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Publishing on the web

Setting up a website can be complicated and can cost quite a bit so you may prefer to start with a blog. Using a blog you can publish your words and pictures at no cost. Have a look at these sites to get started.


Setting up a website
There are several elements you need to set up a website

  • A ‘domain’ or web address
  • Hosting
  • Web design - visual design and architecture, buttons, sections and so forth
  • Web authoring - a way of putting your words and pictures on the website
  •  An 'admin tool' to allow you to update the site

  • Your domain
    Buying the domain you want is the first stage. If you want a UK registered domain name have a look at the WHOIS Lookup section of Nominet is a not-for-profit site which allows you to find out whether anyone owns the domain you are after. It can also be useful to find out who owns a site you are dealing with. There are hundreds of companies who deal in domain names and some sell names on to buyers. When you deal with these companies make sure that you are actually buying the domain and not simply leasing it from the owner. Sometimes these companies ‘bundle in’ another set of services which they want you buy from them.


    This is where you buy the service which gives you a location of the website and where it sits. This should not be expensive – often under £5 per month. The hosting service also makes sure your site is protected from attack by viruses and anyone wanting to hack in and change your site.

    Web design

    This can be one of the most important aspects of developing your website. This is the ‘look’ of your website, design, architecture, buttons, sections and so forth. If you want a professional site it is likely to cost several hundred pounds or even more. There are short cuts using off the shelf templates or ‘websites in a box’ but these can look amateurish and it is often difficult to change or vary the design to fit your needs.

    Web authoring

    By this I mean a way of putting your words and pictures on the website. You will need to have decided on the content and the words you want to use and have planned it as sections before you commission the design.  When you first launch your website your designer may be able to ‘cut and paste’ your content for you but in the long run you will need to think about how to change it, update and add sections. You can do this with a web authoring package such as Dreamweaver but you need to learn to use this and this can take some time.

    Updating your site
    Therefore when you commission your web design you should ask about updating. Some companies want to tie you into an arrangement where they make all the updates and you have to pay them each time. Sometimes this process can be slow and it is not as quick as your business requires. When getting your website designed build into the specification an 'admin tool' to allow you to update the site rather than continuing to be dependent on a web design company.

    Longer term
    In the longer term you will need to revise and refresh your website regularly. Don’t be dazzled by offers which seem to make this simple. Don’t be distracted by wizzy designs which ignore the need for you and your organization to put the time into the content. It makes sense to allow time and money for this every 6 months and to revamp completely every 2 years.