For Website Creators

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by jamusu, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. jamusu

    jamusu Member

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    I am interested in creating my own website, but have one major problem. I haven't the vaguest idea of how to begin. I have been researching for the past couple of days and am overwhelmed with all that is needed.

    I have a few questions for those of you who have created a website(s). They are as follows:

    1.) What are the things that I need to create one such as software, costs, etc?

    2.) What are the steps that I must follow.

    3.) How time consuming/hard is it?

    I know that this is much of a stretch for someone in my predicament, but my goal is to eventually have one similar to Fraction Magazine, and finally APUG (not for competitive purposes in either case), but for now I think I need to learn the basics and start small.

    Any help on this matter will be fantastically appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Jamusu.
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Apple's iWeb program is about the easiest software I can recommend for making your web site. I used it to create mine.
     
  3. Heyda

    Heyda Member

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    Get into wordpress. easy to install, easy in use . Lots of themes...lots of plug-ins...

    free of charge...

    www.wordpress.org/
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I have comcast.net as a server and Microsoft Frontpage as an HTML editor. Comcast has free personal webpages that accept Frontpage files. It might as well be an unlimited file capacity (it's more than I'll ever use).

    All this to say, find out first what your server offers. They might accept files from a particular brand of software. Go from there.

    As to time consuming, the more familiar you are with the software, the less time consuming it will be. Start out small and simple and build on it little by little. Don't look at all of the work you want to do and dread doing it. Do three or four pages. Get the basics up and running. Then go from there.
     
  5. vdonovan

    vdonovan Member

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    I got started using Microsoft Publisher, which comes with Microsoft Office.

    In Publisher, you compose your page like you would a Word document or Power Point slide. Then you can preview how it will look as a web page.

    When you are happy with how your page looks, you then save it as a web page, which is a folder full of files. You then transfer that folder to your web hosting service (which, as someone pointed out, is usually included in a DSL subscription) and you are done!
     
  6. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    When it come to websites, nobody will ever be happy. Keep it simple, focus on the photography, and resign yourself to ignoring the critics. My new website is www.cherylnicolai.com . Some love it, some hate it, I really don't care and am done with it. Do your own thing.

    - CJ
     
  7. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you want to use Microsoft products (i do use a couple) try anything else but Publisher or Frontpage.
    They are more a hindrance than a help, creating very 'verbose' HTML, filled with unnecessary, and hard to edit code.
    Microsoft's Visual Web Developer is much better, and in the Express Edition completely free.

    I'm one of those idiots still writing code the pedestrian way, only using the text editor part of the product(s) for creating pages, and the 'advanced' features (the built-in web server) only to preview and test code. And the built-in FTP thingy to upload pages, of course.
    So i can't really comment about the ease of use of Publisher or Frontpage as wysiwyg web-editors.

    But a decent content management system would have to try very hard not to be easier to use.
    Many providers will offer a (or a choice of) CMS as free ad-on. If so, just try one of those. Most come with templates that only need a bit of tweaking to make them fit your needs and desires.


    For more advanced web-thingies, it pays to dive into the programming that is behind them, and learn to use a script/programming tool. (PHP is popular. I like using any of the MS's script languages and .NET better).
    What you can use also depends on what your provider's server supports. So ask first before you spend time studying one of these (or change provider).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2009
  8. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I use the Windows Notepad text editor, coding directly in HTML, and the "home" version of FTP from Ipswitch (suggested by Verizon -- I have FiOS here). It may be silly, but it meets my near-non-existent needs. But then, I used to write embedded system code in assembly language. :tongue: I also maintain a sizable and growing gallery on PBase for the photo end of things. I share my ten MB Verizon webspace with an art club I belong to, and so far have no space problems (I can stash image files on PBase and link to my website if I need to).

    Me
    My Galleries (Warning: May contain electrocuted bits!)
    Art Club (Sure, it could be fancier, but then, it hasn't cost them a dime, so they better live with it!)

    DaveT
     
  9. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    Web hosting and software are all you need to buy. Hosting varies in price depending on what services you need. Figure $10-$20 a month. Higher price is for people using Frontpage or needing special server technology like Coldfusion (you don't need that).

    Software; you need web design software. The guys saying they code by hand are not being helpful; you're not going to do that as a beginner so why bother mentioning it. Your main choices are:

    Dreamweaver: Mac or PC, industry standard, easy to use but very powerful if you become more advanced. Expensive, about $400. Worth it though if you intend to eventually build a large site.

    Microsoft Frontpage or Expression Web (same thing, they changed Frontpage's name).: Easy to use, but requires a hosting company that supports it, and many do not. This can raise the cost of hosting. The software isn't terribly cheap either, at about $200. Only made for Windows.

    iWeb: An Apple product, Mac only. Easy to use, not horridly expensive.
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    But at least one of them mentioned content management systems and the easy to use templates they provide.

    To disqualify the response as not being usefull when you want to know how Publisher and Frontpage (and Visual Web Developer) work as a wysiwyg editor. As a courtesy.
    And so that you do not have to. :wink:


    And let's not forget the "final goal".
    So find a provider who not only offers a CMS, but perhaps also forum-software, and support for active pages and a script language (which you then need).
    Else you will eventually be moving your site to another host, which is definitely not a fun thing to do.


    Oh, and ...
    Also try to learn a bit (there's not much more than a bit to learn) about style sheets (CSS).
    Very helpful, making it a lot (which is an understatement) easier to control the design of your site.
     
  11. jamusu

    jamusu Member

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    Thank you all for the information. It is extremely helpful. If you do not mind my asking, what are the
    web hosts and software some of you are using specifically for your websites?

    Jamusu.
     
  12. m_allard

    m_allard Member

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    Hi Jamusu,

    I recently took a college course on web design, and found it very informative. That might be a good way to learn a little about the technology involved and get some hands on experience with designing and coding a few small sites. I had maintained some small sites at a previous job using html/css, but I didn't really know a lot about design. We used Dreamweaver to code the sites, but more of the focus was in Photoshop, which is great for creating website mockups and getting new ideas for layouts / color schemes. You can use things like slices and save for web when you are satisfied with your page layouts, then bring your mockup elements into the site as you code.

    Something else you should consider is your intended audience. Is the focus of your site to sell work, or to show it, etc. Each approach might look entirely different.
     
  13. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Take a class in basic XHTML/CSS at a local community college. You will be miles ahead. My class was entirely online.

    Peter Gomena
     
  14. vdonovan

    vdonovan Member

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    I use godaddy.com for domain names and hosting. Godaddy is cheap.

    I agree that Microsoft Publisher spits out crappy HTML. But it's a tool that many people already have installed on their PCs and someone without HTML skills can get an (arguably) decent-looking web page up in a few minutes. I find it good for prototyping.

    Many, many sites use an application called Wordpress, which creates your web site based on a few standard templates and allows you modify it. If you host at godaddy.com they have Wordpress already installed.
     
  15. cloudhands

    cloudhands Member

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    What about selling prints?

    I want to create a photography website, I'd like to have some info about selling prints. Not a webstore or anything, just a section informing the visitor that they can purchase prints of certain sizes and include pricing and options.

    Do the free sites like Wordpress have a stipulation that you cannot have this type of thing?
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Wordpress is just a bit of software helping you to design and produce a website without much effort.
    It is offered free by many hosting providers, as part of the hosting package.
     
  17. jamusu

    jamusu Member

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    I never thought of taking a class. That's something that I will seriously look into.

    Jamusu.
     
  18. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    P.S.
    About Wordpress: if it is not offered by the hosting provider, it can be downloaded - also free - from its maker's website, http://wordpress.org
     
  19. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

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    I use GoDaddy as well, and find them amazingly helpful. I installed Wordpress and run my blog that way, and it was effortless on my part, and I do not consider myself to be particularly technical.
     
  20. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Which gives occasion for another P.S.

    There is Wordpress the website builder, and Wordpress the blog-software.
    Same maker, different products, different use.
     
  21. Ann M

    Ann M Member

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    Hi Cloudhands,
    You may find it worth looking at www.jalbum.net. Their software is very simple to use for building albums of photographs and if you use the 'skin' called 'Chameleon', it has a built-in Paypal shopping cart. I've incorporated it into my website because it lets me build a large gallery quite quickly. There is also a very helpful forum which can give you any help you need. (The rest of the site is built with Serif Webplus but I'm not quite finished yet. It appears to be going OK but we shall see...)