Monday, August 20

Setting up a website

Greetings. Periodically, I get emails from friends or others asking about the process of getting a website started. Below is a response that I sent out recently on this very subject, which I think covers all the bases for starting a site. I could write a separate post on things to consider when designing the site. This one however is simply questions to ask yourself before you start, and might help you clarify what you want before you jump right out and do it. Links are provided where appropriate. Enjoy.

Hello. You recently asked me about starting a website. Here's a brief list of what you need to consider. 

Website name: Do you want your site to have a long address, like 

Or, a shorter name more on the web, like 

The longer site names are usually free, but may have ads associated with them. While the shorter names are not free, but if you look around, you can get
a good price on a domain name. The domain name registrar, as they're called, that I've used is Go Daddy, and they really do discount their prices for new names. For instance, I recently purchased a domain name for $45 over 5 years. You might also want to consider getting the privacy protection that Go Daddy offers. I forget what its called directly, but basically, with this protection, your contact information and email address will be hidden on the Who Is database, which keeps track of all the domains on the web. This can be a great help since it can cut down on the amount of spam you might get from having your email address exposed. For that domain name I bought, the protection was $35 over 5 years. 

Site design: do you want to design the site yourself or get someone else to do it? If you get someone else, there may be cost involved. If you design it yourself, then do you want to write the HTML or web code yourself (which is very easy), or do you want to use a program to do the coding for you? By writing the code yourself you can see exactly where errors are and fix them immediately. But, you might not want to be weighed down by all the ins and outs of coding. Incidentally, coding isn't that hard. If you want to do your own coding, there's tons of sites to learn from. Two of the easiest are:

Web Monkey. 

Web Monkey is the one that I learned from when I started, and my personal fave, but as I say, there's lots to choose from. If you're into more advanced coding or want to do more with your site, then check out:

Blind Programming. 

Web space: you will need to purchase space for your site from a web host, if you're going to have a real domain name like Again, there's lots to choose from. The one that I use and advertise on my site is Ultra Host:

Ultra Host.

They offer the most for the least amount of money, IMO. I'm paying $50 per year for 250 MB of space. They have annual and monthly plans, but the annual ones tend to be a little less. 

Uploading files: Some web hosts give you utilities for maintaining your site and some don't. You can also get file transfer protocol programs to upload files. I've used FTP Voyager for several years now and have had good success with it. I've also used FTP Explorer. Both of these programs are about $40 or so. I've heard that you can also use IE to upload files, though I haven't done this as much. 

That should get you started. Feel free to contact me with any other related questions. Also, refer to the web development section on my computer resources page:

Computer Resources page

for a list of helpful resources on web development. 

And, once you get your site rolling, send me the address and I might add it to my site.

Enjoy, have fun, and good luck

1 comment:

  1. The unfortunate fact about GoDaddy continues to be that the company still does not permit blind or visually impaired people to transact business with them online due to a CAPTCHA at the very end of the ordering process that does *not* reasonably accomodate our needs. This state of affairs gets even stranger now that they do have an audio CAPTCHA on other parts of their site, such as the Whois facility. I'd say find a different domain registrar and web host at this point and continue to avoid GoDaddy until they fix the CAPTCHA.