How To Set Up a Website

In order to have a website that is viewable on the internet, you must have at least three things. These are: 1.) a domain name, 2.) web hosting, and 3.) website files.

Domain Name

The domain name is the URL, or website address. The domain name of the website you are currently viewing is In order to claim ownership of a domain name, you must pay a domain name registrar to register the domain name for you. GoDaddy is probably the most commonly known domain name registrar. A registrar will most likely require you to set up an account. Domain name registration is NOT free, but the fees that registrars charge vary. Currently, domain name registration fees range anywhere from $14.95 to $29.99. These fees are recurring and are paid annually. Many registrars offer multi-year domain name registration, so that you do not have to pay each year. Most registrars are very good about notifying you when your domain name registration is about to expire and reminding you to renew; however, if you fail to renew your registration, it will expire, and someone else will be able to buy your domain name.

Web Hosting Provider

A web host is the server where you store the files that tell a web browser how to display your website. Most companies that offer domain name registration also offer web hosting. Some of the basic things that most web hosting providers offer are email accounts, mySQL databases, space on a server, and bandwidth. You should choose a web hosting provider that offers sufficient server space and bandwidth as well as a sufficient number of mySQL databases and email accounts to meet the needs of your website. Web hosting service is usually quoted at a monthly rate, but providers will usually ask you to pay for the entire time period (6 months, 12 months, etc.) up front. Currently, web hosting fees range anywhere from $3.95 per month to $14.95 per month. Many web hosting providers will offer discounts for longer periods of time (i.e., $9.99 per month for 12 months or $7.99 per month for 24 months). It’s a good idea to discuss which web hosting provider you should use with your web designer as many web designers prefer using web hosting providers that they are familiar with.

Website Files

Website files are the files, located on the web server, that actually tell the web browser what your website should look like, including colors, column width and height, where logos appear, etc. Creation of these files is what most people think of when they think of what a web designer does. Website files vary in type and can include anything from html, css, php, asp, javascript, sql, and more. For the purpose of this article, I won’t get into the differences between these file types. You do a quick search on your favorite search engine to learn more. Basically, when you surf the web and look at a web page, you are looking at a website file that is being rendered by your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.). You can create website files yourself or hire someone to create them for you. The quality of your website (look and feel of the site) will depend on the knowledge and experience of the person creating the website files. An easy way for someone with little or no experience or knowledge to create website files is to use a content management system (CMS). However, if you want a truly unique and customized look and feel to your website, you will most likely need to find a web designer to create custom website files for you.

Words of Warning

Some small business owners who are not too technically savvy will ask their web designer to take care of all the “website stuff”, including the domain registration and web hosting. A trustworthy web designer will walk you through the process of registering the domain names and setting up the hosting account in YOUR name. A shady web designer will “take care” of it for you by registering the domain name and setting up the hosting account in THEIR name.

DO NOT let your web designer register the domain name or set up the hosting account in anyone’s name but yours. The domain name and the hosting is YOUR property, and YOU should have full control over it and access to it. If you bought a vehicle for your business, you would never consider putting the name of the salesperson who sold it to you on the title. You would be sure to put your name on it because it is your property. The same goes for domain name registration and hosting accounts.

As a small business owner, you may be very trusting and know a “great” person who is a web designer that would never do you wrong. Whether or not you are right about her/his character, you should still have everything in your name. This is because if the domain name registration and hosting account are in the name of your web designer and something happens to her/him (like death), you will have no way of proving that they actually belong to you, and you will have to start from scratch with a new domain name and hosting account.

Save yourself the hassle, and do it properly from the start.

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17 Comments for “How To Set Up a Website”

  1. Satchel says:

    Last one to utilize this is a roettn egg!

  2. Christopher says:

    Much appreciated for the information and share!

  3. Merely wanna admit that this is very helpful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

    • Sonio says:

      It’s rather lpmise to setup a website that doesn’t need to access company databases, run secure apps, etc. If it’s just a company site with input forms and a general mysql or sql server database to store user preferences you can set it up quite securely with just about any os and add nice interactivity through ASP or PHP and javascript.Security isn’t a problem if you know how to secure it. You’ll be using the same web servers other hosts use, a microsoft, lamp, or windows os with apache setup. The problem is how you’ll maintain the system and configure it to be secure, which is more complicated than can be discusses here, especially if you’re running Microsoft database enabled apps. You’d want to hire someone to set it up with quality hardware and appropriate redundancies, and you’d need to budget for maintenance, repairs, and data recovery.I don’t know who’s telling you that hosts are more secure. Most businesses run their own web sites. Hosts are however more reliable than the average home user or home office can be, and of course, they have static IP addresses, which many home offices can’t get from their internet providers.

  4. Hey there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    • Admin says:

      krzes?a drewniane,

      I suppose it depends on which blog software you use. All of the popular ones (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) use WYSIWYG. They also give the user the option to use html as well, though.

      Hope this helps.

      • Gulakha says:

        InMotion has been good as a host. Going into my 3rd year with them. Just updated my site using WordPress. Now I don’t have to bohter my brother whenever I want to add a page, delete one, or whatever. I just come bug you and other wordpress users when I can’t find a widget I want and I see you have it. I post my blog on it and at blogger [since I started thater], but put it on my website, too, so that visitors don’t have to leave the website. One day I may completely switch over to one site.

    • Johnny says:

      Question about USA Webhosting and webhosting/SEO (specific case about ricntuoes)?Hi, I am french but need to host some of my website in Mexico and USA.I explain you.1) I got 2 websites that are dedicated to USA market.So i need a web host that is located in USA and that gives American IP to its hosts. I need 3 to 8 MYSQL database (Mysql 5), at least 600go of web traffic each month and phpmyadmin and no extra fees if i am about to go over my quota (just to be warned so that i can dedcide what to do).. and of course, good prices (maxi 100-120$/year). What is the best webhosting that fits these needs?2) I need to find a good webhost that is located in Mexico in order to have some of my website with Mexican IP because i am going to live in Mexico and will make 3-5 websites for my pro activities. The problem is that it’s hard to find good webhosting there (and good support). To the pro of SEO and Co. do you think it could be a problem to host those websites in USA (or in France in my country or spain) for the page rank, to have good place on google etc.? I saw on many websites that to be on good places on search engines, it’s important to have our websites with an IP from the country we are targetting 3) Quite the same question: i have a project of website dedicated to all america latina except brazil). Knowing i’m targeting amm america latina ricntuoes, what will be the best country to host this website? USA? Thank youi need only mutualize host, not dedicated server

      • Admin says:


        There are several good options for hosting companies in the US. GoDaddy is one of the most popular, but not the most user friendly. Network Solutions provides good service and is reasonably priced. JustHost is also a good company, but I believe their servers are located in the UK, so that may not be a good option. Rackspace is also a decent hosting provider. Each of these should have packages that meet the requirements for your sites.

        As for hosting providers in other countries (Mexico and Latin America), I’m not sure what the best options would be. You could try searching for “web hosting Mexico” and other terms like that.

        On the search engine ranking, I’m sure that the IP addresses do play a factor, but if you optimize the content by using the specific locale (i.e., You Product Mexico, etc) and generate some relevant links to your sites, you should still be able to generate some decent traffic depending on how competitive the keywords are. You could also look into some PPC (pay-per-click or online advertising) campaigns to more effectively reach your target market. These options would allow you to keep your hosting with a company that you’re comfortable with while still providing results.

        I hope this helps.

  5. Wohh precisely what I was searching for, thanks for putting up.

  6. Chet La pain says:

    Nice, just bookmarked ya under Digg under “How To Set Up a Website”. Thanks.

  7. Very interesting points you have observed, appreciate it for putting up.

  8. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write on my website something like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my website?

    • Serkan says:

      name a video hosting site with hilotnk enabled for free user.?Does anyone know here which is the video hosting website where we can get links so that we can get to embed on our site for direct download. Please say the name of website other than fileden. It is not executing in fine way. If you can say of any website with remote uploading feature and where the file can stay forever, i would be really thankful to you.I want all these features for free. Can you recommend any website for me?I would like to thank you in advance for people who are sending useful suggestion.

  9. Alta Sowl says:

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  11. dave lister says:

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