This is a list of some of the steps you might follow in creating a website and some of the sites that I have found that contain useful material. I have used many (but not all) of the services listed to assist in building my site. Many of the sites listed here provide what you need free or in exchange for allowing them to advertise on your site and it is easy to build even a quite complex web site without spending any money at all. Note that some of these sites provide several of the services mentioned so you need not deal with all of the sites listed in order to get all of the functionality.
If you need more help or want to check out who might do it for you then see the Webmaster Services page.
First you need an email address.
If you haven't got one or want one
that you can access from any computer connected to the internet then
you might consider
Hotmail, gMail or perhaps
Operamail. You will need an email address in order to connect to many of the following
Next you need somewhere to host
your website. If your ISP has
provided you with some free space (like mine has) then you can get them to host the site
for you. If not, then Bravenet is one option that doesn't display too many ads. There is also a search facility available to help you to
find a free web host at Freewebspace.
If you are really serious about creating a professional web site then you will want to purchase ad free web hosting and/or pay to get your own domain name to use with your site.
To create your web pages you need a web editor.
Notepad will do (I also use another text editor called SPF/PC).
If you want something fancier then there are many HTML
editors on the market and a number of free ones as well.
If you don't want to pay to buy a web editors then you might
like to download one of the following free web editors -
CSE HTML Validator,
or just search for "free web editor" in your favourite search engine.
Don't know HTML? Then you
will need to learn it unless you take the
quick way out of using a program that generates the HTML for you. Even
then, it is useful to understand HTML so that you can make the
modifications that your generator doesn't cater for (and none of them
cater for everything that will be available with the next generation of
browsers). There are a number of introductory tutorials on (X)HTML (to define your content) and Stylesheets (which is what you use to define how the content should look) in the HTML and CSS sections of this site.
A good source of more advanced information on
Once you have created some pages, you will need a way to
validate the pages
that you have created to ensure that the HTML code is correct
(even the generators make mistakes sometimes). The best way to validate
your pages is to use the
supplied by W3C (the people who wrote the HTML standards manual). Another
website with useful validation and optimization tools is
Note that validation tools do not fix the code for you, they simply tell you
where the errors are so that you can fix them yourself.
You should also look at your web page in several
different browsers to
check that the page displays correctly in each. The popular browsers
that you really need to test with are Internet Explorer,
Opera. You might also consider testing with
one of the text only browsers such as
There is no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to
freely available on the internet. Apart from my own one at About.com where I have posted many prebuilt scripts and script generators, you should also take a look at
can be found at
I don't have much Java
on this site (only a tutorial on how to
use it with your web pages). To start out using Java I suggest that you
look for prewritten Java
that you can add to your site. I would start by checking out sites like
Code Guru. If you are looking for
online games to add to your site then check out
Arcade Games Online.
If you want to go further and actually learn Java then take a look at
The Java Tutorial provided by the people who
You will also want to set up a number of
interactive features on your website
using either CGI scripts or web pages written using ASP or PHP.
Fortunately, you don't need to know anything about how to create any of these
or load them to your site particularly as many web hosts don't support them. There are a number of
sites on the internet who will allow you to use their services to provide this functionality
either free or at a low cost. One of the best of these that provides many free services is
Bravenet. Bravenet provide lots of useful features free with
little or no advertising including guestbooks, forums, tell a friend, polls, classified ads,
free for all links, greeting cards, counters, photo storage, and siterings.
If you prefer to use CGI scripts hosted on your own site rather than hosted
externally then you can do that too without having to create all of your
scripts from scratch. There are lots of places on the web that provide free
CGI scripts that you can copy and modify for use on your own site. These
Matt's Script Archive and
ScriptSearch. You can also find good information on how to
create CGI scripts yourself at
To get an easy to remember address for your site requires that you
either register a domain name (which costs money) or you can use one of
the page redirection
facilities. I used ones from Bravenet before getting my own domain.
If you are running a web site for a club or other organisation where you
run a subscription list for your members or customers then check out
Xara Online - Membership Manager where (for a small fee)
you can get a secure
online database that can be maintained from anywhere. You can use it to
send emails or SMS messages to any member or group, track events and allow
members to register their interest, and provide access for members to update
their own details and to control their access to members only web pages.
This can be seamlessly integrated into your web site and runs on their
server so you don't have to install anything special.
Now that you have built your website, you need to make it known. The most obvious option is to submit your site to search engines but before you do this you might want to consider optimizing your pages to obtain the highest position possible (and therefore to hopefully get the maximum number of visitors to your site). You can either do this yourself or get someone else to do it for you. Some places where you can pay to get it done for you are Li'l Engine and positioned1.
So now you are ready to submit your site to the search engines so that when people search the web they will find you. The best place to start is this search engine and directory list.
You may want to look at link and banner exchange
programs where you get your link or banner on someone else's site in exchange for placing links or banners to other sites on your's. You can do this either by approaching other sites individually and suggesting an exchange of links or by joining a link or banner exchange program such as Free Link Exchange. Note that you need to be careful if doing this as placing the links pages provided by some exchange programs on your site may actually reduce your chances of getting a good position in search engines and in some cases may stop your site being listed at all.
There are many other ways to promote your site. Anything that lets other people know that your site exists is useful as long as the advertising is only directed at people who have asked to receive it. One free way to advertise your site is to join
MegaResponse and then advertise that service. Anyone who joins under you in the service will then be advertising your site as well as their own.