The best thing about the Web is the fact that anyone with an idea can create a Web site practically for free. A simple Web site costs about $1 a day to operate. That means that there are millions of different ideas out there being tried every day. Web sites broadcast to a gigantic world-wide audience instantly -- at no other time in the history of the world has a single human being been able to reach so many people for so little money.

So let's say that you have an idea for a Web site. What do you need to do to get started? There are a couple different levels for your idea to be operating on. Let's take a look at them.

Let's say that you have an idea for a Web site, and you have a cool domain name that you want to use. You aren't sure when you will be able to get started on the site itself, but you want to make sure that nobody else gets the idea and takes that domain name. For example, let's say that your domain name is MyIdea.com. What you want to do is check the domain name registry and make sure it's not already taken. If it is available, you want to register that domain name (also known as "reserving" or "parking" the domain name). Registering the name gives you ownership of it. In order for you to park the domain name, it has to actually live on a server somewhere. It will usually have some sort of "Under Construction" notice that shows up when people try to access that domain name.

You need to register your domain name. There are many companies that will park your domain name on a server, and a number of them charge a fee. Verio is one of the companies that will park your domain name, and it provides a nice form that makes it easy to check for domain name availability. It only takes a couple of minutes to check and reserve a domain name.

Let's say that you have an idea for a content site and you want to get started right away. A content site is a site that contains information for people to read or look at. The information might be words, pictures, links, etc. Yahoo! is essentially a gigantic content site. To create a content site, you need to learn HTML so you can create your pages, and then you need to find a company to host the site. That is, you need a company that will operate the Web server for your site:

Or maybe you have an idea for an e-commerce site. An e-commerce site lets you display the things you want to sell, take orders, process credit cards, etc. An e-commerce site is a bit more involved to set up because you have to apply for a merchant account and other commerce-related services. However, it's not that much trouble.

Good luck creating your new site!