1. Select a domain name
A domain name is important because it is what is used to access your web site. Planet Small Business offers domain registration for $13.75/year.
2. Select a web hosting provider
Once you have a selected a domain name the next step is to select a web hosting provider. Our organization, Planet Small Business is such a provider. We have been providing web hosting services for small businesses for several years.
3. Select a hosting plan
Hosting plans are not all created equal. In addition to the amount of resources you receive with each plan, the web hosting plan which you select typically dictates the process by which your web site is created. For example, the Business Beginner plan provided by our company includes a site builder application which can be used to build your web site. The plan also supports uploading of web site files created in ASP, HTML, PHP, or ASP.NET format. The term uploading refers to the process of transferring files from your local computer to the server.
Depending upon the plan, the process by which files are transferred to the server may vary. Our Windows web hosting plans support transferring files via both FrontPage Extensions as well as FTP where our LINUX plans only support the later.
In contrast to our Business plans, our MS Developer plans do not include the site builder application. They are designed for applications that take advantage of Microsoft’s latest technologies including SQL Server 2005, AJAX 1.0, and ASP.NET.
No matter the provider or plan you select, upon signup you should receive an email containing information on how to access your web site.
4. Develop your web site
If a site builder application is included with the plan you have selected, it can be utilized to create and maintain your web site. In most cases the site builder application is available from within the web site’s control panel. This holds true for our organization. To access the site builder, it is necessary to log into our web based control panel. Below is a link to our knowledge base article describing the process of creating a site with our sitebuilder application:
If the plan selected does not support a site builder application your web site will needed to be created using a web site development tool. These tools are typically installed upon your local computer and assist in the creation of pages for your web site. Some of the most popular web site development tools include Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Contribute, and Microsoft Expression Web.
5. Publish your web site
If you are using a site builder application such as the one available in our Business plans, your site should now be published. Otherwise to make your web pages available to the Internet you will now need to publish your files to the designated web server. The aforementioned web site development tools (Microsoft Expression Web, Adobe Dreamweaver, and Adobe Contribute) include built in functionality to use either FTP or FrontPage Extensions to publish files directly to the web server. If you are using another application for web page creation, you may need to use a FTP client to successfully transfer files. Numerous FTP applications are available for download from the Internet. Some of the more popular Windows FTP clients include Filezilla, WS|FTP , and CuteFTP. Many Macintosh users rely upon Fetch for FTP services. For Planet Small Business customers, please upload your web pages to the httpdocs directory.
Prior to your site being accessible please make sure to remove any placeholder pages (For Planet Small Business customers, please ensure to delete or rename the index.html page within your web site’s directory). Typically a placeholder page is given a name of one of the document documents specified for a web site. Typically names include index.htm, index.html, default.asp, default.asp, etc. If you have removed any placeholder pages and your web site still does not appear it is more than likely that your default web page is named incorrectly. In such cases where it is not possible to rename your default document, the default documents allowed for your web site can be changed using a web based control panel. To change the name of the default document within our web based control panel, please follow the instructions found in our knowledge base article below:
6. View Statistics
Now that your web site is successfully published it is now available to be viewed by Internet users. When your web site is viewed a log is captured providing feedback on where users are coming from and what they are viewing. This type of information is referred to as web statistics. Most providers include web statistic reports with web hosting plans. In most cases these reports are integrated into web site control panels. This is true for Planet Small Business plans. AW|Stats and/or Webalyzer are too open source applications integrated within Planet Small Business web based control panel.