Did you ever desire to have a website of your own? Have you ever wanted to showcase your talent through an online portal? Or have you merely wanted to share knowledge with the masses through the Internet?
If you have answered to either one or all of the above questions in the affirmative, then voilà, this is the article for you! If the thought of setting up a website all by yourself freaks you out, this article will guide you through the intricacies of setting up a website, explained in simple steps.
The first step towards setting up a website is choosing a domain name for your website. A domain name is nothing but a human-understandable string of characters that maps to an IP address. This convention is due to the fact that words are easy to memorise when compared to a series of nonsensical numbers.
Selecting a Domain Name:
A domain name should be selected wisely. It could relate to the type of content that you want to publish, or a generic name, open for any type of content.
For instance, a website related to technical content would have a domain like www.techdxb.com.
Registering the Domain Name:
Once, you have selected a domain name, the next step is to register it. A domain can be registered directly through a Domain Registrar accredited by ICANN or indirectly through a Domain Provider.
There are several Domain Providers available, both free and premium, the most popular being Go Daddy, 000webhost.com, eHost.com, bluehost, iPage, etc.
You now have your domain name ready. This domain name can also be used to create multiple sub-domains. A sub-domain is yet another website, having the original domain name as its parent.
Sub-domains come into picture when you would want to split your website across various countries or languages.
For example, a site like www.techdxb.com, can be specifically targeted to the UAE region, as ae.techdxb.com. Also, multi-lingual capability can be added by appending the language short code, as en-ae.techdxb.com, for the English language. This setup is usually referred to as Multi-country Multi-language Domain Setup.
Now that you have your domain name registered, next step is to create and setup files that would make up your site. What should a user see, when he types your domain name in the browser? This is decided by the files that are stored on servers provided by Web Hosting Providers.
Web Hosting Providers essentially, rent out space for storage of files. Apart from providing storage, they provide multiple features such as firewall, email, FTP access, etc. There are various types of Web Hosting, classified on the basis of the underlying infrastructure of the servers, as listed below:
- Virtual Private Server:
Being the cheapest and with a low uptime, this option is usually taken for test websites, or personal sites which are not frequented by users as much.
Also uses a shared mechanism, however, VPS offers a much more exclusive share to each user. A hypervisor, software that manages the virtual chunks, ensures neat distribution of the server equally among a limited number of users.
When the number of visitors to your site is very high, this option is best suited. It also gives you the freedom to customize the server to your needs, since you are the only dedicated owner.
Similar to VPS, with the only difference being that Cloud hosting uses multiple servers across a network, when compared to the single server used by a VPS. This makes Cloud Hosting much more scalable, secure and currently the most viable option for a Web Hosting.
There exists a 2-way mapping between the Domain IP and the Web Hosting, which ensures appropriate rendering of the files stored in the web hosting.
In case of sub-domains, the IP address remains the same, for both parent and child. In such cases, how would the web hosting know which files to render? This is where the programming logic comes to play, where appropriate conditions decide which site would be loaded. Most frameworks, such as WordPress, have this functionality built-in within its core, thereby saving our efforts.
The final step is to create a database that would store all the data our website requires. After creation, we need to establish a connection with the database. This is done by configuring the database information, such as its name, password, host, etc. in the configuration files.
The web hosting also consists of Web Servers, essentially software that would serve the pages that you request for on a web browser. The most common web servers for PHP are Wamp, Xampp, and can be used on Windows or Linux platforms.
Now, with all the website-creation skills in your armour, head towards building a legitimate proof of your skills. Build a website, and do come back to me with queries, if any!