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Your Questions About Creating A Website From Scratch

Creating A Website

Betty asks…

Can a single person develop a top notch website?

I’ve tried creating website from scratch with zero knowledge before. But all i managed until i got tired was a homepage with a random logo i did on photoshop and some other small buttons and infos. But have there been stories of a single person creating a website all by himself?

Also, i would appreciate if u guys provided links that lead to guides on website developing and mainly on how to develop a dynamic website ( with dynamic elements? ).

Thanks

Craig answers:

Here’s a list of tools (all in one place) that you could use. They’re not free, but they work.
http://tools.sitesell.com/magicispossible.html

Here’s a starting point to develop your own site, without technical knowledge.
http://videotour.sitesell.com/magicispossible.html

And of course, there are these great sites which contain loads of video tutorials:

Carol asks…

How do I create a website from scratch? All the necessary steps. Programs to use?, What classes I can take?

I want to create a website from scratch and operate it. I need to learn all the necessary steps from domains, what programs and classes I can take to this???

Craig answers:

I think the easiest way to create a website from scratch, without using any special programs like microsoft front page or dream weaver, is to go to note pad, learn the html code, which i bet any school offers, and just save the document as .html

Try these great membership sites that are full of video tutorials:

Ruth asks…

how to generate and upload a web page within website?

I’m creating a website from scratch and I’m trying to work out how I could possibly use the same functionality as a wiki that allows users to be able to add new pages to my website.
However, because I’m not using a CMS so I need to develop this function myself. Is it just a matter of learning PHP? I can’t seem to find a pre-made script anywhere that allows this functionality. Any help will be really appreciated!

Craig answers:

This is actually pretty simple. Yes, if you took the time to learn PHP, then you would know how to do this easily. The process involves having a template page, then filling that page with data from a database. You would not need to create a separate page for each ‘page’ of your site.

It requires knowledge of a server side script (PHP), a database (MySQL) and security precautions. The security side of things is really important so make sure you understand it.

It will take a little bit of time to build your site, as you need to learn PHP and MySQL. They’re the easiest. The best advice I can offer, learn on tutorials and examples. DO NOT try to learn through building your site. You will end up either re-writting it several times as you learn better approaches/techniques; or you will get frustrated with it and abandon it.

Take your time, learn the processes separately, then come back to your project and go from there. I have seen too many people believe they can learn through their project, and it simply kills their motivation. Small projects increase your motivation if you are successful with them.

Remember that we are always here. Emails are always welcomed as well.

Cheers 😀

Sandy asks…

How to create a website forum from scratch?

I want to create a website forum from scratch I do not want to use A pre-made one like phpbb. I know Xhtml Css Php so if you guys could tell or me show me something that would help me that would be greatly apreicated. Thank you.

Craig answers:

Quality forum software involves hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands, of programmer-hours of work. If you want to create one from scratch, I suggest you start by looking at the code of some existing ones and learning how they work. Then, sit down and bang away at your computer for a few hundred hours until you get something decent. Then, sit down and bang away for another couple of hundred hours to debug and secure it.

Sharon asks…

What service do you recommend I use to start my first website?

I want a website with my own domain name, but I’m ignorant of how to create a website from scratch. I think I could run it if I could just get it going and had a few tutorials…Any help appreciated!

Craig answers:

Few modern legends are as captivating as those of Internet companies, marked by their evolution from humble basement projects to billion-dollar corporations. But these stories are no myth.

From Yahoo! To Amazon, countless companies now employing thousands of people sprung up from a dream that could have easily been born next to an old Chevy in a neglected garage (just research how Apple got started).

Anyone can do it

So does this mean that you can start a website and become the next Bill Gates? Of course not, but it does show that even a World Wide Web beginner can have a successful Internet business with smart planning and a lot of hard work.

In fact, I’ll show you how easy it is to get a website up and running, in 7 simple steps. The only prerequisites you’ll need are:

  • A computer and basic computer skills
  • Internet access
  • Software to create a website
  • Some cash to buy a domain name and host your site

Just remember that each step is only an overview. Each involves its own research that you will have to do. Though it might mean spending some time surfing with search engines, consider it a valuable experience as you will learn the Internet’s layout and how to go about finding information, which you can later use to promote your own website.

Step 1: An Idea
Whether you want to build a website to serve as a personal homepage, a fan site, a hobby, or a full-blown business, you need to decide what the purpose of your website will be, what kind of information it will contain, how much time you want to devote to it, and how much money you want to spend on it.

This is sometimes the longest part of creating a site. Often, your original idea morphs as the website is in the process of being built. Coming up with an original idea is one of the first steps you can take in ensuring the future success of your website. After all, I’d assume no one builds a website just for the sake of it.

A website is built to showcase either yourself, an interest you have, a product, or a service you offer that is unique. By making it an interesting idea, you will not only make other people interested, but you will also keep yourself motivated.

Step 2: A Domain Name
The next step is buying a domain name for your website. It is the permanent online address of your website. AOL.com, AskMen.com, Whitehouse.org are all domain names. Unfortunately, domain names are not free, so be prepared to pay up to $35 a year for a name.

I strongly recommend you take the time to choose and buy a domain name. Unless you are just playing around with a website because you are bored, a Geocities or Tripod account just won’t cut it, even for a semiprofessional website.

Choose a name that is easy to remember and represents what your website is about. This is the first element in branding your website, so make sure you run the name by a few people before plucking down the cash for it. Websites like NetSol.com and Register.com offer plenty of domain name combinations, beyond the plain old “.com.”

Step 3: Hosting The Site
This step is often overlooked and underrated in its importance while building a website. Taking the time to choose where your website is hosted can lead to increased visitors and save you money at the same time. After all, it is where your website is located — your address to the world. Make sure you find a good home for your website.

A good hosting company can provide your website with fast-loading pages and graphics; 100% up-time (meaning your website is always available to your users); and good upgrading capabilities as your website grows. There is nothing worse for an Internet surfer than a slow website or one that is unavailable. The hosting company should also offer an affordable price, so that you are not slapped with huge bandwidth costs if your website is suddenly linked up on Yahoo.com.

There are literally thousands of hosting companies out there. But beware; you get what you pay for. So if someone offers to host your site for free, know that there’s always a catch.

One hosting company that has gained a reputation as the ideal place to host your first website is Servint.com.

For $25 a month, you can have your domain name hosted, 50 MB of disk space for content and images, and up to 5 GB of monthly download.

For $50 a month (and even less if you prepay), you can have 2 domain names hosted, 125 MB of space, and up to 20 GB of monthly download — an incredible amount perhaps only a true Web connoisseur can appreciate.

Servint.com is also known for its attentive customer service and extremely fast-loading webpages. Of course, do your own research but from my experience, they offer the best bang for you buck, price-to-performance wise.

Personally, I like Hostgator.com and find their customer service excellent. You might also want to check out Bluehost.

Step 4: Building The Site
Once you know what your website will be about, what it will be called, and where it will be hosted, you can get started on the actual building process. I recommend you get a grasp on the mechanics of a webpage before you start. It’s very easy to learn, and no website is better equipped for beginners than htmlgoodies.com, thanks to the dozens of tutorials it offers.

Learn the basic commands and terminology; create a few simple pages with only words and no graphics. This will allow you to get a feel for how HTML (the computer language used to build 99% of the websites on the Web) works. You can even use a word processor to create your first few webpages. Again, a site like htmlgoodies.com will take you through the process step-by-step, so make time to visit it.

Step 5: Software To Build The Site
Once you know the basics of HTML, you can download a free HTML editor from download.com to help you save time typing in every HTML command. Most Windows users have a version of FrontPage (an HTML editor program) included in their computers. Make an effort to test whichever HTML program you choose, but remember: it should be intuitive and straightforward. I recommend a program called CoffeeCup HTML Editor.

Also, you will need an imaging program for your pictures and graphics. Adobe Photoshop or PhotoDeluxe will do the job, but I recommend GIMP and Paint Shop Pro. You will also need an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program that will allow you to transfer your website pages and images from your computer to where it will be hosted. The best-known and most widely used FTP program is called WS_FTP, which is also available at download.com. Personally, I like FileZilla.

Step 6: Get People To Your Site
The “build it and they will come” adage doesn’t work in the offline world; nor will it work in the online world. Once your site is up, you will need to promote it. There are millions of websites out there vying for the same eyeballs.

The key is to be in as many places as possible. This increases the chances of your website being exposed. So take the time to submit your site to the leading search engines, and exchange links with websites that offer complementary information, products, or services whenever possible. Investing in a Yahoo! Listing is well worth the price.

Creating a large website is not an overnight process, so make sure you have enough compelling content on your website to keep whatever visitors you attract coming back. Eventually you’ll have a steady base audience, consisting of regular users and newcomers.

Step 7: Track Your Traffic & Fine-Tune
The Internet allows anyone with a website to have access to loads of statistics. Use that information wisely; analyze it in order to see patterns and to know which pages are being viewed more than others. Most hosting companies offer software to track unique visitors (one computer equals one “unique visitor”), average time per visitor, page views per visitor, etc. If they don’t, you can monitor traffic on your website through a webpage counter or tracker. Hitbox.com offers this for free. I use Google Analytics on all the sites I build and if you use WordPress as your build platform, you’ll find several plugins that can integrate Google Analytics into your site.

Remember, the Internet is ever evolving. Make sure you are constantly making changes and improving your website. Pay attention to user feedback, and don’t be afraid to try new things until you get the right formula. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your success story.

And you’re ready

Now that you know what it takes to get your own website started, I recommend you get up, go for a walk, think about what you need to get started, come back to your computer which a cup of coffee and get started.

Your greatest enemy is time. The longer each step takes, the more reluctant you might be to continue. Steps 1 to 3 can easily be done in one day, Step 4 will take at least three days, Step 5 will take five days, Step 6 another two days, and Step 7 is an ongoing process.

Think about it: you can be up and running in two weeks, and you thought you had to go to college for four years. What are you waiting for? Go for that walk. Good luck!

Chris asks…

What is the best free website builder out there?

I need to start creating a website from scratch, and need some help finding the best program out there for this. I’m only looking for a completely free website builder

Craig answers:

http://www.wix.com will teach you how to make your own website with your own domain (whateveryouwant.com) the free way! It’s best!

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