We at VI are huge fans of learning by doing and getting started building a site as soon as possible. Yet, the very first thing we’re going to encourage you to do is an unnecessary step.
These days, it is totally unnecessary to know how to program HTML (the language of the internet) in order to build a site. Nonetheless, the basics of HTML are so easy to grasp and will shed so much light on the way the internet functions, that we highly recommend taking a few hours to learn it. When I was learning, there was one HTML Tutorial that I found to be so much clearer and so much more fun than any other. I asked and received permission from the author to reproduce it here.
The most important single element in most websites is the domain itself. The domain is the websites address, just as ours is VirtuallyIgnorant.com. Most of you will want to choose a name that is brandable, something that is easy to remember and easily identified with your website. There’s a small exception to this. A minority of websites have minimal interest in having visitors type their domain directly into their browsers. These tend to be sites that are aiming to get all of their traffic from search engines or that have their traffic redirected from another site. Unless you fall into that exception, go for a name you can brand. Moniker is a good site to research what domains are available and their prices are good. However, you might want to wait to purchase the domain until you know how you’ll be hosting your site, as hosting packages often come with a free domain.