get a website

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Getting Started

Three basic things..

..is all you need to get a website up and running on the World Wide Web.

First, you'll need an actual 'Website'..

.. most commonly this would include any communication media that can be read and/or interacted with via a Web Browser. A simple example could be a series 'hyper-linked' web pages with text and images (like this site).

Second, you'll need a 'Domain Name'..

..A domain name is a unique 'web address' that gives any Web enabled device, the information on where to find your website.

The 'Domain Name' is the address everybody types in their web browser to go to a particular website. Examples would be; 'www.oxfam.org' or 'www.google.com'. Domain Names can easily be purchased via the web. For more see: Domain Names

Lastly, you need a 'Host'..

A 'host' is essentially just a computer configured to 'serve' web pages?

All your email, letter and digital photograph files are stored on your own computer's hard drive (JPG, BMP, TXT, DOC). Web page files are no different (HTML, PHP, CSS, JS), they can also reside on your hard drive along with everything else. All the files that are stored on your computer could be said to be 'hosted' by your computer.

You could, if you really wanted, 'host' your website from your own computer. This would mean though, having your computer turned on 24 hours a day.. every day. In most cases this is not practical, unless you're a very large organisation.

Most people choose instead to 'rent' some space on someone else's computer. This is what is meant by someone 'hosting' your website. Terms like 'your host', 'hosting package', 'webspace' are all references to the idea of your website files being stored on someone else's computer.

It is this 'remote' computer that sends your webpage's to those who wish to see them. The technical term is that the remote computer 'serves' the webpages to the user. Computers that store and send webpages are therefore often referred to as 'servers'.

For more on hosting issues; options, prices, setting-up, etc go to: Web Hosting

So there are the basic technical necessities for having a website, but there are still many things that need to be considered in preparing your website. The next section is designed to help you make the right preparation and avoid the many common pitfalls. So next to: Website Planning

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