Building your website

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Overview

There are a few important steps to building a website and having it displayed online.

This wiki covers how to set up a website and how to attract visitors once it's uploaded to DreamHost's web servers.

Setting up your website

  1. Obtain a Domain Registration.
    Note2 icon.png Note: You must configure DNS at the company where your site is registered. DreamHost support cannot help with this as you are the owner of the domain, not DreamHost.


  2. Build your web pages on your home computer. Below are a few sites to help you.
    Note2 icon.png Note:

    Another way to build a website at DreamHost is to use a One-Click Install. View the following article for further details:


  3. Access a web server which you'll use to upload your files.
  4. Upload the content using an FTP client.
    • Once your domain is registered, hosted and you've uploaded your content to the webserver, your site will be live on the Internet for anyone to visit.

Glossary of terms used in the above steps:

    Domain Registration
    means that you have paid for and are registered as owning a specific domain name, such as example.com.
    Domain Hosting
    means that you have paid a company, such as DreamHost, to store your website files on its server.
    Transferring a domain
    means changing the domain registration ownership information so that your site is registered at DreamHost.

If you see an empty directory listing where my website should be

When you first add hosting to your site, you’ll see a ‘Coming Soon’ page that DreamHost creates by default. To upload a site you've already created, visit the FTP page for detailed instructions.

If you have already uploaded your site files, you may instead only see a directory listing of those files and not the actual website. If that’s the case, you need to create an index page such as an index.html or index.php page. This index page is then used to automatically load your site when it’s visited.

Getting people to visit your site

Once your site is up and running, you need to publicize it. Nobody will visit if they can't find you through a search engine or from another related site. Below are a few steps to help make this happen:

  1. Visit each of the major search engines and submit your URL. Most of these sites have a link that allows you to submit your site to their database. Some popular search engines include:
    Note2 icon.png Note: There are also many other services (free or at a cost) which will submit your site to search engines for you.


  2. To make your site easier for the search engines to crawl and classify, consider adding some META tags to your index page.
  3. Enter the DreamHost Site of the Month Contest!

See also

Here are some good resources for you to use in learning the basics of web design.