Getting your own web site - what's involved?

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It's like building a house. A bit. You need three things. First, an address so that people can find you. Second, a plot of land to build on. Third, a house. In web terms, it goes a bit like this:

Step 1
Your address - or or .net - there's plenty of choice. Just like a real street address, you can't pick one that someone else already has so it may take a while to find one you like that's also available. When you find one, you register it and then rent it by paying a small fee every year. Typically, this costs between £5.00 and £20.00 a year.

Step 2
Your plot of land - you can't build a web site without having somewhere to put it. You rent out space by paying a fee every year to companies that make their living renting out space on huge computers called servers; the more space you want, the higher the fee. For a typical site that's suitable for an individual, a sole trader or a small business, this will cost between £30.00 and £100.00 a year.

Step 3
Your house - this is the actual web site itself, the pages, pictures, text, videos, a shop or whatever it is you want. Just like a real house, you can pay someone to come up with a one-in-a-million design, or you can choose something that's a bit more off-the-peg; and in the same way that houses come in all shapes and sizes, so do websites.

So, those are the three steps and those are the three things you need. In the next blog we'll look at some of the other bits and pieces you should consider when getting a website.