A family or personal website was once an oddity. Now, they are a common practice and easy to set up and maintain.
A personal website allows you to easily keep in touch with far-flung friends and relatives. You can post pictures and tie it to family blogs.
You only require three things for a web site: a domain name, web hosting, and web pages with text and images.
Domain names are the Internet name of a web site, such as www.WhatsUpYukon.com. These are obtained through a domain registrar. In Canada, you can obtain a domain name ending in “.ca” for $10 to $15 per year.
There are several hundred registrars in Canada and a listing of these can be found at the Canadian Internet Registry Authority (www.cira.ca).
Web hosting is also easy to find. Many companies offer the service of hosting websites. Many of these are also domain registrars, allowing you to bundle the domain name and hosting together. An Internet search for domain hosting yields millions of results.
Some examples of North American hosting companies include HostPapa (Canadian), Black Dog and NetNation. However, there is no need for your site to be hosted in Canada – or even North America. Hosting costs between $40 and $100 per year.
When picking a company to host your website consider maximum traffic (in gigabytes), maximum size (in gigabytes) of your website in terms of how many pages and how many photos/videos you’ll want to load.
Another factor to consider will be the tools that different companies offer. There are many web page development tools to create a web page in a similar manner as a word processor. These tools convert what is called Hypertext Markup Language into web pages so you don’t have to know how to write code. Also, word processors will allow you to create a document and save it as a web page. They will also have tools to upload your web page files.
Hint: you will have to upload any pictures separately from the text file for your web page.
Look at other personal or family pages to determine what you want on yours. Don’t worry about not having too much content to include right away. You can add more material later. One thing you should include is an e-mail address.
And, no, family and personal websites are not just for nerds.
Doug Rutherford teaches computer networking and security for Yukon College and three post-secondary educational institutions in British Columbia.