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A Beginners Guide to Web Sites

       

The tangled web - introduction to web sites

Tutorials and Information
 
You know what a web page is. After all you have landed on one here.
OK, there is a bit more to them than that. What are they really and how do they work?

Lets look at a few terms and describe them.

world wide web (www)


The world wide web is a set of many thousands of computers that are connected to the internet and serving web pages. These computers are usually controlled by a hosting company but in some cases can also be a personal server or business server that has web server software running.

Web server


A web server is the actual computer that is set up to serve web pages to the world through the internet. This takes a very fast internet connection because of the possibility of hundreds of people using the server and posted web sites at any given time.

Website


A website is a group of web pages that have information in the various pages that contain similar subject materials. For instance, the web site would have a name (subject) such as GoodFords.com and have several pages related to good Ford vehicles. The website has a main web page commonly called the Homepage (index.html or default.html). The site's address will display the homepage and you can click on hyperlinks to go to other pages on the website.

Webpage


A webpage is a text page written in a form of HTML (hyper text markup language) that contains text, links or tags that will display graphics, audio, video, downloadable files and of course other web pages.
A web page is a page containing information on a subject. As in the above example, a page could be on Ford Mustangs, and another page in the same website, pertaining to Ford Thunderbirds and on and on.

Web browser


A web browser (Microsoft's Internet explorer or Mozilla's Firefox for example) is a program that translates the code that makes up a webpage (HTML) into a form that we can recognize.

Hyper links


A hyper link is usually shown as a blue underlined term on a web page that equates to another web page on the same website or another related website.

HTML and its versions

HTML


Hyper Text Markup Language (html)  is the computer programming language that defines the content, layout, links and graphics that when converted by a web browser creates the web page that we see on our screen. HTML has been around for many years and is quite limited in its original scope. Even after several updates it still could not do the rather fancy things that we see in web pages today. We used to have to write different pages in order to show the same page information on different browser platforms since the browsers interpreted the code in different ways. If you would like to see what HTML looks like, go to your homepage and right click your mouse. Select the show page source (or similar) and you will see what the pages HTML looks like. It looks confusing but it is really not.

XHTML


eXtensible Hyper Text Language (xhtml) is an extension of the latest HTML 4.01 based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language). This is considered the next version of HTML. XHTML is designed to ensure that all web pages look and act the same across all platforms (browsers). XHTML is a cleaner, more strict version of HTML and has many new capabilities to better manipulate layout and data. This is currently superseding the older HTML. Some people call this Web2.

Let's cover some things that you will need to create and maintain for your own web presence.

The purpose of all of the information on these pages is to help you better understand the steps and intricacies of beginning internet marketing.

We want you to succeed and to be able to create and maintain a constant flow of income from your business. It is important to have as much information as possible to attain these goals.

Every successful marketer has a web presence including a business domain name hosted at a reputable hosting company. As a matter of fact, most marketers have several domain names for the many different companies that they are actively marketing.

So now you have written down a number of different names for your website and we need to know if any of them are available. We like to use GoDaddy's domain search since it gives us a number of alternative names if the one we are looking for is already taken. Click this link to get to the domain search page then click on the Domains tab. GoDaddy Search. You do not have to purchase anything yet unless you want to get the name before anyone else does. We just want to see what is available. Write down all domain names that you search for. Both available and already taken.

OK, we found a great name that is available and is a good description of our business but we have not purchased it yet. Now we need a hosting company to host it for us.  Our favorites are HostGator and BlueHost and GoDaddy. All three are great and you should go to each site to see which one has the best current deals and the information you are curious about. Look over the hosting sites and choose the one that you feel most comfortable with. Try their support number and talk to a representative. This is a great test of their support staff and will certainly be important later when you have questions concerning your upcoming web sites.

All Right!  We have decided upon a hosting company and a domain name (website). The root of the website is the same name as your domain name in most cases. Our example site is example.com so at the host we have a folder called example. In this folder we will place all of our web pages for the internet marketing campaign we have decided to market.

Now we need a web page called a home page or landing page. This is the main page of your domain and the first page a person will find for your site. This page is usually called index.html or default.html.

How do we make this page? I guess we need to know a bit more first.
At some point you will need to learn a little HTML. You do not need to be an expert but you should know how to make a few simple changes to the pages that you will be making. Page building software will build the basic page for you but you will have to add certain components in order for the search engines to index your pages correctly. This is not difficult and becomes easier as you work with it.
There are many HTML tutorial sites out there and one of the best is from the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). The W3C is the working group that defines and creates the standards for the WWW. To learn a bit more on HTML read the W3C tutorial. Other quick ways to learn are the Dummies books. HTML for Dummies for instance. And there are a number of free basic HTML training sites on the web. Don't be scared. This is rather fun as you create your own page. There is certainly a bit of pride as you create one.

Creating a web page


First-take your notepad and draw out your homepage and its topic. You have seen a zillion pages in your life. You know what you like, so make your drawing clean and neat. Include; top area for graphics and headers, side areas for lists and a bottom area for local site links. Then add additional pages to the drawing covering additional topics. You should end up with a flowchart type drawing that will cover all of the pages and information that you want to show to visitors.

Please keep in mind that the pages should be easy to use and not to "busy". We have all seen pages that were just to difficult to use, to much color or animations, or just plain hard to navigate. Remember-in order to sell a product you have to look at the page as if you are a visitor. What do you want to see and interact with if you were visiting this page? When a person gets to your page you have just a few seconds to grab their attention and hold on to it. After all, they need to stay awhile in order for your sales pitch to sell them the product that they were looking for in the first place.

There are several ways to create a web page. If you are very good with HTML/XHTML all you need is a text editor (notepad) and start coding. This is usually to difficult for a beginner.

The best way for a beginner to create a web page is to use web page building software. These programs allow you to pretty much drag and drop components into a default or free template blank page. They are a little difficult at first but quickly become second nature. There are hundreds of sites that offer free web page templates. A word of caution here: Some pages come with terms of use that can hinder your site. You do not want to advertise another companies site on your free pages unless you are getting paid for it. Or they may state that they get to put ads on the page if you use it. Either way, this is not what you want. You want complete control of your sites and your business. So be careful what "free" resources you use.

Our page building software is a Microsoft product. Primarily because it was free with our office package. There are many free site and page builders on the net and some are quite good but we suggest using a purchased product since you have better support and the product will have many more capabilities and updates than offered by a free product.
Microsoft Expression Web or wysiwygwebbuilder are 2 good examples of purchased products.

The hosting and web site company that you decide to go with will also have web page building software. Sometimes this is an additional cost but they also support the product as well as have people that will help you with any issues. Keep this in mind when making your hosting and web site decision.

There are many more products listed in the Products-Reviews page. All of these products are fully tested and the best of the web. This is no time to sell yourself short. You have to have the best products and tools in order to create a lasting web presence and products that will make you a lot of money. We certainly would not suggest them if we did not use them ourselves. After all, we have been there and know what products work and even more of the products that don't!


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