by: Brian Hawkins
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.
As a caring member of the cheapazz site, 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
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
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
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. Ask yourself:
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?
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.
The original article can be found at:
Brian Hawkins – Entrepreneur, Online business consultant, Author
Visit his main site http://www.cheapazz.net and his other passion
Guidelines for re-print and use of free content
This article by Brian Hawkins. It may be freely reproduced or
distributed provided that the following conditions are met:
(1) Commercial and non-commercial use are ok provided no fee is
charged for use and distribution;
(2) These files are not changed or edited other that general
formatting and appearance without the author’s permission;
(3) Author, the URL, and copyright notice are cited. A link back to
http://www.cheapazz.net/ must be maintained for each article in use.
(4) Images associated with an article can be published only as an
accompaniment to the article’s text. Any other use is prohibited
without written permission.
(5) Notify us via e-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or other means, of
publication url or location.