14 Nov 2007

So the interesting thing about the advert that I have in Glamour is that I now get emails from PR companies and advertisers. I wasn't expecting that, although I could have guessed had I thought about it. Today I met up with fellow etsian skeinqueen, since she works near where I live. Check out her shop, some beautiful colours there!

I was going to write a bit about setting up a website. Sometimes I talk to people and they seem to be very aware of what one needs to do to set up a website. Sometimes people really want to set one up but don't know where to begin. There are three basic options:

1. free
2. pay for domain name only
3. pay for domain name and hosting

(a domain name is the name (aka URL) of your site, for example, mine is www.magpienest.co.uk)

So the details are:

1. Free. If you just want to set up a website for fun and don't mind too much what it looks like, then your internet service provider will most likely give you some free space on their server (usually there is a limit on space, but it's often plenty to set up a basic site.). Your internet service provider is the company that you pay for your internet access - either dial-up, or broadband. This means that you can use some space on their computer to host your site. That means the name/url/address of your site is likely to be something like this:
http://freespace.virgin.net/username/mywebsite/
That's fine but the limitations are that it's not an easy name to find or remember. It also does not look professional if you are using it for business purposes.

2. pay for domain name only. You can buy your domain name from many different companies on the internet. Usually you buy the name for 2 years and then you renew it. You must not forget to renew, or someone else can buy it! Usually you go to the domain name buying site and then type in the name you want and it will tell you if it is available. Of course many are not available, especially if it's something popular or obvious, like www.madonna.com! Names ending in .com are more expensive than those ending in .co.uk, .org, .de, .fr, etc etc. An example of a company where you can buy the name is www.blackfoot.co.uk
Once you have the name, you can ask the domain name company to "redirect" the name to your free hosting (see #1). This is what I did for my mom's site, which is www.mariekedewaard.co.uk
So when you type in that name in your address bar, you will get directed to the site but the name will change to http://freespace.virgin.net/dougall.dougs/Website/
The benefits are that you have an easy to remember name/url/address. The downside is that the name/url/address shows as your free space url once you are on the site. It's up to you if that's important or not. You may even want to buy more than one domain name and have some of them redirect to your main name or site, such as www.mysite.org and www.mysite.net etc.

3. pay for domain name and hosting. You can also buy your domain name and then also pay for hosting. If you use the same company, it makes things a bit easier, but you don't have to. You buy a hosting package - there will be options depending how much space you need and how many extras you want for the backoffice of your site (email addresses, etc.). Once you pay, the company will send you details on how to access your hosting site and how to connect to your FTP site (the location of your website files). What this means is that your whole site will have the name that you bought. For example, on my website, all the pages' names start with www.magpienest.co.uk (e.g. http://www.magpienest.co.uk/about.html) Once you pay for hosting, you can also get detailed usage statistics to see what the traffic to your site is. You also get at least one email address which matches your site, such as machi@magpienest.co.uk
and you can create forms for people to email you directly from the site, such as on this page:
http://www.magpienest.co.uk/contact.html
All this adds up to a much more professional looking website.

Prices vary, but domain names that do not end in .com are around 10 UK pounds per two years. Hosting varies quite a bit as well, but roughly 50-60 UK pounds a year.

Ok, tomorrow hopefully I'll have some time to explain a bit about what FTP is and how to start building a basic site. That's all for today...

1 comment:

The Mommy and Me Boutique said...

Thank you for the information. I like how you said for fun and free. Nice combination!