I need some opinions from people who have built their own websites. I know absolutely nothing about this type of thing but am looking to build a website (not a blog-type though). Can you guys offer any suggestions of what I should do? Or, which companies are the most reliable and legitimate for domain name registration? All advice as to how to do this the right way would be appreciated.
OT: Domain Name Registration/Creating a Website
Hey, I build websites all day...everyday.
if you have specific questions, leave your email address and I will write ya.
I use GoDaddy for domain names, I prefer it over all other major domain registrars. I don't like them for hosting. I have a VPS on MediaTemple that has been great- but overkill for a startup. MediaTemple has a Shared-Hosting plan that is reasonabily priced, but you could find cheaper. And, if you just a basic website, I would suggest installing WordPress.
godaddy.com has been great for us. We have 100 domain names and the site is pretty easy to navigate.
If you don't have a static IP, use zoneedit.com
I've gotten domain names from GoDaddy and that worked out well. Reasonably priced, pretty easy process.
Also, I'm pretty sure all the GoDaddy employees are hot, bisexual female police officers/NASCAR drivers. So the customer service is great too.
I use Bluehost. The service is great and it is really affordable.
I use bluehost as well and have been happy thus far.
they have sitebuilder templates that are extremely simple should you be looking to do general development. what's more, you can get 12 months of hosting and a domain for $46/yr. Click the Sign Up Now button and check your domain. When it gets to the billing screen, click your home button/bookmark. It will pop up a screen intended for client retention that cuts the bill in half (to the $46 for a year of hosting and domain name).
i've been building general sites related to the law firm by doing that. it's easy as sin to build a site using their click and drop manager within the site tools. i have HTML/dreamweaver experience and would rather use their stuff just out of sheer laziness and how great of templates they have.
and only had one problem (though a rather gigantic one), they automatically re-checked boxes for a few add-ons I had deselected previously and then when I hit send, it charged me extra. That's a little shady in my opinion. I had double-checked that the charge would only be $46, too. Then the customer service people told me I couldn't get a refund for stuff I didn't want and that they had added to my order without my knowledge. Wild. I appealed to senior billing staff and we'll see what happens.
I use godaddy.com for domain registration and I would recommend trying Weebly.com for setting up a website. Weebly is pretty easy to use, plus it is free, although there is small weebly ad at the bottom of your page, but you can get rid of that for a small fee if you upgrade to the "Pro" package.
I have used weebly for a couple of different websites and I find it pretty intuitive, quick and flexible, especially if you are relatively new to setting up a website.
I've never had any issues with either place and highly recommend them both.
I am relatively new to this as well, but have built 4 sites over the last couple of years. I use iPower for domain registration and hosting. It is a very user-friendly platform that is very reasonably priced. While I don't use them, they have drag and drop templates that you can use or you can simply upload your own via FTP, etc.
If you're starting from scratch with a website it can be broken down into 3 steps:
1) Register a domain name.
I use 1&1, but Godaddy and Namecheap are fine or really any domain name registrar. They really all do the same thing anyways - register your domain name - so search around for coupon codes to find something cheap.
But, I like 1&1 the best because they offer free private Whois registering. If you have Public registration, anyone on the internet can find out your phone number, address, personal info with a simple search. If you're registering a personal website this may not matter to you, but, if it's a commercial site or something you want to monetize, you may want to do private registration... I know I do.... and 1&1 won't charge extra for this. Other companies like GoDaddy will charge extra.
2) You'll need hosting.
I have a Hostgator Baby Gator account - $9.95 per month, unlimited storage space, domains, etc. I like them.
BlueHost is cheaper - $6.95 per month, I think - but you have to pay for a year up-front. I've heard good things about them. Were I to start again I'd probably go with them just to save the $3 or so per month.
3) Next, you'll need to point your domain name to your DNS servers on yoru hosting account. You do this in your domain name registrar account. It's much simpler than it sounds.
4) Next, you'll need design your site.
2 options for this:
a) You can design your pages in a program like Adobe Dreamweaver, Xsite Pro, or even MS Word.
Then, you upload them to your hosting account using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software like Filezilla or the CPanel feature in your hosting account. I highly recommend using CPanel instead of an FTP software. I has all the same features and is simpler.
b) Install a blogging software called WordPress (you can do this using the Fantastico feature in the CPanel of your hosting.)
Now, I know you said you want a regulare website not a blog, but, you can make a regular website using Wordpress.
The great thing about Wordpress is it's simple to use (good for beginners and shorter learning curve than learning to use Dreamweaver and learning HTML) and can give you a really sharp looking website. You just upload a theme (There are free ones or you can buy themes for pretty cheap) which determines how the site will look. (Here's an example of a theme: http://www.studiopress.com/demo/corporate.html Looks like a website, but created using Wordpress.) To add a new page to your website, you just create a new post in Wordpress, and it posts it in the style of the theme. It's very easy to use.
Good luck, hope that helps.