So, you are the life of every party, and no get-together is complete in your absence. However, in an age where social networking reigns, how established are you without a tangible online footprint?
The answer lies in making your presence felt on the Internet, and we are not just talking about registering on Facebook or Twitter. What you need is a domain of your own, whether it is for promoting your business interests or simply setting up a personal blog space where people can get to know you better.
Here are a few broad steps to making your own website, and becoming a hit with the networking generation.
Bag a domain name
Essentially, a domain name is the title you want to give to your website - whether it's uglykidjim.com or simply i-dont-give-a-bleep.com. To acquire a domain name, you have to pay an annual fee to a registrar for the right to use it. Fret not, you don't exactly need to have a full-fledged website to own it.
But hey, don't get the wrong idea and choose your domain name too flippantly; selecting an effective one is crucial to your site, both in terms of marketing and search engine optimisation.
Choose a web host
A web host - in layman's terms - is a company that has many computers connected to the Internet, and once your web pages are placed on their computers, everybody across the globe will be able to view them. Don't get it? It's very much like renting office premises for your business. You will only be required to sign up for an account with the web host, so that your website has a home.
The most popular web hosting companies in India are Hostgator India (Mangalore), Big Rock (Mumbai) and Net4 (New Delhi).
Once you have obtained your domain name and chosen a web host, you can get down to designing the website itself. Okay, assuming that you aren't very computer-friendly, let's not take that on literal terms. Hire a web designer to do it, but make sure you have briefed him threadbare on how you want the portal to look.
But if you want to design the website yourself, you could book yourself a copy of Dreamweaver for the purpose, or download the free-to-use KompoZer. But, whatever you do, make sure that your website is optimised for search engines from the web design stage itself. Besides this, test your website for compatibility in all the major browsers - including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.
When your site is ready, you will need to submit it to search engines like Google and Bing. Besides this, you may also want to consider promoting your website in other ways, including word-of-mouth, newspaper and online advertisements, etc. And bingo, you are online!