How to Create a Website

Started by rajoe, Apr 23, 2009, 04:18 PM

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rajoe

How to Create a Website

I want a website. But how do I go about it? Whom do I contact? Will it cost a lot of money? These are only some of the questions that would be raised in your mind if you are thinking of building your own website. Here, I'm going to answer these and several other queries which would be raised when one wants to build a website.

Did you know?

Did you know Muchhad Paanwalla has a website too? Who is Mucchaad paanwalla? He is the famous paanwalla who sits at Kemps Corner. He is very well known for his meetha (sweet) paan a.k.a Ladies paan. It's my favourite too!

Please note that I'm not going into a heavy HTML tutorial on website building and would rather focus on the pre-process of building a website. Yes. The "Pre-process". Many erroneously think that building a website is simply slapping on a few webpages together. Well it isn't that simple and is much more than that! The information here is not complete, but is helpful enough to set creative as well as analytical juices flowing towards building a website.

Why a website? Asking the right questions
Why is it that you want a website? Just because the guy next door does or is it that your competitors do and therefore you want it too? This is like a kid telling his mom "If Vishal can have it, why can't I?" It would help more if you think constructively rather than reactively. Ask the right questions and you'll get the right answers.

1. What is it that you are trying to achieve through a website?

This will help you understand your goals and in effect the websites goals much better.

2. Is it business related or pleasure/hobby? What is your business/hobby all about?
This will help you angle the website in a particular way. If it's a business website, it will have a more serious flavour to it as compared with a hobby website, which would perhaps have brighter colours and/or have funky designs.

3. Is your website going to just inform the audience or are you going to sell something on it too?

There are two types of informational websites - one where the content is pretty much fixed and to change it you require the developers help, the other which uses a content management system that enables you to change content yourself such as blogs. If you are going to sell, the simplest way is to let people contact you or have an online shopping cart.

4. Who is your target audience?

This question will help you decide whom you are talking to and how. It will also help you to figure out what language to use and which style would suit your content better. Also, you can decide the kind of images/photos would appeal to the audience.

5. Who are your competitors? In case of a hobby website, who are the other fellow hobbyists?

This will help not only in your website creation but business in general. Knowing what the competition/other guy has up for offer will help you know your place in the business world/hobby world and determine how important you are to your audience.

6. What are the websites that you've referred? What are the websites that you like?
Before you try to decide what your website will look like, look at what other websites look like. Also, see how easy or difficult it is to get what you want on the website. Refer not just competitor websites but take a cue from those you like in general.

What's in the name?
Since you've finally decided to build a website, the first thing you need to do is think of a name or rather several alternatives of a name. For a business website, you will obviously want the name of your business; for a hobbyist you'd probably want a name of your hobby attached, such as coin collector. There are several things that you may want to think about before deciding on a name.


1. If your hobby is coin collection as of now, it may not be wise to get a name such as coincollector.com because after a few years, if you want to expand your hobby, coincollector.com will not fit in. It would thus be smarter to go for a generic name or your own very name as a website address. If you are a business, you have far less of a chance of change in a name. For example, if you are called Shree Riddhi Siddhi Computers, it would probably be easy to get the same name, but be ready for a slight alteration if you don't.

2. Getting/deciding on a name can get to be difficult. Understand that Internet has no boundaries and therefore every English dictionary name you think of is probably already taken such as coincollector.com. Also, having a .com address, which is long, can get difficult and frustrating to type in. Like missing out a "d" in Riddhi Siddhi will give an error and most novice users will probably not understand the problem.

3. If you cannot get a name in a .com form, don't fret as not all addresses end in .com. You can look at several alternatives such as .org, .net, .in, .co.in, etc. The cost of each of these may vary.

4. You don't need a web designer to tell you what name you can or cannot choose. You can choose this from a wonderful little site called DomainTyper.com which very clearly explains what site name you can or cannot take. If you really like the name you've chosen but cannot find a .com, .net, or .org name, click on the "Add Extension" next to it where you can choose a different extension altogether.

Practically speaking, there is really no difference in .com, .net, or .org name these days. Search engines don't discriminate between a .com address and a .net address. The .com addresses are just the most popular domain extensions and therefore the Internet is thought of as "dot com". As a rule, go for .com first and if it is taken, try for others.

Buying space
Yes, just like you need space for your office, you need space for your website too. It's measured in MB's and GB's here and not in width, height and depth.

There are various places you can buy space from. However, it's best left upto your web designer/company you are getting this through. If you want a general cost structure for buying space and domain name, is will cost you about Rs.150 per month or more. Here are a few popular hosts that offer webhosting for your website. Each host has several offers/goodies to offer. I will not go into this as it is beyond the scope of this article. However, be careful of webhosts that claim unlimited space and bandwidth. There are no free lunches and unlimited generally means that there is a limit but most small websites will not exceed it. However, once you do, you'll be asked to pay for a higher package or move to another host. Don't worry. The unlimitedness threshold is quite high such as 6GB for space or more and 500GB or more for bandwidth. Also, Linux webhosting is cheaper than Windows.

Want to make your basics stronger?
If you are really technologically-challenged you need to read this. My completely technologically-challenged uncle asked me certain questions I never even thought about. He couldn't understand what the internet was or what a website really is. So, here are some of the questions and answers that I came across.


What is the Internet?

As per Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) , "The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers, enabling users to share information along multiple channels." Basically, for something like an Internet, you need several people who have computers hooked up to each other through wires to send and receive data.

This is what the internet would look like when visualized with colour codes. Original higher size is available at Wikipedia Internet Map.
It is pretty much like a club called the Internet and several people joining in (logging in) to send other club members some information. In order to facilitate faster communication and exchange of services, certain members are rich enough to have big information centres (called servers) that can share info for certain exchange of information from you. This is, of course, a very simplistic explanation and I'm sure many of you are already raising your eyebrows. I cannot discuss this in detail here, do hop on to Wikipedia entry on Internet for better information. If you are interested in actually seeing a better visual representation of how Internet network looks, see World Wide Web Around Wikipedia.

What is URL/Internet address? I already have an office address.
URL/address is being referred to as a location where your website is or will be. You cannot just say "Go to the Internet and see what we are offering." It's like saying "Go to Andheri and you'll find the Techtree office." You need to specify where you need to go exactly and there cannot be landmarks for websites either, you cannot say it's next to the Wikipedia website. The URL address is something like www.techtree.com, which is equivalent to giving exact address to someone to reach your office.

What is a website?
Just as you've an office site/space where you sit, your internet office sits where your website is.

I don't want my competitor to see my website
In business, you can avoid to show your competitor your offerings, but you cannot so that on a website as you do not have control over who comes to see your website. Internet has no boundaries -- anyone, anywhere can come see your offerings and probably copy or offer something better. You can limit your website to a closed set of people with a password protection. However, this defeats the purpose of a website, plus you need to have a real solid offering for someone to really want to get included in such an elitist club.

Designing a Website

Before you skip this, I'm not getting into the technical details here. I will just take you through the thought process that you need undertake when you want to build your own website. Yes, even if you hire a web designer and it's his job to do this, it will help and reduce a lot of heartache if you streamline your thought before you go to explain him what you want.


1. Design for easy reading across webpages. Nothing should interfere with the readability of the webpage, that's the only way you can communicate with your audience. You may like red colour, but, please don't paste it across the entire webpage as it makes readability difficult; use white instead as it's the most readable and professional to look at.

2. Don't try any stupid cheap tricks to fool the search engines. In the past, web designers have developed nefarious methods in an attempt to get higher rankings in the search engines such as repeating several words in the same page, putting invisible text, etc. Gone are those days. Trying to fool Google (the king of search engines) will get your website banned.

3. Forget silly under construction pages. If you don't have anything there, just don't put anything there at all. No one wants to go to an under-construction page. It's like announcing a new road and then saying, "Oh it's under construction come later".



Subdomain
In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain. For example, "mail.example.com" or "calendar.example.com" are subdomains of the "example.com" domain, which in turn is a subdomain of the ".com" top-level domain (TLD).
Source - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subdomain

ICANN
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California, U.S., ICANN is a non-profit corporation that was created on Sept. 18, 1998. ICANN is responsible for managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses.
Find out more here.


Cyber Squatting
Cyber Squatting is the registration of a well-known brand or company name as an Internet domain name in the hope of selling it at a later date for an exorbitant amount. This is considered an offence and is a crime.


aswinnandha

this information gives more useful for how to create website
this gives clear information about website

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