What to do Next

Did you buy your domain name?  If not, that’s ok, there’s still time.  You can do it now.  I’ll wait.

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So.  Now you’ve got a name…what can you do with it?

The not very helpful (but very vague) answer is: whatever you want to do.  However, you probably want something more substantial.

I’m going to assume for a moment that you are a complete beginner, and have no idea about what your options are.

Let me take a moment to clarify some terminology that I will be using: what you are going to have is a web site.  That’s a given. There are several different kinds of web site that you can have:
static, dynamic, and a blog.

  • A static web site is a site built with an HTML editor such as Frontpage, Dreamweaver, HTML kit, Nvu
    or any one of many programs.  With a static web site, you will build the individual web pages on your computer and publish them to your webspace (provided by a host, which we’ll get to in a later post).  Any time you want to make a change to a page, you will need to edit the page on your computer and then publish the page to your webspace.
  • A dynamic web site is a site that is powered by a Content Management System (CMS).  There are several free Content Management Systems that are available to you, such as Joomla, Droopal, Xaraya, and others.
    A CMS is normally powered by a database, which allows the system to take content that you enter and place it in your site template, which saves you from having to recreate a new page whenever you want to add or edit a page.  This simplifies the process of adding to your web site.
  • A blog is a web site which acts as an online journal (a web log, shortened to blog in common internet language).  There are several different ways to have a blog.  You can use a service like Livejournal or Blogger, or you could install your own blog system such as Moveable Type, WordPress, or Greymatter.  A blog is another dynamic system (much like the Content Management Systems discussed above), but with slightly fewer options.

You can also have a combination.  You might have a static web site that incorporates a blog.  Or even a dynamic site that includes a blog.

I have my own personal preferences.  For blogging, I recommend WordPress, which is probably one of the most popular blogging systems available. Its popular because its easy to install and easy to use.  For Dynamic sites, I prefer Joomla, which I find has the most usability out of the box.  It is possible, with both
Wordpress and Joomla to have an attractive looking site without any knowledge of HTML or other programming language.  Both have many templates available that you can use for free (free is always good).

Next time,we’ll talk about choosing a host for your web site.

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