How to make your own .com website in 3 easy steps
Many of you know how to do this already, but since it has been requested so many times to me by my classmates and colleagues, I will introduce you to this relatively easy process. If you still don't understand the structure of the Internet well enough, please read this article.
Step 1: Buy your domain name and hosting
As a quick recap, a domain name is an identifier for an IP address. Basically, a .com, .net, .org, .tk, whatever. Just remember that they're not free. (Believe me, many people have asked me this question.) BlueHost is a great hosting company with great support. For about $100/year, you can get a domain name and great hosting. I haven't experienced much downtime from them as compared to Yahoo!'s horrible web hosting, so I think it's a great starter host.
A huge mistake, though, is getting your domain name linked with your hosting company. It can be very difficult to transfer a domain name to another account, so I recommend the GoDaddy domain registration service. It's the largest domain registrar in the world, so I believe it's a great choice. With GoDaddy, I've heard from others that HostGator is a great company to go with it.
In conclusion, if you're planning to get bigger, get a GoDaddy/HostGator combo and don't link your domain name with your account. If you're small, get BlueHost.
Step 2: Generate website content
Now, with a website comes content. The easiest way to do that is to install Wordpress. Wordpress is basically a free blogging software. Wordpress is great for blogs of all sizes because of its speed, SEO, and extensibility. Wordpress is probably the best blogging software available. Best of all, it's free. To install it, use SimpleScripts or Fantastico -- both are included in most CPanels. There's a great tutorial in the Wordpress Codex on installing Wordpress, too. Setting up databases varies from host to host, so I can't really tell you how to set up your database.
Once you get Wordpress, it should be really easy to fill up your website with content.
HTML, CSS, PHP, and others
Basically, HTML and CSS are the languages of the internet. (If you want to make a completely custom site, consider ordering HTML, XHTML, and CSS All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.) To get your files onto your site, just make an FTP account, get Filezilla or something,and upload away.
Step 3: Blast off!
Now that you have your site up and running, tell the world! Tell friends and family! Advertise it! I found Facebook to be the most effective way, but do whatever you want. Go wild and make business cards! Slip the url into everyone's lockers! Anything to advertise your website!