How to: Company website

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    • #42921
      AvatarFILMSinc
      Participant

      Hi im i’ve been trying to build a website for a year now. I don’t want to spend too much money, and i want to do it myself. I’ve been working on a very old Microsoft Front page 2000! Not exactly the way you want to get the word out about your business. Every time i try it just, i dont know, messes up. and now i’m still in the mud. Alls im looking for is some… o.k. a lot of advice about how to, what Cheap programs i could use, and how to just get it to look professional. Thank you.

    • #179791
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      If you want a professional looking web site that functions properly, my suggestion is to hire a professional to build it for you. The exact same way that if people want a professional looking video project, hire a professional videographer and editor.

      If that isn’t an option the next best thing would probably be to purchase a template that you like and just swap out the content with your own. Your web host might even have some and a site building tool for you to use. I don’t know any cheap html authoring programs, I am sure they are out there, but I only really use Dreamweaver myself. You might want to check out Chris Colorado I believe he has a blog and is writing a book on using free software.

    • #179792
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      I use a mac. A mac mini would set u back about $400-700. iWeb software is great and easy to use.

      appache web server is built in to osx.

      you could register a domain name, buy a mobile me account, and have a website with photos/video and blogs and podcasts easily and keep it updated easily.

      you could mirror the site of your own mac with a static domain off your isp and host your own site on your mac, and run any cgi sripts on your local host.

      using a macme name off your domain registar, only your registered name would show on the viewers browser, regardles of whether they were on your mobile me account, or your local server for continuity.

      doesn’t get any easier than that. Two hours tops to learn, build and publish a working site.

    • #179793
      AvatarFILMSinc
      Participant

      Those ideas are great, but im kind of leaning toward the template idea, but i just found a website called http://www.freewebs.com and for just $50 a year you can build a professional site as easy as clicking what you want, for example, if i wanted fourms on my site, i could just click on something that says fourms and presto ( i usually don’t say that) you have fourms, you can do this with all kinds of templeats and stuff, even put in a chat room with just clicking.

      But i would really like all the facts befori i get started.

    • #179794
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      The simplest idea would be to get a domain name. This should cost at most 15 dollars per year and can usually be paid for up to 10-12 years in advance. Once you have the domain you rent space from a web host, this is usually a monthly fee (usually with discounts for payng multiple months at a time) and varies greatly based on the provider and services offered. Many providers offer templates and other site building resources like easy to set up chat-rooms and forums.

      Don’s idea would basically require that you run the Mac mini constantly as a web server, which unless you are really technically savvy I would never suggest to anyone. Any power outage to the computer, or other computer problem and your site would go down. Any disruption in your internet service would cause the same problem. I think that it is usually a better idea to contract out technical services out in situations like this one.

    • #179795
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Godaddy sells domain names for @ $10. I use Typepad for my web page. Free sites usually are limited, particularly in uploading pictures and movie samples. Whereas, if you need dropdown menus or forms that people can fill out, credit card or payment features, etc., you may need a professionally made site.

    • #179796
      Avatarparksy
      Participant

      I have a mac and Iweb and this site took me 22 hours to make.

      Once you go mac, you will never go back!

      http://www.anchorstudios.ca

    • #179797
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      Parsky,

      Some of your images don’t come through and the masthead (logo) shold be on teh left side of the screen not the right.

      Depending on the screen resolution fo the viewers computer, the entire right side of your page will be lost, and they will have to scroll to see it. That is one of the big no-nos of web design.

    • #179798
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      Hey, FILMSinc! Jerron mentioned me above. Here’s what I know:

      To get a website for free, there arethree places I know of:

      1. Angelfire.lycos.com is mainly geared toward teenagers who’d rather have a site than a Myspace. You get the option of using templates or typing in your own code. It’s free, but you only get a small storage space (20MB) and so video is out of the question. The other downside is you have Angelfire/Lycos and Google ads on the top and bottom of your pages. My personal website uses Angelfire. I have some PDF scripts, someaudio clipsand then link to my videos which are on vimeo.com. My angelfire website: http://mexenzoaiire.angelfire.com This site is one reason I still don’t get too many jobs.

      2. 110MB.com is another freebie. There are no ads on the pages like Angelfire, but the servers are in Austrailia, they go down often and support is through online tickets which aren’t looked at often, as far as I could tell. I built a pro website using 110MB for my last job and the site went down for a couple hours at least once a week. The oneI built is at http://ddnc.110mb.com. 110MB also has the option of Dreamweaver-like design or typing in code.

      3. Google Sites seems to be the best of the three, but I think you have to use templates and the sites look more like forums or blogs. I don’t really know a lot about it.

      In terms of actually making the site once it’s set up, you also have three options.

      1. Get/buy anFTP like Dreamweaver, or this free one I’ve downloaded called Nvu. I haven’t looked at Nvutoo much, or used it either.

      2. Teach yourself code – HTML/XHTML, CSS, Javascript, etc. If your web server of choice doesn’t have a web building function, you can make HTML and CSS documents using Notepad on a Windows/PC.Very slick, just type the code in Notepad and save as .html or .css. I’ve used it and it works!

      3. The last building option is to buy a template from some place and modify it to your needs.

      TheBEST OPTION OF ALL,in my opinion, is use Yahoo Small Business. It costs you something, butyou get templates, good service, etc.

    • #179799
      Avatarrachaeldesign
      Participant

      If you use templates etc, your website will never be recognised on the search engines. Basic html is easy to pick up and learn, you could easily build your website yourself by using css and html and get it highly ranked on google. templatemonster will give you a good few ideas for really good different designs !

    • #179800
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Here’s the easiest and cheapest way to make a website – WordPress.com

      It’s free and is relatively easy to setup.

      A lot of people use this.

      Buy a domain name from godaddy.com and then have it point to your wordpress account.

    • #179801
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      @rachaeldesign

      >>If you use templates etc, your website will never be recognised on the search engines.<<

      How do you figure that?

    • #179802
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      I’ve also heard that website templates don’t let you get good Google rankings, but didn’t hear why. My personal feelings are that any template someone else made won’t look as good as what I can make myself out of my own head. The same goes for stock music, but that’s another story…

      I just taught myself HTML/XHTML and CSS and viola! – another job skill. A good book is “CSS: The Missing Manual” by David Sawyer Mcfarland.

      And godaddy isn’t the only good source for domain names. I’ve had good experience with namesecure.com

    • #179803
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>I’ve also heard that website templates don’t let you get good Google rankings, but didn’t hear why. My personal feelings are that any template someone else made won’t look as good as what I can make myself out of my own head.<<

      A web template is just an HTML document that you change the content for. If you don’t know enough html to add the meta data and content that the search engines look for that can cause a problem but that isn’t the templates fault.

      And the thing about template is that in general, just like stock art and music, they are created by professionals. A professional designer will almost always be able to develop a better page design than an amateur does, the same is true for photography and art. That’s why they are the professional. I am not a musician (pro or amateur), so you know what I farm that part of a job out or I use stock. Just makes practical sense.

    • #179804
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      “And godaddy isn’t the only good source for domain names. I’ve had good experience with namesecure.com”

      Shopping for domains with different registrars is silly because they all use the same database. Worse, some unethical registrars will notice when someone check for a domain name, finds it, and leaves without registering for it. They then register it themselves to locl out any other registrar then email the original searcher with a pitch for the name at a premium.

    • #179805
      AvatarFILMSinc
      Participant

      I’m A little confused. So if i use wordpress and i buy a domain name i will get noticed by like google and stuff. So from this info, wich one is the best?

      by the way, Christcolorado thanks for the list, that really helps

    • #179806
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      I’m A little confused. So if i use wordpress and i buy a domain name i will get noticed by like google and stuff.

      Google is automatic. Don’t fall for the hype of companies that offer to get you listed for a fee. You can submit your site to the search engines yourself, but even if you don’t, they will find you anyway.

      Step 1: Go to Godaddy.com and register a domain name. DO NOT buy the extras that they throw at you. You can always add them later if you decide that you need them. Instead, look for the “no thanks, continue with checkout” at the bottom of the page. If you are going to use WordPress, then you don’t need any of them.

      Step 2: Buy a hosting account at GoDaddy.com. Start cheap, but not with the “free” hosting. You want it on Linux, when asked.

      Step 3. Go to the Hosting Account Manager, find the add products – it’s not easy to find (my only complaint about GoDaddy), but from there you can install WordPress. It’s free. Then build your blog.

      Step 3:

    • #179807
      Avatarjerronsmith
      Participant

      >>Google is automatic. Don’t fall for the hype of companies that offer to get you listed for a fee. You can submit your site to the search engines yourself, but even if you don’t, they will find you anyway.<<

      That actually isn’t entirely accurate. While Google does attempt to automatically comb through the we and index it. If you just put up a web site and expect it to just pop up on google searchs right away or pop up very highly you will probably be very disappointed. There is a sub-set of Web design/development called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that deals with making your site pop up on web searches and pop up higher. Yahoo used to have a contributory search engine, I don’t think they do anymore, I don’t think google does that either for that matter.

      >>Step 1: Go to Godaddy.com and register a domain name. DO NOT buy the extras that they throw at you. You can always add them later if you decide that you need them. Instead, look for the “no thanks, continue with checkout” at the bottom of the page. If you are going to use WordPress, then you don’t need any of them.<<

      GoDaddy.com is one of many domain name registrars, not the only and not necessariy even teh best. Since ICANN doesn’t really regulate them the registrars can pretty much charge whatever they want. You might want to shop around, do a google search to find one with a price that fits your budget.

      >>Step 2: Buy a hosting account at GoDaddy.com. Start cheap, but not with the “free” hosting. You want it on Linux, when asked.<<

      Again, there are many web hosts in the world. The two big issues with a web host are how much storage space do you get and how much bandwidth are you allowed per month? Bandwidth and storage space are especially an issue if you plan to display video on your site. I tend not to suggest using any free hosting service as it gives you the lowest of the low in terms of bandwidth, storage and stability.

      >>Step 3. Go to the Hosting Account Manager, find the add products – it’s not easy to find (my only complaint about GoDaddy), but from there you can install WordPress. It’s free. Then build your blog.<<

      As with any blog or template baed disign system, you will be limited in layout and features. If you want a good looking professional website hire a pro. Or at the very least learn how to use a WYSIWYG html editor like Dreamweaver and then steal idea from cool sites like the ones found on coolhomepages.com

    • #179808
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      >>Google is automatic. Don’t fall for the hype of companies that offer to get you listed for a fee. You can submit your site to the search engines yourself, but even if you don’t, they will find you anyway.

      << That actually isn’t entirely accurate. While Googledoes attempt to automatically comb through the we and index it. If you just put up a web site and expect it to just pop up on google searchs right away or pop up very highly you will probably be very disappointed.

      Well, yes, it is automatic. I put up a few web sites with virtually no SEO optimization an full of W3C errors, yet within a week, Google found them and indexed the site.

      << GoDaddy.com is one of many domain name registrars, not the only and not necessariy even teh best. Since ICANN doesn’t really regulate them the registrars can pretty much charge whatever they want. You might want to shop around, do a google search to find one with a price that fits your budget. >>

      Yes, you can shop around for price / benefits. What I said was shopping registrars for domain names is silly because they all use the same database to determine availability.

      << As with any blog or template baed disign system, you will be limited in layout and features. If you want a good looking professional website hire a pro. Or at the very least learn how to use a WYSIWYG html editor like Dreamweaver and then steal idea from cool sites like the ones found on coolhomepages.co>>

      There are thousands of templates for WordPress, and many that are used as websites, not blogs.

      *IF* your budget and business plan can afford it, spending upwards toward $3,000 for a professionally designed website is probably worth the expense, but the OP was looking for the cheapest way to get a web site up.

      I use WYSIWYG for my sites now. If you are familiar with Visual Basic or Visual C, then you will be right at home with WYSIWYG.

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