T-522: New Site Design and Server
Written by Christopher Spence   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 01:59

Hello all,

As you can see, I've given my site a bit of a face lift. In fact, I've switched to a new content management system (Joomla) and server (Media Temple). I figured that this is an opportune time to explain what's involved in setting up your own website.

First off, you will likely need a domain name (a.k.a., "web address") that you can direct your users to. You can purchase a domain name from godaddy for around ten dollars per year (provided that the name has not already been taken.) You also need to purchase some server space to host your website (i.e., the place that you upload all of your files to.) Depending on the level of service that you need, this can run anywhere from five to hundreds of dollars per month. I had been using a service called Hostek, which offered great service and lots of file storage space for about $12.95 per month. I have just switched over to MediaTemple and am paying a bit more ($13.33 after a 20% discount off the already discounted annual purchase plan... the service before discounts runs $20 per month). I switched to a new server because I wanted to be able to host several websites in one place (my wife's photography site, this site, and some testing/development sites for work), and because I wanted to set up a subversion repository to back up my code files (neither of which were offered on my current Hostek plan).

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Anyhow, once you have your domain name registered, you need to "point it" to the server that's hosting your website (so I had to tell godaddy where media temple was so that it could connect the dots for my visitors when they type in my web address.) Happily, MediaTemple provided me with the "name server" information that I had to enter on the godaddy site to accomplish this. After a few hours (it takes a little while), when I typed in my web address, it brought me to my new site.

Now that I have a site space, all that's left is to create and upload the site... no small feat indeed. There are some freely available "site-builder and managers" out there, also known as content management systems (CMS). Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla are three of the better known free CMS sytems available today. I've used all three, but prefer Joomla because it's pretty and relatively simple to maintain and update. So I went to the Joomla site, downloaded the files I needed to set up my CMS, uploaded them to my new server space, fired up the website, and Joomla guided me through the creation process. Granted, there are some technical steps that I glossed over, but all and all, this was just a few hours of work.

Now I just have to finish writing all of the site's content. Back at it!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 13:08
 
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