Welcome to Astrology Today (.org). This site is under construction. How do you like the way it looks so far? This site uses Joomla! 1.5, a content management site (CMS). Joomla! handles the details of the presentation and lets you focus on writing the content of the site. No complicated knowledge of HTML or style sheets is necessary. Pretty cool, eh? Hello, Joan II!
People who are on the internet see websites every day and for the most part they are a mystery because not only do people not know how to "do" them but they don't know exactly how much they cost--but they have a vague idea that it could cost thousands of dollars to hire somebody to set it up and then a hundred a month to host it, or something like that.
I will try to shed some light on this arcane subject. I think you will be surprised how inexpensive they turn out to be for a relatively small personal site--and how easily they can be set up. Not to mention how good looking they can be and how powerful and impressive they turn out to be.
First, you need to know there are three things every website needs:
- Domain name.
- Host (physical server).
- Website (programming code).
1.) The Domain name is like a Trademark. It is your "address" or space on the World Wide Web. It may be "www.MyDomain.com" to you and everybody else but to other computers on the Web it "resolves" down to a numeric code, or Internet Protocol (IP) address such as 220.127.116.11. Be that as it may, domain names are leased for around $9/yr. When they lease their domain name through my company, http://www.dotcomjunction.com , they get several free email addresses and other free items.
2.) Hosting for a small (personal) website (including email addresses per above) can be as little as around $4/mo; a medium-sized site around $7/mo, and a larger one with a lot of storage around $15/mo. The hosting fees can go up if you want faster memory, more speed, more bandwidth, etc. My plans, hosted by GoDaddy.com, require no contract, are monthly and you can quit anytime. Of course you could pay by the year and save some bread.
3.) So now you've got a website but what do you want it to do and what do you want it to look like? A website itself is computer code, written to files in any one of several programming languages with a word processor and saved on your host computer server. They can include graphics, databases, and many features like articles, blogs, forums, chatrooms--you name it, the sky's the limit. You can program it all yourself from scratch, or you can pay someone else to do it.
But a late development is a third option that's called a Content Management Site(CMS) sites. This concept means one of several pre-programmed websites that is installed on your host server and is literally a skeleton or framework of a larger site. You are the Administrator and it has many built-in modules that you can turn on or off and easily arrange and easily install. In short, you can configure practically any type of site you want--personal, professional, small business, community, ecommerce, newsfeeds, galleries, seo, etc. with a very small learning curve--there's no programming and it's literally as easy as using a word processor. These modules are already programmed, debugged and ready to plug in. Of course, the more modules, the larger hosting setup you will need in terms of bandwidth, speed and storage.
This CMS site is the one I like to do because it's inexpensive, reliable, relatively fast to install, configure and get running. I sit down with the customer and we plan the site. I install it, get it up and running to their satisfaction, show them how to administer it, point them to the appropriate "Dummies" books to read--and pretty soon they're their own webmaster embarking on one of the most creative and enjoyable projects around.
Assuming the customer gets their domain name and hosting through my GoDaddy.com reseller company, http://www.dotcomjunction.com, I charge $100 to set up a small 2-page site with your custom header/logo and email, $250 for a medium 5-page site with custom header/logo, email and 2 extra modules, and $500 for large 10-page site with custom header/logo, email and 5 extra modules. A search engine optimization module with full Google Analytics setup adds $75, a photo gallery is $150, ecommerce stores start at $300 with PayPal, other large modules priced accordingly.