There are advertisements everywhere for businesses who claim to be able to submit your website to hundreds of search engines, “for a fee”. There are other people who will offer to host and design your website for a larger fee-which is fine, except if you are like me and you want the sites for nonprofit use or for small business, you probably would rather not put a large chunk of your budget towards owning a piece of the web.
There are several easy and inexpensive ways to get your page online. Many of them do not even require HTML knowledge, although there are free online courses that can teach anyone how to do basic coding. However for those who do not have the time to take a course, there are some programs that make web designing as easy as making a poster or a greeting card. A few such programs would be, but not limited to Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Front Page, and Dreamweaver. I personally use Front Page but I have also taken a course in basic HTML, which helps very much in understanding how a browser reads a web page and aids in fixing problems that arise in the site. Most web designing programs also automatically publish your pages to your domain; however, if you hand code your page or would like greater control over the uploading process, try downloading FileZilla or SmartFTP from Download.com. Both programs are free and are as simple as “drag and click” to get your files online. I personally use FileZilla for my uploading needs.
Next, you will need space on the web. Probably my favorite free method would be to use the free space you get through your web provider. Most of these are advertisement-free and they have plenty of space for anything but very complicated or involved websites. The only drawback to this is that your URL will be quite obscure and difficult to find. A better way, if you have a little extra money, would be to find a low cost but reliable provider which will include your own specialized domain name. CNet is a good site to start comparing web hosts, or you may even know a friend who has a good provider and can point you in the right direction. Good web hosts will also offer several features which will allow you to see how many hits you are receiving on your site, and what search engines or other links are directing your web traffic.
Finally, on the subject of search enginesÃ¢Â?Â¦do NOT be fooled into paying money to get your site listed! Everyone gets listed in basically the same way-time and keywords. Search engines have “spiders” that crawl through the web at all times looking for websites and keywords. The more hits your site gets from search engine spiders, the more likely your site will be found. Also, the more keywords your site contains, the easier it will be for your site to come up when people are searching for a product or service. Make sure all your photo and file names include simple keywords without spaces. Then, before you upload your website, make sure you add meta tags in the HTML coding in the head of the index page. These are descriptions and keywords the search engines look for which will help you get ranked and categorized. It takes time to be listed in search engines, even if you pay someone else to “get you listed”. If your site is well organized and your domain name is easy to remember, you will get listed, and you will receive hits on your site.
Just remember, these days it is fairly easy to get your site online, and for most people it is very inexpensive if not free to do so. Take advantage of the power of the World Wide Web!