Web Hosting Guide
How to Publish a Website

Creating, building, and publishing a website can be a daunting task. This article explains how to publish a website in basic terms. Keep reading to learn basics about creating web pages, finding a web hosting provider, and publishing your website.

If you are used to publishing documents by composing them in a software program like Microsoft Word, sending them to a printer or publisher, and getting back a final product, there are a number of aspects of website publishing that may be unexpected.

In Word, you open a document that is blank and start writing. If there is a layout or format, for a company newsletter, for example, it is often applied later by someone else. And if you are writing a book, the content is often created first, and a publisher sought afterward.

In creating a website, you start off by hiring a publisher, in this case, a web hosting provider, who will make your product available to the world, once you have created it. Unlike writing a book, you don’t have to have produced any content before getting a publisher. It does pay, however, to have some idea about how you want to create your website.

There are many ways to build a website, from drag-and-drop applications that come with templates to software programs that give a choice of drag-and-drop or HTML to using other programming languages, such as ASP.NET or PHP. Depending on your preferences here, you may wish to choose a Windows or a Linux server operating system for your site, so that everything will work well together.

If you’re going to use Adobe Dreamweaver or any other software application that is not offered through your web host’s website, you want to make sure it’s going to work well on that host. You want to also be sure that the hosting plan has the features you will need.

Next, you create a site layout and standardize where certain things, like menus and other navigation will appear on each page. This requires knowledge of what type of content you want to put into the site, so you know what kind of pages you need:a blog? A catalogue of products? Most websites that have more than one page have a Homepage and an About page.

Some people work on their content and their site layout at the same time, while others make the layout and write the content to fit. It’s a good idea to keep paragraphs short and use headers and images to break up long stretches of text. It’s also wise not to have pages scroll on endlessly. In some cases, one or more archive pages for older posts can address this.

As you create pages, you will likely be presented with the options to Save, Preview, and Publish. It may take days or weeks before the foundation of your site is done, and months before you’ve added all the elements you want, after which, if it is an active site, changes will be ongoing. With these three options, you can control when you make your website public. You can publish a homepage and save your other pages until you’re ready, or roll the whole site out on one day. Often, search engine submission is a step taken along with publication to let people know that your website is now available for visitors.

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