In this day and age, having a web presence almost seems to be a prerequisite to doing business. Even for private individuals, the pressure to have some sort of website to be able to show to friends both new and old can sometimes be overwhelming. Blog and journal sites abound online, and profile sites seem to be popping up everywhere as well.
Unfortunately, a lot of people find themselves feeling uneasy about creating a website or establishing any sort of internet presence at all... it may be because they fear someone will steal their personal information, or it might simply be because they aren't sure how to do all of the complex coding that they think websites require. To help to ease these fears, here are some of the basic facts about how to build a website and stay safe online.
- Decide what type of site you want to have. If you just want a blog or online journal, you'll find a variety of websites that only require signing up before you're able to post. For a more traditional website, you'll have to find a host (which is the name for a company that sells web space for you to build a website on).
- Once you've decided whether you want a blog-type site or a more traditional website, you should find a website where you can create it. Search sites such as LiveJournal or Blogger if you're looking for a blog site; look at places such as Yahoo! GeoCities or AngelFire if you want to create a traditional website.
- If you're going to create a traditional website, keep in mind that a free host will place advertising on your site (usually in rather annoying ways). Take time to consider whether this is acceptable, or whether you'd be better off paying for a website (and getting your own domain name, to boot).
- Once you've made a decision on free hosting versus paid hosting, it's time to start building your site. Many hosts allow you to edit your site directly from the internet, though some will have you create your pages on your own computer and then upload them with a special program known as an FTP program. Unless you are using webpage development programs, it's generally a good idea to stick with hosts that allow you to edit your pages online... many of these even have What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get editors (also known as WYSIWYG editors) that let you simply drag-and-drop your page elements into place.