Creating a web page - help an idiot

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by dUnKle, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Afternoon

    Im hoping the AVForums crew can help me make a web site

    I have an idea in my mind and sketched out how I want the site to be and have registered the domain name that refelects the sites aim

    However there I am stuck

    What do I need to do to build a semi proffesional web site ?
    Initially I am just wanting to do it as a hobby / social media type thing, but I suppose there could be a small potential to make money from it in the long term, although thats not a goal at the moment

    I would want the domain name to take me to a home page and said homepage to have a various drop down menus on it from where the visitor can quickly and easily navigate to various sections based on the theme of the site

    I have looked around and done various google searches and my idea, for where its based, seems fairly unique but just not too sure how to start
     
  2. Toko Black

    Toko Black
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    If you don't know much about HTML - you can download some basic freeware web design software that is pretty much like a desktop publisher for websites. They aren't to my taste, but I can code, but for someone with limited knowledge they should help you put up something that works very quickly.

    article on 10 recommended free website editing software

    Basically, you create the website layout on your pc - enter in the details of your domain / host server account and when you publish it, it uploads the files you need to the site for you.

    ^ make sure that you actually have somewhere to host the site - ie your service providers webspace allocation etc.

    More complex sites with login's, data etc will benefit from having php and database access - check with your provider to see what is available to you.

    The basic gist is that you have a webspace from your provider - in the directory provided you have a file called index.htm that is the default file a browser going to your domain will attempt to open. You can set this up as your 'home page' or have it simply make the browser jump to another file that is your home page.
    From there, the htm page can link to other htm files on your site, databases provided etc to give you plenty of scope for rich content.
    It is actually really quite simple to code a page - it just looks like gibberish at first to people afraid of it.

    There are plenty of HTML guides online that are free that can take you through simple coding to the more complex stuff without requiring much effort at all.

    html tutorials and guides
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  3. razer1

    razer1
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    Depending on the site your thinking of, learning HTML5 & CSS3 would be a good starting point.

    For me, id be building a template page first. This makes site wide changes for things like menus easier and quicker as for example: You have website with 10pages, you change the order of links in the menu or your telephone number changes, you then have 10 pages of code to change. With a template, its a 30sec job to make the changes and modify the pages based on this.

    Include things like: Menus, header and footers ( top and bottom of the pages - logos and main contact area in top and then copyright and misc business info in this bit usually depending on what is wanted on the site..) CSS files ( Styling info for the site) basically anything that is continuing through every page...

    The dropdown menu is very easily done and is normally just a list of links with buttons/styling added to it.

    It does really depend on the time your looking at going live with the site tbh.. It could take a couple of months learning code to do the site with a lot of troubleshooting and recoding required for a beginner.

    The alternative is as Toko said, a DTP based program. Serif does a free one with the x7 being their newest now but is around £50 to buy.
     
  4. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Wordpress is pretty easy to setup and add pages, menus and themes. It's probably not ideal in the long term depending on how complex your site becomes but it's a decent starting point.
     
  5. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Cheers
    Will start researching
     
  6. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    There is a free version of Serif Webplus as well. This might be enough to get you going and you can then upgrade to the paid for version if you need more functionality.

    There are 2 main approaches to web site design. You either go down the hard coding route, writing lines of code and spend lots of time tweaking things to get the site exactly as you want it, or you use a visual design package - like Serif, which allows you to design the site and sit back as it then writes the code - ready for upload. There are advantages to both, with hardcoding being more code efficient, so the pages load slightly quicker and usually render correctly in every browser, while the visual design packages are much easier to get your design as you want it more quickly, but the code can be inefficient or non-compliant, leading to slower page loads and possible browser issues. These days though, web design software is very good and there are very few issues. With both of these approaches, you design / create the website on your local PC and upload the finished code to a web-server. You need to upload changes as you update things as well, so it is not good for fast moving sites.

    Wordpress, Droople and other Content Management Systems use a very different method of delivering content. They use a set of templates for various page layouts and then save the content in a large database. As the site design software is built into the website, you can update it from any computer, anywhere in the world. This is great for blogs and where you need to update on the move, but unless you are very good at coding or are prepared to pay for a design to be created for you, your site will look like lots of other peoples! News sites like BBC.co.uk use CMS systems extensively, while a site for a local business that changes only every month or so might be better with a more classic HTML site
     
  7. kevandalice

    kevandalice
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    I have recently used Wordpress to create a website for my wife's cake making business, having ZERO knowledge or experience of website building.

    I used TSO Host to host the website, you can install WordPress through the hosting control panel.

    I used google and youtube to help guide me and i found it really quite easy and enjoyable as i made the website.

    The website, if you want to see what is achievable with Wordpress is Cake Makers Bridgwater | Baked With Love by Alice
     
  8. Ste7en

    Ste7en
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    Wordpress. End of.
     
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  9. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    I like your cake site, very informative! As I hinted though, the layout is pretty much the same as the standard templates. This is a definite issue with Wordpress, as you need serious coding skills to design your own template or pay for someone to do it for you.

    Of course, the same criticism could be levelled at many sites built using Serif and the like, as most simply adapt an existing template from these as well!
     
  10. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    I think the only "clever thing" I would like it to be able to do is in respect of photos

    I would like to have various sections under which photos could be found, for example, the district taken, old school photos, sporting events etc

    What I would then like is for when someone submits a photo it can have various tags, so if it was a sporting event at a school it would appear under both those sections, or a sporting event in a particular district, under both those if that makes sense
     
  11. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Are you looking for other people to be able to upload photos to your site?

    If so, Wordpress is the way to go, as there are extensions to allow you to do this quite easily. You can also manage the tags and set up a search facility based on these tags as well.

    You might need some Wordpress community assistance, but they are a friendly lot!
     
  12. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Cheers

    Yes I would like, eventually, for users of the site to be able to contribute to the site, basically have them email a photo, say where it is, which "tags" etc would need and then for me to be able to upload later

    The site is trying to be 2 fold really, a community contributed photobook, similar to the groups on facebook but with better way of viewing \ sorting and then also a history style section too
     

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