How To Publish Your Website, Where To Host Your Website, And How To Upload Your Files!
What You Must Do Before You Publish
Your natural inclination will be to upload your Website as soon as possible, probably well before it is even completed and certainly, before you have checked the navigation and all the links.
You will save yourself hours of tinkering if you first complete your Website, and then check everything on each page—thoroughly!
Write yourself a checklist and then steadily work your way through it. In our Website Guide, you will find a comprehensive list of items to check with ‘how to’ instructions.
Selecting Your Host
The first rule is: Do not use free hosting services if you are developing a commercial Website, or you lose all credibility and may get very poor service. This is particularly true if you have a large number of pages to upload, or have a lot of traffic visiting your Website.
Your current ISP can also host your Website, but first you need to be sure that it will be cost effective. Very often a low cost means a reduced service, with many essential elements only available for an extra fee, which can make the total cost much larger than if you'd initially selected a better package.
You also need to be sure that your host can provide a fast service and have sufficient bandwidth for large numbers of simultaneous visitors to your Website.
- Computer Magazines Many trade and consumer magazines provide lists of Internet Service Providers & Web Hosting companies, and will rank them according to cost and other parameters like speed. It can be more cost effective in the long term to select the best service you can afford, with a plan that provides for the growth (in size and popularity) of your Website.
- Host From Home! Which Website Host has the best games server? Who is the fastest Host? You don't need to waste time looking, because you can host a server from home! You can setup your personal computer as a Web Server, and host your complete Website on the Internet.
Uploading Your Files
The most efficient method to upload your files to a Web Server is by FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and this software may be available within the software program you have used to build and develop your Website. FTP allows you to send and receive files to and from computers.
You can easily find free FTP software on the Internet with a Search Engine: Enter "free FTP software" with the double-inverted commas and you'll find plenty of Websites to visit. Alternatively, visit Download.com and complete your search on their comprehensive software database.
Your FTP Hosting company will no doubt provide you with complete instructions on uploading your files to their Web Server. You simply need to know which folder to upload your Website, and the access codes and password, and the FTP software will do the rest. A popular free FTP software is FileZilla. Check them out here!
How To Check Online
The natural inclination, once you've uploaded your Website, is to immediately check it online with your Internet browser. Do NOT check your online Website from the computer you have used to build, develop, and test it, because it is stuffed with all the files and images in various temp and cache folders.
You computer is trained to be quick, and saves Website pages on your hard drive, so it is likely to open these rather than those that are online. Go to the oldest, slowest computer you can find; make sure it has none of your Website files on it at all, and go online to visit your Website. Then repeat the process at an Internet café.
The first thing to check is to open each of your main pages, and time how many seconds it is before you see "Done" in the status bar at the bottom of your screen. If you're testing on a slow connection of 56Kbps you want the average page to load in less than 10 seconds. Then go back to the Home Page and start checking ALL your links, noting if they open in a new Window or the same one. Sometimes you can lose a visitor from your Website by inserting an external link and forgetting to instruct it to open in a new page.
Make sure you test each of your forms and other data collection functions, making sure that your visitor receives the information requested. You can learn more about the items to check, and how to ensure your Website is always up-to-date, from tips in our regular Newsletter. Make sure you get your free copies today!