If you do not understand
what this web hosting and site authoring is all about,
this page should help clear up a few things.
For your site to
be seen by everyone, it needs to be put on a "web
That server needs to be connected to the Internet 24/7
and have the capabilities to have many users in it at
once. Maintaining a server yourself and paying for the
Internet connection is not practical for most situations. You need a host server!
Host vs. ISP
As a web host, we do
not provide local access to the Internet. In technical
terms, we are not an "Internet Service Provider"
(ISP). Even with your site on a host you still need
a local provider to get your computer hooked up to the
Internet. Some local ISP's also provide hosting. Most
can not offer the same low pricing and options for your
site as a dedicated host.
There are many
available. Lots of people use these hosts are very satisfied
with them. Others quickly find that the free hosts push advertising to your visitors by way of banners
on your pages or windows constantly popping up on your
visitors screen. Many of the free hosts also limit you
to the number of times you can upload in a given time
frame, and the amount of "transfer" that can come
from your site.
will not put anything
on your site that you don't put there yourself. The
only access limits on your site are set by the total
transfer limits which are set much higher than most
sites will ever use. The
main purpose of the transfer limits are in place
to protect us from server abuse.
"But I've never built a site before!"
That's ok. We all
had to start somewhere. With the software available
today, building a site is easier than ever before! With
a good page editor, you will quickly see that the design
and look of the site is much more difficult than the
actual building of the pages.
do I need?"
place to start is with a page editor. You will find
editors that range in price from only a few dollars
to hundreds of dollars. The best "cheap" editor
we have found is free! If you download the Mozilla
you will get a page editor called "Composer".
Composer does not have many "bells and whistles",
but it will allow you to build some nice pages with
text and graphics.
we use here is called "Namo".
some nice features that we really like. One of the neatest
things about Namo is how it is great for beginners
with many templates and graphics, as well as
more advanced users who wish to do some "tweaking"
and coding by hand.
A very popular
editor is Microsoft's "FrontPage". FrontPage
is different from other editors that in order for it
to work right on a server, the server needs to have
FrontPage "extensions" installed. This is
an option that we have on our servers at no additional
cost. To prepare a site for FrontPage-built sites on
our servers, there is an option in the control
panel to turn that feature on.
Uploading Your Website
get started, you need to build you site and then "upload",
or "publish" it to
your host server.
We are happy to help our customers
upload their sites for the first time. It is not very difficult
once your software is set up.
have an editor that does not include uploading functions
(also called "FTP" or "Publishing")
then you will need a "FTP" program. A few
popular ones are WS-FTP, Cute FTP, and FTPExplorer. You should be
able to find these, or other programs to fit your needs at a shareware download
site. Most editors now include uploading functions within
them so a FTP program may not be necessary right now.
Graphics and Drawings
good thing to have is a graphics editor. Probably most
important is an "image editor". This program
will let you crop, resize, add effects, and touch up
the pictures that you want to use in your site. The
one we use is made by
Serif and is called "Photo
if you like to draw your own graphics and clip art,
a drawing program is probably in order. We use a drawing
program called XaraX. XaraX is a very powerful program
and may be more than you would typically need for your
site. Image editors are typically not good at drawing,
and drawing programs are typically not good at image
editing. Serif also makes a fairly nice drawing program called
really want to get started "in the cheap",
then download Communicator and use Composer to build
your pages. It also includes a publish function to upload
your site to the server. If you want more features and
abilities, then check out the commercial editors that
As you talk to different web authors, you will find many different
opinions about which is best. Ask around and compare the reports
you get with what you can afford and get started!
do all we can to help you along in your exciting, new
world as a "site author". We can not
possibly know the in's and out's of every piece of software
out there but we'll sure do everything possible to help
you along. In most cases, your best support is under
the help button on the software menu.
Website Content is king!
to go off into a bit of personal feeling here and say
that if you are new to this and want a bit of advice, we
feel that content is the most important part of your
web site. You can have a site with no graphics at all,
and it will stand on it's own and do it's job. It won't be very pretty,
but you can get the information to your visitors. You
can fill your site with graphics and it will look nice,
but if it does not have any information in it, then
what's the point? Decide what you want your site to
do and then design it to do that. If your site is to provide
information, then provide it. If your site is to show the world
what a great artist you are, then do that. Somewhere between the two is a happy
balance. That point varies widely between different
found an excellent e-book that will help any new or
experienced web author. It is called "Make Your
Site Sell". It downloads to
your computer and you read it with the free Acrobat
Reader. Even if you have a church or ministry page that
is not actually "selling" anything, this book
has great advice on building your site to be user friendly
and ways to write the content that lead your visitors
through the site. There is one entire section
on promotion of your site. There is great advice on
search engines and how to build your pages to make the
engines "happy", and thus, get a higher ranking
and more visitors.
Search Engine Basics
The best way to
get your site listed in the search engines is
to get a few links from other sites that are
already listed. This can take a few months but
it works very well. Search engines read the
content on your pages and store that in their
databases. When someone does a search, the engine
searches it's database and looks for the words
that were searched on. For this reason, you
best rankings will come from building your site
around "keywords" that you think people
will search for. Those words need to be computer
readable text. This means that keywords that
have been placed in a graphic are not going
to be read by the engine when it reads your
site for content.
Let's go from there
sure that doesn't answer all of your questions about building
a site, but don't worry, we are here for you. No, we can't teach you how
to program Java Scripts, write Perl programs, etc., but we can
help you with basic building skills that will get your new site
up and on display for the world to see!