In the previous nine lessons, you learned how to build a basic HTML5 website. Now what? You can view your website on your personal computer, but no one else can access it yet.
In order to make your website accessible to everyone on the Internet, first you need to find a web hosting service to host your files. You can pay for website hosting from providers such as Media Temple or GoDaddy.com. You can also get one of the many totally free hosting plans that may serve ads on your website.
Once you choose a web hosting service, you will need to upload the website files you created in the previous lesson. Uploading means that you will be transferring the files from your personal computer to the web server provided by your web host. With most web hosts, you will likely get access to a control panel that will allow you to upload files directly from your web browser. You can also upload files via FTP (file transfer protocol) using a FTP client such as CuteFTP, Filezilla, or Cyberduck.
GoDaddy.com sums it up pretty well:
“A domain name, like www.coolexample.com, is a lot like a street address for a house or business. Let’s use the White House as an example. The street address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is an exact location—like an IP address. You might not know the exact street address, but when you visit Washington, D.C., you can tell your cabbie that you want to visit the White House and still get there. This is how a domain name is used: It’s an easy way to reach the exact location of a website without having to remember its numeric address.”
So how do you get yourself a domain name? Your web hosting service can most likely register a domain name for you. If not, you can go to any domain name registrar (such as GoDaddy, Register.com, or Network Solution). You will have to search and find a domain name that is not already taken, which can be hard these days! Once you find the perfect domain name, you can register it by paying a fee (usually for 1 year minimum).
Your web host will be able to provide you with a temporary address that you can use to access your website, so having a domain name is not strictly necessary.
Where to Go From Here
The following resources were invaluable to me when I first started to learn web design, and I still use them often today:
HTML Goodies: http://www.htmlgoodies.com
CSS Tricks: https://css-tricks.com
Stack Overflow: http://stackoverflow.com
About the author of the course
With over 15 years of experience in front- and back-end web development, Kim LaRocca Henry has been designing websites since her first GeoCities page back in the 1990s. She holds a Computer Science degree from Rutgers University and has worked on everything from thousand-dollar websites to billion-dollar websites! Kim is innovative, agile, and loves figuring out creative solutions to tough problems. When not working, you can find her at the dance studio or rocking out with her cover band.
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