You need three things to start a website.
- A domain name (such as yourdomain.com)
- Hosting (a server on which store to your website)
- Web development software or hire a web designer.
Domain names can be registered very easily. They run from about $ 9.00 per year to $ 20.00 per year. You can register a domain name for up to ten years at a time. If you find a bargain domain registration, you may want to beware. People who sell domain names very cheaply typically have a very slow support turnaround. I have personally waited over four days and even longer for a response about a domain problem. (Four days is a long time for your site to be down) If you pay the full price for a domain, you can expect excellent customer service.
Domain names have many Top Level Domains (TLDs) the most familiar of which are .com, .net, .org, and others.
What TLD to choose
".com" is considered the "preferred" TLD It is not suggested that you buy a domain with a different TLD if the .com is taken. Here is the reason: If someone does not remember that your domain is "domain.net" and they type in "domain.com", they will be taken to someone else's website. It is usually a good idea to register the .org and .net versions of your domain if you can afford it.
There are three general types of hosting.
There are "Dedicated servers" where you have the entire server to yourself. If you expect to have a huge amount of traffic to your site, you may need a Dedicated Server. They are quite expensive. There are "Virtual private servers" where a server is partitioned off for different users.
And there is "Shared hosting" which is probably the most common and by far the least expensive hosting available. Shared Hosting can usually be found starting at as little as $ 5.00 per month for a tiny website. Virtually all hosting plans come with the ability to create one or more email addresses.
Creating the Web Pages
You can write your own web page even if you are not very "computer literate".
There are Site Builders available that you can lease. The Site Builders have usually an assortment of hundreds or even thousands of templates that you can use. You simply find the template you like, add your text and pictures, and publish the site to the internet. You can find a Site Builder complete with Hosting and a Domain for about $ 20 per month and up.
There is development software available for purchase. Some popular brands are Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage. They are user friendly enough that if you can use a Word Processor, you should have no problem building a website. There is a consideration of the initial cost, which usually starts at about $ 399 and up for good software. And you still need to pay for hosting.
You can have your website designed by a professional. They can also maintain the website – for instance, make changes as needed. If you plan to sell items directly from your website, professional design or an eCommerce level Site Builder, you are probably your only real options. Writing an eCommerce website from scratch is not for beginners.
Some designers will build your site around a Content Management System (CMS), which allows you to easily change and add text yourself. You can probably get a good basic website designed for about the cost of buying the software to do it yourself – about $ 300 on up.
You need a domain name, hosting, and some way to create your website.
For a small "Presence" website with one or two email addresses, you can probably count on spending about $ 10 – $ 20 per month. A full-blown eCommerce website will cost about $ 35 per month if you lease a Site Builder. You can spend much more for elaborate websites of course. Take time to find a good trustworthy developer if you decide to hire someone.