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web advice: HTML tutorials, tips, advice, articles
Le Bon Journal
Newsletter, Volume 1 Issue 7:
analytical Q & A
On building web sites
Q: I'd like to build my own web site. What do I need to do?
A: Get a web building software like Microsoft Frontpage 98 (I started with that) or Macromedia Dreamweaver (I'm using this now). Quick way is to use their wizards or templates. There are also free web page builders on the Internet which gives you the web space in exchange for advertising their banners. I've linked various tutorials from the Web Advice section.
Q: Where can I get free web space?
A: Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) which supply your dial-up or broadband connection include free webspace in their service offering. You can also try geocities. Another alternative is to use the blogger's sites -- like blogspot.com But what is free if you get unwanted and annoying ads that interrupt your web page?
Q: Should I get my own domain name?
A: If you want your own domain name such as www.anneku.com for Anne Ku, then you would need to register this name (make sure no one else has got there first and then pay for it) and get web space assigned to it. Only get your own domain name if you're sure about what you want on the web site. Otherwise, it's good to practise with free webspace that's off another web site --- that is, not your own unique domain name.
Q: What else do I need to build or maintain a web site?
A: You'll need a way to transfer files from you computer to the computer that holds or hosts your web site. There are free File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software for home use. One example is WS-FTP LE. You may also need Adobe Acrobat Writer to create PDF files. If you want to create or edit graphics, you will need an image software such as Paintshop Pro or Adobe Photoshop. The things you definitely need are 1- an FTP software to transfer your files 2- an HTML editing software unless you can code by hand, in Notepad for example. 3- graphics software only if you plan to have graphics such as photos or art.
Q: What are the mechanics of updating a web site?
A: Are you comfortable with your own computer? Much of this is about editing files on your computer, viewing the pages via a browser, making sure the links work, making sure the colours are visible and not distracting, navigating throughout the site --- all on your computer. Then you transfer these files to your web host, the server that hosts your web site (all the files contained in it). This could be in a different country, a different continent.
Q: What should I put on my web site?
A: Depends what your web site is for. analyticalQ is a combination of self-expression, information, identity, and part-entertainment. So I try to make it informative and keep it interesting. Ask yourself: Who is your audience? I target my site to people who are open-minded and interested in travel and international topics - and of course passionate about music, art, and writing. Do you want them to be able to contact you? Do you want them to return to your site regularly?
Q: How do I know if people can find my site?
A: Is your domain name easy to remember? I deliberately chose "analyticalQ" to describe the analytical Anne Ku. It's not obvious or easy to spell - because it is personal. Check your web usage statistics or get a hit counter to track site traffic. But this doesn't tell you if the people who are looking for your site can find it. You need to check search engines and also participate in reciprocal links. Visitors get to your site through links, search engines, and word of mouth. In my case, I also write articles to direct people to my site for more information.
Anne Ku offers a web advisory service for different levels of beginners, well-suited for the person who has a full-time job or is transitioning into something different. Contact Anne Ku for more information, or visit the analyticalQ Web Advice section.