Websites for dummies................

  tlr 20:09 26 Mar 05
Locked

Hi
I am new to trying to get a website up and running and dont have a clue how to go about it, I downloaded net objects from PC Advisor and set out my site but I need to know how to get it from my PC to the net, I would like to know how domain names work, what I should look for in a host and what to pay, what advantage is there in having a domain name and do I need it, can I update my web site when I need to. Generally any advice and tips you can offer

Cheers
Dave

  Pesala 23:13 26 Mar 05

Click the Publish Site icon, where you need to create a profile to use for your new website.

For the new profile, choose remote, and enter the upload details for you webspace. (If you have an ISP, then you probably already have some webspace. If they don't provide any, you will have to find some free hosting or buy some). 1&1 do some good deals with a domain name thrown in. Free ones usually have advertising which can spoil your website.

NTL proved 55 Mbytes, Plusnet provide even more.

The new profile dialogue looks like this: click here

The details for the FTP host you will need to get from your ISP. For NTL it is upload.ntlworld.com.

Then you are advised to enter a directory so that you can publish more than one website to the same webspace, or store some pictures, etc. Your password will be given as part of the ISP registration process, you can change it later.

You don't need a domain, unless you want to be famous.

This is my website on my domain: click here

and this is the same website published to my ISP webspace as a backup (mirror) in case my domain server goes down: click here

Note the different addresses, but the sites are identical (almost). A domain address must be made to point to a webserver. Someone else did that for me, so I don't know how to do it. Cross that bridge when you come to it, if you decide you want a domain name. The benefit of a domain is that it can be something short and catchy like bbc.co.uk.

  Forum Editor 23:52 26 Mar 05

is simply your website's unique address on the Internet.

All websites must have what's called an index page - often referred to as a home page - and this is what a web browser looks for when it arrives at the web server where a site is being hosted. Put simply, no index page means no visible web site. Each virtual 'page' of a website has what's called a URL, which stands for Unique Resource Locator, and this consists of several elements. It will begin with the familiar letters h t t p (HyperText Transfer Protocol) followed by a colon :

The come the two // separators followed by the www. which tells you that the address is part of the WorldWide Web.

Next is that all-important domain name (yourdomainname.com) followed by a / separator, which denotes that the next part of the address will be a file within the web at that address. After the forward slash comes the actual page that's being addressed - index.html for instance. The html (or sometimes htm) stands for HyperText Markup Language, which is the universal code language with which people write ordinary web pages.


When you register your own unique domain name it will be recorded in databases held by large servers around the world - called Domain Name Servers (DNS). These databases hold a record of the exact location of every domain name on the planet, that is, the exact server on which your particular domain name is being hosted. As soon as a person enters the address of your web site into a browser address bar, or clicks on a hyperlink that includes your domain name address, the browser goes to a DNS server and asks for the location. The DNS looks up the precise address (the name server operated by your web host) and sends the browser on its way. When it arrives at the host's name server it asks for your web site and is directed to the folder on the web server where your domain name is located. There it spots the index.html page and promptly downloads it, displaying it on your screen.

Thats a very simplistic explanation of how it all works - in practice it's a good deal more complex than that, and the miracle is that on a broadband connection it all happens in a couple of seconds - even though a site may be hosted on a server halfway around the world.

You don't need your own domain name to have a website of course, you can use the free space provided by your Internet service provider. The site will usually work just as well, but if you're at all serious about it you'll want the extra distinction of having your own name on a 'proper' hosting server. This will cost money, but needn't break the bank - many hosting companies ensure that the business is highly competitive, and you can sign up for a basic hosting package for less than a pound a week.

The host will provide you with all kinds of facilities, from an online control panel - where you can configure your web space - to free software, and more. You'll also have your own POP3 mailbox, so you can have an exclusive email address - [email protected]

As far as your website goes, you'll have unlimited access to your web space, so you can tweak your site all day, every day if you want to.

I hope that helps - it's a very rough guide, and there are all kinds of add-ons and complexities involved, depending on your personal requirements and skill level. Feel free to come back and ask for more detailed explanations as and when you need them.

  tlr 02:16 27 Mar 05

Thanks for that, it gives me something to go on. I will return if I hit problems
Cheers
Dave

  Superstylin 01:58 29 Mar 05

....want to be famous"?. if you don't get a domain what are the other options for showing your site?

  pmorff 02:29 29 Mar 05

Your ISP should have several Mb's of webspace available for you. This should be available to you 24/7.
Your ISP will have the details of the address for your webspace.
Once your website is up and running you can then get a domain name that will cloak to this webspace, i.e. the domain name will link direct to your website.
Even if you do not use this webspace for the finished article you can always use it for testing your website and letting other's have a look, which is always recommended before going worldwide.

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