by Paula Neal Mooney
"Make your own free website.com," or "create your own website.com," you frantically type into search engines.
You've got a burning desire to make a free web site for kids, or another kind of personal website.
Problem is, when you search around for the steps to create your own website, all you find is a bunch of techies talking about "flash" and "php" and other acronyms you don't understand.
It's a white man's world...but it's changing
I'll admit it, working with techies over the years, I discovered that most IT departments were filled with white men. Some were really REALLY sweet and helpful. But others were as cocky as that techie in the commercial that calls his non-techie coworkers "chumps" -- a guy they can't fire because "he's the only one that knows how to fix our computers."
I was glad to see the IT departments diversify, first with women digging around underneath the floor of server rooms in skirts that companies forced us to wear, then later with Indians with extremely long names on their name plates, curiously colored pictures with religious symbols in their cubes and oddly odiferous smells emanating from the break room microwave.
I'm sorry for the way I act sometimes
The reasons some of us can be so haughty over any techie skills we've been blessed with is because we know that website creation is a gold mine -- yet but for the grace and knowledge of God, we'd have none of this -- so my goal is to share with everyone how to create a free website in plain English for the most non-techie to understand.
For all my pontificating and tryin' to hang with the big boys -- some who just don't like the fact that a "Nigga Know Technology" (forgive the shocking link, the guy makes me laugh and shake my head all at once) -- I'll be the first to admit I'm still learning -- and that nearly two years after creating this blog, JUST LAST NIGHT did I finally understand the difference between a web host and a content mgmt. system after reading Blogtrepreneur's viral post about 101 Essential Blogging Resources.
So, in the Spirit of stealing some of his links, here's "how to create your own free or cheap personal website.com" in as plain and simple English as I can muster:
How to Make a Website in Plain English
1 - Buy a Domain Name
Yes, I know I said free, and you CAN set up a free domain name like I did this blog on Blogger.com. That might be good practice for you at first to get your feet wet, but the web world looks down on websites that contain "blogspot," "wordpress," "typepad," or "myspace" and such anywhere in the URL -- which is another name for the website address.
Save yourself heartache, ditch the cafe mocha for a few days and find a good dot com name:
Namecheap - $8.88 per year with free WhoisGuard
GoDaddy - $8.95 per year (and lower)
1&1 - $5.99 per year with free private domain registration
MyDomain - $8.25 per year
2 - Get yourself a host
I guess this is just like it sounds, a website "host" is whoever's house your website party is going to be held at. For example, Blogger.com "hosts" this blog for free for me. But again, when you hit the big time with your money site, other advertisers look down on free hosting sites, so skip a lunch or two and choose a host:
Dreamhost - Great plans, great prices with loads of bandwidth and diskspace.
Frozen Webhost - Small company but only $5/month and very reliable.
Media Temple - Awesome recommendations, grid and dedicated hosting.
Rackspace - Managed, dedicated and scalable web hosting for businesses
Hostgator - Shared hosting at $6.95 per month
3 - Choose a blogging platform
This is where you actually write the content, the words, the articles, the posts -- whatever you want to call them that makes sense to you. Again, I use Blogger, but I'm going to start a new website on Wordpress, so I'll let you all know how that goes.
Wordpress - The industry standard and most widely used - and its FREE!
Blogger - quick blog creation, but FTP can be slow and you don’t have full control
Typepad - another blogging platform, but pricing from $4.95/month
Joomla - CMS and Web Application Framework and free
That's it for now.
Play around and delve into the above links and start setting stuff up. Of course, there's so much more to it, but sometimes too much information is too overwhelming at first, so I'll give it to you in small doses as I learn.
So hang with me, put your email address right here for free emails about stuff like this and more. Just delete the posts that are too techie and go over your head.
I'll include basic, plain English instructions in most of them that will help you get started making your own website, and help you make some money off it to boot!
Heed the burning desire in your soul.
You were born to create that website idea that keeps you up at night and excites your being.
Stop being afraid. You can do it. Start it today.