Martin's IT consultancy

Friday, June 17

How do you set up a website?

I was asked recently by a neighbour of mine, Chris, how to set up a website. He had already had a go at creating a website through a simple website builder run by the local paper, but wanted to write something "without ads". I didn't know his level of expertise, and had to try to phrase my answer in a general way, at the same time trying to cover the technical issues he might come across.

My answer is found in the first comment.

See also:
Web design in Tuition index


Anonymous Martin said...

Hi Chris

Will try not to blind you with science here, but inevitably some of this will get a bit technical.

Domain Registration
I used Google and just seached under the term "Domain Registration". As you will see there are lots. Many have a "Whois" feature which is a tool to check if a particular name is registered. They will often come back with prices for the name you want to register. The price is most often determined by whether you want the name to end .com .net or whatever.

I settled on Weycrest because they are UK based, offered a cheap price, and they offered free web hosting. The only condition was a link back to the host. To get my pages onto the site I needed to use something called FTP. Other sites will offer you a page builder (as I suspect Communigate do), or an "upload" facility. The site I was setting up is found at Its used to promote a Relaxation Tape which my partner Alison sells.

We originally had the site with Freeserve, at no cost, and with only a slightly longer domain name, but got caught out when Freeserve changed to Wanadoo and they would no longer re-register old domain names. There are plenty of places where you can get free hosting and a sub-domain name registration. About 60 UK places are listed at If your scroll through the list you'll find a few which are ad-free.

Hosting is the business of storing the pages you want to display. I just took a quick look at NTL where you would be entitled to 55MB of webspace. NTL is an example of sub-domain registration. I think your website would be called if you choose this option. If you would prefer to have your own fully personalised domain name then you will need to look around for a host.

Web Page Design
Aside from custom page builders attached to websites, which often have very limited design capabilities, there are many ways to design web pages. If you are familiar with a word processor such as Microsoft Word then you can just use "Save As HTML" to create a single page. Its possible to build in hyperlinks to other pages, and so you could build a complete site this way. One of the better free HTML editors available is called Netscape Composer, which is included with installations of Netscape Navigator. You might find that you have a Microsoft product on your pc called FrontPage, which is a full blown website development tool.

Uploading Pages
As mentioned before, there are often several ways to upload pages to a website, but my own choice is to FTP. Once the correct username, web address and password details have been added, they work in a similar way to file Explorers. The one I tend to use is called FTP Commander

Hope some of the above is of use. Let me know how you are getting on and I will try to be of further assistance,




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