How long will it take to create my website?

A website could take approximately 20 hours of design and programming, if you have all the text and photos in hand. Most people do not have all of that information ready and so the time it takes can vary a great deal.

I estimate that if you have everything you need, your website can be up in two weeks. If you would like my photography services and/or help with the content/text of your site, the time it takes will depend somewhat on how our schedules line up.

Can you recommend some hosting?

I have had a really good experience and find good value at Total Choice Hosting. I have been with them for about 10 years; they are very secure, don't send me unnecessary email and I get very little spam related to my url. Blue Host and Web Hosting Hub both let you host multiple sites from their basic package which is great if anyone else in your family wants to share this expense.

Should I purchase my domain name (www.yoursitename.com) at the same site?

No. Personally, I do not recommend going with the free domain name offered as part of a hosting package. Your domain, particularly if it is your own name, like www.davidbrown.com, is very valuable to you. It would be bad if this name fell into the wrong hands, or, if you decided to change hosts you could potentially lose that domain name, too- that would be bad for business! I highly recommend a company called Directnic.com. I have been with this company for about 12 years and am very happy with them.
For beginners, I have come across a new domain name provider site which I like even better than Directnic — hover. The hover site is simple and clear. They are a Canadian company and they have great customer service for those people who are less comfortable with computers and would like some help getting set up. One word of advice with hover: do not get roped into paying an additional fee for email. It is very easy to get your email routed through your website. I can help you with this if you like, and it will not cost any additional fee. So, approximately $15 for a domain name is all your should need to pay.

Can I just pay you (my web developer) to do this for me?

I am really happy to help out with this process, but for the security of your website, you should own both your own domain and your hosting. If something happened to me, you will still have control over your own website and you could work with another developer to make updates and changes. If your developer purchases your domain name for you — you relinquish that control.

That said, I will do my best to make this very technical process easy for you, and I am always looking for ways to improve on that.