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Behind the Scenes of Setting up a Website
Taking the plunge and deciding to set up a website can be a daunting process if you aren't already experienced in domain purchasing, hosting requirements, dns delegation etc. In this article I am going to attempt to familiarize you with some of the concepts and clarify some of the jargon.
There are quite a few manual configuration requirements to get a domain even started in the right directon of being available to the public. Three things have to be considered initially to secure your virtual block of dirt. The three requirements are as follows.
1. Your initial and ongoing cost to own the domain name of your choice subject to availability.
2. Who is going to host the website for you and the ongoing costs associated with having your site hosted.
3. Domain Name Redicrection. A service that can answer requests to resolve your domain name to the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the computer hosting your website.
Domain name pricing varies and for initial registration of a new domain you can get it quite cheap. Once you've found the best priced domain reseller to purchase your domain name from it is best to buy as many years in advance as you can. If you purchase a domain name for one year for $7.95, when it comes time to renew that domain the price is suddenly $24.95.
Hunt around for the best hosting package you can get. Depending on the size of your site and expected traffic hosting packages can be purchased from as little as $5.95 US per month. Some of the cheap packages include massive bandwidth allocations. Make sure your host uses CPanel. CPanel is a graphical Server Management tool making configuration of your domain a matter of pointing and clicking.
To save money on ongoing hosting fee's, hunt around for a free DNS Service Provider. One in particular is http://freedns.afraid.org. Sites such as these allow you to add several hostnames to your domain. ie mail.yourdomain.com.
Once you have searched all these avenues and have decided it is in your budget to move to the next step the first thing to do is to register your domain. Once you have registered your domain you will receive emails to your nominated email account with the domain management login information for your domain. Keep these emails as you will need that information soon.
Sign up and pay for hosting with the provider on the hosting plan you chose for cost effectiveness. They will email you your login information and server IP addresses. Again keep these emails for future reference.
Now go to your free dns host. Sign up for an account. During the sign-up process they will notify you of their name server addresses. Write down these addresses as they are also needed soon. DNS Hosts require that their name servers respond as authoritive for your domain before your domain can become active, this requires the name servers retrieved during the DNS host sign up process be entered into the domain registrar.
Go back to the emails you received for registering your domain name. There should be a link in the email to the management section for your domain. The username and password for the management section will also be in this email. Click on the link and enter the username and password. Depending on your host their should be a section related to Name Servers. Becareful not to select to use your hosting company's name service hosting unless you already paid for it. When you have the correct section there will be space for you to enter from four to six name servers. This is where the name server addresses received from the Free DNS Host are to be entered.
This tells the backbone internet servers that if you want to find www.yourdomain.com ask ns1.nameservercompany.com. This change can take 24-48 hours to propogate through the world-wide domain name servers.
Once the world-wide domain servers register that www.yourdomain.com is now pointed to your free dns hosting company as authoritive you will be able to specify the IP address of the actual machine that will host your web pages. This IP address will have been in the email you received from your hosting company. This IP address should be added for the domain prefixes mail www ftp smtp and any others that may have been specified in the email from your hosting company.
Your domain is now pointing to your hosting provider and the behind the scenes redicrection process is taken care of. You are now ready to start building that high rise building on your virtual block of dirt. There is no limit to how high you can build on your land.
For a ready made, customizable website have a look at Joomla. Joomla is a reliable PHP based complete website solution. Extensions are available to customize Joomla in many ways, from an online store to a virtual community or dating site. It takes time to understand how Joomla works but once you get the hang of it you will realise how invaluable it is.
My site http://www.bizebooks.com.au has two packages containing complete website scripts and utilities. The best part with these scripts is that after you use them to build your site you can resell them and make money from them. Two products in particular I recommend are The AX Gold Webmasters Toolkit and Scripts2Sell. Search for them on the site and have a look at some of the scripts in these packages.
Have a look today.
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