Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a very simple way to having your own website.

these past two weeks I've been geeking out and trying my very hardest to put together a website.  I bought two domain names, www.louisecanton.com and www.secretstare.com and have tried to make the site myself as it's something i always wanted to try and figure out.  in the end i used iweb to make www.secretstare.com because it's so so simple, but i will keep working on making my other site from scratch.

my very simplified way to making and publishing a website using iweb:

step 1: buying your domain (website name e.g. www.secretstare.com), i used godaddy.com but there are plenty of other sites that will register your name. similar site to register your name.  it costs about $11/year for a .com, try and get .com if you can.  and don't search your ideas for a website too much, apparently there are people who might steal your  idea and sell it back to you so buy as soon as you have a name idea!

step 2: then choosing a web host.  to simplify, a web host is what gives you space for your website on the internet, and keeps your website open so that people can access it 24/7, it can also give you email address plus many other extras.  it can range from free to $20+/month depending on how much space you need, how many visitors will be visiting and how many email addresses you need, plus more extras.  i used 000webhost.com because it gives you free hosting to start off with, i can upgrade when my website is completed and has more traffic.

step 3: link your host and domain.  very important, i skipped this step so couldn't figure out why my website wasn't publishing.  link your hosting site to your domain.  log into your domain account e.g. godaddy.com and manage your account by setting your 'nameserver'.  which is basically telling your website name who will be hosting your website and so linking them together.  your host site will usually send instructions on how to do this.  or you could buy your domain name and host from the same people so that you don't have to worry about this step.

step 4:  design your site. well this part was a lot more time consuming than i thought, and in the end i used iweb to create www.secretstare.com.  much easier, you can use a template, or a blank page and you literally just drop your photos add text.  the main plus for me using iweb was i could using a photo slideshow which i wanted to display my portfolio.

step 5: publish your site.  it used to be very easy to publish a site with iweb when they used to have 'mobile me' which is apple's own hosting site.  since they no longer offer hosting and you can only publish through iweb directly to mobile me, you'll need to download 'easy iWeb publisher' (it's free, google it).   publish your site to a folder of your choice.  then open iweb and drop in the folder and add your website details such as your domain name, hosting id and password etc.  (there are more detailed 'how to's on youtube)

there are drawbacks to using iweb.  to put it as simply as i can, by using iweb you can't tag your photos, which makes them more search engine friendly meaning when you search 'secret stare' in google it doesn't come up with my site.  i think being able to search your website is pretty important.  so i have tried using SEO software (search engine optimisation) which will add tags to your iweb site but i didn't find much difference.  however it's a website for now.