How to Build a Website

More and more people are making their presence felt on the web daily through their own web pages or blogs. If you want to just add your thoughts to the web using a generic blog- good. But if you want your web page to be unique then it's best to design your web page yourself. It is more difficult than most people realize. 80% of the time used to build a webpage is typically used for planning. Once you have a design in mind, the next step is building it. Here's a simple start-up guide with tons of useful links to help you get started.

1. Site Idea

Why do you want a website? And most importantly how is it going to be different then what's already out there? This is the essential needed for web development. If you want to just copy another site your at a huge disadvantage because your competing with somebody whose has a presence already your toast.

Learn the Net

2. Site Look

First look what elements from other pages you like and try to incorporate them into your page.  It's easy to copy elements from other pages by just reading the source code, copying and pasting. Site design is a difficult aspect for people not entirely proficient with computers and are primarily using the internet to add content. It's best to design a sight with a distinctive look with consistent fonts, and colour schemes.

Howstuffworks "Internet Channel"

3. First Page

First impressions are the most important. Try to minimize scrolling on the first page and attempt to show the best of your site on the first page with appropiate categories that make it easy to navigate.  Also try to design some sort of a logo and a  slogan that simply tells what all your site is all about.

WEB STYLE GUIDE, 2nd edition


As your site develops furthur you will eventually have to learn HTML code because there are limits to WYSIWYG programs like FrontPage and Dreamweaver and sometimes its best to edit to directly using the source code.  Learning HTML is essiental if your adding more interactive features like javascript and some applications will not maintain css stylesheets when you edit them in WYSIWYG browsers.

HTML Tutorial

XML from the inside out

5. CSS- Stylesheets

As time goes by, most people want a change. That includes your web page. The easiest to way to change a ton of pages at once is through stylesheets. When you change the first stylesheet they all change.  It takes more time to set up but its worth it when you have over 100 pages.

CSS Zen Garden

Cascading Style Sheets

6. Navigation

Make your site easy to navigate.  I originally wanted short weblinks but as the site got bigger I realized it was alot easier to start dividing the files up into various categories and by doing this users can go to a specific category if they want to find related articles instead of scrolling through all the articles jumbled together.

Any Browser

7. Javascript

Javascript is great for adding other content from other web sites.  I use javascript to add news contents and also google ads. It constantly ads news content without the webmaster having to physically ad new links.


JavaScript Kit

Voodoo's Intro to JavaScript

8. Multimedia

Pictures, sound, and flash certainly liven up the site. But watch out for their size for people with slower connections.  Adding unique pictures is a great ploy to get people to find your site through web searches. And what's better than doctored pictures?


Flash Kit

Creative Commons

Sounds - Web Publishing for Starving Students

Web Graphics

9. Frames

There are some tables in this website. The amazon ads are added to my page through tables and also my stats bar at the bottom right of most pages is a table. It's useful because I can just edit one page and that section of every page is automatically edited.

Open Source Web Design

10. Open Source It

You can spend for $200-$400 on a web design package or just use open source software that is free.  For example, I already switched to Firefox for my internet browser instead of internet explorer. Firefox is more user-friendly because it allows you to view items in tabs instead of new windows which makes the screen less crowded. It also has a built-in RSS reader which makes it easy for me to scroll through news headlines without having to visit web pages. For web editing I also use another Mozilla product- Composer which makes editing easy.


PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

Open Source Living

Related Links:

Top 10 Architectural Wonders

Djenne's Mud Masterpiece

Be Heard

External Links:

Web Designer Depot

Smashing Magazine


Link Popularity

W3Schools Online Web Tutorials

Web Design

Web Developer's Virtual Library

Page Resource

Search Engine Showdown

Web Page Design for Designers

Free Website Designing Tutorials & Resources

Updated: April 27, 2008
Created: August 28, 2005 Creations 2003-2012