1. Define (or design) your future web site
Before you undertake any activity connected with constructing your own Web site,
you firstly need to do some design work. The point is that from the very beginning
you need to know exactly what and how you are going to present on your web site,
what purpose this web site supposed to serve, etc. For example, depending on this
purpose and content, you will choose the appropriate name for your site (e.g. if
you wish to make a site about "breeding dogs", you cannot anme it "going fishing"),
etc. At this initial stage you need to decide at least:
-What name you wish to assign to your web site (e.g. "websitemaker"),
-What title you site is going to have (e.g. "Web site: do it yourself"),
-What volume of disk space you need for your Web site. This volume is the sum of
--Volume of all photographs/pictures that you are going to show on your web site (you need
to plan around 0.5 MB space per each photograph of a good quality),
--Volume of the text that you wish to present on your Web site (you need to plan around
3 kB per each 1000 characters of the text presented on your Web site),
--Volume of all files, sounds, vides, animations, etc., that you intend to include into your web site.
2. Find and secure appropriate Web space
Before you find and secure disk space on the server for your Web site, you need to make
an initial decision, namely whether this is going to be a free space, or paid space. Paid
space probably is going to be supplied easily by your permanent internet provider. In turn
free space provider you need to find yourself in the Internet.
Note that in case you decide to find free disk space, you may find handy some hinds that
I outlined on another page from this Web site, namely on the page named
(accessible e.g. via the menu). When you start securing a free disk space for your web site,
make sure that you have a lot of time at hand, and also that you have handy your design notes,
as the free web space provider is going to ask you tricky questions about your future site,
e.g. type what "username" you wish to assign to it (this "username" should correspond to the
name that you designed for your site).
3. Prototype your fist Web page
The easiest way of making your own web site, is to just alter an existing site, which is
very similar to that one which you intend to make. Therefore, the first step in prototyping
your own web site, is to find a template for your web site. This template should be
as close as possible to the one that you intend to make. Having such a template, you just
need to alter it to produce the content and visual impressions that you wish to accomplish.
In picking a template to become your first prototype, you have two choices. The first of
these depends on choosing, and using, a standard template, which many free web space providers
offer to their clients, together with the free space. The other choice is to find an existing
web page to become your template. For example you may have a look at the page that you can
access from the menu item Templates of this Web site.
After you find a suitable template, change on it everything that you wish to appear on your
Web site. Upon the completion of these changes, you receive your first prototype, that you
can upload to your server.
4. Upload your prototype to the server
Each time after you make your subsequent prototype, you need to upload it to the server,
from which it is going to be displayed to the users. There is several ways to upload your
web site to the server. The most simple one depends on the using of "File Management/Uploading
Facilities" that usually are supplied by the server. More advanced manner of uploading depends
on using a software that is capable to operate in FTP mode. (There is a lot of the software with
this capability, e.g. there is a free Microsoft WS_FTP - available from http://www.ipswitch.com,
also a popular package named "Dreamweaver" has almost the same capability.)
5. Repetetively keep improving and uploading your Web site,
util it meets your quality standards
The work on your Web site should be spread in to a longer period of time. It should mainly
depend on interactive making a next version of your web site (prototype), uploading this
next version (prototype) to the server which hosts your Web site, analysing the impact
that this next version (prototype) is making and designing further improvements that
are to channel this impact better. Then the entire process is to be repeated again
and again, until everything is right.
6. Enhance your Web site (e.g. make it user friendly and search
After yopu are satisfied with quality of your Web site, you may start enhancing it. There are
numerous enhancements that you can make. The most important of these include:
(a) Making it search engines friendly. For this you need include at least two tags into
the first page on your Web site. These META tags should be as follows:
<META NAME="Keywords" CONTENT="Here you list keywords of your Web site">
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Here you describe your Web site">
Notice that (a) whatever you put into quotes after the word CONTENT=, it should not exceed 150
characters in length; (b) that there is a lot more of META tags, which you may include in
your Web site to enhance it, although the two listed above are the most important ones.
(b) Making it user friendly. For this you can make a lot of visual improvements, improve the
graphical side of your Web site, etc. However, please notice to overdo with pfotographs and
illustrations, because they slow down the loading of your site, while if your Web site loads slow,
users get impatient and turn their attention to some other sites.
7. Direct Internet traffic to your Web site (i.e.
submit it to various search engines, advertise it through discussion lists, emails,
your visit cards and brochures, etc.)
Web site by itself is not going to attract attention of the potential users. To get this
attention it must be submitted to so called "Search Engines". Only then potential users
are going to use these engines and come accross your Web site. In order to submit your
Web site to search engines, useful should be my hints provided in a separate page
(accessible through clicking on the menu).
Apart from search engines, you can advartise your Web site in many other ways. The most
popular ones include: (1) sinding emails to your clients or acquintances, in which (emails)
you invite them to visit your Web site, (2) talking about your Web site on discussion lists
from your area of interests, (3) advertising your site on your visit cards,
brochures, and every printed material that you give out to others, and many more.
8. Maintain your Web site (i.e. systematically improve,
extend, an update it, as circumstances change or develop)
With the elapse of time every knowledge looses its validity. This also happens with your Web site.
Therefore you need to keep it up to date systematically, by ajusting it to the ever changing current
Should you wish to do some further learning in this area
I am providing on this Web site some examples of Web pages which you may wish to utilise.
Also I am providing an access to my lecture notes that address the design and
construction of Web sites.