Building a Web Site: Introduction
Want a web site, but don't know where to start? This series of articles
is designed to give you an overview so that you know what you're getting
into, and also points you to helpful tools and resources to help you get
your web site up.
In general, this is what you'll need if you're trying to get up
a simple web site:
- A domain name - for example, our domain name is "www.lipstickmonkey.com."
- A place to host your web site
- A program to edit your web site (FrontPage, Dreamweaver... or
- A program to edit images for your web site
- A web template is a good and inexpensive starting point
- If you want ecommerce and don't have thousands of dollars to
spend on it, we recommend PayPal's shopping cart/button system - easy
But before you even get to these things, you need to do some
research and thinking.
- What's the purpose of your web site? To sell? To provide
information about your services? To persuade people to call you? If you
can narrow down what you want your viewers to do when they're at your
site, you can save yourself a lot of time by focusing your web site
- Who is your audience going to be? If you already have
marketing materials, you've probably already thought about this. For
example, do you have a specific audience such as African-American women?
If so, this will help you to choose relevant imagery.
- What kind of technology is your audience using? Are most of
them going to have high-speed internet access? If not, you may want to
stay away from large image files or large animation files such as Flash
The answers to these questions will help you to stay focused as you
build your web site.
The following articles will cover:
- rough cost estimates
- choose your tools (editor, image editor)
- choose your template
- choose and register your domain name
- choose a hosting provider
your content and images
- bells and whistles
- publishing your site
- testing your web site
- marketing your web site
- improving your skills
up? hire someone.
We are a template company, so scattered throughout this series of
articles will be shameless plugs for our web site and products. HOWEVER,
we have tried to be truly unbiased in each article so that you get a
"real" sense of what it's going to take to get your web site up. This
article series is meant to be practical and helpful, so you'll find
limited, not exhaustive, lists of links to third-party resources, most of
which we've actually used! However, we can't be held responsible if the
link is broken or if a service doesn't work out for you (although we
appreciate it when people tell us that a link is broken).