Getting a Website Started--
Recommended General Principles:
- Buy your domain name right away. It is cheap and you don't want to design the site with the name scattered throughout, only to discover that name is no longer available.
- Build the web site on your local computer.
- Use a text editor such as BBEdit (Mac) or UltraEdit (Windows), and learn HTML, OR (second choice) a program designed for web site creation. Yes, this is more work at first. It is also worth it. You learn more, and will have more versatile pages that are easier to modify.
- Use plain HTML at first.
- Make sure the file representing the first page is saved as plain text with the name index.html or index.htm
- All other file names should also end in .html or .htm
- Put all pictures or images into a separate directory (folder) called images. HTML references to these should start /images/filename.
- Ensure you have a backup of all the files in your site. Store this on a separate disk from your main drive. If you are properly paranoid, make a second backup and store it in a different building.
- Use the syntax checker in the editor frequently to ensure you have written correct HTML. Otherwise, not all browsers will display it correctly.
- Check your site in the browsers you have available. Ensure it displays in reasonably modern versions of IE, Safari and FireFox at least. If it works in FireFox, it should also work in Mozilla, Netscape, and Camino. If you want to be really thorough, check Opera, iCab, and OmniWeb.
From Arjay Web Services division of Arjay Enterprises and affiliate of Arjay Books
- Buy hosting until you are ready to upload the site you have built. You are wasting money.
- Use on-site web building tools provided by a host, even us. You can't take such a site with you when you change hosts unless the new host has the same product installed.
- Edit the file directly on the web site rather than on your local machine. You wouldn't have a local backup.
- Use a word processor (such as Word) or any other program that saves HTML files in a proprietary format or uses techniques that depend on specific browsers. Word processors are not good at producing correct HTML site code. Your web site may only work with one browser and not with any others, and your files may not be readable for use in any other program.
- Use any fancy scripting or extra bells and whistles such as counters and guest books at first. Many people find counters annoying, and guest books generate a lot of spam. If you want additional things like these, they can be added later after you have a functional site. Your host will provide tools for such things.
- Construct the web site using conventional "frames". Search engines may not be able to index the site.