programming, drawing, photograpy etc.

Setting up my website.

The last few days I've been setting up my website.

I needed a home page with information about my profile, and contact details and so on. I needed an email id with my own domain name, so that tomorrow no one can simply hack my account, and take it away. I needed a place where I could organise all my documents. And last but not the least a blog at my own domain.

Now since this is the first time I tried to setup an online presence, I decided to work under the following parameters:

  1. Low Cost: This activity is more of experimentation so I wanted to spend as little money as possible.
  2. Spend Less Time: This is obvious since I didn't want to take a break from my job to do this.

So here's the how I went about it....

1. Choose a domain name

Think of a nice and unique domain name.
To check if its available use the whois command on linux or the website.

2. Buy your domain(s)

This step is pretty basic so I'll skip the details.
Just compare prices and features for available sellers and choose one. Then buy your domain.

I purchased two .in domains from two different domain sellers(Sify and Webcom India).


3. Domain Managements Tools

Before we start discussing how to get the best domain management, lets just discuss the why.

To setup my website without buying/renting hosting space, I decided to go with Google Apps.
Its the best service with homepage, email, docs, calendar etc. at no cost.
All you need to do is create an account, and sign up for the standard edition of Google Apps, and configure a domain.

When you confirm a domain, google needs to verify that you are indeed the owner/administrator of the domain.
So during verification you need to go for the CNAME verification, wherein you create a new custom CNAME(provided by google apps), and point it to a google server.

Once verified, we need to change CNAMEs, MX records, URL forwards etc. on our domains to setup Google Apps.

This is where our domain management tools come in.

Now since sub domain, mx record, URL forwards management are unavailable with my domain hosts, so I switch my domain's management to Zone Edit.
Zone Edit provides free domain management for the first five domains you register with them.
You might want to look at their FAQs(which cover almost everything) to learn more about it

4. Configure Google Apps

Now you can go ahead and configure google apps for you domain.
Google Apps documentation is very good, so I'll just refer you there

Once you are done with the configuration, setup custom URLs for each of the apps at the control panel,
and you will end up with something like the following sets of app URLs:

Main Site/Homepage:
Google Docs:
Google Calendar:
Google ig:

5. Add Content to your Website

Use the Google Pages interface to create your web pages.
Do read this short paper before you start: Guidelines for Designing Usable World Wide Web Pages.

6. Setup a blog

Create a new blog at, and set it up to use a custom sub domain at you own address.
Instructions can be found here

For example I setup this blog at