If you want a website but lack the technical knowledge to build one yourself or lack the funds to purchase the skills of a web designer, that is no probs, if you are willing to utilise Open Source Technologies.

Over the next few weeks/months, we will be publishing articles giving a step by step guide on how you can get your website online at very little cost.

The things you will need are:

  • Domain Name
  • Web Host
  • FTP Software
  • Time

Domain Name

The first thing you will need is a domain name. Your Domain Name is the url (web address) that people will use to view your site. Domain names can be very cheap or expensive depending on the suffix used (i.e. – co.uk, .com, .org, etc.). Most domain names prices start at around £7 and upwards, and is usually renewable on a 2 year basis. We recommend 123-reg for domain names, but as always, look around for the best deal and for the site you trust.

Website Suffixes – General Meaning

  • .co.uk – This usually refers to a commercial company operating within the UK
  • .org.uk – This usually refers to an organisation operating within the UK and is usually associated with not for profits
  • .org – This usually refers to an organisation operating throughout the world and is usually associated with not for profits
  • .com – This used to signify a commercial company operating in the United States, however, the domain suffix is now being used by many businesses within the UK and other countries and therefore has lost its significance.
  • .me.uk – This usually represents a personal website operating within the UK
  • .biz – This is much the same as .com and usually represents a business operating internationally
  • .net – Much the same as .com, usually a business will buy a .net to protect their .com website name (ie stop others registering the same type of domain name)
  • .info – Usually registered to provided some specific info to customers.
  • .gov – These domains are restricted to local authorities and governments.
  • .edu – These domains are restricted to education establishments (Universities, Colleges, etc.)
  • .mobi – These domains usually reserved for sites dealing with mobile technology.

Remember you may not get the domain name you want, so it is always best practice to make a list of your preferred domain names, then check to see what is available. You can check the availability of a domain name at: http://www.123-reg.co.uk/ and just do a domain search.

There are other sites that will allow you to search for available domain names, but be aware, as some less reputable sites, monitor domain searches and then quickly purchase certain domains, in the hope to sell them to you at a higher price, also known as domain squatting, so only search for your domain names on sites that you trust.

One last thing, try to keep your domain name short as it is easier for your clients to remember and less chance of someone making a spelling mistake when they are typing in your domain name, which could then give them an error message (which doesn’t look good) or they could end up visiting a site with a similar domain, but with nothing of relevance to your site.

Related Articles

Step 1 – Getting a Domain Name
Step 2 – Purchasing Web Space
Step 3 – Installing a web site (Open Source)
Step 4 – Adding Content
Step 5 – Adding Functionality
Step 6 – Promoting your website

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