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 Post subject: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:01 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 2339
Location: California
Hey everyone, I'd like to create my own website and was wondering if anyone here has any experience doing so. I've read a few online tutorials and know some basics but if anyone has any important tips for me please let me know.

Also if I use .co at the end of my domain name does it still sound legitimate if I'm trying to sell something?
And in your opinion whats the best hosting website?


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:47 am 
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Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 8861
Location: Las Vegas
I assume you mean .com not .co

There are easy ways to build a site, and there are hard ways. If you want something that doesn't look like a free site, you'll have to do a little work, but not much.

You'll need to be at least familiar with MySQL, FTP, HTML, and PHP. Most of what you need to know can be found on Google.

Go to someone like http://www.aqhost.com or http://www.lunarpages.com and sign up for their basic package. Most of these will throw in one free domain registration with the package. You will need to buy a name, and then have them point it to your host. If your host does that for you, that's even better.

Using the host's website builder (if they have one) is one option, but it doesn't give you much freedom of choice. Once you have access to your control panel on the hosted site, you can shop around for a template system that you like. I've used several and right now I like Website Baker The files are easy to install and maintain and the backend structure (the place where you build your pages) is easy to navigate. There are template scripts that do a whole lot more, but with it comes more complexity. If you're a website masochist you can go with something like Joomla but don't expect pages to come easy.

Just follow the directions provided to create a MySQL database on your host server and copy the files using FTP to your host. After that, run whatever install script they provide and you're on your way!!

Sites I've built using free templates include:
http://www.dkbodybalancing.com
http://www.silverstatearchery.com
http://www.davevmagic.com
http://www.ring2100.org

I've created several free forum scripts including:
http://www.scoundrelsforum.com
http://www.cupscon.com
http://www.medicine-show.com/store/forum

and even one shopping site:
http://www.medicine-show.com/store

all at no charge other than having a place to host them.


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:30 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Dec 2002
Posts: 4064
Location: London, England
I would suggest that if you are starting out, a place to go for web hosting is 000webhost.com's free package, because despite not costing anything, it doesn't have any ads associated with it. Unless you have a very large, elaborate site, or lots of visitors a month, it'll do just fine, without looking like you got it for free.


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:05 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Question about which package? I'm planning on starting one to house my card reviews and and upcomming "buyers guide". Eack of my deck review includes an average of three photographs and we are talking about 17 reviews right now plus room to grow to perhaps 30 by the end of next year. I want a main page and link pages to each of the specific decks. So should I start out with one of the medium sized packages or should I start with a beginner package just to figure out what I am doing first?


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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Location: Las Vegas
Basic package is fine for just about anybody unless you're creating multiple domains.


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:01 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 1300
Location: New Jersey
If your new to web design, I would suggest using the same process described above, but writing an html document using notepad is probably the easiest way to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:49 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 1329
Location: Sydney
If you want a serious website then you can do the proper way which will take time and trial and error.

1. Which is investing in a program such as "Adobe Dreamweaver" which is professional software also combine Dreamweaver with basic Adobe Flash skills and you can whip up a very neat website pretty fast.

2. Other more "basic" level software would be like Publisher or Illustrator

3. The simplist way is to buy a template. Search online, I have found a few nice magician templates which are all flash based and pretty much its just a copy and paste job and you will have a extremely professional looking website. Although problem with templates is you pay about $60 for a license which allows you to edit / add pictures and text. You are not allowed to structurally change the website and claim it as "self-made". Also a number of people can buy a license to the same template (odds of seeing the same template would be almost impossible, even the more popular templates have only about 100 people who have bought them). If you want the template for your full use and your use only, but the rights which is expensive (usually $1000 +). Here is a basic template even if the template doesnt say "Magic" or whatever you can edit most text (http://templates.entheosweb.com/templat ... /18761.asp). That one looks quite neat and would be easy to change the text to make a website for yourself. Only at $66 for license too which is nice (although I wouldn't buy at $2500+)

4. Hire a professional to make you the website. (Can be very pricey)

5. Use software or programs online that allow you to make a website, a nice flash based website is the Australian guy from Perth on this forum, (Derrek Lau i think?). http://www.thatmagicdude.com/. Derrek used a nicer one call "Wix" (http://www.wix.com/) allows you to make easy but nice looking flash websites or you could use something like freewebs which is nice if you go to the pro version which removes all advertising and removes all there imprint on your website although that too is pricey.

Overall up to you, hope I helped.

P.S - While flash websites look nice they can have ALOT of problems in different browsers and if you have a lot of traffic (people viewing website) then your bandwidth will disappear pretty fast.

- Anthony


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:20 am 
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Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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Location: Las Vegas
I pretty much agree with Orcishorde, but Flash skills don't come easily. Instead of the complexities of Flash, I suggest you stay with a PHP template system. There are many hundreds of absolutely free PHP templates out there, most of which are editable by you with nothing more than the basic text editor that comes free with Windows. A step up from there is still PHP, but you purchase the code prewritten, either shared or exclusive depending on your budget.

For example. Most of Whit Haydn's sites were done with free PHP tools and then edited (by me) to change the look of the prewritten structure. The only ones that weren't, were done using Flash and Dreamweaver by a professional graphics artist, and didn't come cheap or easily. If you don't already have the software tools at hand, it can get pretty expensive just to get started which is why it was decided to hire it done rather than do it "in house."


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:32 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Dec 2002
Posts: 4064
Location: London, England
If you're building a site from scratch with no templating system, and even if you are, the minimum you need is a good text editor. On PC I would recommend Notepad++; on Mac, TextMate. When I applied for my last Job, I mentioned that I used Dreamweaver, which I did at the time, and they simply laughed at me.

That being said, Dreamweaver is a very good tool. If you have it, use it, but don't feel that you need it in order to make good websites.

I would sooner explore JavaScript and the JQuery library than look into Flash. Unless you are a Flash guru, I think it just makes a website look cheaper and, more importantly, less usable. For one, on Derrek Lau's website, you can't copy/paste any of the text, nor search through it. Nor bookmark individual pages. As it happens, JavaScript and Flash's ActionScript are almost identical.

The way a lot of professional sites work is through a content management system and PHP, as DaveV said. If you're starting out, such a route can be a little daunting. There are web hosting companies (I can't name any off the top of my head) that give you the option to work solely with templates ("No HTML required") and this is essentially a content management system, albeit set up by them rather than you, and in some ways rather limiting, but it's a start, and doesn't require you to know PHP. Provided that they also give you the option to "edit the CSS", you'll be able to customise the template and make it look like almost anything you want it to. CSS is difficult but it's an integral part of all modern websites.

If you set up your own CMS, it will require you to set up a database, which can also be daunting. There's one tool I came across called Stacey (staceyapp.com) that doesn't need it: you just make a bunch of folders on your computer, call them whatever you want your pages to be called and structure them how you wish, inside each folder you make a text file, which will probably look a little like this:

Code:
Welcome to My Website
=====================

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Here's a link to [some other page](http://www.example.com) and an picture of ![my cat](/img/ceilingcat.jpg).

* Here's a list item
* and another

A Sub-Heading
-------------

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


Rather neat, no-nonsense. You then upload all these folders to your website and you're ready to go. Once again, the skill you'll need the most of is CSS, as well as some HTML and getting to grips with some proprietary templating code, and possibly some PHP. It's more complicated than the other route, but you have more control.

That's basically one small step down from what DaveV was suggesting. I swear by Stacey for small, content-based sites; it's not as good for highly interactive, application-based sites, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Creating a Website
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 349
I don't have knowledge so much of designing websites, but if you need some cool graphics, I can try to help.


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