Web Site on a Budget

Would your business benefit from exposure on the internet? Is your business on a strict budget (or NO budget)? In this article I'll show you how you can establish a web site for a very small cost. And - in case you already have an account with one of the major online service providers (such as America Online, CompuServe, etc.) - it can be FREE!

The key to the budget web site is using one of the major online services. A basic account with such a service is about $10 per month which will give you an e-mail address, 5-15 hours of usage each month AND 1 to 2MB of disk space on their server for your personal files. This is where you will store the files that constitute your web page. Be aware that usage beyond the basic hours will add to your monthly bill - but we are not concerned about that here. Also, note that if you already subscribe to such a service, there is no additional cost. In other words it's FREE! For reference, a web site obtained through one of the many internet service providers may cost anywhere from $75 to $150 per month. Most also require a significant additional cost just to set up your for your file storage.

With a place on the internet to store your files, the next step is to create the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) file(s) that make your web page work. HTML files are text files that conform to a standard format. A nice introduction to using HTML and creating files for the web is The Beginner's Guide to HTML published by NCSA. With this knowledge and any text editor, you are ready to create and upload your web page.

If you are not interested in learning HTML, contact ITS, Inc. and we can assist you. If you provide the text and graphics files, we can usually convert them to HTML in a few hours.

Once your web file(s) are in place, anyone in the world can access them over the internet. The actual web address (or URL) is specified by your service provider. This is usually in the form "http://YourService.com/YourUserName/YourFileName.htm(l)". This longer URL is minor disadvantage of the budget web site.

August 1996

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