Website Basics

Creating Websites on the Cheap

I have had a number of websites that I’ve put up over the years to advertise one of my ventures or another. I’m budget conscious though so am always looking for deals and cheap web design and hosting. I'm not an expert but have got my hands dirty a few times. I'm also self taught - if I can do it, so can you.

This page is not a tutorial but just lists the basic steps a beginner can take to get a webpage up and running on the cheap, and without much of a learning curve.

My Experiences

I started off by reading webmonkey.com which is a great resource for beginners for learning html. You have to understand html if you want to add widgets, JavaScript, etc to your webpage. I also took a basic course in web design. By the time I has finished the basic web design course I realized that doing anything constructive required either a better understanding of html, or using a web design program. Asking around and doing some internet searches I found several good software packages such as Dreamweaver. However I had Frontpage already on my pc in my Microsoft bundle along with word, excel, etc.

You can’t expect FrontPage to do what other software can do, it’s a bit clucky and it writes messy code. But if you can use Word you can use FrontPage as they are quite similar. So I tried a webpage using FrontPage. A friend saw it and took pity on me as it was such an ugly webpage, so as he had FrontPage he made something a little better in his limited amount of time.

Try Not to Use FrontPage

I’m still using FrontPage and although not a big fan of it, I have many things going on in my life and dedicating the time to learning something else is difficult. If you are starting out I would definitely recommend that you try something better than FrontPage if you have access to it. You will not be limited by FrontPage and it’s clunky messy html.

If You are Using FrontPage

It’s not the end of the world. With FrontPage you can still design a better webpage than most of the templates offered by most webhosting companies. Just look at some websites that you like, and use an appreciative eye when you browse the net, to come up with ideas. Even once you have an idea, if you are serious about it, the tinkering is fun and you get to see it online fast.

However this is not a FrontPage tutorial because I would be ashamed to write something like that and there is lots of information out there.

Using a Template

Most webhosting sites that you buy your domain name from will offer a variety of templates. These are easy to use and will have your website up in no time.

Almost Free Webhosting

There are many free or almost free webhosting companies out there. Predominantly though they want to display ads and that looks awful on your webpage. However if you are willing to accept that, it’s your choice. I did go through a few free hosting options at one time as my website wasn’t worth hosting on a paid ad free site.

Then I found KVC Hosting which offers a variety of packages including unlimited free hosting for a one time fee of $5. It used to be $3 but still cheap, especially when you compare that to Yahoo or some other place that charges you an arm and a leg to host a simple webpage.

(disclosure – I am not affiliated with KVC, just cheap)

I’ve got a few websites on there as it’s cheap and ad free. They do have a line of text on the bottom of each webpage that says “Hosted by KVC” or something similar. But if you change your background color to black you can only see their link and not the text.

Uploading your Website

You’ll need to transfer your files (if you are using FrontPage or DreamWeaver) to your websites online domain. If you are using a template you will already have it live there so won’t need to do that.

I’m using Filezilla to upload my websites as it’s easy and it’s all I’ve ever used. There are certainly lots of other software out there that will do the same thing, so use what you like and seems user friendly to you.

Once you have uploaded, your website will be live. Whenever you upload a file, it goes live immediately, that is that your content when viewed is pulled from what you upload.

Summary

This is only meant to be a brief basic overview of website creation and hosting. If you are considering creating your first website, you should do your own research and find what works best for your skill sets, budget, and time.

References

1. Creating a website : What you will need http://r-rwebdesign.com/website_basics.asp

2. How to Create a Website http://websitesetupguide.com/

3. How to Build Websites http://www.how-to-build-websites.com/

4. Great website design http://www.websitedesignbasics.com/

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