Publishing a website is very much similar to hosting a blog, except for one difference; websites can house static content while blogs by virtue of their very nature house dynamic content. Websites are usually business-oriented and data-intensive when compared to blogs, and require high service levels to meet their customer obligations. Website publishing ideally involves selecting an appropriate web hosting company and a suitable hosting plan, domain name identification and registration, website design and content management. The process is made somewhat easier with the advent of content management systems (CMS) (such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla) that serve as single point source control mechanism, enabling fast and easy deployment, management and changes related to new and existing websites.
Web Hosts and Hosting Plans
Finding the right web hosting company, offering a wide range of ‘value-for-money’ services is an essential aspect of publishing a website. Paid hosting services offer better features such as unlimited bandwidth, disk space without any limitations on monthly data transfers. These are suitable for small and medium businesses. Large scale business may opt for dedicated servers or virtual private networks for their business transactions. However, inexpensive shared-server hosting options are ideal for websites with limited traffic. Hosting plans also support single or multiple CMS that may be required to maintain websites on different technologies, along with facilities to install software for designing websites and blogs.
Choosing the right domain name is of utmost importance as far as websites are concerned as these names should reflect the nature of the business, and also include keywords relevant to the business in order to be easily identified by the search engines. Domain registration is usually a part of the hosting plan, with the domain name being linked to the web server by default. Alternatively, domain registrars can help with the registration and website owners can then link their domains to the DNS addresses provided by the web host. Domain names must be unique and not already registered.
The control panel on the domain host offers easy installation options for content management systems and other software required to design websites. Websites can be designed using simple scripting languages and text editors, or specific software such as Dreamweaver, ASP.NET, iMac, etc.
Manually designed websites can be deployed on the web server by uploading the appropriate files using file management services offered by the web hosting service. Each change to a manual design will have to be made on the physical copy of the file and transferred back to the same location before being functional. Managing content with CMS is a lot easier with facilities to automatically add new pages or blog posts based on the existing theme associated with the website. Applying changes to themes, including links to new pages, automatic sorting of blog posts and centralised safe data source are few other advantages of opting for dynamic content using CMS.
Create a website, choose a hosting plan, get a domain name, generate unique relevant content, and the website is now ready for use.