The Internet For Dummies book cover

The Internet For Dummies

By: John R. Levine and Margaret Levine Young Published: 03-02-2015

Get up and running on the Internet—the fast and easy way

If you're an Internet newcomer and want to get up to speed without all the intimidating technical jargon, The Internet For Dummies has you covered. With over 5,000,000 copies sold*, The Internet For Dummies is the #1 choice for Internet newcomers.

Inside, you'll discover how to make the most of the Internet, get accustomed to popular sites, find the information and items you need fast, and stay away from the bad stuff floating around online.

  • Catches you up on the latest online trends, from social networking sites to blogs and more
  • Includes the latest on Google Chrome, getting good search results, and sharing files
  • Covers choosing and connecting to an Internet provider, establishing an e-mail account, getting on the web, and finding the sites that matter most

Now in its 14th edition, The Internet For Dummies covers the latest social networking tools, browser features, connection options, safety features, and so much more. Starting out with the basics, it walks you through getting online, picking an Internet provider, getting to know the different web browsers, dealing with e-mail and connecting with friends, finding the hottest sites to share photos and videos—and everything in between.

*Includes all formats and all editions

Articles From The Internet For Dummies

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36 results
36 results
The Internet For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 02-23-2022

Over the last 20 years, surfing the internet, browsing the web, emailing, and online chat have become part of everyday life. Here are pointers for browsing the web, signing up for email, and understanding what people are saying once you are online.

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Free Stuff on the Web

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

The internet and the web were originally designed for educational and governmental purposes, not for selling stuff, although that’s hard to believe now. Even in this era of ecommerce, lots of free stuff is available. You can watch tons of video for free on YouTube and other video-sharing sites. You can also try TED talks – short, informative lectures on technology, education, and design. Freecycle enables you to post things you no longer want or to ask for items you need. No money can change hands; it’s all free. To sell your stuff, consider Craigslist, where for-sale classified ads are free. You can get rid of your old encyclopedia and use Wikipedia instead. If you are an expert in something, be sure to look at pages about your subject area and make corrections. Want to learn another language? Free language lessons and practice are available at Duolingo. If you have a smartphone, you can load a Duolingo app and practice on the go. Medical information is available at WebMD on a wide variety of symptoms and syndromes. (Of course, you should still see your doctor to find out what’s right for you.) Take a free online course on almost any subject at Coursera. You don’t get official credit, but you take real courses by real instructors at real universities. You can listen to streaming music for free from Pandora, Last.fm, or Spotify. You pick the style of music to create your own person online music station. How to subscribe to podcasts on the web Podcasts are free audio magazines that deliver MP3 files of talk or music directly to your computer via the internet. The word podcast is a combination of iPod and broadcast, but you don’t need an iPod to listen to them — any computer, smartphone or MP3 player will do. Radio programs, companies, musicians, comedians, and just plain people produce podcasts about a huge variety of different subjects, everything from the latest movies and TV series to the stock market. Video podcasts are the same idea, but you receive video rather than audio files. Subscribing to podcasts on the web You can find loads of podcasts in several different places on the web. Here are some to try: Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher TuneIn Spreaker Or, go to the website of the program you want to subscribe to. National Public Radio originates dozens of podcasts from the shows it produces. Here are a few good ones: Radiolab, with science-based stories Fresh Air, a talk show featuring interviews with a wide variety of notable people Serial, from the makers of This American Life (another great podcast) The TED Radio Hour Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, a weekly news quiz

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Tweeting for Retweets

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

Most people use Twitter to follow what’s going on in the world. But some use Twitter to get a message out to as many people as possible. If you are one of those people, here are tips for getting other people to retweet your message to their followers. Don’t sound like an ad. No one will retweet a tweet that sounds like self-promotion or an advertisement. Relate your tweet to a trending topic. Connect it to what’s going on right now in the news and include a popular hashtag or two so your tweet gets noticed. Include a link to a web page that includes an image. Your tweet will appear in Twitter feeds with the image. Keep your tweet short. If you use the full 280 characters that Twitter allows, there’s no room for someone else to add their own comments. If they have to edit your message to fit, they may decide not to bother.

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How to Install and Troubleshoot an Internet Browser

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

Chances are, a browser is already installed on your computer. If you use Internet Explorer, many think you’re better off installing either Firefox or Chrome, for speed and safety reasons. Fortunately, browser programs aren’t difficult to find and install, and Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are all free. Even if you already have a browser, new versions come out every 20 minutes or so. Your browser is probably set to update itself automatically by checking in periodically with its home website. If your browser suggests that it needs to be updated, go ahead and follow its instructions to do so, because occasionally the new versions fix bugs or solve security issues. How about Mac users? Macs have always been famous for their slick, easy-to-use software, and the internet software is no exception. Macs come with a nice web browser named Safari. You use the Command key rather than Ctrl for the keyboard shortcuts, and nearly all the rest of the keys work the way they do in the other browsers. Or, you can use Firefox or Chrome, which work quite nicely on a Mac, just as they do on Windows, with Command rather than Ctrl. You can use Safari to download and install Firefox or Chrome and then use it instead of or alongside Safari. Getting the program To get Firefox (for Windows or Mac or any of the other dozen computers it runs on), visit www.mozilla.com. For Chrome, go to www.google.com/chrome. To get or upgrade Internet Explorer, go to www.microsoft.com/ie. Safari is available at www.apple.com/safari. Use your current browser to go to the page and then follow the instructions for finding and downloading the program. If you are using a smartphone or tablet, go to your app store (the App Store on Apple devices and the Play Store on Androids). Running a new browser for the first time To run your new browser, click the browser’s attractive new icon. If you use Windows, the default browser also appears at the top of the left column of the Start menu, too. Your new browser will probably ask whether you want to import your settings — including your bookmarks and favorites — from the browser program you’ve been using. If you’ve already been using the web for a while and have built up a list of your favorite websites, take advantage of this opportunity to copy your list into the new browser so that you don’t have to search for your favorite sites all over again. It will also ask whether to make it the “default” browser, that is, the one used when another program opens a web page. Browsers are very jealous, so if you don’t say yes, it’ll keep asking you each time you run it. Or if you do say yes, the next time you run any other browser, that browser, feeling jilted, will offer to make itself your default. Once you find a browser you like, make it your default and stick with it. Apple’s iOS devices don’t let you change the default browser from Safari. If you use an Android device, you can change the default; open Settings, choose More, choose Application Manager, and scroll right to choose All. Then choose the current default browser and choose Clear Defaults. The next time you click a link in an email or other message, Android will ask what program to use; choose your favorite browser. Troubleshooting Browser Problems Occasionally, you may find yourself faced with a wonky looking browser. Most of the time, there’s an easy fix for your problem. If your browser looks odd, try these tricks: If the web page looks garbled, click the Reload or Refresh icon (the circular arrow in the website address field at the top of the browser page) to load the page again. If the whole top of the window is gone — you have no window title bar or menu bar — you’re in Full Screen mode. In Windows, press F11 to return to normal. On a Mac, hover your mouse at the top center of the screen until an icon appears in the upper right corner of the screen; click it to get your screen back to normal. If the browser restarted and is telling you which fabulous new features it now has, it probably just downloaded an updated version of the program and had to restart itself to complete the installation. Read the message appreciatively and then close the tab or window. If your browser is just acting weird, close all your browser windows, take a few deep breaths, and run your browser again. If the situation is ugly, try restarting the computer. (Save any unsaved work first.) If your browser still looks strange, especially if it’s showing a lot of ads that you didn’t ask for, your computer is probably infected with spyware.

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How to Set Start and Home Pages in Your Internet Browser

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

When you run your internet browser, it displays your start page. Unfortunately, the people who make browsers usually don’t pick pages that users particularly like. Why not tell your browser to start where you want to start? You may want to start on the Yahoo! page, or Google, or the home page of your local newspaper. You can even start with more than one page by setting multiple start pages, and your browser can open each one in a separate tab. You can also specify a separate home page, which is the page you see if you click the Home icon in your browser. Where’s the Home icon? Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer display the Home icon automatically, and in this article, you'll find out how to display one in Safari. Specifying where Firefox starts Display the pages that you want to use as your start page and home page, and then follow these steps: Click the Firefox button in the upper-left corner, and choose Options or Preferences. You see the Options dialog box,. Click the General icon, if it isn’t already selected. This icon may already be selected, and its settings appear in the rest of the Options dialog box. The settings you’re concerned with are in the Startup section. Set the When Firefox Starts option. You can choose Show My Home Page (you set your home page in the next step), Show a Blank Page (make Firefox start faster), or Show My Windows and Tabs from Last Time. Set your home page(s) to the current page(s) by clicking (you guessed it!) the Use Current Pages button. Click OK. You can set Firefox or Chrome to display a bunch of pages when it starts up, each on its own, separate tab. For example, you might want to have Firefox open a weather-reporting page, such as Weather Underground, the New York Times, or even a silly page every time you start Firefox. First display the web pages you want to start with. Then follow the preceding instructions to make the entire set of tabs open when you start your browser. Configuring Internet Explorer start and home pages Display the page that you want to use as your start page and home page, and then follow these steps: Click the Tools icon above the upper-right corner of the web page and choose Internet Options from the menu that appears. You see the Internet Options dialog box. Click the General tab, along the top of the dialog box. It’s probably already selected. In the Home Page section, click the Use Current button. The URL of the current page appears in the Address text box. To start with no page, click the Use Blank button. Click OK. Telling Chrome what to display at start-up Display the page or pages that you want to use as your home page, and then follow these steps: Click the Menu three-line icon above the upper-right corner of the web page and choose Settings from the menu that appears. You see the Settings page in a new tab. (It isn’t a web page, but it looks like one.) In the On Startup section, choose Open the New Tab Page, Continue where you left off, or Open a specific page or set of pages. If you choose the last option, you can click Set Pages to set the current page as your start page (or one of several start pages, using tabs). Set your home page to the current page by clicking Set Pages (in the On Startup section), then click Use current pages. If you had more than one page open, it adds all of them. If you don’t want one, mouse over it, which makes an X appear to the right of the URL, then click the X to get rid of that page. In the Appearance section, select Show Home button, if it’s not already checked. Click Close. You might consider setting your home page so that it’s the New Tab page (as Chrome refers to it). This page is pretty cool, actually — Chrome displays a bunch of tiny pages, like thumbnail pictures of the pages, each with a title, showing the pages you’ve visited most often. It also shows bookmarks you’ve recently used and pages you’ve recently closed. Very useful! Setting Safari’s home page Display the page that you want to use as your start page and home page, and then follow these steps: Click the Settings icon above the upper-right corner of the web page and choose Preferences. Or choose Safari→Preferences. You see the General dialog box. If you don’t, click the General Tab. Set the New Windows Open With option to Home Page. On a Mac, enter the URL of your home page into the Homepage box, or if you have that page open, click Set to Current Page. Click the Close button in the upper-right corner of the window. You can tell Safari to display the Home icon by clicking the Settings icon above the upper-right corner of the web page, choosing Customize Toolbar, and dragging the Home icon to your Safari toolbar. (For example, you can drag it to between the Address bar and the Tools icon.) Safari has a cool Top Picks page, which shows the web pages you view most frequently. You can tell Safari to display it whenever you open a new tab or window by setting the New Windows Open With setting or the New Tabs Open With option to Top Sites. It’s similar to Chrome’s New Tab page.

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How to Use a Firewall to Protect Your Computer from Internet Dangers

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

A firewall is a barrier between your computer (or computers) and the internet. In big companies, the firewall may consist of a computer that does nothing but monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic, checking for bad stuff. At your home or office, you have two good options: Use firewall software you already have Here’s how to find it on a Windows: Windows 8 or 8.1: Press the Windows key until you see the Windows 8.1 Start screen, type firewall, and choose Windows Firewall (not the one “with Advanced Security,” which takes you deep into geekland). (If you use a Windows 7–style menu, press the Windows key to display a search box.) Windows 7: Choose Start→Control Panel→System and Security→Windows Firewall. Windows Vista: Click the little Security Center shield in the notification area at the bottom of the screen and then click Windows Firewall. Look for the “Windows Firewall state” and make sure it is “On.” If not, click “Turns Windows Firewall on or off.” When that’s done, your computers have basic protection from hackers. On a Mac, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu and click Security & Privacy. Then click the Firewall tab and click the Turn On Firewall button. Use a router A router is a small box that sits between your computer (or computers) and your broadband modem. Your modem may have a router built in; ask your installer. A router has one plug for a cable to your DSL or cable modem, several plugs (usually four) to which you can connect computers, and usually an antenna for wireless Wi-Fi connections. The router has firewall software running all the time. As often as not, your DSL or cable modem includes a router, so you’re all set. (If it has a Wi-Fi antenna, or at least four sockets on the back, it’s a router.) Even if you have only one computer that connects to the internet, you should use a router. If your broadband provider didn’t give you one, it costs about $40 and we’re sure that you’ll want to hook a second computer to the Internet before long. The firewall programs included in Windows 8.1, 7, Vista, and XP work fine, too. Hey, why not use both? A router is a particularly good idea if you have a broadband connection that is always on (that is, always connected). The router is always on, too.

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Tips for Buying Airline Tickets on the Internet

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

People buy lots of airline tickets online. Although the online travel sites aren’t as good as the very best human travel agents, the sites are now better than most agents and vastly better than bad travel agents. Some airlines offer cheap fares on their own websites that aren’t available any other way. The airlines know that it costs them much less to let the web do the work, and they pay you (sometimes in the form of a hefty discount) to use their websites. The theory of airline tickets Three giant airline computer systems in the United States — Sabre, Galileo/Worldspan, and Amadeus — handle nearly all airline reservations in the United States. (A site such as this is known as a computer reservations systems, or CRS, or a global distribution system, or GDS). Google’s ITA Software is trying to get into the GDS business, although so far their only GDS customer is Cape Air, a small regional airline. Although every airline has a “home” GDS, the systems are all interlinked so that you can, with few exceptions, buy tickets for any airline from any GDS. Some low-price, start-up airlines are available by way of GDS, but others — notably, Southwest — don’t participate in any of these systems. Instead, they have their own websites where you can check flights and buy tickets. In theory, all of these systems show the same data; in practice, however, they get a little out of sync with each other. If you’re looking for seats on a sold-out flight, an airline’s home system is most likely to have that last, elusive seat. If you’re looking for the lowest fare to somewhere, check all three systems because a fare that’s marked as sold out on one system often mysteriously reappears on another system. Also check Orbitz which has direct-connect access to many airlines, bypassing GDS altogether. Some fare categories are visible only to travel agents and don’t appear on any websites, so check with a good agent before buying if you’re taking a short expensive trip during the week or an international trip more complex than a round trip. On the other hand, many airlines offer some special deals that are only on their websites and that agents often don’t know about. Official international fares to most countries are set by way of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) cartel, so computer systems usually list only IATA fares for international flights. If you need to buy tickets sooner than a month ahead, you can often find entirely legal consolidator tickets for considerably less than the official price, so an online or offline agent is extremely useful for finding the best price. International airlines also have some impressive online offers, most notably from Cathay Pacific, which usually has a pass that includes a ticket from the United States to Hong Kong and then unlimited travel all over Asia. Here’s some distilled wisdom about buying tickets online: Check online systems. See which flights are available and the range of prices. Check sites that use different GDSs. After you find a likely airline, check that airline’s site. Look for special, web-only deals. If a low-fare airline flies the route, be sure to check that one, too. Check prices on flights serving all nearby airports. An extra 45 minutes of driving time can save you hundreds of dollars. For a trip more complicated than a simple round trip, check with a travel agent. You can check by phone, email, or the agent’s website to see whether he can beat the online price, and buy your tickets from the agent unless the online deal is better. For international tickets, check for consolidator tickets. Do everything in this list and check both online and with your agent, particularly if you don’t qualify for the lowest published fare. For complex international trips, such as around the world, agents can usually find routes and prices that the automated systems can’t. Don’t overbid. If you bid on airline tickets at a travel auction website, make sure that you already know the price at which you can buy the ticket. Before looking at online agents, check out ITA Software. This company produces the fare search engine used by Orbitz and many airline sites. ITA’s own site has a version that just searches and doesn’t try to sell you any tickets, with more search options than most of its clients offer. They’ve been bought by Google, and their results are also integrated into some Google searches. If you hate flying or would rather take the train, Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada offer online reservations. If you’re visiting Europe, a Eurailpass can make sense if you plan to take a whole lot of trains, or check schedules and fares for most European railways at the excellent Loco2 or Capitaine Train. You can also book cruises online. Major airline ticket sites, other than individual airlines, include Expedia: The Microsoft entry into the travel biz is now a part of the Interactive media empire. Hotwire: This multi-airline site offers discounted leftover tickets and rental cars and hotels. Orbitz: Orbitz is the high-tech entry into the travel biz, with most airlines’ weekly web specials. Priceline: Priceline now offers discounted tickets like Hotwire, the “name your own price” reverse auction for which they’re best known, and regular tickets like other agents. Travelocity: Travelocity is the Sabre entry into the travel biz. Yahoo! Travel and the AOL travel section are both Travelocity underneath. Fare-comparison sites abound, including Kayak, Mobissimo, Hipmunk, and FareCompare. None of these are comprehensive enough to depend on, but they’re worth a look if you want to try to find that elusive last cheap seat. More about online airlines Because the online airline situation changes weekly, so do your research. Check out airinfo.travel to see a current list of online airline websites, web specials, and online travel agents.

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8 Ways to Go Public on the Internet

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

You can post information on the internet in lots of different ways. Some require more start-up effort than others. Here’s an overview of the best methods for putting your own information online: Join a social network: Websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace started as glorified personal ads and have expanded to include photos, video, email, blogs, polls — you name it. Create photo galleries: Many sites enable you to create an online gallery of photos or other pictures. Make your gallery public or share it with only friends and family. Share videos: If you have home videos, animated movies, or other digital video you created or edited using software on your PC or Mac, you can post it on a number of video sites. Share documents, spreadsheets, and calendars: Post word processing documents or spreadsheets that select personnel can view or edit, and create calendars that others can see and change. Write a weblog (blog): Create an online diary or journal with chronological entries. Build a handcrafted website: You can use Google Sites, Homestead, Weebly, or a web page editor to create a website with pages of your choosing. Sell stuff: Sell goods or services in an online storefront or auction. Use Twitter to let your friends know what you’re up to: Twitter is a microblogging platform where you post short messages (tweets) and read other people’s messages. If you're interested in getting other users to retweet your messages, see below. Tweeting for Retweets Most people use Twitter to follow what’s going on in the world. But some use Twitter to get a message out to as many people as possible. If you are one of those people, here are tips for getting other people to retweet your message to their followers. Don’t sound like an ad. No one will retweet a tweet that sounds like self-promotion or an advertisement. Relate your tweet to a trending topic. Connect it to what’s going on right now in the news and include a popular hashtag or two so your tweet gets noticed. Include a link to a web page that includes an image. Your tweet will appear in Twitter feeds with the image. Keep your tweet short. If you use the full 280 characters that Twitter allows, there’s no room for someone else to add their own comments. If they have to edit your message to fit, they may decide not to bother.

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How to Configure Your Computer to Connect to DSL or Cable Internet

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

The installer configures your computer to communicate with DSL or cable internet. Follow the instructions to connect to your account the first time; some DSL and cable modems come with a software CD you may need to use. Don’t let the installer leave until you’ve gotten online and you know the connection works. Even if you plan to use your computer via Wi-Fi, it’s easier to do the initial setup by plugging your computer into the router or modem with an Ethernet or USB cable. Wi-Fi has issues, like which of several networks in your neighborhood is the right one to use, while with a cable, there’s no choice, it’s the one at the other end of the cable. Chances are good, at this point, that you’re on the internet. You should be able to start up a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, and type the name of a website in the Address bar at the top. The web page should appear momentarily. If you have a connection with a username, it may ask you whether to connect. If you still can’t connect, you can try configuring Windows yourself. Configuring Windows 8.1 to connect Windows 8.1 detects an internet connection if one exists, so you may not have to do a thing. It spots Wi-Fi or a connected DSL or cable modem and does the right thing. If you have to set the connection up yourself, or fiddle with it afterwards, follow these steps: Press the Windows key until you see the Windows 8.1 Start screen. (That’s the screen entitled “Start” with the multicolored boxes.) If you’ve installed a Windows 7–style menu, press the Windows key once and you’ll see a menu with a search box in the lower left corner of the screen. Either way, you are ready to search for the Network and Sharing Center, the application that enables you to see and configure your network setup. Type network sharing. If you are on the Windows 8.1 Start screen, a Search box appears for you to type into, along with one search result: The Network and Sharing Center. If you use a Windows 7–style menu, it should also appear as a search result. Choose Network and Sharing Center. The Network and Sharing Center displays a number of options, depending on what kind of connection you have. Click Set Up a New Connection or Network, and then click Connect to the Internet, and then click Next. Enter the information provided by your ISP. In particular, enter the login name and password that your ISP gave you. Configuring Windows 7 to connect Windows 7 also detects an internet connection if one exists. If you need to do it yourself, choose Start→Control Panel→Network and internet→Network and Sharing Center. Then follow steps 2–4 for Windows 8.1. Configuring Windows Vista to connect If your network connects with a wired LAN connection and doesn’t require a login or password (this includes most cable modems), Vista normally configures itself automagically. For connections that require a login, follow these steps: Choose Start→Connect To and then click the little Set Up a Connection or Network link. For the Network Connection type, choose Connect to the Internet and click Next. Select Broadband (PPPoE). Enter the required information in the boxes. Configuring a Mac to connect To set up a connection from Mac running OS X, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen, choose System Preferences, and click the Network icon. You see the Network window. Either the USB Ethernet or Ethernet entry in the left-hand column should be green if your Mac is connected via cable to your modem. Click USB Ethernet to see its settings and follow the instructions from your ISP.

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Tips and Resources for Making Your Own Website

Article / Updated 12-13-2021

There are multiple ways you can post things on the internet. But what if you need a little more? What if you need a website with a bunch of pages, with titles you choose, about topics you choose, and maybe even with your own domain name? Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Maximkostenko Page creators abound You have (as usual) several ways to create a website, beyond using Facebook, photo sharing sites, and blogs. The simplest is to use a page creator site. At these sites, you can design the look of your site, create a home page for the site, and create as many other pages as you want. Different pages can have different layouts. You don’t have to learn to use HTML, the formatting language used by all web pages. Page creator sites offer a variety of features, so look carefully before choosing one: Cost: The site may be free or may incur a monthly charge. Free sites often display ads over which you have little control. Customization: Some page creator sites allow more customization of the design than others. Some let you see the HTML (web page code) that makes up your pages and tweak it so that your pages look just right. Others don’t allow it. Subdomain: Your site can be a subdomain of the page creator site, where your web address is the main site’s address with www replaced by a name you choose. You might want your website to have its own domain name (that web address ending in .com or whatever) to give it a little extra cachet. Design: Page creator sites offer lots of standard designs. See whether any sites have a design you like. Special features: Some sites let you include message boards, guest books, blogs, calendars, photo galleries, and video on your site. Some help you sell items on your site, with connections to PayPal for checkout. Size: The amount of information you can store on your website varies, along with the maximum number of pages. Here are some good page creator sites Google Sites is a free page creator site run by (who else?) Google. It isn’t hugely flexible, but it’s easy to use. Homestead is for small businesses and lets you start from more than 2,000 business templates. Jigsy is free for one small, personal website, but charges a modest fee for a larger or commercial site. You can include Twitter messages, Google maps, and other fancy components on your pages. Squarespace is a subscription service providing software website building and hosting. It offers pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create and modify web pages. uCoz hosts websites for free and lets you include photos, videos, photo albums, polls, guest books, and forms that email you the information that people fill in. It’s one of the most popular sites in Russia. Wix provides cloud-based web development services, allowing you to build websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools. There is a free website builder, and fees for more advanced services. Weebly has a nice drag-and-drop system for setting up your site — and no ads. Webs has lots of design templates and can host photos, videos, blogs, and message forums. WordPress is an extremely popular, free website builder and web content management system. Yola is another well-regarded page creator site. All these sites make creating your own website incredibly easy. You can add pages, add text and pictures to the pages, and create links in the text. Most page creator sites provide a bunch of other items you can add to your pages, such as a calendar, a weather report, a Google map, a blog, an MP3 music player, and videos. For example, you can include a map to your church’s or club’s meeting location. What should you say? Creating a web page is easy. Choosing what to put on your page, however, is harder. What is the page for? What kind of person do you want to see it? Is it for you and your family and friends and potential friends across the world, or are you advertising your business online? Consider which information you want the entire world to know, because a website is potentially visible to absolutely anyone, including that guy who has hated you ever since fifth grade. If your page is a personal page, don’t include your home address or phone number unless you want random people who see the page potentially calling you up. If it’s a business page, include your address, phone number, and any other information that potential customers might want. Choosing a Host for Your Website Lots of services will host your website for free or a modest fee. Here are some important considerations for you to think about when choosing a website hosting service: Reliability: Will the service be around for a while? If it’s completely free, consider how likely they are to survive the helter-skelter of internet startups and ecommerce. Domain name: Do you want your website to have its own name (e.g., dummies.com) instead of using a subdomain of the service (e.g., dummies.wordpress.com)? Most web hosting services can host your domain name, too. Email mailboxes: Do you need one or more email addresses to go with your website? If your website has a custom domain name, you might want email addresses that use the domain name, too. Some website hosts provide mailboxes and some don’t. Responsive, mobile-friendly designs: Will your website look good on smartphones and tablets? Choose a page design that is responsive — that is, responds to the size of the screen or window when displaying your pages. Fancy extras: Does your website need a calendar, a shopping cart, or a Twitter feed that automatically tweets your new blog posts? Some web hosting services provide all kinds of nifty plug-ins and add-ons. Some website hosting services to consider are Weebly, Google Sites, and Wordpress.com.

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