Originally Posted by Joaquina
have my own website...WHERE DO I GO? HOW DO I START?
The first question to ask yourself is "How much of the creation of the website and underlying technology am I willing to do myself and/or learn?" If the answer is "not much", contracting with a web design firm is your best bet. The sites you offered as examples appear to be professionally done or else created by photographers with moderate to advanced web skills.
Originally Posted by Joaquina
I've read the terms DOMAIN and HOST but I have not idea what that means, nor the difference of each.
I'll attempt to 'xplain it. A web site in its simplest form consists of nothing more than a computer (web server, also known as a host) attached to the public Internet that people can connect to with their web browser and view content available on the server. Unfortunately, the Internet is a hostile place for computers and a computer that has not been configured correctly (hardened) will quickly be comprised and no longer under the control of the computer's owner. Consequently, hosting came into being so that web site operators did not have to be security and computer experts to maintain their web site. Hosting companies provide the web server and its management, and then "rent" space on their server for your website and others, as well as the network capacity (bandwidth) to serve all the people that will be visiting your site.
A domain is a name - like askmehelpdesk.com
that people use to a reach a web site. Computers communicate via Internet Protocol
addresses which are not people friendly. The Domain Name System
(DNS) was developed so that people would not have to remember a number like 220.127.116.11 to reach a website. When a website is created, a domain name (such as yourfabulousphotos.com
) is registered with a Domain Name Registrar
. This newly registered domain name is linked to the Domain Name Servers
(more computers) also operated and maintained by the web site owner.
Once the domain name is registered, the domain name servers built and configured, the web server built and configured, webserver software such as Apache
or Microsoft IIS
installed and configured, network bandwidth to the web server provisioned and installed, and the web server connected to the Internet, the web site owner is free to begin constructing their web site. A web site can be constructed with a text editor such as Windows Notepad and knowledge of HTML, but complex sites are usually constructed with a framework or environment such as Adobe Coldfusion
If you want to create your own site, I'd suggest getting your feet wet by obtaining a low cost hosting package from a comprehensive registrar such as 1&1
and learning HTML
. They will provide domain name registration of your choice, a web server to place your site on, and setup DNS so people can reach your site. You then would create the site's content and transmit it to the site, typically via FTP
. At minimum, going through this process should provide ample motivation for you to consult a web designer in order to have a web site similar to those that you offered as examples.