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setting myself up on the web-need help!


Cyburbian Plus
Ok all I need the "throbbing brain" to give me some advice. I'm tired of AOhell and looking to buy my own domain name and set up my own presence on the web. I'm not a computer geek so doing this is rather...daunting.

1) I need a domain name

2) need to host it somewhere

3) need multiple email addresses

4) need on the cheaper side.

Thoughts? Who do others use? Bad experiences? There seems to be such a wide variety of prices and packages I don't know what's good and what's not.

Ok guys have at it-teach the young'n something.


I'm kind of in the sam eprocess at this time too. I found several(LOTS) of providers on the web touting thier services through a google search. They all provide a domain name, emails, a data limit, and offer it reletively cheap. I haven't totally settled on one as of yet, but time isn't really allowing me much room now. Each of these site also offer guidance for 'building' the page too. They provide lots of templates that you can build your site around, or you could find lots of free ones on the web, again using Google. Some of the free ones are obviously hooky, but hey, they're free. It may take a while to find the design you want.

Repo Man

I have a website and I use www.directnic.com to regiuster. They will give you 20 mb free space (with banners) if you want it. Otherwise they will give you bannerless 20 mb for 15 bucks a year. I use their re-direct service, where I have my ISP host the site for free, but when someone enters my web address, www.yourfavoritebandsucks.com, they get re-directed to my free site which actually has some long http address.

You can get pop3 e-mail, but I think it is 10 bucks a year for the primary e-mail and 5 bucks per e-mail account thereafter.

I use a variety of web publishing tools, but mainly use NAMO Web Editor, a very good, easy, yet cheap program. You can download a version of it from download.com


Dear Leader
Staff member
First, get your domain name. You can buy it through Network Solutions, a number of lower-cost registries like namecheap.com, or even register a name with some foreign NICs; yes, you can have plannergirl.co.nz or plannergirl.co.il if you want, even if the server is in Toledo. There's also nic.us, if you want to register plannergirl.us.

FWIW, I've got several domain names.


Do not register a name with a company that claims free domain name registration, because you won't own the name. Also be wary of Web hosting services that offer free domain name registration, because you might not be able to carry the name with you if you want to change hosting services.

Next, find a good hosting company. This is the hard part. Cyburbia is hosted on 100 Mega Web Hosting, a small company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They're okay, which is more than what you can ask for. Tech support is responsive and fast, the plans are reasonably priced, the features are abundant, the Red Hat Linux-based servers don't have any non-standard quirks, and uptime isn't bad; although there are some things they don't do so well. Pair.com is supposedly excellent. IMHO, stay away from Host Department, 1&1, or any of their resellers.

(Cyburbia will be on a dedicated server soon if traffic continues to increase, but that's for another discussion.)

When you get your Web hosting account, you should be provided with two DNS addresses. Go to the name hosting site, access your control panel, and insert the DNS addresses you were given in the appropriate location. After propagation, which takes about a day, you should be set.
I have walked a couple of charitable organizations through the "websites for dummies" process. The REAL Geeks will disagree with some of this and be offended. My geekier friends roll their eyes all the time. I figure I can grow into a REAL Geek. In the meantime, I am on the web and so is the homeless shelter here and my friend in New Mexico:

A) You can go to Nameboy and they have a really cool feature for searching available domain names. Their search engine will creatively combine 2 words of your choice to invent a variety of domain names in case your first choice is already taken. And it's fun. Even if you do not buy a name there, go and Play. It is worthwhile research or a great Time Waster. :-D They sell domain names a lot cheaper than Geocities/Yahoo -- where I also bought a couple of domain names. For the price, you get the name for however many years you pay for and you can set up a re-direct page to send folks to your site. You will have to get webhosting elsewhere, which means the domain name would only be how folks get to your site and not part of the url of every page.

B) The Idiot Method: I bought 2 domain names with Yahoo -- where we have our ISP hosted, so it is Duh-me Proof. Their webhosting packages include a certain number of e-mail addresses. My Geekier friends keep telling me they SUCK as a hosting service. I do not have the technical expertise to follow their points about what is SO WRONG with it. :-D I figure when I get that clued in, then it will be time to do some research and move on. In the mean time, I am plenty busy, thanks, learning to write HTML and designing webpages, blah blah blah. It hasn't yet made my Radar. I turn a deaf ear to my Geekier Friends when they start fretting about this and thank them graciously and sincerely for all their valuable input, support, and so on, without which I would not have the degree of web development that I currently have.

C) This method probably won't work for you since you actually need a new ISP. But if someone is basically happy with their ISP, a domain name from NameBoy with a redirect page and a FREE (with icky pop-up ads) geocities site is a cheap way to start figuring out what in heck you are doing. My site was originally designed and hosted on the website of a Geeky Friend. She then gifted me the code to the templates she kindly designed, with my input, when I moved to a free geocities site. When I had more pages and more traffic a few months later, I bought domain names and signed up for webhosting services.

I am mostly a "cut and paste" coder, but I can change the colored backgrounds and what have you. My friend in New Mexico is using Page Builder, I think. It is a "drag and drop" method for making web pages, no coding knowledge required. Really, you no longer have to be a True, Dyed in the Wool Uber Geek. If you can do e-mail and windows-based programs, hey, you can fool around with this stuff. And when your run into an issue, you now have new topics over which to bond with your True Geek friends and I have bought a few books to learn a smidgeon. How much web development skills you develop is kind of up to you. "any idiot" can now have a basic web site, if they don't want to do anything too complicated. (And then Dan and eG and others can post those pages here as examples of WHAT NOT TO DO, yadda yadda. :-D Just realize you will not win any awards and the True Geeks will be disgusted. Who cares?)

D) When I get in over my head and want to do something beyond my skill level, I get help on specific parts of it, either in trade for work on something they need or as a charity case from good friends who roll their eyes at how pathetically clueless I am. :-D If you graciously and sincerely appreciate and thank your Geek Friends for their endless criticism, their obsessive perfectionism is really a source of valuable consulting/feedback that you couldn't possibly afford to pay for. Send them nice cards every time they destroy your ego with volunteering their abundant opinions about everything you are doing wrong. ;-) ;-)

E) We went with DSL from SBC Global (which is part of Yahoo/Geocities and a pain in the butt, administratively -- with a "phone menu system" From Hell) because we wanted DSL, it was available Cheap at the time and we locked in the good rates, and it let all 4 family members get online. This last was a critical need for us and my 16 year old's life expectancy has gone way up now that he is occuppied at his computer most of the time and mom no longer has An Urge To Kill. Which is to say: Assess your personal needs, list your priorities, and do what works best for your biggest needs.

Um, I think that about covers 'Duh-me Website Launching' or "How to get started, and don't confuse me with the technical details". :-D