[DISCUSSION] How do I create a website?

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by Brandon Rhea, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Let?s assume for the moment that I?m a different person. I am not Brandon Rhea, Fan Sites Manager, but rather I am, say, skywalker101dude95, a newly registered member here at TheForce.Net. After participating in a few discussions in the boards about the Star Wars films, as well as talking about the epic and awesome new Star Trek movie coming out in May 2009 over at the Sci-Fi/Fantasy boards, I find the Fan Sites board.

    Eureka! This is just what I was looking for!

    When I get here, I find that it?s mostly just advertising. Drat! I wanted to learn how to actually build a website. I am a complete novice and the best I could do was an old Expage website about my cat. I really want to make a new Star Wars fan fiction website, but as I said I have no idea how to do it! So I make this thread, hoping to find out how to build my first REAL website!

    [skywalker101dude95]I want to build a website! What do I do!?![/skywalkerdude10195]
  2. kuatengineer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 2
    Exactly. I would be interested in hearing some of the plusses and minuses of building a site, and options for doing so. For example, my site is a freewbes site. I am actually paying for an upgraded package (just for bandwidth and storage), but would love to hear some potential benefits of 'stepping it up', and what all would be involved in doing that. I have been very satisfied with what I've been able to do so far, but I'm not sure what the "next level" would be, or if I would want to go that route for what I want to accomplish.

    So, I agree. What would it truly take to build a web site completely from scratch? Hosting? Software? Domain registration/protection? Etc....
  3. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Well, in order to help in really saying what the plusses and minuses of stepping it up would be, what are the current plusses and minuses and FreeWebs in your opinion?
  4. kuatengineer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 2
    Honestly, I have been extremely pleased with Freewebs so far. So, here are the plusses:

    + start for free
    + easy to use (very!)
    + good assortment of templates for site design
    + pretty decent free stats on traffic, etc.
    + easy to upgrade

    - the biggest minus by far is the url. People do want to see a dedicated address, although it's less an issue than it was at the start
    - while the templates are good, they aren't terribly customizable (for the most part).


    Like I said, overall I am very pleased with the way the site has turned out, and the response so far. It's easy upkeep, which allows me more time to dig into improving content, as opposed to spending a lot of time actually executing new content.
  5. NarCranor Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 2
    Well, I am not a web code-monkey myself, so I can't really comment on anything on that side of the fence. However, I am a big fan of website concept design. In order to be a successful Star Wars Fan Site that is basically a one-man show, my number one suggestion would be to keep your focus absolutely as narrow as possible, and put a wide variety of things on your website that support that focus.

    Of course, Im not so sure you need an entire "web site" for a fan fiction site. Setting up shop at a blog-site might actually be a much easier endeavor, and provide you with more readers than a random freewebs site will, especially if you don't plan on doing much promoting on your own. Starwars.com still has free blogs to paying members, I think. You might find your site best served by working out of there, where interested people are much more likely to stumble across your blog on accident.
  6. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    A fan fiction site can serve a very good purpose if you can maintain it. You have free reign over what you do and you're not as restricted in what you can do if it was a blog. If you want people to comment then a message board could also be added to the site. The only thing is that, in my opinion, you need to include some general Star Wars news if you want to attract more people to it.

    Also, is anyone having problems viewing this thread on the main Fan Sites board page? I never know when there's a response unless I notice that the number of responses has changed, because it always says that the last post was sometime in November and it doesn't show the name of a responder. Maybe it's just me...
  7. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    I'm noticing that there isn't a name under the "Latest Post" column, so you're not alone.
  8. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    To get a good Fan Site started, you should focus on a smaller group of things, then possibly branch out a little bit if there is demand for more than what is already there. In other words, I agree with those above.
  9. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Agreed. Brand new websites that are insanely complex are really going to throw people. It's better to hook one specific demographic and then, when you have them hooked, branch out to new ones. If you can't get new ones, that's fine. You still have your loyal demographic.
  10. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    I've learned that a smaller base works through personal experience.
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