Editor, PlanetArabia Magazine
Many are perplexed when creating a web page, a blog or a website. The process seems to be very complex. Web development companies keep sending offers by email to build a 5 page website for a cost starting at several hundred dollars, giving the impression that a great deal of effort is required.
A number of questions come to mind. Is a website necessary? Can I afford the cost? Can I do it myself? The answer to the three questions is “yes”. A website is a plus and even a must in many domains, especially for journalists and writers who wish to post their work online. Of course they can use a blogging website, but it is much safer and freer to have one’s own website and one’s own blog.
As for the cost, it is practically negligible, and yes, you can do it yourself!
The first thing you need is to create your own “domain name”, like LAUWorkshop.com or LebanonDigest.com. To do that, we go to a domain name seller such as namescout.com, networksolutions.com or godaddy.com. Enter the required domain name in the search box, and click “search”. If the domain is available, a screen will be seen, as shown in the illustration below:
Click “select” to go to checkout and pay for your domain. Please note that you are not “buying” the domain, but in fact “renting” it for a period of up to 10 years, renewable 1 year or up to 10 years at a time. It is recommended to pay 1 year rent only, and renew 1 year at a time. The rate to pay including taxes is $12.17 per year. Let’s assume that LebanonDigest.com was selected.
The next step is to buy hosting. Hosting charges range from US $ 3.99 to US $ 7.99 per month. You will need to select a “Windows” or “Linux” server host, depending on the scripting language you want to use for creating your website. Windows languages ASP Classic and ASP.NET are not available free of charge, while PHP is a free open source language which you can use to building your website or blog free of charge.
Select a hosting plan. If you pay 1 year hosting (US $ 60), you can save the domain name fee for the first year US $ 12.17. This includes up to 500 email addresses, like YOU@LEBANONDIGEST.COM. See the illustration below:
The next step is to point the domain name to the hosting server. Go to the domain management page on GoDaddy.com, select your domain and click on “manage servers”. Point your servers as appropriate. This tells the Internet that whenever a request for LebanonDigest.com is made, it is directed to one of the two name servers “NS69 and NS70”. See the illustration below.
The hosting package includes free webware applications to build your website. Let us assume that you want to create a publishing platform to upload and publish your articles.
Select your hosting account and click Manage. See illustration below:
Click “Applications” to open the Applications installation page. Click “All Available Applications” to see a full list of over 50 free applications that are available for you to install, ranging from content management, to blogs, electronic commerce, eLearning, forums and more.
Click on “blog” to create a blogging website, and select WordPress. Click on the Install button. See below:
Specify the location where you want the application to be installed. In this case http://lebanondigest.com/blog, and click Install.
Once the installation is complete, the following screen appears to show you how you can manage your blogging website:
See what your LebanonDigest.com/blog/ now looks like:
To log into the administration back office of your website and manage the site features, click on “Log In” under “Tools”. The following Dashboard screen appears, allowing you to manage and customize your site:
Once you complete your site customization and add your logo, it should look like this:
You are ready to go. With only a total cost of $60 and less than an hour of work.