For those wanting a website for the first time and who are worried about taking the plunge, we hope that this introduction will help you understand more about it all. If just after basic costs then skip to the bottom.
To have your own website you need to decide whether you want your own domain name or are happy with a name tagged onto that of an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is like having your own house address or a name like J.Smith c/o Somebody Else. You would be www.yourserviceprovidersname.co.uk/jsmith. It is the least expensive and is usually used for personal home sites. With your own domain you could be j.smith.co.uk. These always look more professional so I'll explain more about these.
Before you go any further you must decide on the name. For reasons that don't matter here, the Internet does not understand names with spaces between the words and some punctuation totally confuses it. The codes for these have been used for something else.
All domain names begin with http:// and this is usually entered automatically so is taken for granted. Usually this is folllowed by www. (World Wide Web) and note the fullstop or 'dot' is important. Then follows your unique name. You can use any name you like provided no one has used it before.
The phone book might have hundreds of J.Smiths but not the Internet. The several lines of address differentiates all the J.Smiths in the phone book but the Internet relies on one word although it can be a very long word. This is usually a string of words run into each other or separated by hyphens (-) or under line or under score (_). If you wanted to use jsmith then you would need to add a unique number and it begins to look like a prisoner's ID If you made jsmith unique by adding your house or business address then not only will it be very long but the more chances there are for typing errors.
Note we are not using capital letters. You can, but then with all the words strung together you would not know where capitals might be. Your name could be John Sidney Mith. If you use capitals in a domain name then site visitors must use them as well. If not they will not get to your site. If however you keep to lower case (small) letters and the visitor decides to put the first letter as a capital, it won't matter.
When you have decided on your planned name you need to check that it has not been used before. There are many sites that include free search facilities, all trying to get you to register with them. I'll tell you why in a moment but there is one more thing on the end of your name that will affect the cost.
Once all UK website names ended with .co.uk and all American websites ended with .com, both originated as business company identifiers. Now there are hundreds. .co.uk still refers to UK sites but .com sites are worldwide. Those like .org used to be charities while .gov sites are still reserved for government departments. The lastest name to be released is .me.uk but to me this sounds like a child trying to get the teachers attention in class.
If possible try and use a .co.uk or a .org.uk name (not the same as '.org'). You can check these out at www.nominet.org.uk where all names ending in .uk are recorded. Nominet will not try and get you to register with them - because you can't. You have to register with the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that will be storing (hosting) your website. The .uk names are the least expensive and are probably the least expensive part of your website. For latest prices please e-mail Adrian.
In addition you need two things. You need web space on a large computer, known as a server, and the files that make up the website. You do not need your own computer although this is bit like placing an advert in a magazine that you will not buy. You would need to visit a library to see both the magazine and the website.
To get the space for your website is like booking space in a magazine for a planned advert. You will need to contact an ISP. You can do this yourself or you can ask a web design company to arrange it for you.
Those who already have Internet access will have a ‘dial up’ account with one of the many ISPs and these ISPs may offer free web space with your account. These are intended for private home websites and may charge for looking after or storing (hosting) your website if they realize it is for commercial use. The address of your site will automatically be of the ‘c/o’ variety. You do not need to change any accounts you currently hold especially if you have a deal that gives you free phone calls etc. The website hosting is a different service with which you will normally get another account.
To have the website created (authored) for you will again vary according to content. Hepworth Workshops can do pages for as little as £40 for text only (supplied on disc or e-mail) but for an initial three page site the cost would be £150 to include one graphic. This could be the company logo or a photo that can appear as often as required or even form a background image. Cost of pages including enquiry forms etc start at £60. We are happy to quote for graphics and photo scanning and converting for use on a website and can of course include animation and sound but be warned. The best websites are the simplest and therefore quickest so remember that photos and large graphics slow the site down. Not everyone visiting your site will be using the latest, fastest computer.
Let us know your favourite website or publication and what you hope to acheive with your own website. We can then quote for your requirements.
If you need more help or advice do not hesitate to phone me on 01822 820345 or e-mail.