Launch A Website Today: Domain And Web Basics | Zach Forrest | Skillshare

Launch A Website Today: Domain And Web Basics

Zach Forrest, Teaching Stuff

Launch A Website Today: Domain And Web Basics

Zach Forrest, Teaching Stuff

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
4 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Find & Set-Up A Domain

    • 3. Understand Nameservers & DNS

    • 4. Start Hosting & Take Your Website Online

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

I have met a number of small business owners, entrepreneurs and other folks that simply need a few dots connected to get their Website online or started.

This course will give you steps need to take to pick and purchase a new domain, find the right host and connect them to make your website display on the internet. Along with a few tips to begin keeping your site safe and secure.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Zach Forrest

Teaching Stuff


Hello, I'm Zach. I'm a federal consultant in the IT field and have a number of commercial IT related side projects with experience across the software development lifecycle.

I have a double major in Entrepreneurship & Finance with a focus on derivative securities and a minor in Law.

My work experience started at PricewaterhouseCoopers and now honored to work for a service disabled veteran woman owned federal consulting firm.

I really enjoy learning and also recently started to enjoy teaching. I'm always eager to learn new areas of technology, finance, entrepreneurship and life in general.

Most of the work I enjoy doing involves scaling and building business structures and solutions for clients in all sorts of fields from health supplements... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to the course I'm Zak Force have met a number of small business owners, entrepreneurs and other folks. It's simply need a few dots connected to get their website online started. This course will give you the steps you need to take to pick and purchase the new domain, find the right host and then connect them to make your website display on the along with a few tips to begin keeping your site safe and secure. If you're an entrepreneur, Mom or anybody just wants to get started with the Web site or want to be able to understand the language better when working with a Web master, this course is for you a little about me. I have around seven years of experience in tech consulting for large and small entities in the federal and commercial space, doing things from quality assurance to coding leading security and architecture teams. I'll be sure to include more videos and resource is to help you along the way. At the end of this course, you'll have a working website with a custom domain and all without breaking the bank. So let's get started 2. Find & Set-Up A Domain: one of the first questions you're probably asking is, what is a domain domain? Is street address for your business on the Internet? That's the easiest way to put it. Choosing a domain and building a website does not necessarily guarantee that you'll get business just like purchasing the street address. And building a brick and mortar store doesn't guarantee that you will get business domain best practices and finding the right one for your business. Starting with searching for domains. Good places to buy a domain are named cheap Google domains. I typically don't recommend if they're also gonna try to sell you a shared hosting or other service. I would typically steer away from those trying to sell you a package with domain, but I would say by that separately, Certainly get your domain privacy from them. But don't get their hosting. Uh, and we'll talk about that later. Some great places to find a great domain are domain hack dot me and also just searching on Google domains name cheap and other sources that might indicate where domain has recently expired. You can look up expired domain search on Google. There's tons of certain services that one thing to consider is the short of the domain, the better. Like we said earlier in the course domain, uh, domain name is like your street address. So it's all about location where that street address is located on the Internet. And one thing that helps tremendously is if your user is able to type in a short domain name when they're searching for generally your wine, your domain name to be a shortest possible to make it easy for you, your users to remember, and also easy for them type when searching. What is the main privacy demand? Privacy gives you an added level of privacy for your you can look at a domain. Is your street just for the Internet? Remember, purchased and registered your domain you provide your ownership entails. Some of these details are provided when someone moves up here. Domain. Unless you have privacy. The main privacy hides the name physical address tied to this domain and usually on additional few dollars when purchasing. So once you've found a good demand and picked one out, now you're ready to purchase it. Where do you purchase it? Well, I purchase mind typically on Google domains or name, but I highly recommend using several different searching tools. Find it. And then, once you use those searching tools to find your domain, I will often search for a domain in different places and then purchase it from Google domains or names or somewhere that I trusted already have several different. Just a few things. Teoh. A few quick things to keep in mind When you're searching and purchasing domain watch for hosting companies like Go Daddy or others that try to sell you a hosting plan with your domain. Stay away from the host gators. Aled that mess one on one that's often looks like a great deal, since it only cost you a few dollars for super cheap posting. But the truth of the matter is, you get what you pay for in what you're doing is you're sharing a lot of resources with other hundreds of thousands of other companies. So if they're doing any, any one of them is doing anything delicious. It's gonna on your website, so we'll talk about pitfalls of shared hosting later. I just wanted to mention one of things that keep in mind. Don't order posting when you purchase your domain as well. We'll talk about the reasons why later. All right, so we talked a lot about domains. How to do it. So I'm going to screen share with you. Purchase a domain, right? Stood. All right. So let's go ahead and get started. I'm gonna start with Google and we will search. Uh, Jermaine hacked me onto the domain hacking tools. So let's say that we are a eso my name Zak in Let's say we have, um, CSO llamas and my business is called Zach Salama's and I'm looking to get a domain. So let's say Zac's LAMAs and you'll notice the domains pop up with tons of different domain hacks. Eso What kind of looked down through these? We have z dot a c for it slash it's mama's. Ah, yes. So none of these none of these really look compelling to me. I don't see a dot com. I really don't see anything that, um that looks that looks very good from an S e o perspective. Anything that we see after this backslash that's gonna be, um that's gonna be kind of hard to host things from all this. So what we'll do is we'll jump into Google remains and hop in to find a domain saying Zac's Thomas. It's who pops up there and let's see we have all sorts of different remains. See, we have the result. Regular results sorted by relevance, you click this button to get all the endings. Well, just look at the primary results because it looks pretty good. We have Zach Salama's dot com, $12 per year, and that's the cost to own this domain. Just the domain, not the website. You'll have to purchase a domain and then the hosting separately so well, we're in the process of purchasing that domain, and these are the prices to own the domain her year. Now you'll notice that it costs $12 per year. You're probably wondering, what does that go towards that goes towards maintaining, um, this domain for you as well as just having the opportunity to host the domain or to have the domain in general? So that's pretty much what you're paying for. And $12 per year is a very small amount of money. Eso comparing all these. We have Zac's llamas and I spelled with an H, so this is exactly the domain, I would probably want Zach Salama's dot com. We also have Zac's llamas that war dot net dot us on, and then it goes into Z a c k Zach's llamas dot com. So we have a bunch of different options here in a ton of different dot coms. Don't expect this to happen. For whatever you're looking for, chances are where you're looking for is a little bit more common. Or maybe not. Maybe you'll get it great. Searchers don't like this as well. So anyway, um, so judging by these, the dot com is definitely gonna be the best because you can tell people to just type in Zach Salama's and it will direct them to it. You can also see that dot warg is probably good. If you have an organization or a nonprofit or something, that would probably be the best pick. But since we're in this ah, I guess scenario. I'm a llama salesman. Andi want to, um, so llamas online. So we're gonna pick Zach's llamas dot com. I'll go ahead and add this to my cart and start the process of purchasing the domain. You'll notice when I go to the check out way touched on domain privacy very quickly earlier on. So this is where you'll see that when you're purchasing your dumb and you'll see it here. Your car here, Um, and as part of the registration, see, privacy protection is on, so essentially your contact information won't be available to the public. Um, and then I typically turn auto renew on, especially with such a cheap domain. It's only $12 per year. So let's go ahead and check out and purchase this domain. You'll notice it's asking me for all of my information, it'll ask for your name organization course that's optional. Address your state your ZIP code as well as your phone number aan den. Your contact email, which is pulled from whatever Gmail account you're using when you're purchasing this. So go ahead and into that information and then purchase your domain. And, uh, well, we'll keep on moving on. All right, so you purchase a new domain. Now what timeto understand enough about your domain to be able to use it connected to hosting service. So let's let's get started. Our next steps here are too quickly. Go over name servers and DNs now If you purchase your domain from Google or Name Chief, for example, you likely won't even need to understand name servers because they're already set up for you. So feel free to skip the name server section and go straight to DNS if you purchase from those providers. But if you need help with name servers or just want to understand them a little better, feel free. Teoh, watch the next video. 3. Understand Nameservers & DNS: All right. So what are name servers and why do you care? We could get in the weeds on this one pretty quickly, but for intensive purposes, we just need to know a few things about name servers. Really? Just a couple things. One is they look like this, and I'll show example screen right now. Uh, you're too. Is your domain will likely already have name server set up like we said Previous video provided by your hosting company. Typically, for example, when I purchased the domain from Google, the name servers that just seems Google's name servers on Google's services they were great on. While we can change, these can be left alone for most purposes. So the last thing we need to understand is that wherever that name server is pointed will decide where we can configure those domains. And when I once we verify where our name servers are going waken look at what DNS So DNS is essentially how you configure those means. So if the name servers are Google and domain is Google, simply navigate to the Google DNS section and I'll show you how to do that. So what is DNS? Why should you care about that? D n A. Stands for domain name system. This is where you can make your website show up from your domain. Also, you can use this area to configure any records for email services. Okay, now that we have picked and purchased our domain, it's now time to understand a little bit more about the back end a little bit, a swell as the DNS section. So what I'll do, I'll jump into the DNS section. So I've gone ahead and sign back into Google demands. You can see Zach Salama's dot com. Here's my my shiny new domain that I just purchased just minutes ago, and what we'll do is we'll jump over to the DNS section. Here, I'll click on DNS. And we talked about name servers a while back, maybe a video or two ago. This is where you can configure the name servers. Right now, we're using the Google name servers like we mentioned in the past when you purchased the domain. Typically, it will go ahead and just set you up with the name servers that it that it has available in this instance we purchased through Google. So we're using the Google name servers. These air, actually, the name servers in a stash cloud dash c two dot google domains dot com. Um, and you have C one C two C three and C four. See, this is a good example. What the names there was look like if you wanted to use different name servers, for example, if you wanted to use if you wanted to use different name servers, you could simply click this button and type in the name server at the plus sign and just Adam all in. Um, But what we'll do is we'll keep the Google name servers so that we can handle the DNS right here in the same spot. Keeps it simple and easy. Another thing to consider is DNS S E C. Uh, this will protect your domain from cash poison attacks in DNS spoofing. As you can see right here, you can always learn more by clicking the link. So it's something quick and easy to do. He click simply click Enable Andi is enabled. Takes about two hours, actually complete, as you can see, but certainly something worth worth doing. It takes two seconds. All right, get into the registered hosts section. There's not a lot here, really, that will need for our purposes as well as synthetic records. This is also used for domain fording and has to do with G Suite in a couple of the things. The only section that we will ever really mess with is the traditional DNS section, which is where we answer custom resource records. And that's here at the bottom. Um, so you'll notice Ah, right now there. No records answered on. And there's essentially if you were to navigate to Zack's llamas dot com. Yep, it says this site can be reached because there's no pretty much stopped at the DNS level because it can't search further than that. There no DNS records. So it seems to what the Internet does. It goes this there May and and says, Hey, what are those? Where what DNS records do you have? What do you have? What am I supposed to do when I'm navigate your domain? And since there's nothing entered, it doesn't know what to do, and that's why it's given us this. Deena's. So another example is if you wanted to change where the DNS is configured in this example, we will change the name servers to vulture. And then from there we can see it. Uh, we will now configure the domain's DNS through ultra sport, so I'll show you one quick note. Also, vulture offers free DNS. So if you don't have a DNS provider, I recommend using vulture. Just point your name, service the vulture and use the services that they provide. If, if whatever domain purchase doesn't come with service just real quick. I wanted to show you another example of what DNS looks like just in another. Um, another provider. This is not Google. This is vulture, which is a cloud server option that you can use when you're, um when you're coding or otherwise love vulture. And this is what the DNS looks like for one of my domains. I'll try to black out some sections. I probably shouldn't show you, but this is overall what it looks like. You'll notice there's a bunch of different records here. They're called DNS records thistles. The record type. We have a record. See name records in MX record one more quick thing on DNS about how it works. So the way DNS works is there are records that you are adding to your DNS for your domain. Perform different functions. Like I mentioned, they can handle your email, access your email services a zwelling where your where your domain is and where your Web site is hosted for our purposes will mostly use what's called on a record. Focus on on a record which could be used to make your website show up. Um, before we had this record, will want to have an i p to add, So we'll return to the DNS section once our website is ready to be hosted from this domain . So first we'll get our hosting set up and as part of the hosting set up, will get an I P. Then we can drop the I P into this section. So let's get started. Great. We're moving right along. Eso you found a good domain and you understand the basics of DNS and how to use your domain . Next will cover how to set up your website hosting service on and start a basic website so that we can join that websites your domain with a shiny new DNS record. All right, so let's not get out 4. Start Hosting & Take Your Website Online: alright, it's time to set up our hosting service that we use for our website. Understand hosting better. It helps to understand the basics of what is happening. Behind the scenes are hosting company rents us a server or a piece of their server to store the contents of our website and hosted to dinner. When someone searches are domain, their Web browser queries the domain as to what to do. Since our DNS will have that a record warning to our host server, it will direct the user to your website that is hosted on that server. Now let's jump into hosting providers and how to find the right ones for your needs. All hosting providers are not created equal. Surveyor running from your hosting company could possibly be shared by thousands of people . If you're purchasing what is called shared hosting, shared hosting is often the cheapest option when it comes to hosting on the cheapest options, not always the best option in this case. That is certainly the case eso it can cause serious issues for your website. In your business, there are two big reasons this can cause issues, and it's caused me hours of grief So it's, uh let me save you some time. 1st 1 is shared. Hosting providers are very restrictive. What you blood limits, Limited back ends and limited options often force customers to reach out to support, which is also often lacking as well and often backlogged because they have to be so many support tickets log to get anything done on your website. Since the shared hosting is shared by definition, it's sharing. The resource is across the same servers. So if some other customer decides to do something malicious or use all their all their resource is and then some, all the other customers that are using that server are adversely affected. That means you. And if you're running a business, that also means your customer, which is obviously not a good thing. Some hosts I've had a bad experience with are one in one host Gator, and I don't mean I've had a bad day with them. Are bad ticket? I mean, it was the worst customer experience I've ever had, both of them Worst customer experience, definitely. Host Gator took took the award for the worst experience ever resulted in months of lost time, money and energy so definitely won't save you folks time. If you absolutely insist and feel like you have to use a shared hosting service only company, I can really recommend site ground. Their service is amazing, and I use them for several years before I found. But the provider that I use now, which is clawed ways, the other hosting term that we want to understand is managed. Hosting managed hosting means that someone else is managing server updates, the patches, all that fun stuff so you don't have to worry about. If you're watching this class. Chances are you don't know how to properly manage a server. Words likely just not time effective for you to start managing your own server so highly. Just recommend. Keep it simple and use a managed hosting provider. It's usually just a couple of dollars extra per month. Usually, my absolute favorite provider lets you use a cloud server of your choice culture. Digital Lucien AWS. Whatever you want to use, it manages it for you. I've used them for years now, with no issues, and in this tutorial will use Cloud weighs just one talked about, since it is the best value we use that, and also very simple to set up on very cheap. Also monthly. I'll include a secure link to use on, see if I can rustle up discount as well, if at all possible. So let's go ahead and start an account. Okay, great. So let's ah, let's jump into Cloud Weighs here first I'll, uh, as I mentioned earlier. If you haven't already clicked the link to cloud ways, I'll provide a link for you, and it will give you a free trial where you could spend up of a server and do everything we need to do for free, which is fantastic. You can get get up and running without spending any money on the hosting side. And that's four, I believe for 30 days, Um, and after that there's no big surprise charges here. The server will be spending up together will cost approximately $11 a month, which is ah, um, pretty great price to have your own, um, your own cloud server set up there and that'll be that'll be great for your for your uses and will be perfect for our tutorial here. So first, what we'll do is will deploy a server and will also deploy an application on top of that server, so we'll start at the very top here. You see, um, first will select the WordPress version they dropped down here. All right, so these are all the different applications that you can have installed on your server. First, you have, uh, all the different WordPress possibilities you have version 5.1, and this includes all the cloud weighs optimization. You have a version 5.1 with blue commerce and that also includes a blue commerce version 3.5 dot one. There's also the WordPress multi side version. If you wanna have multiple work WordPress websites posted on the same domain for this tutorial, we will not do that. And for today, well, we use the clean. No cloud weighs optimized version. And the reason will do that is because typically when I've used the cloud weighs optimized version the top one here, it's given me trouble with giving me issues with certain plug ins that I've used that were very necessary for that particular application. I can't remember off the top of my head which go against it was, but oh, I'll try to remember and posted later. These are all the other applications you can install. You'll notice PHP can install a custom app. That's PHP. You also have other CMS options. Scroll through those. You can see them all but this tutorial. Keep it simple. It's like clean. No cloud weighs optimization. We'll leave this S o well, Nate, this is where you'll name your application. Whatever you want. My name is Zak Islamist. Well, name my managed service Lama server and will create a project called Zach's Llamas. If you haven't already type that in technology. Perfect. Okay, so now let's like the server. You have noticed that you have Digital Ocean, Linda, Culture AWS and Google. For today, I recommend we select vulture vulture Digital Ocean. We'll select one gigabyte server size and select vulture. So what does all this mean Just quickly we'll go over this one gigabyte of ram. There's 25 gigabytes of storage and that's SSD said solid state drives what that means. And then once here, right of transfer one processor 14 processor. This is all you're gonna need to run at least one website, especially if you have less than 10,000 visitors. Once you get more than that, it might be worth checking out. Upgrading a little bit. Maybe not, but generally, for our purposes, we'll stick with the one gigabyte now, when it comes the location. This is where your select the location of your server. If your local, let's say, for example, I'm in South Carolina. And if Zac Salama's is a service that sells llamas, particularly in South Carolina in the Southeast, I'll try to select the location that is in the Southeast region because I'm in the Southeast and so are my clients. You typically want to choose a server that your end client will be located in, because that will result in a faster loading times. So I'll select Atlanta since I'm in the Southeast and go ahead and hit the launch button. Teoh, launch my service. All right, so once that server starts the launch, we can jump in. Okay, now that our server has started to spin up, it takes usually approximately, maybe 15 minutes or less. So once this is finished standing up, we'll see the service here in the server's location. And this is the Llama server. See? It's the little vulture Icahn here and we can click on it. Okay, so this is what it looks like. Once you've clicked on the server, you'll notice these are all your server management options and menu areas. The first section here is your master credentials. This is your public i p. And this is the I P that we will click and copy to add to our DNS in just a second. So go ahead and click and copy that. You also notice this is a user name and you can click and copy the user name and password access the server. Now, this is that this is the These are the credentials that access the server and not your WordPress applications. So please don't get those mixed up. I've done that before. Easy to do. So we'll click and copy this public I p here, and we'll jump over to Google domains. Where are domain is kept and we see we have Zach's llamas dot com. Let's manage that domain. Jump over here too, de and s quick on and we'll scroll all the way down to the bottom to custom resource records. Leave that at symbol there, and we'll make sure that we select on a record. We can leave it at one h one hour, and then we'll pace that I p address. We'll click the add button now. Uh, when it comes to DNS updates creating records, you can take 24 to 48 hours for it to actually show up so it can take a while. But let's just try it, yeah Islamist dot com It's gonna take a minute. So one way we can find out how quickly and, um and kind of watch the servers update to make it visible for us to see as we can go to, um, different website and identify how the DNS is propagating. So let's do that next. All right, So once you've dropped that, I p into a DNS, record a record and put it in your Google DNS. Here, jump over to DNs checker dot warg Deena's Check it out, or you can see that a top and what we'll do is you can notice a bunch of, ah, two different DNS checks here so you can deuce all sorts of different record checks. We'll check for a records on Zac's LAMAs dot com search button, and we'll see that eyepiece starting to propagate everywhere. Fantastic. Okay, so what we'll do is we'll refresh Zach Salama's dot com and we see Hello world Welcome the WordPress. So this is our WordPress site. We're able to now see our website is is now being hosted from Zach's llamas dot com. See? It's still not secure, so we'll need to add on SSL certificate will do that a little bit later. But you managed to do it. We did it. We all did. Its eggs llamas dot com is now live. And if you've been following along with me, you just have a couple steps maybe to take and you will be live as well. Then we can jump in your WordPress site, start securing it. So congratulations. Great job.