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Arkansas Lake Norfork / Kellers Kove
  · Cranky Geeks

WEB HOSTING FOR BEGINNERS: How to get your web site online


How do I get my web page up on the internet for the world to see?


First we need to understand a little bit about how the internet works at its most basic level. The first thing we need to understand is that the internet operates on what is known as the client / server model. 

Basically clients are computers just like the one you are on right now watching this tutorial. Your computer requested the movie file from my server or in this case Google’s YouTube server and sent it back your computer. So to make this really simple there a clients requesting information and servers that respond to those requests for files and serve them back to the clients that request them.

Most of the time your web design will be done on the client and once you’re ready to put it online you’ll need to upload it to a web server to make your web page available to the rest of the world. 


So weve discussed the client server model and the next step for us to get our web site online is to find a web host. A web host can be a friend with a web server if you just happen to have a buddy with their own web server but usually we are talking about finding a company that provides web hosting which is basically renting you space on one of their servers.There are an amazing amount of hosting providers out there and the hosting options are just a numerous so for the purpose of this tutorial Ill try to explain some of the most common hosting options youll see from some of the major hosting providers and the pros and cons of each later in this tutorial so well just keep to the basics for now.

Once youve picked out your web hosting provider and a web hosting plan at the end of the process you will have a web server and an internet protocol or IP address that you can use to find your website with a web browser. A good example would be one of my sites,, which lives at You can type the address <a href="> in to your web browser using just the IP and the website comes up normally.

Just in case you’re getting a little apprehensive at this point it really isn’t that bad, even though each hosting provider and the various hosting plans they offer will vary, any good web host will make sure you have all the documentation and help to get you up and running.

Hosting Companies


Nobody is going to remember how to find your site if you tell them your at <a href=" http:=""> We use domain names to identify our websites and hopefully it is easier to remember than the IP address. So how does the web browser know that IP address belongs to This all happens on the server side using something called DNS which stands for Domain Name System.  DNS servers maintain lists of domain names and IP addresses providing routing instructions so the client and the server can communicate


For beginners hosting plans typically fall in to two major categories:

  1. Online template or web design interfaces that require you to build the site online and via a template or advanced design tool. These plans usually don’t allow you to have direct access to the web server and won’t allow you to tweak the code beyond what the interface allows. This works for many people and some of the new online design tools are capable of producing professional looking web pages without a lot of knowledge of HTML or CSS
  2. Advance hosting that includes FTP access to your web server which offers you greater control over entire site. If you need advanced features like using server side code like ASP or PHP or need to setup database driven sites then you will need a hosting plan to match it. So if you like to hand code or design advanced complex sites yourself this is the option for you.


Whois is a database of domain names and who they are registered to. So if you do a search for a domain in the whois and nobody has it registered yet you have a good shot of getting it. You need some tools to help you find available domain names in the whois database. Here is a list of a couple that will help you do just that.


Next you will need to find an available domain name and then register it with an authorized domain name registrar. In some cases the hosting company might be an authorized registrar but much of the time the hosting company will have a deal with a registrar and then recommend that one to you most likely getting a commission on the back end. Your other choice is to just do it yourself and cut out the middle man and thats ok too as each of these methods has it pros and cons.

Prices will vary widely from company to company and some hosting companies will even bundle in the cost of the domain registration in to you monthly hosting bill but the average is about $20-35 per year per domain name. Some of the cheaper registrars do all the setup for you but dont give you access to change anything later. In many cases I find you get what you pay for in that some may charge a little more but provide you more access to make changes to the registration information like being able to change the DNS routing yourself which Ive found to be very important just in case your web hosting provider goes out of business or turns out to be flaky so you may in some cases want to have this option available to you.




  1. Contact a hosting provider and choose from one of the hosting plans they offer. They will provide you with the DNS routing information for your new site.
  2. Find an available domain name then contact an authorized domain name registrar to register it. You will need to provide the DNS information that was given to you from the hosting provider in order for the domain name to be routed properly to your server.

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