There are four major steps involved in publishing a website on the internet. First, you have to register a domain (such as nonplus.net) in order for other people to find it on the Internet. Second, you have find a hosting company where your published pages will reside. Finally you need to create your web pages and publish them to the webserver.
All computers connected to the Internet have a numeric IP address, such as 184.108.40.206. Many computers also have a textual DNS address, such as nonplus.net. In general, computers use the numeric address while people use the text address. The basic text address is called a domain name and usually consists of some term (such a "nonplus") and a top-level domain extension (such as ".net" or ".com"). When you register a domain name, you go to a domain registrar and tell them which domain you want and what numeric address it resides at. The registrar maintains a database of domain names and corresponding numeric IP addresses.
The cost of registration varies by registrar and domain type. Currently the "standard" domins (.com, .net and .org) cost between about $8.00 and $35.00 a year. A more expensive registrar does not neccessarily provide better service. I have been very happy with the GoDaddy.com registrar - they are inexpensive and provide good service.
When you register a domain, the registrar will ask you for the domain name. Most of the "good" domain names are already taken, so you may have to look for variations or more unusual terms. You may also want to check out a regional domain names. For example, the ".US" domain name has been recently created for people living in the United States and at this time still has quite a few good names available.
One you find an available domain name, you can register it with the domain registrar. One of the pieces of information the registrar will require are your host's name servers. Name server contain the actual address of the computer where your webpages will be located. You can find the name server information for Nonplus.net hosting on the Server Settings page.
A web host is simply a computer with a fast connection to the Internet running special webserving software. At a minimum, a webserver will be able to server your HTML documents and images. Most hosts will also provide you with one or more email addresses. Some hosts provide additional services, such as dynamic websites using CGI or PHP and databases, mailing lists or easy installation of web applications such as user forums and shopping carts. If you are publishing a simple website, pretty much any host will do, although you want to go with someone who is reliable and responsive to support requests. If you have more specific requirements you need to make sure that your host supports them. Not all hosts give you access to scripting or databases, for example.
If you want to use Nonplus.net as your host, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, I only host website of my friends and family. So unless you know me, or know someone who knows me or is related to me, I won't host your site - sorry. Second, I run a UNIX server - same as the majority of Internet hosts. If you require ASP or something else that I don't support then I won't be able to help you, either. Finally, while I do not censor what people put on their web sites, there are some restrictions by which you must abide. In particular, I won't host anything illegal (pirated music or software, pornography, etc.) nor will I host web applications that are too resource intensive. Check the Usage Policy page for more details or feel free to check with me via email.
To get started hosting with Nonplus.net, simply order the service from the Order page. Make sure you specify who referred you if I do not know you personally. I will check with the referral before hosting your site. After I accept your hosting request, I will send you an email notifying you about payment information. You can either pay via Paypal (preferably) or by check. If you use Paypal, I should be able to set you up within 24 hours. If you pay by check, I'll set you up as soon as your check clears. Once your account is set up, you will receive an email with information about how to access your account and upload files.
Most websites on the Internet consist of HTML pages. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a special format that describes the look of your webpages. The easies way to create HTML pages is to use a WYSIWYG HTML editor. Many word processors (such as Microsoft Word) can save documents in HTML format. Some web browsers (such as Netscape Navigator) also have support for editing HTML documents. Finally, you can get professional software for web site authorgin, such as Microsoft Frontpage, Mocromedia Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive. In any case, it is a good idea to learn the HTML language itself. There are many resources available on the Internet and hundreds of books at the book store.
Once you have created the pages that you want to publish, you need to transfer them from your computer to the web server. You use FTP to transfer files to the web server. Most web publishing programs have built in support for automatically publishing your pages. If yours does not, you may have to publish the pages manually, using an FTP program such as WS_FTP. Whether you use the web publishing software or a dedicated FTP program to publish your pages, you'll have to provide them with information about where the remote files should be stored. The "remote server" will be your domain (i.w. www.nonplus.net) and the "remote directory" will be "public_html". Other information that you'll have to provide is your user name and password.
Hosting for Friends and Family