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Creating the Web Site

Putting the Pieces Together

At this point you may be feeling like you've been involved with a jigsaw puzzle, and now it is time for all the pieces to fall into place. You have been very busy with your planning; your domain name has been selected; you've researched web hosts (although at this point a final choice is not necessary), and you have done some homework by learning HTML or purchasing a software program and becoming familiar with it.

 

Regarding the use of Frames: One of the more controversial issues of web design is the use of frames. Although frames may be a viable option for a site, many browsers do not support the use of frames. In addition, if not properly designed your visitors will not be able to navigate easily, bookmark the site, or print material.

Frames seem to work well for the designer, but are very dependent on browser version, and monitor resolution. Your visitors may not be using the same setup you do.

 

Consistency Using a Template Page

We have already talked about the consistency your web site should have regarding a theme, and your first step should be to create a template page to use as a starting point for the rest of the pages of the site. All information regarding the style, or presentation of your site should be set in an external stylesheet. We will be adding a series of tutorials, on CSS, called "CSS Step by Step". 

You can set the background with the color or the file it will use, (If you are using an image, also set the background color to one that is close to your image color) One thing to remember is that background files should tile seamlessly. They should also be wide enough to fit, at the very least, a 1600 pixel width resolution. If your background is too narrow it will start to tile again on the right side of the screen, and text will appear on the top of the background. You can also insert any small graphics or buttons you will be using for navigation, or if might also consider CSS links such as this site uses.

Make all Your Pages

The next step then is to make all the pages for your site using the template you created and "save as"... when you are done with a new page. Don't overwrite your template page. Making a template page will save you a considerable amount of time. It will also give you a chance to preview your theme to see how you like it, before you go ahead with all your pages. Feedback from employees, friends, or relatives on your theme could be beneficial.

Go ahead now and create the rest of the pages for your web site. As a reminder, be very careful of the graphics you use in respect to load time. As you preview your page from your hard drive the graphics will load very quickly so don't use that load time as your measuring stick. File size for a full-sized graphics file should not exceed approximately 30k, unless you have given your visitors the option of loading it through the use of thumbnails. As a rule of thumb, the total page size should be about 70k. (Add all the graphics files, sound files, and HTML file together to get the total) This allows for about 3 photos, the background, and the logo.

Final Step -- Review, and Review again

You are now reaching the final steps of the creation segment. Once your web site is all created, REVIEW IT. And when you are satisfied then REVIEW it again. Check for spelling and design errors. As you go through the pages make yourself a list of all the little things that need fixed. Call in others to also check the site. It is very easy to miss your own errors. The content or purpose of your site should be obvious.

Domain Name and Web Hosting

Make the final decision of your domain name and web host and complete that part of the process. Many web hosts will register your domain for service fee. Once the account with the web host has been finalized, upload your files. Pat yourself on the back. But don't relax too much - you still have work to do.

A Review of Costs Involved

Let's review for a moment the cost in dollars of this web site.

  • Domain Name Registration $20 - $70

  • Necessary software - HTML and image editors - $300-$500

  • Web host set up fee - $0-$25 plus monthly hosting of $10-$50/month

  • 120+ hours of your time (to learn HTML or the software, planning, creating, and
    uploading the web site - etc.) at $10/hour - $1200

There are some price ranges in this formula, but the cost should be around $1500. A reasonable investment that will make your business available to your customers 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

All Online -- Review it Again

Now that your site is online, REVIEW IT. Check the load time for each page. Check to see if all the links work. Are there any spelling errors you have missed? Does it still look like it did on your computer? Change the resolution of your monitor; change the browser you are using. Look at it again. Obtain feedback from co-workers, friends, and relatives.

Once you are satisfied with the site, it's time to promote your site.

Last Updated ( Jan 02, 2007 at 01:05 AM )
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