Building a Website: FAQs

If you want to know more about building a website, here are some frequently asked questions and some website basics.

What do I need to do to set up a site?

Once you decide you want a website, the first thing you should do is reserve the desired domain name (see next question). If you prefer to have someone else handle all of the site setup and design, contact us and we will work with you to build your site. Otherwise, there is a lot you can do to organize and setup your site prior to working with us. Check out the site building work page.

Where do I purchase a domain name?

We recommend registering your own domain, so that you always have control over it. After purchasing your domain name, you can point or direct your domain name to different mail and hosting servers. If you are going to purchase many domain names, sometimes these registrars offer cheaper yearly registration fees than other hosting companies: GoDaddy, Register.com, etc. After your domain name is registered, there are a number of hosting options depending on your website’s functionality.

What type of hosting should I purchase?

Your website’s functionality will determine the best hosting solution for your site. If you are looking for a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress or drupal, it will require different server functionality such as MySQL databases and/or Linux servers. Before you purchase hosting space, make sure you know what back end hosting functionality your website will need. I prefer a host with a low monthly cost, a Linux server and a user-friendly backend interface. There are many hosting services that offer a decent product and 24-hour customer service.

  • Hostmonster: They offer a free domain name with your yearly hosting and have all the basic needs for your WordPress enabled site.

What are options for e-commerce hosting?

If you want to sell things on the web, there are many e-commerce hosting sites that have made it very easy to manage your online store from entering products to order management. Many offer full design customization, so you can make your online store look exactly the way you want it to look.

  • BigCommerce: They offer full design customization which makes it a prime choice for web designers to build the site the way you want it. Key features are stored user accounts for frequent shoppers and user groups for customized discounts.
  • Shopify: This company also allows for full design customization with a clean and user-friendly order management system.

What are my email hosting options?

Most hosting plans have an email exchange server and a number of email accounts included in the plan. Some have limits to mailbox sizes at any given time and so you may want to investigate other options if you like to store a lot of information on the server and/or you frequently send and receive large files. Or you may want the syncing of an IMAP account versus a POP account. If you find that your hosting plan doesn’t offer the size, support or options that you want for your email,  you can host your email at a different place than you host your website. Some people like to keep their mail exchange servers separate from hosting, so if you need to change hosting providers your email will remain undisturbed.

What is a website content management system — or CMS?

A web content management system or CMS is a web maintenance tool that makes it easy for someone with little coding knowledge to build, manage, and/or update their own website. The user can add and edit content, as well as change the look and functionality of the site. Many CMSs are open-source with continually updated software — providing an affordable, easy-to-maintain, upgradable site that continues to meet current web standards and offer new features. A few CMSs include: