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Web Site Creation Steps

 
   

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web site creation

Creating A Website

This page guides you through the six basic steps involved in creating a web site, from selecting and registering your web site domain name through arranging for web site hosting, designing and coding your web site, and monitoring your completed web site's traffic and performance.

Six Website Creation Steps

The six steps are as follows:

  1. Select and register a web site domain name.

    Select a web site name carefully.  Research and monitor potential trademark and domain name conflict issues before settling on a name and as you develop and market your site.  Ecommerce sites should consider registering their trademark name.

    Register your domain name through a reputable ICANN-accredited domain name registrar such as Dotster.com or Misk.com.

    If you are on a tight budget, you can, of course, create a web site on a free web site hosting service without registering a domain name.  But there are drawbacks to a "free" web site:

    • A "free" web site must usually include some form of advertising, which distracts visitors from your site content and slows page loading.
    • A "free" web site name is appended to its hosting service name, limiting your ability to promote the site and later move it to another hosting service.
    • Search engines are less inclined to list a web site which lacks its own registered domain name.

  2. Select and configure a web site hosting service.

    Typical hosting costs for a basic web site range from $100 to $250 per year.  Expect to spend more for web sites with eCommerce features, special processing requirements, or high traffic volume.  Check out these virtual web host offerings:

    • HostRocket.Com offers a wide range of shared hosting and dedicated server hosting options.
    • WestHost.com offers a good set of web hosting features at an economical price.
    • TruePath.com is a Christian hosting service with a good selection of hosting plans for personal and small business web sites.

    Beyond virtual web hosting, dedicated web hosting offers you more control over content, security, and usage, and is typically priced at $100 per month or more.  Check out offerings from Peer 1 and Superb.net.

  3. Design, code, and test your web site.

    A simple web site may consist of a single web page, generally named "index.htm" or "index.html".  A bare-bones web page might consist of the following HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code:

           <HTML>
           <BODY>Hello!</BODY>
           </HTML>
    In the long run, the best way to start developing your web site is to spend a few hours learning the basics of HTML, the standard web page coding language.  An excellent resource for this purpose is the free HTML tutorial at htmlgoodies.com, and the companion book, HTML Goodies, by Joe Burns.  Beyond HTML, check out the JavaScript primers for client-side scripts and ColdFusion for powerful server-side scripting.  Support for server-side scripting tools depends, of course, on your hosting service configuration.

    Several excellent software tools, such as Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe PhotoShop, and Macromedia HomeSite, offer helpful web page layout, graphic design, and HTML code generation features.

    Some web site interaction features are expensive to build and maintain, and many web site owners opt to pay a small monthly fee for these services, which can enhance your web site's ability to attract return visitors.  For example:

    • Message boards or forums, where web site visitors can interact with you and with each other, are popular web site enhancements.
    • Polls, in which web site visitors vote on topics of your choice, can be helpful sources of feedback.  Visitors will often return to check poll results.
    • Guestbooks, where web site visitors enter their names, email addresses, comments, or whatever info you request, can provide you with valuable feedback and help develop a list of persons who are interested in your site.
    • Search Engines, from whence web site visitors can search your site (and optionally, the entire web) are valuable visitor retention tools.
    • Data Entry Forms, where web site visitors can place orders, request information, or enter customer service data, are ideal tools for tracking visitors' interests.
    • Data Base Tools, with which web developers can create sophisticated web applications.

    You can accept credit card orders on your site, by either using a credit card transaction processing service or by obtaining a merchant credit card account.  Be sure to select a reputable service for processing online monetary transactions on your web site.

    • CCNow is a turnkey e-commerce solution which enables small to medium sized merchants to evolve "info-only" web sites to sites that allow products to be sold via the Internet.
    • First Data, a division of Cardservice International, helps business owners (Internet, phone/mail order, and storefront) with the merchant account necessary to accept credit cards.

    You can build and test your site on your own computer and later "deploy" it to a web site host, where it is accessible to Internet users worldwide.

  4. Deploy your web site to your host.

    Use a file transfer program (FTP) such as Ipswitch WS_FTP to upload and download your web site and any updated pages between your computer and web site host computer.  WS_FTP sells for about $50.

  5. Promote your web site.

    Well, now that your web site is out on the web, it would help if people knew it existed!  And would come to visit!

    The most popular way to find information on the web is via search engines and their related directories.  So the first step is to inform them of your web site.  You can economically submit your web site listing to over 200 search engines and directories (including some of the most popular ones) via the SubmitWizard service.

    However, search engines and directories are inundated with listing requests, and you can achieve priority treatment by registering your site with these directories for a nominal fee:

    One cost-effective way to increase your web site traffic is to advertise on pay per click search engines, where you can bid on selected key words and phrases.  The higher you bid, the higher your web site listing appears when someone searches for your key word or phrase.  For many keywords, you can increase your web site traffic for only pennies per visitor – and build your brand recognition as a bonus!

  6. Monitor your web site visitors and performance.

    You can use these tools to see how your web site is performing:

    • Counter counts the number of hits or unique visitors to a web page.  It is available for a nominal yearly fee, and is appropriate for web site owners who have a small web site with one entry page, and who don't need detailed visitor tracking.
    • SuperStats gives you detailed statistics on your web site visitors.  For measuring and profiling your web site traffic, we recommend this service.
    • If you have a high-traffic, commercial web site, WatchDog can periodically check your site performance and accessibility, and alert you if your site becomes inaccessible.

Conclusion

Well, if you have reached this point on the page, checking out the links as you've progressed, you have learned a great deal about building a web site!  Of course there is still a lot more to learn, but you have the basic outline.  Come back and see us again, and visit our Home page for more info about these web site tools.


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Guide to Creating A Web Site