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How to start a website?

Category : Web Hosting , Webmastering

  1. Decide what you want to make:-

    There are overwhelming many types of sites that you can make. First it can be a business website or personal. Or it can be a blog or a website that contains articles. It may provide some service like hosting, domain registration. It can be a company portal. It can provide some kind of social networking similarly or integrated with facebook, twitter or instagram. And more and more …

  2. Decide how to make it:-

    First decide if you want it static (just a collection of HTML pages) or dynamic with a server side language like PHP, ASP, JSP, etc…
    If you choose to make a dynamic website you can either choose to use a CMS (Content Management System) to build your website or make it custom with or without a framework.
    Mostly using CMS will be best fit and will provide all of your “Content Management” needs with least cost and effort. There are many CMS available that suits different scopes and types of website. For example if you plan to run a blog then go with WordPress like this website, it is very easy and you can get your website running in few hours.
    If your website is a forum then go with phpBB it is free and open source and provide all of your forum needs.
    If your website is an online shop then go with osCommerce.
    If your website is more than a list of articles and will have a more complex functionalities then you can go far and use CMS like Drupal or Joomla. With Drupal or Joomla you can manage users and contents and have complex functionalities like search by features, user roles, custom contents and more. But bear in mind that with WordPress or PHPBB you can create your website your self easily but with Drupal and Joomla there is a probability that you will need to hire a technical person if you are not into the technical stuff because learning curve for Drupal or Joomla is longer than WordPress.
    There is the last option is to make your website without a CMS in this case you will need to have a programming skills or hire some persons who have. The most widely used language is PHP but you can choose JSP (Java server pages) or ASP (Active server pages) but bear in mind that each of them will require a different server and/or OS for example with PHP, it is mostly used with LAMP environment (Linux Apache MySQL and PHP). While with JSP you will need a server that supports JSP (i.e. Tomcat). Finally with ASP you will need a windows server with IIS working on it.

  3. Make the design or hire some one to make the design for you

    The design of your website is very important because a good design will create trust and guide visitors to take action. Also you have to keep in mind user friendliness because if users find it too hard to use your website they will just give up and stay away from your website. The design usually start with making PSD files using Photoshop then concerting them into HTML/CSS files.

    • If you are into design you can create the design your self using Photoshop or any other designing software.
    • If you are not into design there are alternative options like hiring some one to do the design for you.
    • Or, purchasing paid template.
    • Last resort is to use a free online template but keep in mind that other people also could be using the same template so your will lose uniqueness.


  4. Do the technical stuff

    If you are making a dynamic website then this is the step to transform your website from a static HTML pages into dynamic website. In this step you will need technical skills to make scripts that manipulate DB. If you choose to use an open source CMS like WordPress or Joomla then you will have to transform your HTML files into a theme or template loadable by the CMS. If you do not have technical skills to do this then either you can hire some one to do it for you or you can search for a supported theme from the start. Wordpess themes

  5. Register a domain

    Choose a meaningful yet reasonable short domain name is very essential for your business to work. The registration could from around $10 up to $30 a year.

  6. Rent a host

    This is the step to rent some online space to place your website on. Depending on your website size, expected traffic, required control you can choose either to go with shared hosting, VPS hosting or dedicated servers.

    • Shared Hosting

      Shared hosting provide you with the cheapest solution even there are some free packages available Free Hosting but it have bad side is that it your website will be hosted in a shared environment with other websites. You will have to make sure your website is not accessible by other users. Technically speaking, make sure your website have its owner and group name and no files with all access permissions (777) exception to that can be tmp or cache files. Other point to take care is the IP of your shared hosting, if you have a shared IP then your website will be sharing the IP with other websites check your website IP to make sure it is not blocked for SPAM or any other illegal stuff. Mochahost is a good and trustworthy shared hosting provider, consider trying it.

    • VPS Hosting

      If you do not like to go to the hassle of having your website in a shared environment then you can go with VPS hosting for a little extra money. VPS hosting hosting can start from as little as $7 a month up to $100 or more depending on the package that you choose. VPS Dime is a good VPS hosting company that provide a high RAM and space for a really cheap price. VPS Hosting

    • Dedicated Hosting

      Dedicated hosting gives you the most control and space for the price you pay however expect to pay at least $60 up to few hundred USD monthly. The packages can give you 500 GB space and around 4 GB RAM until several Tera bytes with as much as 32 GB of RAM. Just choose this option is your website is big enough and you expect high volume of traffic like several millions page view per month.

  7. Setup DNS

    DNS is short for “Domain name server” which means a server to lookup a domain name and return the corresponding IP. You will need this server to connect your domain name with the purchased hosting package or server. If you have choses shared hosting mostly this will be setup for you automatically however if you decided to go with VPS or dedicated hosting then you will need to make this your self. There are two options for you to use.

    1. Install and use a DNS server

      This option will give you most professional look because when someone lookup your domain DNS info. will find you have your own domain servers so but it requires many technical stuff and working through SSH which is out of scope of this article so unles you are going to run a hosting company it is advisable to use the next option. Note it you have ordered your VPS or dedicated server with control panel (i.e. cPanel) then the panel will provide you an easy way to configure your DNS server.

    2. Use free DNS Server

      This is the most trivial and easy solution to use. Many hosting providers offer free DNS also if you have purchased your domain name from GoDaddy they do offer a free DNS setup for your domain. Also they offer free e-mail package with the domain which is considered a complete domain solution to use.

  8. Upload your website

    After purchasing your web hosting package you will receive a SSH or FTP connection information just use any free FTP client software to login and upload your website. notice some free providers do not offer FTP and offer only web based file manager which is not advisable to use because you will have hard time if you decided to move from them.

    You can use FileZilla it is free FTP/SFTP client tool which is easy to use.


  9. Configure and Create DB

    This is the step where you will use either PHPMyAdmin if available or SSH to create and import your database. Also you will need to write connection configuration into the proper file in your website.

  10. Make sure your website is accessible and working as expected

    Now your website is online and should working, just make sure it is working as expected by doing overall test on your website functions like user registration, sending mails etc…

  11. Monetize your website

    If you like you can add ads. to your website so you can make money out of it. The best and most trustworthy ads network available is google adsense. You can register and create ads in few steps. Google Adsense

  12. Setup Analytics

    This is an optional step, where you will do it to track the traffic and progress of your website. Google provide an easy to use analytics and we recommend using it. Google analytics

  13. Do SEO and submit your website to Google and other search engines

    Although nowadays search engines will find your website without need to inform them explicitly but it is always better to do it your self also it will be a way to track the performance of your website at search and get free tips on imporoving your keywords and site contents. Below is a shot of google webmaster tools used to submit your website. You will need to verify your ownership of the domain name before accessing the webmaster tools features.

    Google webmaster tools

  14. Promote you website at social media

    Social media is very essential aspect of the nowadays internet and to ensure presence of your website on internet you must have presence at least on facebook, twitter instagram so create accounts and direct your site visitors on there.

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Cpanel vs. Plesk vs. kloxo vs. Webmin vs. DirectAdmin

Category : Web Hosting

If you do not know already Cpanel, Plesk, kloxo, Webmin and DirectAdmin are all control panels for managing websites and if you are hosting company you can either use Cpanel’s WHM or Kloxo to manage your clients, packages servers etc…
Here are comparison to know the main difference between the the most popular control panels and to choose the most one that suits your needs.

Control Panel Cpanel Plesk Kloxo Webmin DirectAdmin
License Proprietary License Proprietary License AGPL BSD style Proprietary License
Price $20/m for VPS or $45/m for server Starts from $4/m Free Free $29/m or $299 for life time
Last Release 2015 2014 2011 2015 2013
OS Linux Linux or Windows CentOS Linux / Windows (Partial support) Windows
Plugins Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Multi Servers Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Learning Curve Easy Medium Easy Medium Easy
Migration Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Supported per admin / reseller basis

Shots for different control panels:-

  • Cpanel

  • Plesk

  • Kloxo

  • Webmin
  • DirectAdmin

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What is favicon.ico and how important to have one?

  • What is favicon.ico?
    favicon.ico is a tiny icon file just 16 x 16 pixels and it is displayed at the left size of the browser’s address bar beside your website name when also it is displayed beside your website name when it is bookmarked by user.
  • Best practice when making a favicon.ico
    The first step to creating a favicon is design. It is quite small and you can not put much into it, however having a good one would give your website a professional look and can impact user to sales conversion positively. Better to choose an expressive one that it is easy to remember because your users will use it to find your site and open it. It is not expressive one users will find it hard to remember and will require them extra effort to read the bookmarked page name before opening your website. Most commonly, it will be the logo mark for a company excluding text and trademarks exception of this rule is if your logo itself is just a letter or two like the famous facebook’s “f” or twitter’s “t”.
  • How to make favicon.ico?

    You can use software like photoshop to make a PSD then export it to ico file alternatively there are online service to convert an image file to favicon.ico file like Favicon Generator

  • Help browser find your favicon.ico
    By default browser will try to load the file favicon.ico from your website root directory however you can direct the browser to use a different file or to look in a different directory by putting the following meta tag into the head section of your pages:-

    You should replace “/favicon.ico” in the above example with the location of your favicon.ico file, for example, “/images/favicon.ico” if you have placed it in your “/images/” directory.
    This step is required if you have put your “favicon.ico” file in a directory other than root directory.

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What to do and not to do when doing SEO

Category : SEO

This is a quick tips list for to do and not to do list when doing SEO for your website.

To do list:-

  • Make sitemap.xml.
  • Add your website to google webmaster tools.
  • Make robots.txt to control what to index and what not to index by search engine.
  • Add unique title and meta description to each of your pages.
  • Use <link rel=”canonical” href=”” /> at your duplicated pages.
  • Optimizing your contents for mobile users.

Not to do list:-

  • Never cloak your domain.
  • Avoid using iframes for linking to contents.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Avoid duplicating contents.
  • Avoid submitting your website to link farms or search engine submission services.

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What is black hat SEO?

Category : SEO

Black Hat SEO is the use of various tricks in order to increase your website ranking in search engine results. These tricks may include spamming other websites with links, putting huge amount of keywords in your keyword tags, using hidden text or text with the same color as the background on webpages, using backdoor pages which is a fake page that is not seen by the visitor but for search engine spider bots only. And recently unnatural linking and link exchanges are added to this category due to google last ranking algorithm update the so-called Penguin update.

As a whole these are techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner.

Such techniques may have been useful in the past. Nowadays, as search engines getting smarter your site will be severely penalized by search engines if you try to use such tricks in order to improve your website search results ranking. By any means it is not advisable to use Black Hat SEO techniques as this will not lead to improving your website ranking. On the contrary, it will eventually result in lowering its ranking or more worse having it banned from search results at all.

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Search engine optimization that works

Category : SEO

Doing SEO (Search engine optimization) for your website is very essential plus it has proven to be cost effective. However SEO ways are changing overtime dramatically plus it varies from legitimate SEO till black hat ways that could make google angry and ban your website.
Here are the best and cost effective SEO ways that could help your website rank well in google and other search engines.

  1. Build unique contents:-
    What interest your users and makes google happy at your site at the same time is unique contents and what make google angry is duplicate contents so to go the good way avoid copying or pirating from other sites and instead build your own contents. Give enough time to it to give the most good user experience.
  2. Keep your website fresh:-
    Google crawl your websites continuously and are willing to index new contents over several years contents. So if you post contents continuously say twice or once a week, this will make google always eager to come to your website to crawl the new contents.
  3. Write unique and descriptive title and description for each of your pages:-
    This will make google concentrate on page relevancy basis and not on overall website relevancy basis. For example if your website is about animals care but you have two pages one for dogs and other for cats it is better to have the title for the two pages “Dogs care” and “Cats care” which will help google send searchers directly to the relevant page and also will make the user more happy by reaching the right page directly.
  4. Make page at facebook and account at twitter and other social accounts and link it to your websites and ask your site visitors to follow you:-
    This will increase the number of returning users beside it will help to rank higher at google because new google ranking algorithm does not depend on page rank any more. Instead it depends on the traffic coming to your website which depends on the number of returning users.
  5. Avoid keyword stuffing:-
    Google search engine is much more advanced than before and it became hardly to get deceived with keyword stuffing and instead it will get your website penalized or banned completely from google so just avoid it.
  6. Avoid Link directories or link farms:-
    Link directories rarely will send you traffic as well as page rank while chance of being penalized is high so just avoid them.
  7. Optimize your website for mobile users:-
    Web is evolving and more users are accessing web from their mobile devices so optimizing your website for mobile users will make you sure of not losing this big fraction of users additionally having website not optimized for mobile users can hurt your rank.