Your First Web Site

For Absolute Beginners

Introduction

Very few people make any money with their first site. If this was their aim then they become discouraged and quit. Other people put up a website for fun and later find their new hobby can earn them a decent living. You can start your online business empire next week! Have a bit of fun first.

Aim to put up a test site with a few pages of text, some pictures and maybe even a logo. Experiment and have fun with it! You will be surprised how much you can learn in a few hours and your first REAL site will be a lot more likely to succeed if you have this experience.

Tools

Don’t spend lots of money on fancy software. You don’t need expensive web hosting, don’t need to be able to accept credit cards, you don’t even need your own domain name. In fact, you can get an experimental site online for free!

Most people seem to want a friendly point-and-click what-you-see-is-what-you-get web page editors like MicroSoft’s Frontpage. These are rarely as friendly as they claim and in my opinion you will be better off going through a simple HTML tutorial using a text editor like notepad. This way is far more satisfying and will make it easier to use more advanced tools and scripts later when the basics are no longer enough. I could rant on this point for ages but will resist the temptation. The choice is yours.

Free Paid For
Web Site Editor: notepad comes free with Windows, or try Arachnophilia which is more powerful and has useful color coding.
FTP (for uploading files): Try WS_FTP_LE
Misc: Netmechanic to find HTML errors, Xenu for finding broken links and other tools in the resources section.
Hosting: Tripod or Geocities. Free hosting is horrible as they will put adverts on everything, but it doesn’t matter if you are just experimenting. If you want to spend a little then it’s easy to find somewhere that will give you a decent domain name and web hosting account for less than $50.
Site Build It – all the tools you need in one place with lots of help and advice thrown in.

If you do not want to spend that much, you should be able to find somewhere that will give you a decent domain name and web hosting account for less than $50, then use free software.

First Real Site

Site Build It is great. If you didn’t try it for your first site then now is the time to take a look. The only downside is the cost, yes, it is quite expensive. This service was designed as an all-in-one solution for beginners and is by far the best place to start. I don’t know of anything else like it!

The only other option is to go it alone. You will need to register a nice looking domain name and pay for web hosting, but this should cost less than $50. There is a huge amount of good advice online for free and you can always ask for help on some of the webmaster message boards if you get stuck.

What ever you choose to do, make sure you read every everything you can find and don’t be afraid to experiment.

With Experience

If you get this far then you know the basics and you should have made a bit of money. You’ve probably got a few ideas of things you want to try, but before you move on look back at what you’ve done so far and try to work out what your keys to success were. You can take those key elements, mix in a few new ideas and try again with a new site on a different theme. Aim to make every new site more profitable than the last one, and don’t be afraid to dump failed projects in favor of new ones that are more likely to succeed.

Discalimer: These pages contain only hints, tips and suggestions that I hope you will find useful. I give no guarantee that any of them will work for you, and will not be liable for the consequences of following the advice on this site. Do so at your own risk!