Tag Archives: web server

Website Setup – Page 1 of 2

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If you are interested in building web content at your own URL (ex: yourdomain.com), the path to website setup can be unclear. The process is even more complex for those interested in building a website that is reliable, fast, and flexible enough to work with popular open source software like WordPress, Drupal, or Magento Commerce.

While there are many different ways to get online, the following is a combination of tools that has worked great for me. It’s a system that in my opinion meets the basic needs in the VAST majority of website applications.

If you are ready to get online, and don’t want to pay a 3rd party to get going, then do it yourself. I’ll show you how.

Here are the basic steps to setting up a website:

  1. Domain Registration
  2. Setup web server
  3. Setup email
  4. Publish content (Not really a step, this is an ongoing process!)

That’s it! Let’s dive in.


Step 1- Domain Registration

Before you can setup your own website, you need  a domain name.  You can purchase that through a domain registrar. There are lots of domain registrars. Arguably, the most widely recognized registrar is Godaddy.  Once you create an account, (PS this link will give you 35% off) you can follow along.

VIDEO: Registering a domain on Godaddy


Step 2 – Setup Web Server

Once you have your website registered, you need to get started setting up the web server that will host your website.

As you know by now, there are lots of free or low cost services on the internet that allow people to build a website. However, you most are terribly disappointing.

So for speed and flexibility, setup your own server. If you do, I suggest Rackspace.  Once you create an account, you can follow this tutorial video. Accounts are free, and cloud servers are pay per hour (starting at 4 cents).

VIDEO: Setting up a LAMP server on Rackspace Cloud Sites

This process is simple, and only takes a few steps:

aptitude update
aptitude upgrade
tasksel
mysql_secure_installation
ufw allow 80
ufw allow 22
ufw enable
shutdown -r now
curl localhost


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Website Setup – Page 2 of 2


Step 3- Email

Do NOT be that business with a joedirt@yahoo.com email address. It isn’t professional. Now that you have your server up and running, it’s time to manage your email. A Google Apps setup is arguably the most reliable and cost effective email setup.

DNS records connect domains to web servers and email servers. There many types of DNS records, but the most popular are A (hosting), CNAME (sub-domains), MX (email), and TXT (general information / verification).

Once you create an account, you need to verify ownership before you are ready to receive email.

VIDEO: Email configuration for Google Apps with Godaddy DNS management.


Step 4 – Content Management

Now, with your server should be running and email deliverable at your domain, it’s time to get down to building a website. As you know by now, there are lots of free or low cost services on the internet that allow people to build a website. Most cheap hosts have cheap website builders that use pre-configured but somewhat customizable content managers.

And most of these website building services are terribly disappointing.

Thanks to open source, if you have a web server, you have some better alternatives – whether you are building a blog, a business website, or even an commerce site. So find an open source CMS that suits you, and then get it loaded on your server. It will save you time and money, while giving you loads of freedom to customize that paid CMS systems don’t afford you.

VIDEO: Setting up a LAMP server on Rackspace Cloud Sites