~A Guide to Building a Website~

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by darth_nemisis, May 6, 2008.

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  1. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Welcome to darth_nemisis' guide to building a website. I have thrown together a quick guide that will assist any new website creator in their creation and designing of a web site. This will cover the broad aspect of the creation of a website, and will not get that specific.

    Note: I am not an expert on this topic. These are simple suggestions and tips that I have gathered over the years.

    1.) Why are you creating a website?

    First, you should decide why you want to create a website. What purpose will it serve when there are literally hundreds and thousands of websites out there? You will need to ask yourself:

    ~Who are your potential viewers?
    ~What are you goals for the website?
    ~How do you plan on keeping up with viewer expectation?

    These are just a few questions that will help you build an even greater, more successful website.

    2.) Choose a topic for your website.

    You will need to create an interesting, unique topic for your website. As I stated earlier, there are tons and tons of websites available to net-goers and, chances are, your site will be a bit repetitive. So, you will need something that will draw in viewers and something that will keep their attention to your website. For a more in-depth look at this subject, go here.

    a.) Evaluate your resources. Do not create a map-making site, if you or anyone else on your site does not know how to make a map. Do not come up with an idea that requires much higher level PHP or SQL databasing or flash animation interaction if you are not going to be able to code it. Do not have an idea that will require 50 hours a week of work if you are not willing or able to put that kind of time in. In short, when you do come up with your idea, make sure it fits with what you have available, or do some recruiting to fill those gaps. This will definitely go a long way toward making your site a success.

    3.) How do I build this website?

    Well, you can go about it in numerous ways. Chances are, you are going to need to know some sort of coding language, such as HTML, CSS or javascript. HTML will probably be what you need to learn first, and you can check out the web resource guide for links on how to learn HTML and other coding languages. Once you learn HTML, you could either code it by hand using Notepad or some other text document, or use what is known as a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program like Frontpage or Dreamweaver. You could also use templates rather than make your own through HTML. Or, if you have the extra cash, you could pay someone else to do it.

    Let's assume you don't have the extra cash. So, what you will need is a web host (again, check the web resource guide for more information on web hosts). You are able to gain a free web host, but you most likely won't have your own domain name, rather you will get a subdomain (www.yourname.webhost.com). So, once you have the web host, you will most likely need a FTP (File Transfer Protocol) which allows you to upload your files to your server which will essentially put your website on the Internet. Once you create your document (probably naming it index.html), you will upload it to your server through the FTP, and you will be all set!

    A good thing to do once you finish your web design is to validate your website to make sure there are no errors in your coding. The World Wide Web Consortium Validator will do that for you. Simply type in your website address and it will either approve you, or point out your errors. I've used this before and have been able to validate several of my websites.

    a.) A common mistake when building a website is naming your documents. What you name it is what will appear in the URL. A lot of people do not put a lot of thought into naming their documents, which could be detrimental to their viewability. So, I suggest that you keep it simple, to the point and creative all at the same time. A
  2. DVeditor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2001
    star 6
  3. NarCranor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 2
    you might want to delete this post after reading, if you decide to make any additions, etc.

    Part 2.) Choose a topic/content focus for your site:

    a.) Evaluate your resources. Don't create a map-making site, if you or anyone else on your site doesn't know how to make a map. Don't come up with an idea that requires much higher level PHP or SQL databasing or flash animation interaction if you arent going to be able to code it. Don't have an idea that will require 50 hours a week of work if you aren't willing or able to put that kind of time in. In short, when you do come up with your idea, make sure it fits with what you have available, or do some recruiting to fill those gaps. This will definitely go a long way toward making your site a success.

    Part 3.) Coding

    B.) If you can't code, don't feel that is the end for your potential website! There are a ton of sites out there that will allow you to blog for free, and post media in a more user friendly way without dealing with FTPs. MySpace, ComicSpace, LiveJournal, DeviantArt, and others are all viable ways to create a star wars fan site for certain ideas.

    And maybe link to or copy and paste my other two threads on my annoying things people put on sites and for the love of god please read before making a star wars fan site. Just credit me! But all together that seems like one fairly comprehensive guide.
  4. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Thanks DVeditor! I am glad you approve! :)

    Narcranor: I went ahead and added those in there. I did link to one of your threads already, but not the most recent one because I wrote this before you posted that one. So, I went ahead and posted the links at the bottom as well.
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