Knowing Your Options
There are two ways to leave your imprint on the World Wide Web: Build your own website from the ground up or use existing websites to facilitate the process. If you want a truly personal website with its own domain name that you have complete control over the appearance and content on the site, you want to build your own website from the ground up. This involves installing software on your computer to assist with creating web pages and requires using a web hosting company to host your website.
Alternatively, you can create a less personalized website to share your content and keep in touch with friends and family using any number of web-based services. For example, you can sell products online using eBay Stores or share your vacation photos with friends and family using Snapfish.com.
The benefit of using web-based services is that they simplify the process of setting up and configuring your website, whereas building a website from the ground up requires more effort. However, web-based services allow you less control over the look and feel of your website.
This book shows how to build websites from the ground up as well as how to use various web-based services. In this chapter and the next, you see how to get started with building a website from the ground up. Chapter 3 takes the lessons learned in Chapters 1 and 2 and looks at creating a family/personal website to share your family's latest news and photos with friends and extended family. Chapter 4 shows how to build an online storefront from the ground up.
Chapters 5 through 10 look at using web-based services.