Business & Finance Electronic Commerce

Website Startup Guide

Starting a business can be difficult, but starting an online business can give you twice the headache if it's your first time around.
  Note I say "first time around" because there are those of us which have made small web businesses a hobby practically.
  But as the saying goes "if at first you don't succeed...
"; needless to say you probably know the rest.
  There are many unfamiliar and technical terms you'll have to know but as a wise man once said "don't panic", especially if it all seems a little overwhelming and impossible.
  Although it might take longer for some of us, have faith in the half pound of meat resting comfortably inside your skull (It's gotten you this far).
  The first thing you should realize is that as with anything, what you put in is what you get out.
  Although inspiring many of the get rich quick schemes you read about on the web are just that; schemes.
  Even affiliate marketing requires a good amount of research, work and time, especially in the beginning.
  One of the things you should always remember is how much lower your costs will be and what a large reach you have versus a traditional brick and mortar startup.
  In some ways your web business can just be a hobby in the beginning (unless your now unemployed and very much need the money).
Now as far as vocabulary goes you should understand the following:Domain Name Your domain name or web address is just that, an address.
  It's how people find you on the web (domainname.
  Wikipedia has a much more technical and complete definition if your interested.
  Typically you can purchase one for $7-$15 for 1 year, anymore and your paying too much (or you paid for multiple years and just didn't realize).
  If you do some shopping around then you can actually also acquire one for free when you purchase your web hosting, which I'll be getting to next.
  If money is a factor then this would be a good idea, just make sure you find out how much it is to renew your domain name after the first year, because of course it's not free for life.
  When picking a domain name try to keep it short and find something easy to remember.
Web Hosting A web host is a company which provides space on their server for your website, in addition to file maintenance, email & other services depending on what type of package you purchase.
  This is of course for a monthly or annual free.
  There are a variety of free hosts available however reliability is usually a problem and you'll usually end up with an ugly banner on your website.
  If possible I would avoid free hosts unless you can't spring for the $80 a year or $7 a month most hosts are charging for starters.
  You definitely want to make sure your web hosting company offers the following as part of your plan: - 10GB Disk Space Minimum - 300GB Data Transfer - POP3/IMAP Email Accounts - FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - PHP4, PHP5 & PHP6 Support - Site Builder Website Although it's your main objective your website will be the last of the items you'll need to worry about once you get going, for the simple fact that you can't have one without the first two elements.
  A website is ultimately a collection of webpages, images and other digital assets hosted on a web server.
  On my list of must have web host items I listed site builder which allows a novice like yourself to put something up relatively quickly without shelling out a few hundred or thousand bucks for a website.
  If your familiar with software like Word, which  I'm actually recommending you not use then a site builder provided by your host, or any WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editor should prove relatively easy.
  A free one you can try is NVU and even Google has it's own free site builder you can try out.
  I've really only briefly covered the technical part of starting up on the web as there are a lot of other things to consider such as product development, advertising and search engine optimization but I'll save that for another day.
  Just be sure to do a good amount of research before you make any definite decisions and you'll be fine.
  Good Luck!

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