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Starting a Website for Beginners

Starting a website can be very simple. There are essentially just three main components to every website.

Domain Name

A domain name is an address that visitors use to view your website on the web. When starting a website, it's important to find a good domain name that represents your brand or business. Domain names are typically sold annually and can be renewed prior to expiration.

For help choosing, registering and managing a domain name, please see the following article:

Web Hosting

After you have a domain name registered, the next step is to get a web hosting package. At HostGator, we recommend starting with a Shared hosting plan and upgrading later if you find it necessary. Of course, if you need custom software or packages that aren't offered in a Shared hosting environment (such as live video streaming), a VPS or Dedicated Server might be a better option.

If you're still not sure which web hosting plan to choose, the following articles may help:

Once your hosting plan is purchased, your domain will be pointed to your web hosting account by changing the name servers for that domain name, and any visitors to your domain will be able to view the website hosted at your web hosting provider.



A website is usually a file that is coded with HTML to display text, images, videos and other multimiedia elements. There are many ways to build a website. While it is possible to create a website using a text editor like Notepad, for beginners, it's usually best to use software geared for web development. You can download free software for creating a website such as KompoZer or use HostGator's free sitebuilder.

Programming languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl and ASP.net can also be used to create dynamic web sites. Fortunately there are many different open-source, web-based applications which use these languages and don't require much programming experience such as: