|The creation process: step by step|
Lets answer a few questions everyone has about getting started.
Choosing a domain name
In order to have a website, one needs a domain name. This is simply the .com or .org that people will type into their browsers to get to your web page. One of the cheapest places I know is www.godaddy.com and it typically costs $10/year. It is your responsibility to buy your own domain name and keep it renewed. I recommend buying a 2 year lease and then setting it to automatically renew after that.
Linking your domain name to a server
First off, a server is just a dumbed down computer that holds all the information on how to display your site.
After you buy a domain name, you must provide the world wide web with a link that associates your domain name to the address of where your web page exists. The link is called a DNS Nameserver and the address is the IP address of your server.
Too technical already? Don't worry - you have a few choices here. I have many servers that I host my customers websites on already. If you want to avoid all the headaches, simple tell me to host your site on my servers.
If you want complete control of all the advanced features, I recommend heading to www.hostmonster.com and purchasing an agreement. This typically costs $80/yr and includes advanced features like databases etc.
I do not charge my customers "rent" for using my servers - but keep in mind that if a fire takes out all of the servers - I can't guarantee that I can have your site up quickly because there will be many other sites that I have to get up as well!
What happens if a fire takes out the server that my site is on?
Funny question - but it has happened to people before. I backup all website content and databases once per month. So at most your site could lose information that you changed a month ago. If you need to backup more frequently than this we can of course arrange for it.
Domain name - check. Server - check. Now, how long will it take get my site up?
Typically very quickly. Once Joomla! is installed you can immediately add content if you are eager. However - I need to design the template/menu system etc. so that it looks like you want it! This process can take as little as a few days to one month depending on how extensive your site is.
What is this Joomla! thing?
Joomla! is a content management program. In short - it is a website program that I install on a server (just like Microsoft word is a program that you install on your computer) that allows me to design your site in an extremely efficient manner. It also allows you - or any non-technical user - to update content, add news, upload photos, add menu items etc without having any programming skills whatsoever!
How does Joomla! work?
Think of it as Legos. Type in the content and then put it where we want it.
There are two fundamental building blocks: content and modules. Content is text, photos, news etc. Content is always displayed in the middle of the site. The text you are reading right now is content. Modules are everything else. Advertisements, login forms, the menu bar to your left etc. Add it all up and you have one good looking site!
How do I change my content?
Every website has an administrative backend. I provide you with a login and password and you can change anything. Of course there is a learning curve but I provide you with a tutorial to help get you comfortable with making basic changes.
If you want to see what the backend of Joomla! is like, you can log in and play around on this site:
Example Module Positions
You can get an idea of how I layout your website by looking at the picture below. My templates support a wide variety of module positions and variations. All the modules are fully collapsible. If there is no module published in a certain position, this module position will contract and disappear.