I need to get a website put together quickly and know nothing about it. It will be for the purposes of advertising a business and it needs to be easily updated with pictures and other linked advertisement.
What is involved in the process. Can it be done using the space that servers give you for personal use? What kind of software is needed and how do you register a domain name?
Should I go to a class or can a simple web site be set up overnight with a little book knowledge?
I believe this should be in IMHO but I’ll try to help out anyway.
It really depends on what you want, as there are tons of options involved. I’ll take one question at a time.
Yes. Almost all ISP’s give you free web space, and usally enough to make a decent site. The problem with this is that your website address will almost always include the name of your ISP (i.e. http://magiver.isp.com or http://www.isp.com/~magiver). While this method is cheap or free, it’s not very professional because you don’t have your own domain.
If you decide to get your own domain name, then you should shop around for a hosting site. I would try to find a hoster that also registers your domain name at the same time and provides templates. Most of these host companies will have an easy method of making your site without knowing html or buying a web design program. This way you don’t need to buy software to design your site, but the content and style will be limited. I currently pay $8 per month for all the storage I could ever need plus my own domain name. If you just want to use the site for advertising, you don’t need all the extra features like SQL.
So if you find a web provider that provides a “EZ site builder”, you can basically have a simple site running very quickly by yourself. If you need help or reccomendations, I’ll be glad to help out.
A simple site can be created very easily.
An extremely hideous site can be created just as easily. Do be aware of this and try to avoid bells and whistles unless there is an overriding need (not desire, need) fot them.
Maintenance is the bugbear.
If you create plain old HTML files, then each time you want to change something, you will need to edit the HTML file, either on the server or offline and then publish it to your server.
Small number of changes, no worries.
Large number of changes or small number of changes very frequently, becomes annoying.
There are CMS (Content Mangement System) solutions (free and paid) that you might be able to use to make your updating life easier.
Most of the CMS solutions will use some form of database (probably MySQL), so do be aware of this if you look to a CMS.
I use http://opensource.com when I’m looking for CMS solutions. Look down the sidebar for CMS portals.
You spend more time implementing a CMS vs. HTML but in the long term if maintanence is frequent, you may save time in the long run.
Thanks for the responses.
Can I use Excel to piece together a site and then save it as an HTML? I find is very useful to build words and photographs together when making screen shot presentations.
I would need to have clickable links to photographs.
Yeah you can use Excel. As for making a picture be a link, just import the picture into Excel and then right click the picture and select Hyperlink from the popup menu.
In the beginning, the best editor will be the one you know how to use, so blast away with Excel in the beginning. Eventually, your ideas will become more sophisticated and you will want more sophisticated tools or you will want a different approach.
I would recommend that after you make your pages in Excel, use Windows Explorer to go to the file you created and open it in Notepad so you can have a look at the html. HTML is basically english and you should be able to see the simple tags and with a bit of study and reference to some online html guides sort out what is going on. Then you are ready to try some web page templates. There are lots of them around for free and if you have a basic understanding of how html tags work, then modifying the templates to suite your own purposes is pretty easy. Templates will do all the heavy lifting like creating tables and other formatting tricks without you having to learn exactly how it all works. If you are encouraged by the results, then eventually you can move up to a full blown editor like Dreamweaver. There are tons of html editors out there and they all have their place and their supporters. Shop around a bit and find one that you are willing to learn how to use.
But for first steps, I think Excel is fine if it gets you were you need to go and you feel confident using it.