Where does a person start when setting up a website? What software is best to use? Setting up a website is not an easy proposition. If you are interested in knowing what the first step is in setting up your own website, continue reading.
In fact, it is a good idea to have a solid understanding of how to build sites before attempting to go-live. If you are looking for a professional looking website, you should be willing to pay for one, because building a professional looking website does not happen overnight.
I have been formally studying website design and development for six years now, and I have dedicated endless hours of my time on this subject, and I still have my moments when I feel like throwing in the towel. Why? Studying web design and development goes wide and deep!
Not only can it be tough to build a relatively simple website, but a person needs to know how to manage a website as it sits on a server. In addition, you need to understand how websites are indexed and function on the Internet. Flash animations, internal links, external links, and hierarchical organization are the life’s blood to websites.
Knowledge of how to create web-ready graphics is of key importance too, because WebPages need to load quickly. Don’t forget, websites require knowledge of design elements and principles, web-friendly typography and style sheets, graphic design, and written communication skills. Each one of these aspects cannot be ignored or minimized and are the building blocks for professional looking websites.
Where should a person start? Go to a bookstore or websites and look for books on the subject. Personally, I have a library of computer books and need all of them. Also, try raising your awareness while visiting other people’s websites and notice how others build their websites. Taking classes sure helps too. Finding software such as Microsoft Frontpage or Macromedia Dreamweaver is truly the answer to building and maintaining websites, because editors come with tutorials and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out! Remember, keep it simple. Try to find a template to use and keep the number of WebPages a minimum. Working on free web space sounds like a good idea, but personally, I would not go that route. You might as well do it right from the beginning. Working online and trying to manipulate a website is difficult at best, but free space is confusing comparatively. Don’t forget, there are a lot of great books on setting up websites. (revised 2/15/2006)
Debbie Jensen, Web Designer, Graphic Designer, and Photographer