Setting up a website

Okay, so you have read plenty of tutorials on how to put a web-page together and you have the very latest WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) application i.e. “Dreamweaver” to help you generate your ticket to an easier life, but what next? How do you actually get those pages online?

Web Hosts

Firstly, you need to find yourself a decent website hosting company. A host, to make things  patronising easy, is a company connected to the internet, with a very large collection of hard-drives. By signing up to them, they let you use a little bit of disk-space on which you can display your web files to the entire planet!

There are trillions to choose from. Personally, I’d go on the forums and see what everybody else is talking about as far as reliability, speed, cost and customer service is concerned. I have dabbled with plenty of hosts in the past and found that (dare I say this…) 1and1 offer one of the better packages for small to medium purposes. One.com are also good for very small projects.

I will mention no names, but there are a lot of hosts out there who will charge you the earth and offer a terrible service, so tread carefully!

Most host packages will have at least 1 domain nameincluded in the annual cost.  During sign-up, you will be given the opportunity to suggest the domain name that you would like reserving for your website. After you have made your suggestion, if the domain is already taken, many hosts will give you a list of useful alternatives. Once you are completely happy with your website’s name, hand over the money and keep an eye on the ol’ e-mail inbox for you confirmation message.

Uploading your files – FTP

Once the host has got it hands on your hard-earned cash, you should received your usernames and passwords from them via e-mail and you will now be ready to set up a connection to the host to ‘upload’ your web pages and image files.

Just about every host on the planet will suggest that you use their online software for file upload; but if you have a life away from your computer and don’t won’t to spend several decades getting your files uploaded via their tedious online applications, I’d suggest you download an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program such as Mozilla’s ‘FileZilla‘ – jolly decent and free!

You will have to poor over your FTP application’s instructions on connect setup, but it should be fairly straight forward: input your web address, host name (sometimes), FTP username and FTP password. If you get stuck, get in touch with either your FTP application’s developer or contact your host. It should be all make sense when you get that email from your hosts after sign-up.

Ready to FTP

Now that you have setup your FTP application, you simply connect to your host, and copy your files from your hard-drive to your host’s hard-drive. This is usually a process of dragging from one window (left) to the other (right) – just like copying from one disk to another. Once you have copied over your files, your domain name ( i.e. www.monkeyies-for-justice.co.uk) will then look for your home page file, usually called something like index.html or default.htmland ding-dang-do, you’re all set up to take the internet by storm. Good luck!