The first essential steps needed to get your site on the web

To successfully get a website online, you need 3 essential components:

  1. A Domain Name
  2. A Hosting Server
  3. Website documents to serve

Let’s go through each of those one-by-one and explain the importance of each:

A Domain Name:

The domain name is much like owning the property to a house you want to build. Some domains are better than others. This domain name represents a single location that you can tell people where to visit your served website documents for their use. Domains are generally around $10 or less for a whole year. GoDaddy is a very recommended provider of domain names.


Hosting Server:

A hosting server is where the actual website files will be stored for public viewing. This is generally done using a service like HostGator, where you will upload your files. Your domain name (after purchase) will have to point to this hosting server so that the public will reach your hosted documents after typing in your domain name. Hosting packages have a variety of services, and range between $5 and more per month. Again, HostGator is a recommended hosting company to fit the majority of small business needs.

Website Documents:

These files represent the actual website that you wish to serve to the public. Generally, a professional web designer writes the HTML and additional code to format the page into an easy to view format. However, it is also possible to purchase a website template and edit it yourself. When the website documents are ready, they will have to be uploaded to your hosting server in your account’s Public Folder, and the documents should be ready for viewing.

To redirect your domain to point to your new hosting server, you will need to edit the DNS Records of the domain. Generally, it’s a matter of pointing your domain’s A-Record to the IP Address given to you by your hosting provider, or changing the Name Servers to those provided to you by your hosting provider. Technical support from either company on the domain or hosting side will be happy to walk you through the process if you get lost.

Please note that it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 days for the domain to fully propagate across the internet, so you may wish to do this step first to avoid any down time.