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MAKING AN EXCITING WEB SITE

 Web pages do not need to have a specific purpose, you can create your own site just for fun.  Share information about a topic that interests you,  show off your favorite pictures, write poetry, keep a journal,  share those great recipes you have, create a fan club,  just to name a few.  At the same time you are learning a new skill.    

PLANNING YOUR WEB PAGE

Organize your Contents.   Lets say you want to create a Recipes page as your main theme.  Gather all your recipes,  sort them by categories, desserts, main course, appetizers.   Visit some of your favorite personal  recipe sites for some ideas on how to layout your web pages. Note what you really like and what you don't.  Remember not to duplicate what you see, make yours unique.

Divide your contents.   Your  home page will be the enter page.  This page should contain a title area, some introductory information about your site and navigational links to your other pages.   Here is where you will welcome your visitors. Tell them what your site has to offer, make it brief, most viewers scan information so too much text is usually ignored.   This main page is usually referred to as your index page. 

Adding Graphics.  If you just included text on your index page, don't expect too many visitors.  These days graphics make your pages more attractive.  Almost everything you see on a web page these days offers some graphics as well.   The secret to graphics is a little goes a long way.  Don't overcrowd your page with pictures, animations, bars, buttons, etc.  Think of why you are using them and if they are really necessary. A nice colored background or maybe an interesting graphic that will instantly tell your viewers what your site is all about.   There are many sites offering free background sets, clip art etc. the choice is endless. CAUTION    make sure you have permission before taking any photo or graphic from anywhere.  Many sites will have a terms and condition for using their graphics.   If unsure,  email the owner of the site and ask him or her if you may use it on your site.

How do I put my site on the Web?  You will need a web host for your site. Choose a provider that lets you store at least 1 mb of information, which is equal to about 10 web pages.  Internet service providers usually offer a limited amount of space where their customers can place their web site free of charge.  There are many Web hosts that offer free space so spend some time reviewing them.  One of the most popular ones to offer free space is Bravehost.  They also offer  a premium pkg. for as low as $4.99 a month.

When you have decided on a host think about what name you would like to be known as when people visit your site.  e.g. http://www.coolhandluke.bravenet.com/

I know, we all sometimes just scan the Terms and Service of a site, but this is very important.  Before you join, please read this very carefully,  you would hate to have your site removed after all your hard work if you violated the user policies.

How do I Upload my files? To upload files from your computer to your web host, there are two ways, through a File Manager that may be provided by your host, or by using an FTP software program (File Transfer Protocol) that allows you to transfer files between two computers. WS_FTP home and CuteFTP are two shareware programs that you can download and try for free. If you decide to keep it, you must purchase it. That's the premise of shareware - try before you buy.

Do I need to know HTML to build my  Site?  Knowledge of HTML is helpful but not absolutely necessary.   Bravenet offers many tools  such as Vititi!

Ready to Begin!  

Now that you have decided how you will build your website, it's time to begin.  To create your website you will need an text editor. you do not have to be connected to the Internet to create your website.   

What is a Text Editor?

A text editor is a program where you type the text for your pages and then add HTML tags to define how you want the text to appear when viewed on the web. Popular text editors include Notepad for Windows and SimpleText for the Macintosh.   

Away We Go!

Now that you have a host, take some time and familiarize yourself with the many  goodies they offers, such as Guestbook, Counters, etc.

 These excellent resources will help you build your site.

Design Tips
Navigational Area Always include navigation links on each page users will enter. Place your navigation link in the same section on every page, be it on top, bottom, left or right.
Graphic Questions to ask yourself Background - Is it too dark? Is it hard to read the text? Does it go with my theme?
Test your web pages Check spelling, verify links, test your pages without images to make sure readers will still see your data.
W3C HTML Validator Have W3C validate your HTML tags
pagetutor.com Here you'll find free HTML tutorials, tables, frames and forms tutorials, a MouseOver tutorial, a solid javascript tutorial, password protection script and lots of resources for the beginning and advanced HTML author and web designer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I remove the blue border around my buttons? set the border attribute of the image to 0 so it should look like <img src="button.gif" border= "0">
How do I make a thumbnail of my image? You'll need some kind of image-editing program, such as Paint Shop Pro; the Web won't do it for you. Open up your image and scale it down to the smaller size.
How do I add my email address? Type the text or insert an image you want readers to select to send an e-mail message. In front of the text or image, type <a href="mailto:?"> replacing "?" with your e-mail address. Remember to always close the <a> tag.

(example: to email me) <a href="mailto:dotjo.geo@yahoo.com">Email Me</a>

Email Me

When a reader selects an e-mail link their e-mail program will start. The appropriate address is already filled in to ensure that the message will be sent to the right person.
How do I make this popular layout as you show here? One way to achieve this bordered look is shown in my Triple Border Tutorial

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