A Guide to Building a Website

Discussion in 'Fan Design - Sites and Graphics' started by darth_nemisis, Aug 1, 2009.

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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 (but feel free to ask questions if you want specifics).

    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 your goals for the website?
    ~What sets your website apart from others?
    ~How do you plan on setting your website apart from the others?
    ~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 probably not be unique. 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 and Javascript. HTML will probably be what you need to learn first, a tutorial of which can be found here. 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 us assume you do not 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 will not 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 something like "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 and that they fir web standards of today. 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 it has been very helpful in making my websites better.

    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 peopl
  2. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
  3. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 6
    Didn't see it mentioned - site mapping. Good process to go through so the site isn't a mess with too many pages to go through, makes it much easier to navigate.
  4. Salty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 1998
    star 5
    Agree. It's a great idea to have your site and pages mapped out before you get started.
  5. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    Site Maps also help your SEO (eg. Google Sitemaps).
  6. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I don't know if it was ever mentioned in any other thread, but I figured this would be a good place to link it to.

    Six Revisions is a great resource for Web Designing, offering great commentary on good practices, great tutorials and just general advice. It is definitely worth taking a look at.
  7. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    That site looks pretty interesting at first glance. I'll have to check it out.
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