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.
This aim of this articles 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.
If you are convinced of the fact that you do need a web site, then the next 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 design company.
HTML Knowledge – HTML is NOT a programming language. Its basics can be mastered within a month and the learning curve is not too steep. The fact that anyone can learn HTML and create Web pages is the reason why the internet is so popular and has such varied content. Learn the HTML tags and how to use them. Buy a good book on HTML. It will teach HTML and also give links to various online HTML resource sites.
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 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 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. Consider that you would like your site to accomplish, who you are targeting and what appraoch will be most effective. Viewing your competitors website will help you to get a feel for what your up against.
Build your Site
Once you have arrived at a concept, use your HTML Knowledge and , HTML Page Creation Tools. 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. 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 (5 MB).
- IPPs usually allow CGI on their servers.
- Do people really need to have their own domain name? Well, if you plan to have a business web site having your own domain name is a MUST. Surfers will place more faith in a business with its own domain name. Also an url with a domain name in shorter and easier to recollect.
Once you have published your pages, type your site url in the browser and view the site. Test all url links to ensure that they are working correctly. If your site sells a concept or product you must publicize the site so that surfers get to know about it. Publicizing the site and generating traffic to it are issues in themselves and would need another article. For more help on these topics search for ebooks and articles. Plenty are available.