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Creating a Website- Getting Started

Here's information on how to create a website. This page will guide you through the first stages of creating a website, obtaining a domain name and finding a host provider. If you already have a website you can scroll to the bottom for links to other sections that might be more useful. There's a total of five section filled with useful tips on making your website better.

Start with the first link in each section, because favorite sites are listed first.
 


Content:

 


How to Get a Domain Name

If you are planning to have a business website, it is very important to have a registered domain name. Consider using your first and last name (.com) if available or the name of your company or business.

To find out if the name you want is available go to MyHosting.com.
You can purchase a domain name from them, they can be your host provider or you can park your domain name for free.

Also, look closely at ReadyHosting.com
They are offering 500 mg sites, plus a free domain name registration (sale).

Domain names usually cost $35.00 a year to register. I suggest that you consider a minimum two years registration, or you can pay for several years in advance and save additional money.

Register.com and Networksolutions both provide additional information on domain names and FAQ's on registering domain names.
 



Finding a Host Provider

MyHosting.com - This is the first host provider that you should look at. They are one of my favorite host providers and two of my websites are hosted with them. They offer a good standard hosting plan that includes 50 Mb of web space, which is more than enough for most websites. You only pay month to month and you can cancel at any time. All you need is a credit card to get started. If you don't have a domain name they can help you get one for a reasonable price. Like most host providers, they support FrontPage and provide many other services.

If you decide to work with them, please tell them that I referred you by entering my Customer ID of "17831" in the referral field when signing up.

ReadyHosting.com - Another host provider that you should look at.
They are offering 500 Mb sites, and just about every other thing that you might want, plus if you don't already have a domain name, they will get you one for free. The biggest drawback is that you pay for the full year when you sign up. The price is around $100 plus  a setup fee for your first year. One of my websites is hosted with them. If you are planning to use Coldfusion on your site make sure you understand their fee structure before signing up.

Other Host providers are:

1) Fortitude Hosting - Starting at $5.95, be sure to look at them
2) Korksoft - Starting at $5.95 a month.
3) Gate.com - Linux and Windows hosting plans.
4) Register.com - They are large and established several plans available.
 



Web Editing Software

If you are planning to create a website, you should invest in a good web editing program. Below you'll find some of the best web editing applications. Since web technology is rapidly changing, always look for and purchase the most recent versions of the software. If you are using earlier versions, you should definitely think about upgrading your software at this time.

Expressions Web - by Microsoft
This is the newest web editing software from Microsoft, released in 2007. It comes highly recommended and is designed with serious as well as new web developers in mind. I understand that Microsoft will be discontinuing this software, so beware of this. It looks like it was still available on September 20, 2014.

To purchase from Amazon.com click one of the links below:

Dreamweaver CC - by Adobe
This is used by many web professionals. Dreamweaver provides the tools professionals need in an integrated, streamlined environment. Developers can use Dreamweaver with the server technology of their choice to build powerful Internet applications that connect users to databases, web services. Adobe now has a cloud system for software distribution, and we recommend it.

  • Dreamweaver CS6
  • Dreamweaver CS6 Upgrade

  •  

The user guides and software manuals that come with your software are usually not very helpful, so purchase a good book on your software and how to use it.
 



Planning Your Website

It is always a good idea to plan your site before you start creating it. Surf the Internet and visit a lot of websites before starting work on your website. If you're an artist, visit other artist websites and art gallery websites for ideas. This is a good way to identify what works for you and what you might want on your website. Collect and add the websites to your "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" so you can easily get back to them once you start design.

  1. What's your objective in having a website?

  2. Who's your intended audience?

  3. What kind of site navigation are you planning?

  4. How will your artwork be displayed?

  5. Are you planning to create a gallery?

  6. How many images will you be showing?

  7. What do you like most about other websites?


  8.  

Other Resources for Planning and Web Design

Article on creating artist websites by Ben Breard of the Afterimage Gallery.
"Some Website Suggestions".


NetMechanic: This company has a number of useful tools for web developers, unfortunately you have to purchase most of them. However, they have a wonderful section on Webmaster Tips and provide new tips on a regular basis. You can learn a lot by reading their articles.


Bravenet.com: Web tools for webmasters. They have a very nice section on Webmaster Resources. I particularly like their font section because you can easily see the fonts. The site is filled with all kinds of web information, tools and tutorials to assist you in web development.


W3 Schools: This site is full of web building tutorials and they are all free. You'll find tutorials on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, DHTML, XML, XHTML, WAP, ASP, SQL with lots of working examples and source code. This is a great place to learn the correct way to code your website.


About.com's - Web Design Section: Articles for beginning and advanced web developers. It includes extensive links to all types of web development info. You'll find more than basic HTML, it includes topics like "Using Color in Web Design", "Web Accessibility - ADA Guidelines", and "Freebies for Web Developers".


DevX.com: This is a website that specializes in application development and some of the more advanced web programming being done today. They are a good source for information on ASP, XML, DHTML, Visual Basic, Flash and other applications used on the Internet.
 



Free Website Hosting

I have not update this section in some time so take it with a grain of salt. I strongly think you should stay away from free hosting sites. This section will be removed in the near future. If you are looking for free web space to host your site, here are some of the free sites where that will host your website. However, you get what you pay for, so I highly recommend that you pass on them and go with a fee based hosting provider. MyHosting.com and ReadyHosting located further up this page, are good places to start.

I've never used the free sites listed and know very little about them. They are included here because several requests for information about free hosting sites have come in.

If you are serious about developing a Business Website or E-Commerce Website, you should forget about the free sites. However, if you are just interested in creating a personal site or just want to learn about creating websites, they might be a way to get started.

About.com has a information about free web hosting sites and email sites. They also cover free stuff in general, providing tips and advice, check them out: http://freebies.about.com/cs/homepages/
 


Recommended Books

Designing With Web Standards

Desighing with Web Standards 

Don't Make Me Think: Revisited
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability


 



Other Sections on Creating Websites

  1. Creating a Website - Getting Started
  2. Web Graphics and Scanning
  3. Web Maintenance and Site Tune-Ups
  4. Marketing and Promoting Your Website
  5. Designing Your Website
     


Photography Bookstore
For a good selection of photography and photography business books.
Click this link and visit our Bookstore.
 



 

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Page Updated  September 20, 2014                                                                      Back to Top