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Home arrow Web Design Articles arrow General arrow Gathering the Proper Tools
Gathering the Proper Tools

The Essentials

At the very least you will need a computer, a connection to the internet, and a couple of software programs. Sounds pretty simple at this point. Let me say that many quality web sites have been created with nothing more than this.

There is nothing that says a new large storage, top-speed computer is necessary for your company to have an effective web site. Visitors to your web site are going to be limited by their equipment to view the site, and the web site itself will be stored on a server belonging to the web host. However, an older slower computer will make loading your web site more time-consuming.

A connection to the internet is essential. There will be no other way for you to upload your site after it is created, and no other way for you to answer any email received via the web site. There have been small companies that have used a computer at home with their family connection to build and maintain a web site. There are of course some limits to how effective this will be. Answering email becomes an evening or long lunch hour project. Slow response to a customer's query may be an indication to your customers of how you rank customer service in priority. This choice ultimately is made by your budget.

Additional equipment

You will want to consider a scanner, and a back-up system. Without a scanner you will need to find an alternate means of putting any pictures on your web site. There are of course film developers that will place photos on a CD or diskette for your use, and numerous web sites use clip art rather than photos.

There are several choices you can use for back-up for your web site, including diskettes. Servers have been known to crash, and without your own back-up of your web site you will find yourself back at GO without collecting your $200, and no "get out of jail free" card.

HTML - HyperText Markup Language

It is the computer language used to publish web sites to the World Wide Web. It is used to structure text into tables, hypertext links interactive forms, headings, paragraphs, lists, etc., using what are known as tags.

It can be created and processed in a wide range of tools from simple plain text editors (such as notepad) to sophisticated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) authoring tools, which is software you can purchase.

Software

There seems to be a wide range of opinions regarding what method is best for constructing the HTML. Many experienced and talented web designers believe the only way is to use a text editor such as notepad, or something similar. However, what one person feels is essential is not what might suit your needs. The choice usually depends on cost versus time. Fortunately you already have one if you are using Windows, called notepad, and it is really all you need to create your web page. It will require that you completely learn HTML, and links to some great tutorials are provided in the resource section.

You can also use software that is designed for creating web pages, and there are many available in a wide range of prices. Most web designers would recommend you do learn the basics of HTML in order to understand the whole process.

If you want to make any changes to photos or clip art, or create your own logo, you will also need an image editor program. If you have a scanner (or purchase one) there is usually such a program included. The graphics section contains some suggestions for the more commonly used programs.

The last bit of software you will need is called an FTP program, which is a way to transfer your files of HTML once you have them created. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. There are several available and some HTML editors include a way to transfer the files. The resources section lists some of the FTP programs, including some available as a free download and shareware which you can try before you buy.

 

 

Last Updated ( Jan 01, 2007 at 12:29 AM )
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