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How do I start a website?

  1. Dec 2, 2009 #1
    I want to create a professional website, but I do not know where to begin. How do I complete the first steps in creating a webpage?

    I want this site to be very simple. I also want a personalized URL and I am looking to keep this website running cheaply $5 or less a month.

    I know that

    1) I must register a domain (not sure how or where to do this).

    2) Find a host (also not sure how or where to do this).

    3) Design the webpage (Not worried about this right now).
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2009 #2
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Dec 2, 2009 #3


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    Gold Member

    Yep. Another place to register a domain is at easydns.com

    The ISP you are currently using to get online (if you are going online from home) will most assuredly have space for you to post a website.

    You put your webpages up on your own ISP server. They will provide their server names. You go to eaydns or godaddy and point your domain at your ISP server.

    The steps are:

    1] Make a webpage (see code at bottom), save it as index.html
    2] Get an ftp client (you could download Filezilla).
    3] Set up an ftp link to yourISP.com with your ISP username and password (ask your ISP if you don't know this)
    4] Set up a myshinywebsite folder in your personal storage space. Drop your index.html in this folder.
    5] You can now hit this website without need for a domain. Your ISP will tell you how to hit it.

    Code (Text):
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
        <title>My Shiny Site</title>

        <b>Hello world!</b>
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  5. Dec 2, 2009 #4
    Thanks for the information. I will check out those sites.
  6. Dec 2, 2009 #5


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The cheapest place to host your own site is probably https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/
    You only pay for the data that is actually downloaded to your viewers (which will presumably just be you) so it costs almost nothing for a very small traffic site.

    You can register the name with them (less hassle) or transfer it from somebody like godaddy.
  7. Dec 2, 2009 #6
    I host my domains with a reseller account. That means I can put as many domains as I wish on my space, which is 4000 megabytes for about $14 a month. In addition to uploading my own sites, I give free space to friends and relatives, and I rent out a lot of space to others to get all my money back.
  8. Dec 2, 2009 #7


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    I recently started using hostgator for my videos of racing games, and other stuff like radio control models. Note that godaddy's policy doesn't allow streaming video, such as windows movie files (.WMV) that can be played while downloading. (I assume it would be possible to make a streaming viewer for .AVI files, but those are allowed at godaddy). Hostgator doesn't have this restriction and their transfer rates are quite good for a shared host provider. My web site is an example of a 'minimalist' web site, simple text .html and links (no ads, no counters, ...), you're welcome to view or download the source or any of the files on my web site(s).


    (Note jeffareid.net is with ipower, which has gone under two takevers, each transition resulting in degraded transfer rates, which is why I now use hostgator. I plan to transition all to hostgator once my ipower contract runs out).
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  9. Dec 3, 2009 #8


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    For 1) and 2) you could also consider running Apache on your home computer, and using your own machine as the server. Then you could (like I personally do), use a service like DynDNS to point a static IP name to your dynamic home IP address. Forward the appropriate port, and viola!
  10. Dec 4, 2009 #9
    This sounds like the route I would want to go. I only plan on having about one page of text and a picture of myself so I do not believe that I would need anything real fancy especially since, I believe that the traffic will be really really low. Do you recommend any reading material on how to do this or just general reading material on setting up a website?
  11. Dec 4, 2009 #10
    Setting up your own web server isn't too hard, thankfully. There are numerous articles that explain in detail how set up Apache for your own personal use, but all boil down to the same few steps. Of course, the best documentation will always be the Apache server documentation itself.

    In short: Simply download and install Apache and tell it to run as a service (or daemon on *NIX systems) so that you won't have to start it manually. You might have to configure this, but I'm not too sure, it's been a long time since I last installed Apache.

    Next, you have to tell it to accept incoming connections on port 80, which is default behaviour if I'm correct. To find out, open up conf/httpd.conf in your Apache installation directory and look for 'Listen 80'. If it says that, you're fine. Otherwise, change it to that.

    Poke a hole in your firewall settings (both on your OS and your router) to accept traffic on port 80 and throw in some forwarding so that it will only go to your computer and not to anyone else in the network.

    That's basically all you have to do to get it up and running.

    Optionally, you can do what minger said and use DynDNS for a static URL to your site.
  12. Dec 4, 2009 #11
    Like said, voilà.

    Once you have that running, and the DNS pointing at your local IP box, nothing stops you from going a few steps further, like ftp server, e-mail server, ...

    This is the cheapest way around. You only need an old computer (mine is an old pentium I processor with something like 256MB of RAM). With this option you have complete control of the traffic on your machine, and will only cost you the connection to the internet, plus a tiny fee for the domain (a couple of bucks a year).
  13. Dec 4, 2009 #12


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    Note that most ISPs (in the USA at least) don't let you run servers on a typical home Internet connection. In that case you'd have to upgrade to a higher level of service, presumably at a higher price.

    Of course, this applies only to servers that are accessible from the rest of the Internet. It's very useful to have Apache running on your local computer so you can develop and test your web site by pointing your browser to a URL like http://localhost/mycoolsite/ [Broken] . You can also access it from other machines on your local network.

    On my home computer, I have Apache and an exact copy of my "live" Web site. I make changes and additions first on the local copy, test them thoroughly, and then upload them to my public Web host.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Dec 4, 2009 #13
    I did know that. Is there a reason for this???

    I am living in Switzerland. I just had to give a very quick phone call to my ISP, and within three minutes I could have all the data needed to run my server.

  15. Dec 4, 2009 #14
    You will typically use more of your ISP's bandwidth if people are constantly downloading from you. They also don't want any perceived liability if your site goes down. They also may be liable if you are illegally hosting copyrighted material on their connection, depending on local laws.

    Some ISPs simply block port 80, which you can get around by having your url look like http://mysite.com:81/. Your browser defaults to port 80 and just hides the :80 from you, but it still works if you type in. For example: https://www.physicsforums.com:80/.

    If your ISP blocks the port (or if they don't) you still may be violating your terms of service by hosting a public website.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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