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Putting your Business on the Web

  1. Obtain a domain name

    Domain names are purchased for 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. They can be purchased from a variety of sources, so you can search for the best price. You can also purchase more than one domain name and then have them all "point" to the same website. To find out whether your domain name and what extension (such as .com or .net) are available, you can go to If your name is available, you do NOT have to purchase it from Network Solutions, but can search on the Internet for other domain sellers.

  2. Find a host ISP (Internet Service Provider)

    This is where your website files will be kept. To find an appropriate ISP, you need to know whether you will be offering a shopping cart, whether you want the ISP to set up your website or provide you a template, and whether you have special programming (such as calculations, database use, etc.). Once you find an ISP, you need to provide the ISP's NIC address to the company where you purchased your domain name.

    Any time you change your ISP, you need to provide your domain name company with a new NIC address.

  3. Your ISP provider should show you how to set up an email address so that you can have Once you have that email address, you need to set your email program to pick up that address when it goes to get your mail. In Microsoft Outlook, go to Tools, Email Accounts. Choose "Add email", then "Pop3/SMTP". You will need your logon information and password from your ISP provider, as well as their POP3 and SMTP server addresses. You can test your account settings to make sure everything is set up correctly.
  4. Set up a website - either using templates provided by your ISP or from scratch by sending files to your provider. All files are sent using ftp, so you will need ftp software to do this (the cost for this software is free or minimal). If you do not know how to use ftp, you should either use a template, hire a web designer or take a class in website design. Regardless of which you choose, you should ask how you can update your website. Your website is only effective if it stays current.
  5. Submit your website to the search engines. This should only be done once or it will be interpreted as spamming. Before submitting your website, you should make sure that your home page includes a good description of what you do and your web pages include "meta-description" tags and "title" tags that clearly state what you do. Because of the size of the Internet, it may take as long as 4 months for search engines to pick you up. During that time, people can still get to your website, but will have to know your web address (type in the address line of your browser).

    You can submit your website for free at However, since you should only do this once, you should read about and use the other tools on this website before submitting your site. The search engines regularly re-search the entire web, so it is worth continually improving your website's search results. It takes about 4 months for the search engines to completely search and rank websites.

  6. All pages of your website should include your address and contact information.