If you have no experience of setting up and running a website or blog you might imagine that it is a difficult process requiring technical knowledge. However, this is certainly not the case these days and easy website hosting is something that anyone who can use a computer can easily setup so they have their own website or blog.
It will not be cost free as you need a domain name and a web hosting service. Whilst it is possible that you can obtain one of these free, by obtaining both from the same provider, it is worth paying more to get a domain name that is appropriate for your site.
The process is simple:
Decide on a Domain Name:- The extension you need will depend on the purpose of your site. If you are looking for an international audience then a .org or .net might be appropriate or .com if there is a commercial element. In this case cheapdomainnames.com is a good place to start looking. It will almost certainly be cheaper to use a local extension such as .au, .co.uk or .de in which case you will need to search for a local registration site. Prices do differ so it is worth checking the registration costs on a few sites.
Choose your Website Hosting Provider: - There is a lot of choice here with varying levels of service. For a new user of such services I recommend going for one of the larger companies who have a good reputation for customer support. If any problems do arise you can then be confident that you will be able to get support.
Website hosting companies often also offer domain registration services and you can do this as part of the sign-up process with them. Be aware that whilst this is certainly the easy way forward it probably won't be the cheapest. The alternative is to register your domain name first with another company and, later, enter the DNS information provided by your hosting company. This is easy, it just adds another step to the setup process. If you decide to do this you should register your domain name before setting up your hosting account.
Set-up Hosting Service:- Firstly you need to select the package you want and decide how far in advance you want to pay. The longer you pay upfront the lower the equivalent monthly cost will be. Your contact and payment information will then be required, pay by credit card or PayPal as this simplifies getting a refund if you need to cancel later.
There is an additional step if you registered your domain name elsewhere. You will be given the names of your host's name servers and you need to login to your domain registration company's site and enter these.
Creating your Site/Blog:- Your hosting company will give you access to your Cpanel through which you control everything, including your email and FTP accounts. To get started quickly open "Fantastico De Luxe" which is in the Software/Services section. This will enable you to quickly set-up Wordpress, the very popular free software for creating websites and blogs. You do not need any technical knowledge to make a sophisticated site using Wordpress given the number of themes and plugins available and best of all it is all free. To install it in your root directory (i.e. your home page will be at yourdomain.xxx) select Wordpress in the left hand column of Fantasico. Click "New Installation" on the next page then complete the simple form leaving the "Install in Directory" box blank. The data entered on this page can be changed later and you will no doubt want to do so once you see what it is used for. Finish the installation and you will then get a page containing your database and login details.
You can now go to your Home Page and see the result. You can then log into Wordpress and pick a theme you like and start building pages and/or posts.
Easy website hosting is therefore available to anyone, so get out there and start publishing!