Conceptualize, Build and Publish a Web site - What's required to get started
All of us knowingly or unknowingly, use a standard decision making process in our day-to-day lives. The very first step of this process is to decide whether TO DO or NOT TO DO. If the choice is TO DO, we think of the various ways and means of attaining our objective/s, compare their pros & cons and take a final stand.
The aim of this write up is to make you aware of the resources that are needed to achieve your TO DO objective. The TO DO objective is to conceptualize, build and publish your web site. The first step is to decide what you want from your web site. Do you want a site that your near and dear ones can visit from time to time (I assume you are far away from them.) or do you want a site that sells a product, service, brand or image? Whatever the purpose of your web site, the absolute essentials to have a site up and running are as below: -
The 5 Essentials: Spare Time - You must have lot of spare time at your disposal. So if you are a house maker whose kids have grown up, a worker who has just been shown the pink slip or college student on vacation then time shouldn't be a problem for you. Those hard pressed for time can contract the web page design work to a professional web master or use a Site Creation tool.
HTML Page & Site Creation Tools - The main reason for using these tools is to speed up the process of page / site creation. However, most of the tools do not produce correct HTML and editing by hand is necessary. Your HTML book will provide reviews of these tools and links to their web sites. If you know HTML and plan to have 5-6 web pages in your site, a rudimentary editor like Netscape Composer will also suffice. For managing a site with huge number of pages you will need to use a Site Creation Tool.
Make provisions for a fast Internet connection and a room where you can work without distractions.
Find an ISP (Internet Service Provider) or IPP (Internet Presence Provider) i.e. a web hosting company, to host your web site. Crystallize a Concept: With the 5 main things taken care of, you should be ready for Conceptualization. Some of you will already have a concept or idea for your site, but take a moment and download AffMasters.pdf course from http://aff-masters.sitesell.com/ (copy & paste the link in you browser and hit enter). The AffMasters.pdf is free to download. Please read page 35 " Day 2 - Brainstorm Your Site Concept ". I am sure that you will appreciate the authors’ approach and find the most suitable concept for your site. This course also gives a few pointers about things to avoid in a web site. Make notes and use them as you build your site.
Build your Site: Once you have arrived at a concept, use your HTML Knowledge, HTML Page Creation Tools and ready-made Templates to build the web pages. Edit the HTML to make the visual just right. Load the pages with content. Keep in mind that Content is King. Keep the page design simple yet elegant. You should Value Content over flashiness. Don't use too much graphics, if you do the page will take time to load. Impatient surfers might close their browsers and move on.
Publish your Site: To enable surfers to view your web site, you must publish your pages to a server that is connected to the Internet i.e. a web server. When you publish a page to a web server, you upload that page on to the web server. You can upload the pages on the server of an ISP (Internet Service Provider) or on the server of an IPP (Internet Presence Provider) i.e. a web hosting company. Usually it is better to use an IPP because -
An IPP offers more web space (20 MB free) than an ISP (5MB).
IPPs usually allow CGI on their servers.
To upload web pages to an ISP server a FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client is required. Some IPPs (e.g. NetFirms) also require FTP client to upload files to their servers. However there are IPPs (e.g. FreeServers) that allow you to upload your files directly to their servers without FTP. You should prefer the IPPs that do not require an FTP client because it is much convenient and quicker to upload your files using a Site Manager provided by the hosting company.
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Sushanth Bastawade - Web master, http://NewsForUse.FreeHosting.net/