of these companies retain ownership of the Domain Name you paid for until you pay them extra fees to transfer your Domain Name to a web site server (more on web servers in upcoming steps) that is not in their company network. Jolly German Internet Services does not do this. We register your Domain Name for a set fee with no strings attached. If you feel that you are ready to get your own domain name, you can easily start the process by using our Domain Name Registration Form or giving us a call at: (719) 267-4279.
If you've gotten this far, paid your Domain Name registration fee and had the Domain Name approved for use, then the first step has been accomplished (insert Pat on the Back here) and you are now the proud owner of your very own Domain Name! Congratulations!
The next step will outline what you need to do next now that you have your very own Domain Name ready for use.
Proceed to Step Two - Putting Your Domain Name on the Internet.