This article is for new Webmasters, who are not techies with long experience. Its objective is to save you time in understanding things the techies know at their core. If you have just decided that you want to host your own web site, but you don't have strong technical skills, keep reading.
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Ten Basic Concepts for the Newbie Webmaster

This article is for new Webmasters, who are not techies with long experience. Its objective is to save you time in understanding things the techies know at their core. If you are technically sophisticated, stop reading here. If you have just decided that you want to host your own web site, but you don't have strong technical skills, keep reading.

There are many things you can do online without needing this information. For example, you can create a blog for free. WordPress.com, Blogger, and many others provide these services. These may serve your purposes very well. Their disadvantage is that some of them do not allow you to advertise, and they provide only minimal control of the look and feel of your site. If you are not interested in making money from your web site, this may be fine. They certainly represent a good place to start to develop Webmaster skills, but your site will tend to look like tens of thousands of other sites.

To build a professional looking web presence or to advertise, here is what you need to know. This article is not an endorsement for any specific product. I mention several products in this article, but only for context.

1. Skills. You will need to know some basic HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language). But you can pick this up as you go along. Within every control panel of a site there is a toggle switch, which allows you to view the item you plan to show to the public in either WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") or HTML format. When you don't know an HTML command, you can always find it quickly with a search engine. An example is keeping your paragraphs together, rather than having unexpected line spacing.

WordPress® takes every carriage return as a new paragraph, so if you want to put something on the next line without paragraph spacing, you must put the "br" command right where you want the carriage return in your existing paragraph on the HTML (hidden) side of your item. Typing skills are a big plus. If you don't have these, find a free typing program online. You can learn in a week. It helps to understand what FTP (file transfer protocol) is. Sometimes you do need to do things at the directory level on your hosted server. I use FileZilla for FTP, but there are others.

2. Your Host is Your Universe. Someone will have to operate the computers on which your web site appears. It is possible to do this in your home or business, but no one still reading this does anymore. There are many excellent services, and some of them provide basic functionality for under $10 per month. If you become a roaring success, you will have to pay more, but you won't mind. Typically, you can put all the material you want on their system for no additional charge, but you will pay for the bandwidth you use. You will have to be pretty popular before you overcome the basic price.

3. Domain. You will need to create a Domain, which is the address your site uses. This will be you web address, and amounts to your URL (uniform resource locator). Your Host can do get this for you. You cannot have a findable web site without a domain. Each domain contains only one type of software, but you can create free sub-domains that operate like domains. Each one of these creates a separate database to contain the information of your site. Fortunately, the database is something that is normally provided by your hosting service.

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