Start a Web Site, Register Your Domain, Web Hosting

How to Start a Web Site and Why You Must Do It Now

I thought about starting a web site for over a year before I actually did it. When I finally got around to registering my domains, I was really shocked….

Why? Because nearly every domain I wanted that had “.com” on the end was already taken.

For instance, about six months before I finally registered my domains, I checked to see if my name–www.ryanllima.com–was already taken.

At the time (June 2007), that domain was available. So I figured I didn’t have to be in much of a rush….

Well, unfortunately for me, that domain was registered within a month after I had checked on it. Bummer!

(On a side note, I was able to get www.superaffiliateuniverse.com)

Since the experience of losing out on my “name” domain and the experience of finding so many domains already registered, I adopted a new policy: If I have an idea for a new web site and have thought of some domains to go with it, I go out and register whatever I can immediately. The same day, if possible.

Hours can make a difference. That’s how competitive the registering of domains is.

How to Register a Domain

A number of different companies will register a domain for you. But I’ve found the most competitive prices at GoDaddy: from $7.95 to $8.95 for domains ending in “.com” and even less–$4.95 to $5.95–for “.biz” and “.us” and “.net” domains.

Also, GoDaddy’s user interface is pretty intuitive, and their service is very high quality.

To register your domain, go to GoDaddy and type in the site name you’re interested in. Once you find a domain that’s available, simply click on the “Smart Registration” button to start the process. You’ll have to fill in some personal information and credit card information, but not much more than that.

GoDaddy will give you a number of options like hosting and extra email storage and firewall software during the registration process. Of all the options, the only one I would consider is the “privacy” option.

For a few extra dollars, you can prevent other people from seeing what domains you own. If you think it’s worth it, go for it. Otherwise, I’d skip all the extras–simply because I think you’ve got better options out there.

Hosting for Your Web Site

Registering your domain is the first step in the process of building a web site. You still have to pay for someone to host your site.

When someone hosts your web site, it simply means they’re providing you with space on a server where you can store your web pages so that other people can access them over the Internet.

I’ve tried GoDaddy’s hosting services, but I really didn’t like it. They’re interface was difficult to use and it was “just” hosting (which is why it’s so cheap). I found from experience that I prefer holistic web hosting. That is, web hosting that provides everything I need in one place for one price.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. GoDaddy, while they provide you with hosting, does not provide you with any kind of file manager to upload pages to your web site. You either have to buy an FTP program or download an unsophisticated free version, and then figure out how to make the thing work. (I was never able to get the FTP program to work, which was very frustrating.)

But with a hosting company like Hostgator Hosting, you get a file manager built right into your user interface. So you can upload pages to your web site immediately after signing up and you can see the pages “live” on the Internet within seconds. It’s really cool.

Another advantage of this “holistic” web site hosting is cost. For instance, I could have added more hosting features with GoDaddy, but it gets expensive. It’s like a cell phone calling plan where you add $4.99 for unlimited nights and weekends, $1.99 for unlimited text messaging, and next thing you know, you’ve hit $50 a month or more. It’s crazy.

Hostgator Hosting

As you may have already guessed, I use Hostgator hosting for my web site and websites.

I was originally referred to Hostgator by my good friend, a very talented webmaster and web site designer. He told me to check them out because he’d done a lot of research and had found their service to be some of the best available for the price.

I did some research, signed up, and have been exceedingly pleased ever since.

Here’re some of the features you’ll find helpful (if not indisposable) when you sign up:

  • TONS of disk space – this would support a massive web site getting lots of traffic, so you won’t have to worry about breaking any “space limits” imposed on you by the hosting service. (Kind of like those 300-minute cell phone plans where your monthly bill doubles if you use, say, 301 minutes in a month….)
  • Visual web site builder – so you can build attractive web sites even if you don’t have any experience.
  • Unlimited subdomains – a subdomain would be like www.toolbar.google.com or www.registrar.godaddy.com. They’re very handy for managing different areas of your web site… areas that you may want to look and feel different than your root domain.
  • Mailing list manager – If you want to run an email list, then you’ll have everything you need with Hostgator. In addition to the list manager, you’ll get unlimited auto-response emails, too!
  • Web site statistics – This tool is invaluable. It shows you how much traffic you’re getting, when you’re getting it, where the traffic is coming from, what keywords were used to find your web site. This tool alone can be very expensive if purchased apart from web hosting.

Anyway, that’s just a small sampling of what Hostgator Hosting includes in their service. If you want to host a web site, and you don’t want just simple hobby site that gets 10 visitors a year but a site that is professional and gets a lot of visitors, then I think you can’t go wrong with Hostgator.

» Learn more about Hostgator Hosting Here.

Why in the World Did I Post this Information Online… for Free?!

You might be surprised by this, maybe not… I write things down so I’ll remember them. If I don’t write them down, I’ll forget.

I originally wrote what came to be known as Start a Business Guide so I wouldn’t forget all the dumb business mistakes I’ve made.

Anyway, when I wanted to get a web site up and running, I wanted to do it fast… just to overcome my inertia and get something going. So I thought of all the things I’d written, and my 30 pages of business notes seemed to be the most natural fit for the Internet.

But I had another reason besides convenience….

I know what it feels like to lose a lot of money and it’s no fun! I thought that if I could prevent at least one person from making the same mistakes I’ve made… prevent him or her from losing the kind of money I lost… then it would be worth it to post my experiences online for free.

So that’s what I did.

Now that the site has been up and running for a while, it’s becoming a place where I can test ideas I’ve read about to see if they really work. A place where I can experiment and gain knowledge that I can apply in future web sites.

In a nutshell, that’s why I posted all this information online for free.

If you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me, please don’t hesitate to write me at [email protected]

Take care,
Ryan