When you have got your domain name

  Forum Editor 22:47 03 Jun 2003

(and Pesala's link is as good a place to start as any) and your web space with your domain on it, you're ready to create and upload a site.

There are a few basic rules about web sites, and if you stick to them you'll at least have the pleasure of seeing your lovingly crafted pages revealed to the world at the first attempt.

1. You'll probably want to start with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web package, rather than learning how to write HTML from the ground up. Whilst there are many cheap, or even free programs around I recommend that you aim for a good mid-range program if your wallet permits. Microsoft FrontPage is an excellent application for beginners and experts alike, as is NetObjects Fusion, or Serif Page Plus.

2. Make sure that when you build the site you put everything inside one folder. You should create a sub-folder for images (call it images), and all the separate pages should be given distinct file names, followed by the file suffix .htm (although your software will probably add this automatically).

3. Make sure that your homepage filename is index.htm - web browsers automatically look for that and load it when you type www. yoursitename .co.uk (the spaces are to prevent a blue 'click here' forming when this post is published on the forum).

4. Don't use capital letters in your filenames.

5. If you put images on your site (and I hope you do), make sure that they are either saved as .jpeg or .gif files by your image editor, and try to keep the file sizes down - so they load faster. Exeriment, it's the best way to learn about web images. You may come acrosss a third image type, called .PNG but you can safely ignore it for now. It's a newer format, and works like a gif, only better.

6. As a rule of thumb, use gifs for simple images with big blocks of plain colour - logos and other graphics, and jpegs for colour photos.

7. Avoid fancy animated gizmos - you'll see lots of them tempting you from free download sites, but nothing makes a site look 'amateur' than a load of flashing, twisting, sparkling gifs. They irritate people, and drive them away.

8. Likewise music - don't be tempted to run a looped music file on your site. The times when I want to reach for a baseball bat are few and far between, but a naff music track on a web site does it every time.

9. Avoid over fussy backgrounds - less is more where backgrounds are concerned.

10. Beware font abuse - the killer disease of first-time publishers. Web browsers can only display fonts that reside in the site visitors' font folder, and if my machine hasn't got superkillerdiller wingbats italic installed it will display your text in Times New Roman.

11. That's enough..........


Good luck, and don't hesitate to ask for more advice as you go along - no matter how basic your question. We all started from where you are now, and some of us made all kinds of silly mistakes, so don't be shy.

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