A lot of people think creating a new web site with a brand new domain name takes a lot of work and time. While this can be true in some cases, it is entirely possible to have a completely new site up and handling traffic in 20 minutes, possibly less.
This article covers the fundamentals of creating a new web site, and illuminates one of the many paths you can take through these technologies. It is strongly recommended that you carefully consider your needs and wants for your initial web site and plan accordingly, altering these instructions and the order in which you follow them as necessary.
At a glance this guide may seem a bit long, but once you learn the core concepts covered here you will be fully prepared to set up new domains in record time.
- Register the Domain Name
If you have an existing account with any one of the many domain name registrars available online you can purchase a new and available domain name in a matter of a couple minutes. If you don’t have an existing account with a registrar, or this is your first time registering your own domain name, it will only take a couple minutes more to sign up for an account.This Wikipedia article serves as a useful reference for many domain name registrars. You can always register a domain name through Liquid Web too!
- Create the Web Space a.k.a Server Space
The registrar tells the Internet where to look for your domain’s content by routing requests to the domain’s nameservers, but you still need a “home” to store the actual files that make up the site’s content. This is why you need to set up a web server account. The domain’s nameservers will route visitors to the IP address of the web server that is storing the site’s files.If you have a VPS, Dedicated, or Storm server you can set up multiple domain name accounts via your server’s software. If you need assistance creating a new account in cPanel or Plesk, then you can always contact our support team by opening a ticket with your Manage login information.
If you are creating a new web site for the first time ever and you do not have any existing account with us you can contact our Sales team or visit our main web site at http://liquidweb.com to browse our different web server packages.
If you are ordering a brand new server account or dedicated server this will add some time to the process, and when all is said and done you may go over our 20 minute goal in this guide, but when your server account is ready you will be able to create other new domains very quickly.
- Install Server Software
This is the longest but most important part to understand. Hang in there!
This is the step where a lot of first time web site builders stumble and feel overwhelmed, and usually that’s because they hesitate or spend too much time considering the options available to them for what visitors will see displayed on their site.If you are establishing a new domain name one of the most important factors is to create your new web site so that it can be easily indexed by search engines. Contrary to what many believe, it is not necessary to submit new domain names to search engines such as Google and Yahoo because they utilize what are called “spiders” (though search engines do still accept submissions, they just aren’t as effective). A spider basically views everything it can see online and creates a record of it. These records and then collected and indexed, and are used by the search engine to quickly find results for search queries.
Happily, search engine spiders will find new web sites on their own and will index all available content they can find. This is a key moment in the life of a new domain: As soon as you register your domain name you are in a race against the clock to get real, useful content on your site before search engines start to index it.
Thankfully there are server software packages that can manage content for you, and in most cases they are already configured in a way that is search engine friendly!
There are far too many examples of content management systems that can be covered in this guide, but installing new server software is not as difficult as it may sound to the first timer. As an example, if you have a server account that uses cPanel software and you are a Liquid Web customer you already have access to a tool called Softaculous. Softaculous offers many different content management systems and will do the majority of the installation work for you.
Taking this example a step further and working towards our 20 minute goal, say we are setting up a new domain for a privately owned bakery. While all of us would love to have a strikingly visual web site that is completely unique, easy to navigate, and praised as an example of excellent design you have to remember that building a custom web site with a completely unique look takes a lot of time, effort, and most likely hiring a developer.
By utilizing Softaculous and a content management system like WordPress for our hypothetical bakery site, we can have a brand new domain purchased and online with a search engine friendly system just waiting for content to be added.
And if you still want to pursue that amazing custom site that you really, really want, then you are in luck. By installing a content management system immediately you can get your content online quickly before it starts getting indexed by search engines, and in the process by yourself time to develop your desired web site without losing any potential web site traffic.
Note: If you wish to install a server software package that is not available in the included managed server software and need our support team’s assistance please open a ticket with our support team. While we do not offer managed support for every server software package available online we will still give it our best attempt.
- Point the New Domain’s DNS (Nameservers)
Another important step: Changing nameservers will immediately start the process of pointing that new domain at the new/different nameservers. Do not make this change until you are as certain as possible that you are ready to proceed. Make sure you read this entire section before you proceed.
Back at the registrar where you purchased your new domain name find the button/link/page/etc that will allow you to change the nameservers for the domain. For an overview of DNS and nameservers please see our guide New User Tutorial: What is DNS?We offer several video guides for updating nameservers at several popular registrars, but please keep in mind that web sites can change their design frequently and not every guide may be 100% accurate. Your registrar’s online help documentation or customer service representatives should be able to assist you if you are still unable to change the domain’s nameservers on your own.
Changing nameservers for a domain can take up to 24 hours to fully update after you submit the new nameservers, but quite often you will see the domain start to route to its new server space within a few hours, possibly even less.
If you are unsure of what to do here please contact our support team and we will be happy to help.
For example, if you are using Liquid Web nameservers, ns.liquidweb.com and ns1.liquidweb.com, then you can simply make edits via the Liquid Web Manage interface. Details on how to use the Liquid Web Manage interface can be found in the article: Using Liquid Web’s Name Servers (DNS)
- Last Step With The Quick Site – Optimization
The more optimized your web site is the more easily it can be indexed by search engines. Google provides a set of tools at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ that you can use to find problems with your site code, layout, and other elements and help you fix them as well as offering general improvement suggestions that can reduce your page’s load time.
Hopefully, you are now able to set up your new domain much more quickly than you were expecting. As you set up more domains and become more familiar with these steps you will be able to get through them much more quickly than the first time. If you need more help or are unsure as to how your web site fits in to this guide please contact us using the options below.