Over the past couple of years I have helped a few friends get started with a website or blog. There are always many questions, and I try my best to answer them. The first 2 steps after you decide that you want a site and the purpose that it will serve is getting the site up and running. The main part of that is answering 2 questions: 1 . What will my domain name be? and 2. Where will it be hosted? The domain name should reflect what the site is about. Folks should know that as soon as they read the name, so that it is memorable. Be it your own name, your nickname, the name of your business, or what your niche is (hint: LittleTechgirl). It shouldn't be so wild that they have no idea what the site is about until they read it!
Once that is decided, you need web hosting. How do you decide on hosting? Find a good comparison chart like the one on Web Hosting Rating, and check out the prices and features. Then ask a few friends if they use any of the hosts that are listing and what they think about them. Some hosts will allow you to pay month to month, while others give you the awesome deal only if you pay for a year in advance which can be as little as $40 for a whole year. Decide which you want to do when choosing hosting. If you are starting a blog, you will need WordPress web hosting, which may narrow your options a little bit. Sure, most hosts SHOULD work with WordPress but some work better than others in terms of the access to files and permissions that they will allow. Just ask your friends! They probably have stories. I have used Godaddy in the past and it worked, but not as well as my hosting now. I am now on Hostmonster and I love them so far for my WordPress sites. I hear good things about the other hosts on this list as well. Or who know, maybe you want drupal web hosting. Drupal is pretty cool too. I have used it very little. It's just not my cup of tea though!
Another nice thing is that with the use of Simple Scripts or Fantastico you can have your WordPress site up and running in minutes via a one click install. That saves a lot of time and fumbling, and you do not have to know any coding. That comes later when we talk about customizing. 🙂
Yes, I pushed WordPress because it is by far the best CMS for sites and blogs in my opinion. Easy to use, easy to run, easy to teach the user how to update content, and great for SEO.
So what are you waiting for? Decide on that domain and find a host! If you have questions, just leave a comment. You can also follow me on Twitter. If you have an opinion on a great host, please let that in the comments as well.
Stay tuned because will be adding more to this series in the coming months.