Creating a Website

Creating a Website

To begin, let’s look at how you go about setting up a website and everything you need in order to manage one.

Domain Name

The first thing you’ll need then is your URL. A URL is a domain name that acts as the address for your website. If you hope to use a lot of content marketing and to build up a recognizable brand that you can use to establish yourself as a thought leader, then you will need a domain name that’s easily recognizable and that is catchy.

Your domain name should also be something that describes your business well. Most likely you’re going to choose a niche that you will operate in predominantly (more on this later) and so you should make sure that your name reflects that. If you’re going to  be selling fitness products, then try and ensure people know this right away from your business name. Subtly doesn’t benefit you much when you have a short amount of time to make an impact.

To acquire a domain name, this is who I recommend: www.NameCheap.com

Hosting

Next you’re going to need a hosting account. While your domain name is what will act as the ‘address’ for your website, the hosting account is going to be what you use to store all your files.

To understand a server, it’s helpful to imagine them as essentially being large computers that are constantly connected to the website and that contain websites. When you buy server space, you’ll be getting storage space on one of these computers which will likely be holed up in a warehouse somewhere and looked after by a series of technicians to ensure it stays safe and secure against hackers, faults etc.

When someone then types in the domain name you’ve bought, it then points the  browser to that particular space on a server. This then gives it access to the files that make up your website, including the HTML and CSS files that define the layout, design and formatting, as well as all the images and content.

Again, you can get hosting from a number of different sites. Here’s what I recommend: www.HostGator.com

Whatever you choose though, you’ll need to compare some of the features and different types of hosting.

Types of hosting include:

Shared Hosting: This is the basic type of hosting, which means you get a portion of the space on a specific server. If you imagine a server to be like a computer, it’s as though you’re getting 20% of the hard drive space to yourself, while other users will get the other parts.

Practically, this doesn’t make much difference to you – you’ll never see the files of the other user and they’ll never see yours. What it does mean though, is that you’ll have less available storage space and less ‘bandwidth’ (bandwidth is how much data can be transferred before the server goes down temporarily or gets very slow – the more people using the same server, the greater  the strain will be).

Dedicated Hosting: This way you get your own server that no one else gets to use. That means more space, more bandwidth and more flexibility regarding what you’re allowed to install. For instance, if you want to build a web app, you’ll need to install a PHP Framework. Some of these, such as Symfony, will only work on dedicated servers.

In some cases, dedicated hosting users will even be permitted to sell storage space to other people as a reseller.

Cloud Hosting: Here you will have multiple copies of your site on different servers (either shared or dedicated) meaning that if one server goes down, the hosting provider can simply redirect traffic to another copy of your website. This means less downtime and of course it also means you get several times the amount of storage and a far less stingy bandwidth limit.

As an affiliate marketer, your hosting requirements will be relatively modest. You won’t have too many people visiting your site at once and when they do, they won’t be downloading lots of large images. You can certainly start with shared hosting account then to keep your initial investment low and then just build up to the more expensive and comprehensive solutions over time.

Other things to consider are the customer support, the amount of downtime (read reviews) and the additional features. Something very useful to look for is cPanel – which is a selection of tools that will come in very handy for all kinds of webmasters and affiliate marketers in particular.