We have traveled far ahead of our past generations and have reached an age of information revolution. Today, the whole world revolves not around the Sun but around information and entertainment associated with it.
World Wide Web or WWW is at the base of this information revolution. Though its age, if mapped against other inventions, is quite negligible but the overall impact is equal to the cumulative value of all other greatest inventions including the wheel.
No one can imagine how we would be living now without the internet. Many of us may not even ready to think about life-with-out-internet. Affordability, ease, and flexibility are the driving factors for WWW to spread its tentacles in almost all phases of life.
Further innovations have led the geeks and common people as well to embrace the state-of-the-art technology called HTML and stamp their presence in the World Wide Web.
This little handbook is prepared by keeping the beginners that wish to know about website building and its management in a nutshell.
What is Website?
A layman’s definition for the website could be like “a pool of information or entertainment that is accessible round the clock”.
In geek’s lingo website is “a pool of software scripts, add-ons, plug-ins that run in cohesion and offer various services to the target customers.”
Either way, a website provides information on almost everything that can be accessed with a click of a mouse 24/7. Another greatest advantage that a website provides is the ‘reach’.
Think of a name and make it your Domain
History teaches us that the erstwhile kings were ruling over a piece of land called as kingdom or dominion. Similarly, if you wish to be a webmaster and wants to rule over a piece of internet space, you must come up with a name for your kingdom. Web technology calls your kingdom as ‘Domain’. Coin a name that is simple and easy remember. Difficult names would never make it.
Choose exact Domain Extension
Once the domain name is ready it must be married to a perfect partner called as ‘domain extension’. This extension is not a tile that could be wagged at free will but the essence of your website’s concept. Some of the popular extensions are .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .edu. Each extension is an abbreviation of a meaningful word. .com stands for Commercial, .org means Organization, and .edu means Education. If your website is meant to do a certain business, you can opt for .com or .net but cannot take up a .edu extension.
If you are a patriot and wish to emphasize the country that you belong to, internet services offer you to register country-wise extensions too. Extensions like .us, .uk, .au, indicate the USA, United Kingdom, and Australia respectively. You can try out more precise extensions like www.yourdomain.co.us wherein .co stands for Company.
Web Hosting Services
Now you are ready with your dominion (with suitable extension) and now is the time for you to get into some technicalities of the internet. Web hosting is the critical and vital back-end service which keeps your domain available 24/7.
Choosing Hosting Plan
There are many hosting service providers out there and a newbie would get caught in a dilemma as to how to choose the right hosting plan. But it is not that difficult as it appears. Take the help of internet search, read reviews and opinions written by the users just like you and then compare the rates.
Set the Home
Now you have done the homework and it is the time to go public. ‘Face is the index of mind’. Let us not forget this adage even in this modern age of the internet. Web designing is the phase during which the construction of your dominion begins. Web designing and development is similar to the brick-and-mortar work while building a house. Please note that web designing and development is different from web hosting service.
Designing involves the creation of homepage, About Us, Services page and other such things where there is a need to attract the customers’ attention. A good homepage has got better penetration into the market.
Web development is the technical part comprising of writing various program scripts, the creation of database etc. It is a complete back-end operation that runs on a server hired from the web hosting company.
Using Site Builder
This section is for those who do not wish or unable to employ web designing and development professionals yet wish to go online with a website.
Of late, most of the web hosting companies from whom you book domain and server space, are offering in-built software called Site Builder. This site builder software comes with preinstalled templates for almost all categories like businesses, leisure, sports, spirituality etc. With the help of Site builder, you can quickly build the website. All you need to do is to pick & choose the options available and do some mix and match kind of stuff.
Stunning templates with predefined menu buttons, content publishing tools, eCommerce add-ons etc. make the site builder an irresistible package. You can tune the options to suit your need and include social book markings, multimedia files etc.
A word of caution for you here. There is no doubt that site builder saves money for a newbie like you but most of the features of a site builder work with on that hosting account only. If you try to move your website to another server hosted by a different hosting company, you may not be able to move the entire website. You need to thoroughly check this out before building a site.
Also, what happened in many cases, at the beginning of your business you may not have too much fund available on hand to invest, but you need a website or blog to create the online presence of your business. A free website builder can help you at this point of time. Currently, there are several popular free online website builders available from which you can choose. Just go to Google or Wikipedia and search for “Free Website Builder” and you will get a very big list of websites. Before choosing any of them to go through the list of features they are offering and choose which one fits mostly with your business and personal needs.
Now you are on your way to begin a campaign in that wild, wild world wide web. But as any campaign has got its own hurdles to cross, there are certain threats that you must keep in mind.
Hacking and spamming are the two prevalent methods that can take the life out of your website. Hackers can suck out the critical business information or personal information of your members/ users.
You need to protect your website from these miscreants and to achieve this you must take help from the hosting company and also from the developers who scripted the software programs for your website. As a webmaster who is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of your website and hence the precaution must start from you only.
Get Them All
You have now created a formidable domain that is well equipped and heavily protected. You have the attractions and protections too. Now the next assignment is to get the visitors knocking at your homepage. To do this all you need is dedication and devotion.
Content rules the internet. Keep this as a thumb rule. Fill your website with useful, entertaining and unique content. Add pictures and/or videos where needed. Do not cluster the web pages with too many unwanted colors, images, and videos. Too many flashy and pop-up items detest the visitors.
Search Engine Optimization is one important aspect that must be followed in true letter and spirit while developing the content. By using proper keywords, search phrases, and catchy titles, you are going to be there on top of web searches. Once you are on top, you need nothing to pull the visitors to your website.
Other Ways to Become Popular
Once having filled the website with unique content with regular updates, go all out and share the links with social networking sites, blogrolls, aggregators etc. Also, get into link building by partnering with already popular websites.
Be Available at Call
As an owner of a website, be it personal or business, you must be available to your visitors/customers. More often than not potential customers do write to your mail asking for more information. Timely response to such queries works for you in many ways. A quick and prompt response creates an aura around you and builds a formidable reputation as well.
Last Few Words
Success is something that comes from sincere and dedicated hard work of yours and rest of the guides, suggestions, and handbooks are for information or insight only.
Trust that this little guide is of some help to you as a beginner and wishes you all the success!