This page guides you through the six basic steps involved in creating a
web site, from selecting and registering your web site domain name through
arranging for web site hosting, designing and coding your web site, and
monitoring your completed web site's traffic and performance.
Six Website Creation Steps
The six steps are as follows:
Select and register a web site domain name.
Select a web site name carefully. Research and monitor
potential trademark and domain name conflict issues before
settling on a name and as you develop and market your site.
Ecommerce sites should consider registering their trademark name.
Register your domain name through a reputable ICANN-accredited
domain name registrar such as Dotster.com or Misk.com.
If you are on a tight budget, you can, of course, create a web site on
a free web site hosting service without registering a domain name.
But there are drawbacks to a "free" web site:
A "free" web site must usually include some form of advertising, which
distracts visitors from your site content and slows page loading.
A "free" web site name is appended to its hosting service name,
limiting your ability to promote the site and later move it to another
Search engines are less inclined to list a web site which lacks its own
registered domain name.
Select and configure a web site hosting service.
Typical hosting costs for a basic web site range from $100 to $250
per year. Expect to spend more for web sites with eCommerce
features, special processing requirements, or high traffic volume.
Check out these virtual web host offerings:
offers a wide range of shared hosting and dedicated server hosting options.
offers a good set of web hosting features at an economical price.
is a Christian hosting service with a good selection of hosting plans
for personal and small business web sites.
Beyond virtual web hosting, dedicated web hosting offers you more
control over content, security, and usage, and is typically priced
at $100 per month or more. Check out offerings from
Peer 1 and
Design, code, and test your web site.
A simple web site may consist of a single web page, generally named
"index.htm" or "index.html". A bare-bones web page might consist
of the following HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code:
In the long run, the best way to start developing your web site is to
spend a few hours learning the basics of HTML, the standard web page
coding language. An excellent resource for this purpose is the
free HTML tutorial at htmlgoodies.com,
and the companion book, HTML Goodies, by Joe Burns.
and the PHP and
ColdFusion primers for powerful server-side scripting.
Support for server-side scripting tools depends, of course, on your hosting service configuration.
Several excellent software tools, such as Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe PhotoShop, and Macromedia HomeSite,
offer helpful web page layout, graphic design, and HTML code generation features.
Some web site interaction features are expensive to build and maintain,
and many web site owners opt to pay a small monthly fee for these
services, which can enhance your web site's ability to attract
return visitors. For example:
or forums, where web site visitors can interact with you
and with each other, are popular web site enhancements.
in which web site visitors vote on topics of your choice, can be
helpful sources of feedback. Visitors will often return
to check poll results.
where web site visitors enter their names, email addresses, comments,
or whatever info you request, can provide you with valuable feedback
and help develop a list of persons who are interested in your site.
Search Engines, from whence
web site visitors can search your site (and optionally, the entire web)
are valuable visitor retention tools.
Data Entry Forms,
where web site visitors can place orders, request information, or enter
customer service data, are ideal tools for tracking visitors' interests.
Data Base Tools,
with which web developers can create sophisticated web applications.
You can accept credit card orders on your site, by either using
a credit card transaction processing service or by obtaining
a merchant credit card account. Be sure to select a reputable
service for processing online monetary transactions on your web site.
is a turnkey
e-commerce solution which enables small to medium sized merchants to
evolve "info-only" web sites to sites that allow products to be sold
via the Internet.
a division of Cardservice International,
helps business owners (Internet, phone/mail order, and storefront)
with the merchant account necessary to accept credit cards.
You can build and test your site on your own computer and later "deploy"
it to a web site host, where it is accessible to Internet users
Deploy your web site to your host.
Use a file transfer program (FTP) such as
to upload and download your web site and any updated pages between your
computer and web site host computer. WS_FTP sells for about $50.
Promote your web site.
Well, now that your web site is out on the web, it would help if people
knew it existed! And would come to visit!
The most popular way to find information on the web is via search
engines and their related directories. So the first step is
to inform them of your web site. You can economically submit
your web site listing to over 200 search engines and directories
(including some of the most popular ones) via the
However, search engines and directories are inundated with listing
requests, and you can achieve priority treatment by registering your
site with these directories for a nominal fee:
One cost-effective way to increase your web site traffic is to advertise
on pay per click search engines,
where you can bid on selected key words and phrases.
The higher you bid, the higher your web site listing appears when someone searches for your key word or phrase.
For many keywords, you can increase your web site traffic for only
pennies per visitor – and build your brand recognition as a bonus!
Monitor your web site visitors and performance.
You can use these tools to see how your web site is performing:
Counter counts the number of hits or unique
visitors to a web page. It is available for a nominal yearly fee,
and is appropriate for web site owners who have a small web site
with one entry page, and who don't need detailed visitor tracking.
SuperStats gives you detailed statistics
on your web site visitors. For measuring and profiling
your web site traffic, we recommend this service.
If you have a high-traffic, commercial web site,
can periodically check your site performance and accessibility,
and alert you if your site becomes inaccessible.
Well, if you have reached this point on the page, checking out the links
as you've progressed, you have learned a great deal about building
a web site! Of course there is still a lot more to learn,
but you have the basic outline. Come back and see us again,
and visit our Home page
for more info about these web site tools.
Disclaimer: Our editors have reviewed the products and services
mentioned on this page but do not represent their merchantability
or fitness for any particular purpose.