Website Basics

You’ve decided you want a website. Let’s assume you are clear on the purpose of the website (that’s a topic for another day). So how do you go about making that website a real thing?

There are really just 3 things which you need for a website:-

  1. Domain name
  2. Hosting space
  3. Web pages

1. Domain Name

That’s the www.mysite.com or www.mysite.com.au which is used to identify your website.  You need to register your domain name with a domain name registrar.  There are many of these - a good low-cost registrar for .com, .net, .biz, .org type domain names is NameCheap.com

To register a .com.au domain name, you must be able to demonstrate that you are legitimately entitled to that domain name, such as showing that it is your registered business name, with an ABN, or that is is your own name or similar.  NetRegistry.com.au provides Australian domain names at competitive rates.

These days, it’s probably worth registering your domain name as soon as you find one which you like and which suits your purpose.  If this is the first thing you do, you, or your web developer, will need to revisit the registration site later, to make the domain name point to the actual web pages, once they exist.  So if you do this for yourself, keep (save or print or both!) all emails which your domain name registrar sends you.

2. Hosting Space

This is the computer space where the web pages actually reside and are served up to the internet.  Unless you are a very large organisation (or enjoy a technical challenge) it is usual to rent hosting space from a web hosting company.  Web Hosting by ICDSoft is an excellent choice – they provide reliable, low-cost web hosting with room to grow.  

3.  Web Pages

The actual coded pages which people see when they visit your web site.

You will need to give a fair amount of thought to the content of your pages.  Of course, unlike a book or brochure, a website can be changed, so don’t feel that you must have the content entirely fixed when you start on your website.  A website can grow and change and adding to your website over time can be very beneficial.

Another critical question is the look – what image do you want to convey and how do you want visitors to feel when viewing your site?  You may have a good idea about this; you may already have a logo or printed material, company colours, favourite sites on the internet, or you may wish to engage the services of a graphic designer to help bring together your website look. 

With some content and look in mind, the next question is:-

How or Who to Build Your Web Pages

This is very much dependant on your enthusiasm and time for dabbling in “computer things” and also on your budget.

You can set up a Blog for free at Blogger.com and quickly have an “online diary” which you can update regularly without much technical expertise.  (You won’t need your own domain name or even hosting service for a Blog like this and it may be all that you need initially).

Another option, if you are happy to do the work yourself, is to consider the site building facility offered by some web hosts, such as Netregistry or GoDaddy.  These allow you to choose from a set of existing templates (some quite pretty) and add your own text and pictures to create and then maintain your own site. 

If you want full control over the look or the behaviour of the site, gather up all the ideas you have and talk to a website developer such as weblines.  

Weblines also offers no-fuss, reliable, low-cost web site hosting, via our partnership with ICDSoft.

Once your site has been built, you can continue to update it, via the content management system (CMS).  We are happy to provide training and tips to help you pick things up.  If you don’t have the time or the interest, weblines can continue to manage any updates – all it takes is a quick email from you when changes are required. 

If, by this time, you have become thoroughly enthusiastic about developing the site yourself, you could consider starting with some website development courses!