View Full Version : Setting up your first website

July 14th, 2011, 12:16 AM
This can be a simple process depending on what type of website a customer would like. First let's qualify exactly what you expect from your first website.

Ask yourself these questions:

What will the site be used for?
What type of media will need to be on the site?
What do I expect from the site when it's finished?
What are the must haves for the site to be considered ready to go live?

Write the answers to these questions down and make sure you can answer each of them as they will become very important as you begin to build your first website.

The next step is choosing which method to use for building your first website. There are many options for building a website, and some confusing terms associated with the process. These are a few common terms and their meanings:

HTML "HyperText Markup Language" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML) - The most common language spoken to the browser (IE, FireFox, Safari, Chrome) which displays the contents of the web pages or sites. At the most basic level this is what the internet is primarily made up of in terms of content.

FTP "File Transfer Protocol" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ftp) - A method used to transfer files from a PC or laptop to a computer or server. This method is commonly used to "upload" files to and "download" files from the web-server holding the files for websites.

Database (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database) - Usually this refers to a file or group of files with the primary purpose of storing data such as numbers, names etc. When a database is used in conjunction with a website it is then considered "dynamic" because the content changes based on what is in the database and not just the content in the web-pages themselves.

DNS "Domain Name System" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System) - Like the map on the internet computers on the internet need to find where to look for you're website. If you registered your domain name "your-domain.com" with Hostek.com no further action is needed to GO LIVE except uploading with FTP or Publishing with SiteMaker. If you registered your domain name at another provider such as Network Solutions, then you will need to check the "New Hosting Account" email we sent you and look Name Servers provided for your hosting (Example: NS1.HOSTEK.COM and NS2.HOSTEK.COM) change and change the name servers at the Domain Registrar.

Choosing a method
Building your first website may seem daunting but it's easier than you think. To get started, choose how you will build your website. Do you want to just login and create and edit pages or want a something more flexible and can be built upon later if needed?

For ease of use:
We offer SiteMaker. It's built with the beginner in mind. To get stared, order your hosting first then submit a support request to have SiteMaker enabled for your domain. You will receive an email back with instructions on how to login. When you get this information login to SiteMaker, choose a template and begin adding pages to your website. See "Publishing Content" below for further steps.

For a bit more flexibility:
We offer installation packages of the most popular software used to build websites such as WordPress, Joomla and much more. Assuming this is the route you have chosen, our Windows and Linux plans offer WordPress as an automated package. There are many templates available for free see wordpress.org/apps.

To install WordPress:
For Windows after receiving the "New Hosting Information" email login to your WCP control panel and find the "Applications" icon, locate "WordPress" and follow the prompts to install. For Linux hosting packages, login to your Cpanel with the information provided in your "New Hosting Information" email and locate the "SimpleScripts" icon. Click and locate "WordPress" and follow the prompts to install. These steps are very basic and would apply to most other available software.

Publishing content, images and more:
The content on the website is critical to its success. Take the notes you collected earlier about your website and its content. Decide which information should be collected first and where it should be placed on the website. Begin working in order to publish the most important information first. Remember if you want people to find out how to contact you, make sure that is first on your list of items to publish. For example, address, phone, email should be easily found. If you setup or created a page to collect and email information from visitors, make sure you're receiving the emails sent from these pages.

As you begin working down the list of important parts of your website, don't be discouraged that it's plain or not complete yet. Keep adding content and making adjustments, eventually it will be more complete looking and feel like an active website. An active website will increase traffic and keep visitors coming back to your site as a reference point.