First you have to choose what kind of website you want:
- A blog (for social interacting) build with a tool like WordPress. A blog is a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. A blog can be edited using an Internet browser, so you don’t need any specific software to create and maintain your site. WordPress is the most sophisticated free blog software you can get. WordPress is free to download and you have to install it one time on your server (web host). You need to have a web host with database capabilities. By the way, this website is build in WordPress.
- A CMS (Content management System)
A CMS is software that allows website or blog users to login and update content online. The content is usually stored in a database and the web page or blog page is created dynamically. A CMS is mostly used in a corporate environment, like an Intranet in a company. A very popular (open source) CMS tool is Drupal.
- A website created from a blank page
Mostly created in HTML, PHP (Unix) or ASP (Windows) – for selling products or services, providing information, publishing online guides, promoting a business, etc. To create this type of website you need a specific software tool, like Dreamweaver
This chapter will discuss a basic HTML website with the use of an external CSS (Cascaded Style Sheet). Specifically for people who have little experience in creating a website. Therefore I suggest to use a tool that is very easy to use, has a ‘wysiwyg’ editor and creates ‘clean’ HTML.
- But if you want a website with more sophisticated techniques like a database and using PHP instead of HTML, then I recommend to use a tool like Dreamweaver.
- And if you want to setup a web shop (E-commerce site) then I suggest to use a specific e-commerce (shopping cart) tool to do this.
- Do not use an online web creator tool (sometimes included in a web host account). They often create superfluous code and are difficult to tune for search engine optimization, like meta tag customization and adding scripts for statistical purposes.
Things you minimal need to create a website:
- Basic computer skills
- A computer
- Internet connection
- A ‘wysiwyg’ web design software tool
(FrontPage2003 is very easy to use. Because FP-2003 is the latest version you can get it for a cheap price, just search for “cheap frontpage 2003”)
- A style sheet (CSS)
- A image edit tool like Photoshop. (to create banners, a logo and edit pictures, photo’s, like resizing) Or go to filehippo.com to look for a free photo edit tool.
- A domain name
Related topic: Choosing a domain name
- A web host
Related topic: Choosing a web host
- A FTP program to upload your site to your web host (or a web browser with integrated FTP, like FileZilla for FireFox).
Steps for creating a web site
Define your objectives
- Know exactly what the primary goal is for your website
- Know who the targeted audience will be
- Analyze the existing market and learn who your competitors are
- Research keywords and keyword phrases your want to use to rank high in the search engines.
Use specific (free) tools to do this.
Define the look & feel of your site
- Define the ambiance of your site: informal, professional, high tech, etc.
Have a look at sites that offer HTML templates and let your creativity go. There are also lots of free (CSS) template sites.
- Define the colors of your site – do not use more than 3 colors
Do not use white (light) text on dark backgrounds. This is very difficult to read for the human eye
- Choose a common used font, like Times Roman or Sans Serif family.
- Design a logo or banner
- Decide to use a static page width or dynamic (liquid) page size
- Put your default design definitions in an external stylesheet (CSS)
Define the content of your website
- The pages you want to create are at least:
homepage – topic page(s) – contact – sitemap – about
- Define three to five main keywords (phrases) for every page you create.
- Define your site’s navigation
Best is: top or top left (and at the bottom of every page)
- Define the graphics you want to use (not too much!)
Use a image edit tool to minimize the size (pixels) of the graphics you are using. Use JPG for compressing.
- Use ‘alt text‘ for your images or photo’s
Construct you web site
- Create an external stylesheet (CSS)
Save the file as [filename].css
Link this CSS in all HTML pages between the section: Read all about CSS at W3schools
- Design your homepage
- define the <title> tag
- define the meta description
- define the meta keyword
- Example of your HEAD section:
- Define the title (readable for users) of your home page, write this title in H1.
- Explain on your homepage the purpose of your website
Use headers (H1, H2, H3)
Use bullet lists
Use at least 500 keyword rich content (do not use too many main keywords, this is called: keyword spamming). Read this article about SEO copy.
Your homepage is the most important page of your website: If the user can’t find out the purpose of your website in 3 to 5 seconds, then you fail.
Do not over-use the page with too many graphics
Use a logo (top left is most appropriate place) which has a link to your main website
Use a banner at the top of your page which has a link to your main website
You can define your logo or banner in a stylesheet, using a
- Be aware that all links from the homepage point to all your inner pages.
- Design your other pages
- Do the same for every page you did with your homepage.
- Use proper anchor text for all your links:
Example: Book your trip to Paris (instead of: Click here)
- Put all information in your Contact page:
Contact name – postal address – proper email – phone number – FAX number
- Create a Sitemap
- Create your email addres at your web host
info@[yourdomain].com or sales@[yourdomain].com
Test your website
- It is obvious to say that before to go online, it is very important that there are no grammar or spelling errors. It also very important that there are no broken links. Let different people read your content and listen to their critics.
- For possible broken links you can download (free) a great tool that will check all your inner and outbound links, it also has some other great features. It’s called Xenu Link Sleuth.
- Test your HTML-code for errors or warnings.
For example use this free download to check your html.
Upload your website