So you’re ready to start your own website? Congratulations! Here’s five easy steps to get started without wasting any time!
Also, in order for your visitors to easily access your site by name, you will need a domain name such as `yourdomain.com`. This will allow to make your site available at `www.yourdomain.com` but this will also allow you to use email addresses like `firstname.lastname@example.org`…
Most hosting companies offer a package including a domain name when you sign up for a hosting plan for your site. So, if you’re just starting out, it is generally a good idea to get both your domain and your hosting in one single sign up with a hosting company.
Think about your smartphone for a minute: you can enter notes into the basic existing apps, but you can also install new apps on your phone. It’s similar when you get a website: you can put up some basic information using basic tools but you can also install new app, powerful apps… like b2evolution!
It basically boils down to 2 kinds of web sites:
Static sites (simple sites): you will build one or more web pages (called HTML pages) with software like DreamWeaver on your computer. You will then upload the pages to your host’s server using FTP software like FileZilla for example.
Every time you will need to change something on your site, you will have to edit the pages on your computer and upload them again. The website never changes by itself. That’s why it’s called a “static” site.
Note: If you don’t have any such software, don’t worry: many web hosts will actually provide you with free “site builder” software to get you started.
Dynamic sites (blogs, forums, photo galleries…): instead of uploading HTML pages to, you will install a piece of software (called a web application) on your web server. This software will let you add and edit content (text, pictures, videos…) at any time directly online without the need for any special tools on your computer. The software may also allow your visitors to leave comments or start discussions of their own if you let them.
Of course we recommend the b2evolution blog/CMS software to kickstart your site and let it grow over the years, but there’s plenty of choice here. Other popular web apps include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, Gallery and plenty more…
Note: If installing a web application sounds complicated, don’t worry: many web hosts will automatically install the application of your choice for you. Their tech support should also be able to help you.
Using a CDN is one of the easiest and fastest ways to boost your website performance.
In order to see where the biggest peformance bootlenecks are, you can start by having a look at a waterfall graph of your website. The example above comes from b2evolution.net (before optimization). Any modern web browser will let you display this for you own site by using its developer menu/tools. When you do this for your site, just remember to clear your browser cache before measuring, otherwise your results won’t really show what your visitors experience.
The waterfall graph shows one line for each file that is downloaded to display your page. Here are the color codes used by Safari:
Pay attention to 3 important aspects here:
Let’s look at these 3 problems in order.
Many of us have registered domain names at Moniker.com. And while they are both effective and efficient at registering and managing your domain names for a low "bulk" price, their DNS servers have proven to be utterly unreliable with several day long outtages over the last year.
This means your domains are all good and safe but if you use Moniker's own DNS servers (instead of, for example, your web hosting company's name servers), people may experience additional delay in trying to access your site or they may even not get there at all.
One solution would be to use your web hosting's provider's DNS servers. But these tend to not be very reliable either... and to say the least, they are very slow.
So we went out to look for a dedicated DNS service provider. There are many but only a handful use AnyCast. AnyCast allows your visitors to use a DNS server closest to them, cutting latency times and getting their DNS queries answered 10 to 100 times faster than with standard UniCast DNS providers.
Out of these, only one has affordable pricing: DNS Made Easy . For less than $30/year can host DNS service for 10 domain at lightning speeds!
Go check out the speed of your current DNS service here at ultratools.com. Look at the max delays! With Moniker DNS servers you may get delays as long as 350 ms, if not flat out dropped requests! You can compare it with b2evolution.net since we use DNS Made Easy ourselves. You should see results as low as 3 ms!
After a year of relentless escalation, most shared web hosting plans now come with "Unlimited" disk space and bandwidth!
Don't fall for it! Many restrictions apply!
Of course, the terms & conditions of each hosting company and or hosting plan will vary, but most of the time, if you try to really go unlimited you will hit one of these limits:
NO, NOT REALLY!
Unless you're actually trying to run high traffic sites at virtually no cost, you should not really be concerned about this. Actually, the fact that everybody has aligned on "unlimited" will let you shift your focus on more interesting differentiating factors between software companies, such as:
For more info on choosing a webhost, check out our Web Hosting 101 »
Here is how you can find out when logged in through SSH:
# uname -a
This generally won't tell you as much as you'd like.
# cat /proc/version
This will generally tell you more than you'd like.
Once you know that you are running Red Hat for example, you can get to the point with:
# cat /etc/redhat-release
Or on Debian:
# cat /etc/debian_version