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How to make your website live

OK so you've been working on your site locally, and now it's ready for the world to see. There are a few steps involved, however in most cases is a straight forward activity.

Assuming it's a static site (no database),the process would usually go something like this:

  1. Register Your Domain
  2. Create a Hosting Account
  3. Updated your domain's nameservers
  4. Upload your site

Let's elaborate on each of the above a little.

Register your domain
In many cases you may decide to register your domain prior to the website build even commencing to ensure that domain will be yours. You can register your domain here. It's often a good idea to register different TLD's (top level domains) also. For example if your domain is mysite.com.au it's probably worth while registering .net.au and .com also to prevent competition snatching the domains up and redirecting them to their own site. For the minimal cost of registering the additional domains, it might as well be done then simply redirect them to your primary site.

Create A Hosting Account
Your site has to sit on a server that the world has access too, these are web servers where your website will be stored. Depending on the size and expected traffic of your site would depend on the level of hosting your would choose. You can find a comparative chart here to make that decision a little easier for you.

Update your Nameservers
Your domain is assigned to nameservers which basically tell internet traffic where to find your site. Your hosting account provider will provide you with the nameservers you need to use. Once you have this information, you would log into your domain registrar's account and update the nameservers. Once this is done, your site will become live on the internet. NOTE: You should allow up to 48 hours for your site to be live globally after updating nameservers. Sometimes you may see your site live after only a couple of hours, however sometimes it may take much longer. Sometimes other users may be able to see your site however not your self, it's called the propagation process and it's not recommended to start troubleshooting until the 48 hour period is over. So before you go live with your site, dont forget to allow 48 hours for propagation.

Upload your site
Your web hosting provider will provide FTP details to upload upload your site. Simply enter these details into your favorite FTP client (Filezilla is a great free FTP client) and upload your files to the web root directory. This is generally a directory (folder for Windows users) named www or public_html.

Once your site has been uploaded and the propagation process is complete, that's it, your site is live for the world to see.

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