How to Get a Website Started

By David Weedmark

Before starting your own website, you will need to decide on a name. A website name is called a Domain Name and acts as an address for your site. This address is also referred to as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). After finding a name that is not already registered by someone else, you can register it for yourself and sign up with a Web host who can store your Web pages on its servers.

Things You'll Need

  • Credit card

Find the Right Name

Step 1

Decide on some possible names for your website. websites are very popular, and it is unlikely you will find a one-word name that is available. Consider using your own name if you are planning a blog or will be using the website for personal reasons. For a business website, use your business name or a name that describes your products or services.

Step 2

Open a Web browser and go to any free "whois" website. Type your ideas for names in the search field and press "Enter" to see if the name is available. Try separating words with hyphens if a two-word website is not already registered by someone else. Spaces are not permitted in URLs.

Step 3

Consider alternative spellings of words if your preferred names are not available. Use a thesaurus to find alternative, less common words. You may also want to consider using abbreviations or acronyms for your business name, product or service.

Register Your Website

Step 1

Look for a Web host that has good rates, reliable service and any tools you may need. Many Web hosts, for example, have tools to help you install software like WordPress or Joomla with a single mouse click. Others may offer you free domain registration if you sign up for their Web hosting services. Remember that the lowest price is not always the best bargain and the highest rate does not guarantee the best service.

Step 2

Sign up for Web hosting services with the company that is the best match for your needs. Register your domain name with the same company, if possible. This will save you the step of directing the domain to the Web host, and you will not have to give your credit card information to two different companies. You will need to give your full name, telephone number, credit card number and address to register a domain.

Step 3

Wait -- anywhere from an hour to a couple of days -- for your new website to be available on the Internet. The Internet is a complex web of routers and servers that need to notify each other that a new website is accessible. Type your domain name in a Web browser and press "Enter." Refresh the page by pressing F5 on the keyboard. When the Web browser no longer shows a "Server Not Found" error, you have access to your new website.

Creating Your Website

Step 1

Install any software to your website you may require, like WordPress or Joomla, as explained by your Web hosting company. If you plan to use such software you will not need to create your own pages and can skip the remaining steps.

Step 2

Determine whether your Web host offers a web-based FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client to allow you to upload files to your website from your Web browser. Otherwise, you should download a free FTP client such as FileZilla. Your Web host will give you a username, password and FTP port number to use.

Step 3

Create your website's home page on your computer if you do not plan to use software like WordPress or Joomla. Use any web design software like Dreamweaver, or create basic HTML pages using any word processor that can save in HTML format, including Notepad or Microsoft Word.

Step 4

Save your home page as "index.html" so it will be identified as the home page. You can name any other pages whatever you wish.

Step 5

Upload your "index.html" file to your wWb server using the FTP client and setting required by your Web host.