making a website

NOTE re these 5 pages: IF YOU want to copy any of the HTML codes and use them, fine BUT you should copy them to Notepad (NOT "Wordpad") first and from there to your webpage. That way any 'formatting' will be removed and you won't make a mess.


IMPORTANT UPDATE:

In Jan. 2006, most of my websites had been hosted for a couple of years by Half Price Hosting BUT I had many problems with them and have found a MUCH BETTER hosting service. MANY advantages. Half Price Hosting got quite nasty when I left and tried to rip me off.

MY NEW HOST

now is 1and1 and I highly recommend it to anyone. If their banner does not show here, due to your browser's settings, you can click in this link to them: http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=9854692
Best Web Hosting

A friend of mine had signed up with GoDaddy and not long after told me:

"it is a royal pain to use Go Daddy's web site, ...... I would nominate www.GoDaddy.com as the world's worst web site...... I hate to recommend GoDaddy..........."


There are 5 parts to this resource:

Part 1: BEFORE you start
Part 2: Tips and General Information
Part 3: Secrets for Promoting your URL
Part 4: Other Useful Links
Part 5: Very FAST "Quick-Start"


Tools for making a website

For years, literally, I've been searching for a good FREEWARE HTML editor. I did NOT want to get into the HTML coding; I figure if a tool can do that for me, so much the better. Claris Home Page was a lot of fun. Even AOL's web editor was cool until they dropped it. I even bought Microsoft's Front Page 2000 which was ok but not great. Then I was quite excited about Nvu and used it until KompoZer took over. THEN, the main man behind those two projects started BlueGriffon and I think it is probably the BEST freeware HTML (WYSIWYG) editor on this planet. All 3 are free and all 3 are WYSIWYG. (WYSIWYG for the un-initiated means What You See Is What You Get.) Here is the link and links to the other two:

BlueGriffon HTML Editor: http://bluegriffon.org/
Nvu HTML Editor: http://www.nvu.com/
KompoZer HTML Editor: http://www.kompozer.net/

bluegriffon

Here is a screenshot of BlueGriffon:

At the time of this writing, there is no "User Guide" but there is a very good set of videos; the URL for the first one of the series lives here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWPj7EGjQt0&feature=relmfu.

Having said all that, I must confess: They work and work well, BUT, once you have been a "Webmaster" for awhile, you find more and more that you want to 'tweak' the html in ways that are difficult and awkward with these editors, AND, while Nvu added HUGE amounts of empty, blank, useless space into the code, KompoZer did the opposite; it "scrunched" all the code together so you cannot work with the code anymore. I've read in the forums that EVERY WYISWYG Editor messes up your code; it is "the nature of the beast."

When that happens, you turn to the free tool that everyone has: Microsoft's NOTEPAD. That is what I spent the winter of 2006 - 2007 doing; all my pages over again with Notepad, adding a lot of CSS. I won't go into CSS much in this tutorial for now; maybe later. After I used Notepad awhile, I switched to Crimson Editor and in 2011 I switched to using Notepad ++ from http://notepad-plus-plus.org/.




Part 1: BEFORE YOU START

FIRST, you should probably decide what NAME your website should have, that is, the URL ("Uniform Resource Locator") for the new website. For example, my main address is this URL: http://www.sticksite.com. When you have chosen a name, you will need to be sure it is available and if so, register it and make sure that you renew it when it expires. You can go to one of these websites to find out if the name you want is available:
http://www.domaintools.com/
http://www.internic.net/whois.html

1. Decide what you want to tell the whole world. Maybe your website will not be for the whole world; maybe it will be only for friends and family. That makes a difference. Note that you will not need to incur *any* expenses; *all* of it can be free.

2. Make a folder where you are going to keep all the files which make up your website, that is, your ".htm" file as well as your ".gif" and ".jpg" files etc. (example: C:\website\)

(incidentally, you can save your website page as an ".htm" file or an ".html" file)

3. Make a folder on your C:\ drive for "web-tools": (in other words, a database of tools) and in that folder make separate folders as you find different "tools" e.g.
- images (.gif) and call it "gifs" for all those (.gif) pictures you tend to collect for future use
- images (.jpg) and call it "jpegs" for all those (.jpg) pictures which you collect for future use
- background images (.gif and .jpg) which you may want to use some day
- music (.mid) files which you may want to use someday; I find ".wav" files too big
- other folders as you find more tools, e.g. color tools

The background of this page is an "image" because it is a "texture" rather than a color. At the end of these 4 pages you'll find a lot of links for websites where you can get free images, music and backgrounds.

4. Decide where you are going to put (upload) your website so the world will have access to it. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may provide you with space as part of your monthly fee. If not, check out the free ones. I studied this and made a web-page where I list the ones I like and those which did not impress me. That page lives HERE. Note that after you have a web-page 'up' and find that it is successful beyond your expectations, and if you should have to move to a different ISP, you'll have a big problem. Your address (URL: Universal Resource Locator) will change and those who had "bookmarked" your site will lose you. This happened to me. Spend a few dollars and register your own "Domain name." Everybody told me long ago to do that but I was too cheap. NOW I wish I had listened. The free hosting services come and go and when they go, your website disappears with no warning. I used another free service that gave me this name: http://www.surf.to/ken. Surprisingly, even though I have not paid for many years, it still works. No idea why. That service is/was offered by http://home.v3.com/

WARNING:

I found that my Internet Service Provider, Look Communications, suddenly, without the slightest warning, de-activated my websites. I had PAID for a year in advance. People were emailing me to ask what had happened! Then they would not reinstate it unless I took all the prices of my sticks off the site. I WISH I'D NEVER HEARD OF LOOK COMMUNICATIONS! If I had had a Domain Name, I could have very easily moved my website to a different host. So, I had to make a change so a lot of folks who had my URL in their "Bookmarks" or "Favorites" were not able to find me any longer. One minor advantage: I moved to a different host (near top of this page); I was never happy with Look's service anyway. Tell your friends!

Bottom Line

GET your OWN Domain Name. It may even be worth money to somebody else later if you no longer want it. If you go to 1and1, link at the top of this page, you will find a tool for searching for a name.

5. Decide on what software you are going to use to make your website. I tried a couple of poor ones, then was quite happy with Claris Home page, then tried the free "Composer" which came with Netscape but found that it was a "dog" and then found the free "Front Page Express" which you could get with Microsoft Internet Explorer. That was a good program. Since then I moved to their full version: Front Page 2000. BUT note the newsflash at the top of this page.

6. Check out my FREEware page; these are programs which I have downloaded and enjoy very much; that page lists several "must-have" tools for webmasters.

7. In your spare moments, think about and make a list of all the "keywords". These are words which web-surfing people may use when searching for the kind of information which will be on your website. There is a free, online tool you can use for this, go here: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

8. Start keeping a list of useful bits of HTML code that you like to use. That way you can copy from that list every time you make a new page. You can make that list in NotePad so that you can copy/paste from it into your HTML editor. Another option is to make it in HTML like a website so that you can have hyperlinks in it. I call mine "HTMLsnippits45.htm." The "45" is due to there being 45 snippits of code in it at the moment.


To Part 2 .. To Part 3 .. To Part 4 .. To Part 5

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