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Thread: How do I build a website? Any hints/ tips?

  1. #1
    Member Nic076's Avatar
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    How do I build a website? Any hints/ tips?

    Hi guys

    I would like to build/ make (excuse terminology) a couple of websites. There is one for our upcoming tour business, my brother in law's business & also another site for family photos.

    I don't know the best way to do this - so I/ should I do a course in web design? Can it be done without doing a course - what books & programs do I use? Are there any recommendations?

    All sites will need to hold photos. We don't need a "checkout" facility, but may need a contact sheet where customers can email us.

    In the last site we would like to upload a 100 old b&w family photos and send links asking for distant relatives & extended family to help identify the photos by looking at leaving comments about them. Not sure the best way do to this either.

    Help Help pls

    Any comments/ suggestions/ must do's or don't do's would be appreciated.
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    Any comments and critique welcome.

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    Antipod
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    That's a hard one. It very much depends on how tech-savy you are I guess - I've build my own site from the ground up using an HTML specification and an editor, but that may not be the way to go for everyone.

    If you want a really professional site, don't do it yourself unless you have loads of time and are not afraid to learn.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

  3. #3
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    I am definitely not afraid to learn. I would like to think of myself as reasonably cluey and my role as a business and systems support analyst a couple of years ago gave me a lot of confidence with dealing with computers. While my role was not the programming, I was involved in business testing programs, so am not scared off by tech. I have heard of programs like Coffee Cup (I think) which is a step by step program to building a site, is/ are these types of programs any good?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    There are several/lots of programmes designed to help you build websites. You can even do it in Microsoft Publisher.

    I think it really depends how professional you want it to look. If it was me, I would use Adobe Dreamweaver. I don't have any skills in that area either. Maybe your local TAFE/ Polytechnic runs short courses and you could do one or two first?
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Member peterst6906's Avatar
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    Like Rick says, Dreamweaver is a good program, although it's also expensive.

    There are cheaper (and free) WYSIWYG/IDE options around and if you want to do more than static displays, it's a good idea to go broader than HTML/XHTML and also use CSS and PHP in your design (even some simple php 'include' functions can help make the page building process much simpler).

    Mostly you can learn the basic coding online, just like with photography and photoshop. There are tutorials everywhere and then it's a matter of practice.

    Definitely not impossible if you have a positive attitude towards it.

    I just built my latest site over just a couple of days and from there I'm adding new features to improve it further (most of them at the momen are not visible on the site as I'm still building them).

    You can see the site here: http://www.hotzonesolutions.com

    In my opinion, you could learn everything necessary to build this type of site within a week or two.

    Regards,

    Peter
    Last edited by peterst6906; 27-01-2009 at 6:03am. Reason: minor typos fixed

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    Antipod
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    Call me old-fashioned, but I would start with a simple editor and the specification of HTML and CSS - at least you know what all those great tools generate. NVU or a similar WYSIWYG html aware editor is a good help if you decide to go that route.

    OTOH, my sister (not a techie at all) designed her own website for her HR business using google sites, simple yet effective.

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    Check out www.servage.net

    I had my webiste up in running in a few hours, and I know zero html, it's all easily built using wizards and templates in a free program they give you

    Besides, if you use a coupon code I can give you I get free hosting
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    I used this one, and my knowledge was zero, but i found this site really great, easy, good tools etc. http://www.freewebs.com
    Julie

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  9. #9
    It's all about the Light!
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    Have a talk to me.

    Forget the technology for a bit and decide what the site is supposed to do...
    a) A brochure site
    b) eCommerce site
    c) some other interactive features, ie. bookings etc

    Then think through how it fits into a marketing / sales strategy.

    Once you sort the business purpose of the site then comes site design and deployment, and very importantly - ongoing monitoring and management. It also will determine costs.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Thanks guys, looks like I have got some reading to do. Kym we can have a chat at the meet Saturday too.

  11. #11
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nic076 View Post
    Thanks guys, looks like I have got some reading to do. Kym we can have a chat at the meet Saturday too.
    No problems!
    FYI: A brochure web site if you do the work yourself will cost a small number of $ per year (around $100 if you get a basic US based hosting plan with .com domain name)

    For someone to do it for you will range from $500 to $5,000 (typically 2-5 days work) depending on their skills and how much you want done. Plus the $100 a year for hosting.

    I happy for you to bounce ideas off me; the generic stuff is worth posting so others can learn - the specifics of your setup we'll keep confidential.

    Read this... http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=21781
    (It's the AP shop, but it gives you the idea)

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    Google is your friend,

    but if you going to making multiple sites - i'd say take a short course in in web design and it will give you the foundation in web design then you can use google as your reference. If you were in MElbourne i'd recommend the university i work for

    as for you contact form - there are a few ways you can approach that too - but im pretty sure there are free generated scripts/forms online that would do the job.

    As for me im a bit of a purist and prefer to use pure coding than Dreamweaver. It's a bit sad when it got to a point where code looked like plain english to me
    My Current Kit
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    sorry for hijacking u thread but my mate is making me a website now! his a studying it at uni,

    but stuck on the hosting bit,

    anyone know of places where i could host it and how much??

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    Quote Originally Posted by oiisxc View Post
    sorry for hijacking u thread but my mate is making me a website now! his a studying it at uni,

    but stuck on the hosting bit,

    anyone know of places where i could host it and how much??
    hey mate,

    if you want value for money - go abroad for hosting.

    US companies tend to give you more for your money.

    Personally i use http://www.inmotionhosting.com and i haven't had any issues and they do give you a lot of space and bandwidth.

    If you are insistent on using an australian web hosting company - i can recommend webcity.com.au - fairly cheap, quick servers and decent value.

    most places tend to be identical in features and etc - check out http://b2evolution.net/web-hosting/t...webhosting.php for ideas (hah... didnt realise inmotionhosting was ranked second. )
    Last edited by tannyboy; 04-02-2009 at 9:11am. Reason: fixed URL

  15. #15
    It's all about the Light!
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    Quote Originally Posted by oiisxc View Post
    sorry for hijacking u thread but my mate is making me a website now! his a studying it at uni,
    but stuck on the hosting bit,
    anyone know of places where i could host it and how much??
    http://www.hostgator.com/ are ok.

  16. #16
    Member Bunyip's Avatar
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    I've just opened an account at JustHost.com, who have won a stack of awards recently for their hosting services.

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    oo cheers for the links guys

    will have a look!

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    ABC just bought our domain name and hosting packing through digital pacific
    http://www.digitalpacific.com.au/ They have a free web design tool (templates basically) for anyone wanting something easy.

    If you want to register a .com.au you will need an ABN. but you can also get a package from them for .com's as well.

    ABC (who is a programmer) is currently working on the initial site design, but we did just buy the new CS4 with Dreamweaver and Fireworks so we are both trying to master some technology too. I know basic HTML coding already, ABC is a programmer so he knows heaps of coding (he is working in Dreamweaver but writing directly in code, whereas I try to do using more of a 'mircosoft word' type publication.

    That said, I am about to enroll in a course for Webdesign as I think if we really want to get the most out of our site it would be useful
    Cath C
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  19. #19
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    Thanks guys - Cath I think I might do the same. My skills are not with programming but more user testing of programming. So I am thinking a course might just give me a more rounded picture in creating one. Kym I am hoping when things settle down here I'd love to catch up and chat to you about a few things. Maybe a drink/ dinner before or after our next meet.

  20. #20
    Member davesmith's Avatar
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    One thing I'd suggest is register your domain name and host your site through different providers, especially if the domain name comes as part of the hosting package. It is convenient at the time but if you want/need to change hosts down the track sometimes it can be difficult taking the domain with you, depending on circumstances and their t&c. If things turn pear shaped, a single provider for both can hold the domain name to ransom, and at the very best make it extremely difficult to move it to the new host.
    Cheers,
    Dave



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