How to Set Up a Web Page - Part 3

Check out the final installment of this three-part series on doing your own Web pages.
Published: Feb 20, 2006
Author: Dan Veaner
Related OS: Windows
Text editors | HTML editors
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
PageBreeze HTML Editor 4.0c
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Alleycode HTML Editor 2.21
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DiDaPro HTML Editor 5.60
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Boxer Text Editor 13.0.0
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UltraEdit-32 13.20
Download Powerful Text, HEX, HTML, PHP and Programmer's Editor.
NoteTab Pro 7.2
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CoffeeCup HTML Editor 15.0
Download CoffeeCup HTML Editor: Advanced web design for everyone.

Setting Up a Web Site - Part 3

Last week we talked about what should go on your Web site. This week let's talk about getting it onto your Web site. Web pages are generally text files with little codes interspersed among the text that tell your browser how to format the material, what pictures to show, sounds to play, and so on. So how do you make these files?

It's just like building a home. You can build one yourself, hire someone to build one for you, or buy pre-fab pieces to assemble. You don't have to be a programmer to build a Web page if you are willing to get tools that will do the back-end coding for you. You actually have quite a few options.

Roll Your Own

Web pages are nothing special from a technological standpoint. They are just text files. So you can write them in a text editor if you know how. You don't even need a fancy text editor -- Notepad will do just fine. Once saved you upload the files to your site. When you want to correct or update a page, you edit it on your computer, then upload it over the old version on your site.

Just a few of the many text editors you can find here on Tucows, include:

HTML is not that complicated a programming language. It is based on tags like

. It can be very simple or quite fancy. Not only that, but there is a free on-line manual at http://www.w3.org/. So if you are game to try, writing your own code is the lease expensive way to get your content onto the Web.

Get a Template

Plenty of templates are available for free or for a price. A template is the layout, including background graphics, of a Web site without the content. You get these templates, and then put your own text, pictures, etc. into them. It is a great way to make a professional looking Web site without having to start from scratch.

Use a Web Generator Program

There are a lot of software packages that will help you make your Web pages. They range from simpler ones that you write HTML code in, then instantly view how it will look in another window to full featured ones with which you design your page and the program writes all the HTML code for you. If you go for the latter you don't need to know HTML at all. You build your page in a program similar to a word processor, placing elements where you want them. These programs come with numerous templates, so you can choose the look of your site and then fill it with content. They even upload the files for you. You'll find a list of just a few of the ones we have at Tucows at the end of this article.

Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems, also known as CMSs, are server-based software that (claim to) make it easy to put your content on the Web without coding. Server-based means that the software is hosted on your own Web server, the Web host you rent that "serves" your content to computers connected to the Internet.

Most CMSs use templates to format the articles. The look of the Web site is determined by these templates, which install on your Web hosting site along with the CMS software itself. By changing the template you can control the look and feel of your entire site, even though the content remains the same. CMSs also have a variety of modules that can do different things.

There is server-based similar software that can create certain kinds of Web sites. For instance, if you want to create a blog (Web Log), one popular package is WordPress. Once it is set up on your hosting account, you just type your journal entries into it. You can even set it up so others can type their own comments. Some software specifically for blogs is listed at the end of this article.

Hosting-Based Site Generators

Some Web hosting companies offer site generators among the services they offer. These tend, in my opinion, to not be good values, as they often charge by the page. But they will make you a professional looking Web site quickly and easily with on-line templates and wizards for inserting your own text and uploading your own pictures.

Web Site Designers

If you are hopeless at creating your own site or just don't have the time, you can hire a Web site designer to build it for you. There is a wide range of people who will build your site for a fee. Look to pay between $50 and $100 per hour, or a flat fee for a limited sized site.

Those are just some of the ways to get your message onto the Web. Whether you code your site by hand or hire someone to do it for you, you can be published immediately and get your message out to a potentially unlimited audience.

About Dan Veaner

Dan Veaner has been a developer and online publisher since 1989. He wrote award winning consumer and developer software, has developed several Web sites including humor sites http://mysockdrawer.com and http://Vvids.com, and worked for America Online. Currently he is working on online publishing projects and is on the board of directors of the Shareware Industry Awards Foundation.

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