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Creating Web Sites

Last modified 1/21/07

Create the pages for the site

There are several ways to create a web site including:

Web design company

There are many web design companies to choose from. Not all of them are created equal, of course. Some have better graphics designers, some excel at creating larger sites. If you need an e-commerce or any kind of database driven site, look for someone who specializes in this kind of work. Other specialties include designers who work with Shockwave, Real Audio or Video, Flash and Java.

It's a good idea to sit down with several different possible designers and discuss your ideas and some possible ways to organize and deliver your content. Make sure to see other sites they have designed that are similar to yours. Get bids and proposals from them and then choose the one you feel is most capable of delivering your agreed upon vision within the time and budget you have to work with.

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Independent contractor

There are a lot of independent web site contractors, developers or webmasters looking for work these days. Many more are being trained and the competition and complexity of developing web sites is increasing constantly. You may already know someone who can work with you. You can contact the webmaster of this site for a proposal.

It's a good idea to sit down with several different possible contractors and discuss your ideas and some possible ways to organize and deliver your content. Then choose the one you feel is most capable of delivering your agreed upon vision within the time and budget you have to work with.

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Knowledgeable friends and relatives

Friends and relatives may be the least expensive choice for simple web sites. If your site will be large or complex (including e-commerce) and your friend or relative is not very experienced, it would be wiser to look for more professional help. If the site is to be very simple, or your friend/relative is very talented, then go ahead and consider using them. Before committing yourself, you may also want to talk to some other resources, to get their estimates of time and money to to do kind of site you have in mind.

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Free web site generators

If you're planning a pretty simple site and don't care about a lot of customization, you might look into one of the free services available. Most of these insist on putting some kind of advertising on your web site though. Also you won't be able to have your own domain name. On the plus side, setting up and maintaining such a web site is pretty easy and fast. Before committing yourself, shop around and explore as many choices as possible.

Here are some of the inexpensive or free services you can check out:

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ISPs, Web Hosts and Malls

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and web hosting services both should be able to create a web site for you. Their prices and creativity may vary widely however. Once again, it would be a good idea to get several bids and proposals from various vendors before deciding on one. Electronic malls are collections of web sites hosted on a single server that are promoted with a common directory. They usually sell you a package that includes setting up your web site and maintaining it for a monthly fee. Again, if your planning a simple site without a lot of customization, this choice may be acceptable. Before committing yourself, shop around and explore as many choices as possible.

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Building it yourself by hand

Creating a web site is really not that difficult if you're at all interested in learning how. You can pick up a book on the subject or even get all the information you need, right on the Internet. The only software you really need is a text editor and a browser. You can start with a pretty simple site and add to it to your heart's content. Of course you may want to hire someone to help you with the writing or to create some graphics for you, but you'll have the proud experience of creating something you can share with the world.

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Building it yourself with tools

Another way to build a web site by yourself (possibly with the help of writers and graphic artists) is to buy one of the many web site creation tools (or HTML editors) that are on the market. Some of these can be found on shareware sites for nearly free. The best ones of course, will do lots more for you, for lots more money. If you're going to build a very large site, many sites or plan to go into the business of web development, then buying one of these programs will make your work much easier.

Web site creation tools fall into two categories. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors and HTML editors. WYSIWYG editors are much more graphical. You don't really need to deal with HTML at all, although it's better if you know enough HTML to make minor changes if necessary. HTML editors let you take much more control of the HTML. Some site designers prefer this because they feel WYSIWYG editors generate cumbersome HTML that causes pages to load too slowly.

Here are some of the more popular programs you can check out:

HTML editors:

WYSIWYG editors:

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Links to Great Sites About Web Site Development

More HTML & Web Technology Resources

This page based on an article written by Garth Catterall-Heart in 2000 and last ©2007.
For more about Garth see PhotosByGarth.com and Productivity-Software.com which offers
Time, expense and inventory tracking applications and Rental property management software
for self-employed professionals. Your free trial for Mac and Windows includes customer support.

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