Can You Really Get Your Own Website?
Despite the fact that most of us take the Internet for granted, it still holds a lot of mystery, even for people who use it every day.
Plenty of people surf the web, send email, get news, check stock information, and use instant messenger, but the thought of putting up their own web pages leaves them shaking with fear.
However, with all the changes online in the last few years, putting up your own website rates easier than ever and creating any website breaks down to 5 main elements.
Seven or eight years ago it cost $75 an hour to get a web designer to hand-code an html document for you to display on the Web.
A simple website used to cost thousands of dollars.
Now, software will do it for you better, faster and for less than the cost of dinner and movie.
In fact, Microsoft Word (the ever-popular word processing program from Mr. Bill Gates) allows you to convert your word processing documents to html pages automatically.
They may not be as "sexy" as a high powered web-designer's work, but my experience shows that the slicker pages with all kinds of dancing and flashing "junk" don't do as well as the sites that load fast and get to the point!
After just some minimal instruction, if you can use a word processor, you can create your own Web pages and link them together to form an effective Web "site."
Domain and Website Hosting
Domain names used to cost $70 or more to register for a year, but now you can get your own dot-com for only $8.95 per year at www.GoDaddy.com.
I personally paid more than $100 a month for basic website hosting back in 1998, but you can get better, more full- featured service now for less than $10 a month!
In fact, for smaller sites, you can get a domain name AND a year's hosting at www.DotEasy.com for only $25 a year.
FTP To Your Web Server
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) intimidates people more than any other part of the website building process... probably because it *sounds* intimidating.
The word "Protocol" makes me think of some dreadful medical procedure out of a Frankenstein movie!
Yet FTP is simply the process of transferring (uploading) your web pages from your computer to another computer called a Web "server."
A Web server is just a computer permanently connected to the Internet to "serve" files to your website visitors.
That's all it is... just another computer that Web surfers connect to in order to view your Web pages.
Go to www.SmartFTP.com for a free program that works virtually identically to "Windows Explorer" and allows you to just "drag and drop" html files to your Web server.
If you wanted to accept credit cards on your website five or six years ago, it cost hundreds of dollars just to apply and it felt like you needed a National Security clearance to get accepted for a merchant account.
Now you can quickly, easily, and securely accept credit card and even check payments through your website with no monthly fees.
Check out PayPal.com, ClickBank.com, and PaySystems.com for more information.
Unless your Website exists strictly to serve family or friends, eventually you'll need some traffic.
Hundreds of books exist to teach you how to get website traffic from free search engines, your own affiliate sales force, publishing articles online, and even how to quickly get hundreds of other sites to link to you.
No matter how you choose to get traffic, remember, "All clicks are not created equal!"
The key is to only pay for tightly targeted traffic with a specific interest in what you sell on your website.
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Article by Jim Edwards - Copyright © 2003
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...
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