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Build Your Own Website D Y I

MAY 2013


Many people want to create a website for personal use but have no experience in website building, know nothing about web design or have never even seen an HTML editor. There are website builders out there to make the process of creating a website easy and painless.
No HTML editor experience is required, and creating websites with these wonderful programs is a breeze. The key words In that statement is 'personal use'. It is usually not a good idea to attempt to build a website for your business unless you have skills in a number of areas. These may include database programming, PHP, ASP, SQL and a number of other applications.

Still, if you want a business web at little or no cost do it yourself is an option.For the personal or business website builder make sure it is 100% Completely Clean with NO Spyware or Adware inside of it. Consult with a local retail store or webmaster on the availability and reliability. Another good resource would be your local university or community college.

As with 'free hosting' free website builders come with limitations. For example, there will be little or no support if you get into a problem that is not intuitively resolved. You will have your instructions but that is the limit.
Do not shy away because of the lack of support these are useful tools and you will gain valuable experience for the next round.
One reliable source is Google. They will provide you with a template of various types which helps give you some layout ideas. You can also go on line and look at various design layouts to get some ideas but your most important feature will be content.

How many pictures, where to locate them and weather to caption them or not will all depend on your content. Once you have your content you can use a piece of paper and make a sketch to figure out what may look good to you.

There are two types of editors. Which should you choose? The editors are separated into two formats: the WYSIWYG Web Editors and Site Builders. The WYSIWYG allow you to design your website using a What You See Is What You Get interface - somewhat like a word processor where you can see what your page will look like (mostly) as you type.
The Site Builders will allow you to design your site from pre-packaged templates and sometimes also allowing you a WYSIWYG interface to change elements. It is your choice as to which works best for you. Since they are free, why not try each and see how they feel to you? Putting together a website is much like an arts and craft project or a scrapbook page, you are only limited by your imagination. Just let it flow.

The Site Builder format is usually better for the business application. Templates restrict your artistic flair but they add the crispness required for a business site. If you intend to build your own business site always remember your web pages are your business card. They are the first thing most folks will see of your business.

There are specialized editors optimized for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or even the numerous web scripting languages such as PHP, Perl, Java, JavaScript, ASP, etc. You can also get help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get better rankings for your site. SEO is critical for your business site. It is the method of analyzing and constructing individual web pages, as well as entire sites, so that they can be discovered, analyzed, and then indexed by various search engines.
Without this discovery, no one may ever know you exist. Never be afraid to seek professional help in this area.

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Free isn't Always Free

Free hosting: You might think the internet business is doing so well that it has become a charity!! I do not think so. - It's all in the fine print which you may not be able to find, so beware. Offers of anything free must be made up somewhere else.
Free Domain: Usually a free domain name ties you in to a lifetime of hosting without prices control and no URL ownership.This can be problimatic if you wish to make business changes.
Free Hosting: Find out how long the hosting is free and what happens after that. Free hosting often comes with external links and banner adds you would not normally want on your site. Moreover, it may not have all the tools you need for development.
Free Search Submission: Be prepared to RUN. This is usually a ploy and 99.9% of the time worth absolutely nothing. You should do your own submissions and monitor the results.
Free Websites All of the caveats above apply to this one as well. There is no free lunch unless you are willing to pay for it and give it to someone else. There are low cost alternatives and while 'free' is good, nothing usually is.

The Bottom Line Whatever the 'free' or 'cheap' deal is, read the agreement. If there are parts you do not understand, invest in a legal opinion. If there is no contract there should be a detailed 'Terms of Service' or 'Terms and Conditions' on the website. Print the agreement out, read and understand it. Keep it so there is no dispute later over what was agreed. This also applies to any guarantees offered.

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