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If you need a website but have no idea where to start this information is just for you.

What you need and how it works. You'll need three basic things

  • A Domain Name
  • Web Host
  • Website Files

 

Domain Name - You need to purchase this (and renew it yearly) from what is called a Registrar. These companies are in charge of keeping the list of domain names up to date. This list points visitors seeking your domain name to your web host. There are lots of registrars out there (We've all seen the godaddy ads) and almost all of them charge similar prices. 

Note of caution: The original big dog was Network Solutions. I recommend you avoid them based on bad customer support and lousy pricing. Also since most new registrations go through them at some point they have been accused of stealing potentially good domain name ideas. To protect yourself do not randomly type in names you want without being willing and able to purchase your desired name on the spot. If you search for a great name but don't buy it at that moment you may find it held by Network Solutions the next day. Same goes for telling ANYBODY! Don't mention to anyone, "I'm thinking of registering..." because there are people that will snap it up first.

Web Host - Basically these are companies that hold your files and serve them up for people accessing your website via your domain name.

Website Files - Your actual website. Two of the most popular methods of constructing websites are with static html or a Content Management System (CMS). This site is created with Joomla CMS. It's free and has a set of powerful features. Others are Wordpress, Drupal, etc.