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Build It And Build It Cheap!

There are several very good reasons why you should consider building your own web site versus having someone do it for you. It's more cost efficient, you can make it much larger in content, you are more involved in how you want the pages to look, and I have actually enjoyed learning the dos and don'ts of website profiling. I have run into some definite don'ts as I thrashed my way through building the few that I have needed , but I envy the professionals that get paid to make websites. Although I'm sure that I've made mistakes on my sites, I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

I wanted to give all those considering building their own website a heads up on the parts I have mastered. I am hoping that my determination to build a quality site coupled with my cheapazz instincts will help alleviate some of your stress as you follow the same path of righteous web design. As a brief article, I can clearly not cover everything that you will need to know here, however, if you have questions feel free to email me at the address provided.

These are things that you will need to consider for your website.

1. Outline the type of plan you will need for your design:
What size site you need. Will a five page program work or do you need the server space for hundreds or even thousands of pages?

Are you selling products or services on your site?
Do you need a merchant account or Paypal to accept credit cards?
Are taxes an issue?

2. Find a name for your site.
Choose one that is easily remembered for return visitors. If you can get a dot com as your domain you should consider this first. It is what the majority of people will automatically use to reach a website. I have actually watched people take my address directly off my business card and still type in a dot com rather than a dot net.

If you can't get a dot com, try one with a matching URL under a main domain such as dot net or dot org. There are obviously others available, but these seem to be the most popular right now.

If you can get all the domains you should, you can use dot com as your primary and have the others redirected from dot net and dot org to the dot com address. The redirect URL's are about $10 a year or less if you shop around.

3. Plan a General Layout:
Plan a basics of both the page and total site layout you want. The typical basic page may have a header at the top, two columns in the middle--one for content and the left for a menu, and than a footer at the bottom of the page.

If you will have many pages and they will have the same header, menu, footer, etc., and you plan to make changes on your site sometimes, you should consider an "includes" system. This system allows each area of a page to be a separate page in itself. If you make changes on one page with this system, it will show on every page. It's slightly complicated and if interested there are many free tutorials all over the net.

With many pages you will have to consider your method of navigation, such as main menu's and submenu's. You need to know if you will use buttons, java, CCS, flash, or just plain html links. If some of this sounds foreign and unfamiliar, don't worry, you'll learn the basics pretty quickly.

If you are not quite sure yet what you are looking for, check around. There are many free or very cheap templates that you can use that can really make a difference on how professional your site looks. A quick search you produce an almost endless supply of templates.

There are many sites who will offer great deals on many things as long as you provide a link on your site to theirs and site templates are no exception. This is a great way to get things cheap or for free.

4. Factors to consider to reach your audience:
Will your customers use dial up or broadband, newer equipment with the latest operating systems or windows 98? These are important things to consider when you decide what graphics to use and the overall file size.

The browser that your audience will be more likely to use. Do you have eye grabbing details for a broader spectrum of visitors, or will a specific and to the point website be better because your products/services are already targeted to a certain audience?

5. Find a server:
Find the deal that best meets your needs. There is a huge price difference in the hosting companies and plans, and this is something that should be researched to a certain extent as far as what you want for what you're paying.

Questions to ask:

Is there a set up fee?
Will I have customer support with a actual contact phone number? Do I have the option to upgrade to more space, more email accounts or add a store front?
What is the average up-time for their servers?

6. Software
You need software to build, edit, and upload your site from your computer to the server. I have only used Microsoft FrontPage �. I like Frontpage� but then, I have nothing to compare it to. I use this because it came free with my computer, but if you look around there are sure to be free or relatively inexpensive programs that will work great for you.

Now you have a layout for your site and a place to put it, but what will you put on it? If you are concerned that you can't provide enough info for a whole site, don't worry. There is certainly not a shortage of free content available. In fact, it can be overwhelming and distracting searching for exactly what you need. Not all articles and info are as clearly stated as in my article--LOL. You can find everything from complex calculators to one-line random quotes.

Free maps to light bulbs to tooth picks---okay, I'm exaggerating, but it can be overwhelming. Many sites simply use their content to draw traffic to their site to promote their products or services, and there is definitely nothing wrong with that. Again, this is providing the content for links to their sites on your website. You can afford to be choosy though, the price is the same, so pick suitable material for your design that will compliment your website.

As one final note, I guess the most important thing I can say is, "Get started". I have mentioned some conciderations and there are many many more, but don't let any one of these slow you down. Look at these as caution zones and open toll-free road - not road blocks. Good luck...

Brian lives in Michigan with his wife and love of his life of 21 years. They have 4 Children and 2 Grandchildren. Brian works a more than full time job, has too many gray hairs and spends all of his free time working on too many sites. But he's never been happier. Entrepreneur, Online business consultant, Author. Site owner and administrator of: http://www.cheapazz.net and several other sites listed at http://csc4u.com


Web Design for Dictators
No question about it, web design is an art.
Is A Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?
The great debate: how much copy you should have on your site, particularly on the home page?
Why Dot-Coms Fail - a Webmasters Perspective
Everyday we hear that another company goes out of business.
My Top Ten List Of Extremely Annoying Web Page Design Elements!
Easy navigation and usability are one of the most important aspects of creating a "user friendly" website. However, there are still a "plethora" of web-sites out there that are, to be politically correct, "functionally challenged." Does your website keep people captivated, or does it send them fleeing as soon as they get to the first page? Do you offend your visitors by employing these ten web design faux pau's?
Tapping Into The Visual Stimulus Of Your Web Site Visitors
"Oh, my eyes, my eyes! What an eye sore. Quick, click away! Click away!"
Website Basics
The Basics
Speed Up Or Lose Out! How To Improve Your Websites Download Speed
So your web site's online and you've got high rankings in the search engines attracting lots of visitors. But the statistics tell you most of them are leaving after viewing just one page, what's gone wrong?
Dos and Donts in Web Design - part 1 (design)
Do use a consistent look and feel Your site should stand out as a whole. Use the same look and feel for all the pages at your site. This way your visitors have a sense of recognition when they visit various pages. Using stylesheets makes it much easier to maintain the look and feel of numerous pages.
Bad Web Design: ActiveX
ActiveX uses an interesting method for enforcing security ... it doesn't. Well, that's not exactly true. What happens is when a web page requests an ActiveX control the browser determines if that control is already loaded onto your system. If it is the ActiveX control is executed. If not, the user is asked if it is okay to install the control. Additional information about where the control came from and it's security implications is also included.
Handwriting Font Tips - The Personal Touch That Makes a Difference
Most websites use similar fonts and as a result have a generic look. So, if you want to differentiate your look and also add a personal touch to your website, consider using handwriting fonts. These fonts really make people feel more comfortable with your site because it is personal rather than computerized, or at least that is the feeling that is portrayed. There are many additional uses and tips for handwritten fonts as well that will give you an idea of ways to use these fonts on your website and why.
Why is a Logo so Important to Your Business?
Well, a logo for your business. Why is it important? Does it matter what it looks like? Is Yours Professional?
How to Double Your Online Sales Without Spending Another Dime on Advertising
Learning how to convert visitors to your web site into buyers, is the single most important factor affecting the success of your online business. If you don't have paying customers, your business will fail.
Why Hire a Professional to Design Your Web Site?
Creating an appealing, functional, and effective Web site is much harder than it looks. It's not simply a matter of taking a company brochure or catalog, converting the text to HTML, and throwing in a few pictures (although many sites seem to have been created using this technique!).
Increase Sales on Your Website! Use Graphics!
How many times have you clicked on a website only to find a screen full of text? You read a large-scale headline and then all you see is text, much like reading a letter. You scan down the page looking for something to attract your attention.
Building Your First Web Site?
Before doing anything on the technical side, you need some kind of basic idea to work with. I suggest first getting some paper and a pencil. Start by sketching a layout of how you would like your web page to appear. For example, a simple title at the top, the area in which you would like any content, pictures and so on. Now its time to do some programing!
Give Your Website A Chance
I often wonder how serious people are when it comes to their websites. I thought that most everyone knew that the phrase "Build it and they will come" no longer applies on the internet but I'm not sure how many people really believe it.
Web Designing Tips
Easy That's how you'd like life to be, right? Especially when you're creating a website on your own. But that doesn't mean you want the site to look severe and just functional. you want it to be pretty , smart and also respond and move when you interact with it, while saying all that you want to say to its visitors . There are little tips and Features incorporated into software just for people like you.
Effective Website Design
In this era of ultra-sophisticated internet marketing and web design, there is no excuse for an e-business to suffer with an ineffective website. Whether your goal is to present a basic business website that briefly introduces and describes your company and product, or you endeavor to develop a fully-functioning cash-cow storefront, there is a wide array of design choices to cater to all of your needs. Your website should fit your business like a well-tailored Armani suit. It should reflect exactly who you are and at the same time, instill confidence in the potential buyer that your business is solid, stable and reliable.
Sales Versus Customer Oriented Websites
Should Generating Revenue From A Website Be The Prime Motivator?
14 Ways to Add Content to Your Web Site - Part 2
7. Create high quality content - make clear points with each paragraph you write. Each paragraph should build on the previous one, so that you are pulling your visitor through your page naturally. You are trying to pre sell the product or service to your visitor. This puts them in a natural frame of mind to buy (unlike many sites which may just have pictures of the products and a shopping cart).