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What it Takes to Run a Web Site
Jan 07, 2005 - Kenneth W. Richards

If you have ever been interested in running a Web site of your own and you have never done so before, this article will explain what is necessary to start your own site and keep it running. Orvado Technologies offers all the services and tools you need to build your own Web site at an affordable price.

Basic Requirements

1. Your Own Domain Name

Domain Name Registration is necessary so that people can locate your web site from anywhere on the Internet. A Domain Name is something like "yahoo.com" that people type into the address bar for a web browser so they can load a web page that makes up your site. Although it is possible to run a site based on an IP address, we don't recommend it. This would require visitors to your site to type something like "http://192.168.21.103" in the address bar. This is not very useful if you want people to remember your site.

Domain Names are like kind of like real estate. Each one is owned by an individual person or entity (company), and once you buy one it cannot be taken away from you. Since the Internet has been around for quite some time now (about 10 years), most of the good domain names have already been taken.

The good news is that there are still a ton of good domain names available if you know where to look. We recommend that you search for "recently expired" domain names from a domain registrar such as Direct Nic. They allow you to do very advanced searching on domain names that have recently expired and are now available for purchase.

A domain name (from a registrar like Direct Nic) will cost you $15 per year.
2. A Web Hosting Account

The other thing you will need is a web hosting account. Orvado Technologies specializes in hosting your Web site and will provide you with instructions and the tools necessary to start building web pages right away.

Your Web site can be hosted on a Windows operating system or on a UNIX operating system. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference. If you don't have any use to run specialized scripts (putting program code in your web pages,) then the choice is not important. Generally though, UNIX servers are cheaper than Windows.

If you want to use a Microsoft Windows web authoring tool such as Microsoft FrontPage then you should choose Windows hosting. Also, if you want to use a more sophisticated database such as Microsoft SQL Server 2000, then windows should be your choice. Orvado Technologies will be glad to discuss the options with you and the pros and cons for each.

Orvado Windows Hosting starts at $99 per year.
Orvado UNIX Hosting starts at $60 per year
3. E-Mail Accounts

Of course, you can't run a serious web site without also attaching some e-mail accounts to your domain. Orvado can create e-mail accounts that match your domain in the form: yourname@yourdomain.com. Once your account is created, you have complete control of it and you can use popular e-mail clients like Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook or Eudora.

Our packages provide you with a specific number of e-mail addresses which you can use to communicate with visitors to your site. Likewise, you can put links on your site to allow your visitors to contact you via e-mail. This will allow your visitors to submit questions, get a quote, or just send you comments and suggestions.

Orvado provides a minimum of 5 e-mail addresses at no additional charge.
4. Total Cost

Orvado can provide you a complete web site including your own domain name for as little as $75. If you pay for the domain name yourself, hosting only costs $60 per year which works out to $5 per month.

Tools Necessary

In addition to the basic requirement stated previously, you will also need certain software tools in order to build web pages and manage your e-mail accounts. It goes without saying that you will need your own computer with a web browser and Internet connection. At the very least, you need:

1. Web page editor or text editor

A web page editor like Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia DreamWeaver will help you to design and build the web pages for your site. After you have developed a page, you can publish the page using the built-in publishing tool. This will simply upload all of the web pages and necessary resources to your Web site folder.

If you don't have a good Web site editor, you can write your own HTML using a basic text editor. This is assuming that you are familiar with HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language.) Even something as simple as notepad would work for this task. Simply create an HTML page and save it to your hard drive. You can open the page using a web browser like Internet Explorer to see how your page will look. Once your page is ready to be published you can upload the web page to your server using FTP. Microsoft Windows includes a command-line FTP utility and better windows applications like SmartFTP are freely available for you to use.

2. E-Mail Client

In order to retrieve or send mail through your domain name, you will need an e-mail client. Microsoft Windows comes with the free e-mail client: Microsoft Outlook Express. Another great option, the just-released and free Mozilla Thunderbird is an excellent choice.

You will need to notify Orvado Technologies of the e-mail accounts you would like setup before you can configure your mail client to access your e-mail. Orvado will provide you with the username and password you will need to connect to our mail servers. This is all done free of charge when you order hosting from us.

Summary

Of course, you won't even need a web page or text editor if you have Orvado design and build your custom site for you. Of course we recommend that you acquaint yourself with the language and technologies used to build Web sites. That way, if you ever have the need to do routine maintenance or minor adjustments on your site you can do them quickly and easily.

Time Considerations

Depending on the amount of visitors to your site and the complexity of your web site, it may require only an hour a week or as much as four hours a day to keep running. Before you venture off into starting your own web business, consider what will be required of you in order to do so successfully.

You may have heard the famous quote: "Build It and They Will Come.". Well that's not necessarily true when it comes to Web sites. You need to market your site to let people know about the products or services you offer. Submitting your site to a search engine helps, but to generate real, meaningful traffic, you need to advertise and market your site effectively.

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Negri is a CD of Traditional Kurdish Folk music, Orvado created the CD cover using images and information gathered from the client.
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