Building Your First Web Site

 


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The ease with which visitors are able to use a Web Site is very important, especially if you`re trying to market something from the site. Usability is very much about how quickly and easily visitors are able to move around the site and not just about making sure everything on the site works.

The need for your website to be easily navigated is enormous. Messy, disruptive and confusing sites are a huge turn off to potential customers. In other words: if you`re looking to make sales, make sure your website is easy to navigate so as not to chase off visitors at first sight.

Navigation (links for moving around the site) is extremely important if you want your visitors to look at more than just your main page. If navigation choices are unclear, most visitors will just hit the “Close" button, never to be seen again.

As a rule of thumb, the main navigation is usually placed in the top 1/3 of the web page or on the left hand column, and the secondary navigation tends to be placed within the bottom 2/3 of the page, or on the right hand column. Of course, this is entirely your choice, because, as with all rules, there ARE exceptions ;~)

If you want to build your website on your own from scratch, I highly recommend getting some free webspace to practice on, especially if you`re new to site-building. Try a few different ones and see which one is best for you, but keep in mind that to be taken seriously, you really will need to get your own domain and proper hosting for your site at some point in time.

Some free webspace hosts:

http://www.freeservers.com
http://www.50megs.com
http://www.20m.com
http://www.tripod.lycos.com

Of course, not everybody is an expert in hmtl, perl, php and things like that, so I`ve listed a few resources that you may find helpful in designing your first website.

Free website templates:

http://freesitetemplates.com
http://www.freewebtemplates.com
http://www.templatesbox.com
http://www.freelayouts.com

Free banner templates:

http://www.animationonline.com/S/banner_templates.html
http://www.pysoft.com/GIF_Designer_Banners1.html
http://www.clickfire.com/content/graphics/banners

Free scripts, tools etc:

http://www.free-scripts.net
Offers html guide, email checker, chat, and many other things.

http://www.free-webmaster-tools.com
Has over 1400 Directory resources for web development

http://resources.bravenet.com/scripts_archive/javascript_dhtml
Offers free clocks, colors, images, menus, mouse effects, scrollers and more.

And finally, some free HTML help and tutorials:

Some simple HTML codes to spice up your web site:
http://www.web-source.net/html_tips.htm

HTML articles and tutorials:
http://www.iboost.com/build/programming/html

Simple HTML tags:
http://htmlgoodies.earthweb.com/primers/primer_2.html

Just what it says: How to build HTML:
http://www.howtobuildhtml.com

Should you decide you want a “real" website from the start, with your own domain name and paid hosting but you still have problems designing one yourself, there`s plenty of places where you can find web designers at affordable prices, or maybe even free. Talk with friends, see if they have any knowledge on the subject, ask if they`d be willing to help you. Do a search on Google or Yahoo for forums, chatrooms and such-like pertaining to website design. , try bartering something in return for web design services. You`ll be amazed at what a little bartering can bring you ;~)

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