Opal turned me on to this site to get a FREE website, with a built in web editor. Very nice. Very easy and if you want to pay a nominal fee, they will remove the banners and stuff.
I might also add some words of advice. Don’t get too carried away with all the “bells and whistles” that can be implemented on a web page. What I mean is, don’t commit many of the mistakes which are considered to be poor web design. Such elements are often considered to be annoying, distracting, or just make the site more difficult to navigate. Some of my personal peeves are:
Web sites that play music
Overuse of animated graphics
Foreground/background color combinations that do not provide sufficient contrast for easy readability
Blinking text (I seldom see this used)
These and other examples are listed here:
Internet Explorer has eliminated that option since about version 5. It cannot see the Blink tag anymore.
Presumably Netscape is the same.
- A few opinions/observations:
- FrontPage isn’t that bad. It works best for IE (no surprise) but most computers have IE, and I find that IE displays the most pages on the net correctly anyway. IE is the very-dominant browser, again.
- For simple sites you can just use a free HTML editor and a free FTP program, try Tucows or ZDNet. For converting MS Office documents to web pages, use (free) OpenOffice. For complicated sites, don’t: an integrated manager will save you lots of trouble: software like Dreamweaver, Frontpage and GoLive. These programs have various automatic functions that save you lots of time. You have to spend money or use warez though.
- To make a client-side website is pretty easy–this is one where people just visit and look at stuff. If you want things like guestbooks, forums or chat rooms, or server pages of any kind, that’s server-side functions. To do that you have to be able to put programs on the server and have it run them. Normal ISP accounts do not include this at all, some ISP’s have some server-side services you can use, very few (if any) let you upload your own code. (JSP’s were supposed to change this, did they?)
- Running your own server is even more hassle. Be warned that as the server admin, you can be held liable for bandwidth use or server content such as if someone hacks your server and uses it to send spam or distribute child porn. With some ISP’s, if your server is on-site (on their site, that is) and you run the same OS/server software they do, they may offer some types of support such as critical updates if they have admin rights, and during dull moments their network people may offer casual pointers of how to keep it working right. This is more likely with small ISP’s, and with Windows as it’s basically an install/update deal. Ask about the OS/server software situation first, before spending money or lots of time on anything.
I like making webpages entirely in Notepad. I’m a maschoist.
IE never supported the <blink> tag. Netscape always did, and still does.
Better to do it correctly the first time than suffer the embarassment to have to do it all over again.
Build a web site according to web standards, and not what may be the dominant web browser’s proprietary code requirements.
No, actually, you can do it with a dynamic IP. There are services out there which will allow you to set up a small program on your system that checks your IP at a certain interval and send the information back to their servers. You can have anything from a full blown domain, (for example “www.yourdomain.com”) or just a redirector (“yourwebsite.yourprovider.com”), there are even a couple which will let you do if for free.
If you want to register a domain, yeah, you have to pay a fee to one of the registrars to set up your domain. You’ll have to then set up a DNS server on your system or use one of the above services to go with the updatable dynamic route.
I’ve got a test host for working with websites, it’s a LOT easier to edit the files on a shared drive from the server than to edit them and then ftp them to the server after each revision, particularly if you’re using scripting. This way i can get instant feedback from a client.
Since i don’t need the domain, I just use a redirector. I’m currently running Win .NET RC2 and Apache, as well as IIS for testing purposes. I’m probably going to move this over to Linux and run Apache on that and keep IIS for testing on the new box.
FYI, since you’re on Comcast (as am I) you better check to see if port 80 is open. They’ve got it closed for me, so i have to open non-standard ports for HTTP traffic.
www.granitecanyon.com - if you do have a static IP, granite canyon offers free DNS service although it’s not terribly easy to decipher for someone not familiar with basic DNS
PS - Please, please, please… don’t use FrontPage. FrontPage coding makes Baby Jesus cry. This is not gratuitous MS bashing. I’m actually a fan of Microsoft (god help me). I use their products extensively… and I like it. But FrontPage is evil incarnate. If you’re putting up a page about your son’s lates grades or Aunt Tilly’s recipe book that’s only going to be circulate to family and friends, go for it. But if you want any sort of professional look to it, run very, very far away from FP.
Another Notepadder. Man after my own heart.
Okay, now you and Q.E.D have done it. You’ve invoked the HTML corollary to Godwin’s law: Any discussion of HTML will eventually include a comment about using Notepad, after which the entire discussion will devolve into a flamewar between drag-and-drop monkeys and hunt-and-peck chickens. Along with a few goodhearted people like me who side with the notepadders but wish you’d use a decent editor like emacs or ultraedit.
Thanks for the very helpful info and the great links Ankh_Too!
I’m just doing this for the educational value. I retire from the military in a couple years and I might look for a job in computer security. But I’m almost a total newbie and have a lot to learn in the meantime.
Oh yeah? Well, I use EDIT in the command prompt! I use EDIT because it shows the line number and column number of the cursor. I also prefer using EDIT over Notepad for this purpose since before getting Windows 2000 Notepad would only find but not replace text. Even though Notepad now has this functionality in Win2K as well as the fact that it doesn’t limit itself to <64K files anymore (Wordpad would open such files), I’ve just gotten used to using EDIT.
Now let’s wait to hear from someone who’ll top us all by saying he uses EDLIN to write HTML! :eek:
Notepadders are masochists, draggers are sadists.
Notepadders may expend much time and effort to build simple pages that all viewers can read quickly and easily, which give the padders joy.
Draggers can spend almost no time to build pages that are overly complicated and take forever to load which inflicts pain on the viewers, which can give the draggers pleasure.
“The page cannot be displayed”
AZ cowboy’s link is good, TheMasterG’s isn’t.
BFD. IE may display non-FP sites correctly, but non-IE browsers do not necessarily display FP code correctly.
Why limit your audience when sticking to standards is so easy? And why waste bandwidth with unnecessary mung when there are plenty of better, more cost effective alternatives out there?
I swear, someday I’d like to see a visually impaired person sue certain web designers under the ADA.
FrontPage works perfectly satisfactorily, if it’s all you ever use for page design and site administration, and you don’t worry about non-IE compatibility issues. It’s when you try to integrate an FP website with something else that you get problems. And boy oh boy, do you get problems.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a tool with no particular use - too complicated just to manage a straightforward site, too simple for the active content stuff I have to manage in my professional capacity. (I’ve been doing this stuff for a living for nigh on six years now, if I didn’t know something of what I’m talking about, I’m sure someone would have spotted me by now.) Personally, for simple site development, I’d use a generic WSIWYG HTML editor that doesn’t, as black455 puts it, produce “unnecessary mung”. For the serious stuff, I’m using Visual Interdev and (lately) Visual Studio .NET. (So you can see I have nothing in principle against Microsoft … but FrontPage, in my life, has been nothing but a source of irritation.)
QED and Slash,
Do you seriously use note pad? There must be 20 better free editors around. A lot of them will help with content sensitive highlighting and the like. It is one thing to do HTML with a text editor but quite another to do it with such a featureless text editor.
Black, I hope you’re happy now! Target is being sued.
In the meantime: there was another thread about places to get your Web site hosted, that had lots of good references, but I can’t find it now. Is there a list of low-cost hosting sites (that provide decent bandwidth and some server-side services) where one could put a family Web site?