I want a website. Now what?

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So you want to put up a website. What is the transition between wanting a website and actually having a website? You’ll need to buy a domain name and purchase hosting. What is the difference? What is a domain name? What is hosting? And why do you need it?

A domain name identifies a webpage much like a store name identifies the store. John’s Tools is the name of the company that sells tool. John’s Tools also has a website, and their domain name is www.johnstools.com . Pretty simple, right? You want to communicate with an online store called John’s Tools and their shop is listed at www.johnstools.com.

Alright, so you bought a domain name. Now what? This is where hosting comes in. Think of a domain name as the name of your store. So you registered and bought the company name, John’s Tools. Cool. But now you need to rent out physical space to host your actual store. Similar to a physical store, you need to rent out space somewhere out there on the internet. The physical space you buy for John’s Tools is empty. Just like when you pay for hosting, you are given a certain amount of empty storage space. For John’s Tools scenario, the physical space will contain the content which he wants to sell. For our site scenario, the space will contain our files like .html files, .css files, .js files etc. and these files will generate our webpage.

So how do you get started? What are the next steps?

GitHub makes it easy for you to get a personal site up within minutes. They provide you a personalize url that is tied to your account. Feel free to look into it more at https://pages.github.com/. Stay tuned for my next article on Setting up a web page with GitHub Pages.

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