Get Own Website

05/26/04

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How do I get my own website?

 Starting your own website really is quite easy to get started and can range from a challenge to very frustrating as you try to do more and more complicated things on your site.  I am starting this page as I am often asked How I manage to have my various websites ranked so high in the internet search engines such as Yahoo, Google, Altavista, MSN and others.  The “secrets” really are not secrets and I will try to describe what I have learned over the past 10+ years of running my own websites including this one that has evolved from a very crude hobby page to a huge hobby page that gets thousands of visitors every hour!

 Step 1

 The first step is to decide what you want the domain for and why you want a website. 

 For a “Vanity E-mail address”

 I have one domain I purchased mainly for the E-mail advantages.  This website is www.Westervelt.net and you can see that I have not really done a great deal with that domain but I do use the domain for e-mail and I even allow some of my relatives to use the domain as well (yes, my last name is Westervelt). 

 For an On-Line Alias

 Another god reason to buy a domain is to establish a unique “Alias” for you on-line and in the world.  The domain you are on at this time is a good example as I chose  “Quarterbore” as an alias back in the early 90s and I used this website to share things that I was interested in.

 For a Hobby or Special Interest

 My wife is a huge fan of the Classic Ford Mustangs and she got me hooked as well.  In the process f learning about the Classic Mustangs I worked to compile the knowledge and information that I gained on a Mustang Specific Website www.mustangreview.com

 For a Business

 We have a couple business specific websites that we are running and they include www.teddybearcrossings.com and www.event-bars.com .  These are relatively simple businesses websites that were published by MS FrontPage but they still generate huge volumes of traffic!

 Step 2

 After you have an idea of the type of website you want to run and the information that you wish to share you need to pick a domain name.  When choosing a name there are a couple things to keep in mind depending on your goal.

 If the website is going to be content focused I suggest looking for a name that includes words that describe what is on your website.  As an example, Mustang Review.com uses the word “Mustang” as opposed to “CoolRides”.  This is important for two reasons, first it helps a viewer appreciate what the website is about and secondly it will help your search engine placement specifically in relation to that content!

 If you are looking for a general website as more of a on-line persona and alias, then I would suggest finding something that is unique and yet catchy.  Quarterbore, my on-line alias actually is something that many hunters and shooters would appreciate as a class of rifle cartridge has served me well as people can remember my on-line name and it does mean something to the visitors that I try to attract to this website.  I am sure you have no shortage of interests and ideas for a unique name but remember the simpler the name the easier it will be for someone to remember.

 Step 3

 Select a place to register and have your website hosted.  My personal favorite and most powerful I have tried is good old YAHOO.  What I love about yahoo hosting is the various tools that they include such as statistics on space used, data transfer, visitor traffic and much more!  Yahoo also has great templates to start a website using their site builder, it is easy to upload and manipulating content on the site, works well with MS FrontPage and FTP Programs, and integrates with YAHOO’s excellent MYYAHOO and YAHOO MAIL E-mail utilities. 

 Where YAHOO also really shines is if you want to expand you website, start a on-line business, or use more sophisticated tools on your website.  YAHOO makes it easy to upgrade and add the features you want or need and we have been extremely happy using YAHOO to host our websites.  We have several websites that we have hosted and run by YAHOO and for about $11/month you get a ton of features that you will love plus YAHOO can help you establish an on-line business, on-line store, maintain product catalogs, inventory, and sales information.  YAHOO is a very powerful tool that can be run as a simple tool as well!

 Click HERE for more information about YAHOO Web Hosting!  I really am happy with what they offer:

Regardless to where you decide to get your domain, the next thing you need to do is register it.  It may take a few tries to find a domain that is not already registered but try to be patient and remember that a good web domain address can be very important for your success in the future.  As stated before, I suggest trying to get a short meaningful name or at least a name where your customers can recognize and remember you in the future.  Also, when I refer to customers I mean to include both actual customers that may buy something as well as consumers that may come to see your opinions.  As an example, you are my “customer” here but you are not buying anything from me!

 Step 4


Next you need to start working on the content that you wish to share.  The easiest way to do this is to create a text document containing the words that you want to appear on your Web page. Most word processing programs will work fine, as long as you give your document a name ending in .html or .htm and save the document as "Text Only."

bulletCreate files that describe you “About Me”, decide on how people should “Contact Us”, and other general pages.
bulletBegin with an attention-grabbing title or introduction, so people know immediately what the page is about and will want to read more.
bulletThink about logical places to insert breaks in your text. No one wants to scroll down a long, uninterrupted block of text.
bulletThink about where you might want to insert pictures.
bulletDevelop and outline or diagram that shows the general layout of how you want the site to look.

Step 5

Assuming you went with my suggestion and went with YAHOO HOSTING I would suggest that you start building your website using the templates and tools that YAHOO includes.  You can always get more sophisticated with time but this will allow you to quickly work on building content that visitors will want to see.  A unique and crafty design will not get noticed if you do not provide value added content to your website!

Well, I have run out of time for now.  I will be continuing this discussion in the future and I hope to provide more information on writing your website and getting it into HTML, a discussion on MS FrontPage and FTP tools, plus tips to help your website to be recognized by the various search engines and crawlers which most people use to find the information they are looking for!

While I am starting this page, I also want to add a link to PAYPAL here as with running a business it is important to maintain your business separate from your personal accounts. This is equally important with your payments and sales online. In this context, I would encourage anybody that wants to run a website as a business to sign up for a PAYPAL account in the business name. Click the following banner for more details...

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

BIG UPDATE!

I have learned a painful lesson recently and this webpage needs a major rework. While I still feel that the two hosts are great there is ONE TYPE of website that requires special tools that Catalog.com and Yahoo.com do not offer...

If you want to develope and run websites that are database driven there is a very good chance you will end up looking at MYSQL ran websites that use PHP scripts as the backbone. I have developed and ran a number of PHP and MYSQL database scripts at the two hosts listed above and they work great. The problem is that neither host allows a simple Unix tool called CRON. CRON is a system utility that allows a system administrator to set a time when they want a specific program to execute. Where this is critical is with the MYSQL databases as these databases contain all of the content of your website and problems can occur from hackers or corruption from other causes. I lost a couple forum databases and now I am moving may of my websites to a new host that has CRON to allow me to do daily backups of this all critical databases. This new host has other tools as well and I will discuss those in more detail at a later time. For now, you can click the banner below to see what HostGator can do for you... I am really impressed with them!

I will work on filling this discussion in more as time allows but if you want your own website I really do suggest that you give YAHOO a shot as they have really helped get my sites moving!

 

Go to Quarterbore.com

This site was last updated 05/22/04