How to Build Your Website

By Chad Buleen

  • Overview

    Building your Website is an exciting and sometimes daunting thing to do. Despite this, it is something that can be accomplished with less expertise than on might think is needed. There are a number of tools available that make building a Website easier now than ever before. Although there are hundreds of templates for blogs available, building your Website and making it uniquely yours is going to take a little extra work. However, the end result will be rewarding.
    • Step 1

      Draw a conceptual plan on paper. A person should definitely have an idea of what he or she wants on his or her Website before actually starting to design the site for the Web. Using a pencil and paper, design the home page. Think about whether or not things like dropdown menus, video and flash capability is something wanted on the Web site. Draw samples of all of the pages that will be landing pages from the home page. If there are 20 links on the home page, you do not need to conceptually draw each landing page unless each one will be different in style. A difference in content does not need to be considered at this stage.
    • Step 2

      Do the needed research. One thing that many new Web designers come to learn fairly quickly is that building your Website is not a one-size-fits-all process, especially when it comes to Web browsers. Read up on how different browsers react to different kinds of items on sites. There are magazines and tons of information on the Internet that discuss different ways that browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome react to video, flash and loading images. It also is important to know what size of browser people are using when they surf the Web. While new, large computer screens have made it more common to see browser sizes of wider than 1,500 pixels, the majority of browser sizes still falls within 1,000 to 1,499 pixels. A good rule of thumb is to build your Web site with a browser size of 1,240 pixels in mind. This will make the site visually accessible to most people.

    • Step 3

      Buy or download a free trial of Adobe Dreamweaver. This software can be downloaded for free for a 30-day trial. Any person (expert or novice) who is trying to build a Web site should use this program. Dreamweaver reduces the need to create html and instead allows a person to design a Web page graphically. As the graphic edits are being made to a Web page, Dreamweaver will automatically create the html for the page.
    • Step 4

      Create a table. The easiest way to build your Web site in Dreaweaver is to create a three-column table. Rows can be added. A three-column table allows a person to have room to create a dominant center of the page and also have room on either side for menus, links or ads. Dreamweaver allows users to manipulate the tables so that cells in the table can be merged. This means that certain sections of the site might be three columns wide, while other sections can be designed to be two or three columns. A person can have as many columns as he wants when building a Website, but more than three or four may be too many -- depending on the content.
    • Step 5

      Add images and text. After the tables on the page have been laid out based on the conceptual drawings, add images and text. Text can be copied and pasted straight into the tables. Formatting options are available. For headlines or subheads, choose a h1 or an h2 font size. These are the largest text sizes for headlines. When choices are made to italicize or make text bold-faced, HTML is automatically created to do this as well. Use a graphic image library to add images into the areas of the page where they belong. Remember when resizing the images that the way they appear will depend on the browser size of the person's computer who opens the page.
    • Step 6

      Preview. Use the preview button at the top of the page to preview how the page will look as a published HTML page. Dreamweaver allows you to view your Web site in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. If something appears off in one of the browsers, make small modifications until the page looks right in all three browsers. Once you have finished building your Website, copy the HTML that has been created and upload it to the Web server and your Web site is done.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Dreamweaver software
    • Internet connection
    • Graphic library
    • Tip: Get feedback before launching a Website. What might seem to be intuitive to a Web designer could be less-than-obvious for somebody else. Get feedback from at least a few people before launching.
    • Tip: Don't get discouraged. Different browsers act differently. If something shows up fine in Internet Explorer but not Firefox, simply try deleting the spaces between the tags in the HTML code.
    • Warning:
    • Be sure that the site is completely operational before launching. Launching a site too early could be detrimental to a person marketing himself or herself because it looks unprofessional.

    © High Speed Ventures 2011