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DIY Web Design and Resources - a Quick Start Guide to Web Site Design

Overview of Creating Your Own Web Site
by Gina Hoover (c) 2004-2008
1
Come up with an Idea on what you want to do. Could be a business or a personal web site, whatever you want.
2

Secure your domain name. A domain name is a specific web site address that you choose and register with a company that offers domain name registration (i.e. .com, .net, .org, .edu, and .gov). Our domain name is "hooverwebdesign.com". You should secure your domain name as soon as possible because if you wait to register your name it could be grabbed up by some one else.

3
Draft out on paper how you vision your web site will look. Ask yourself, what will be on each page? How should it navigate, etc.
4

Start putting together the content for your web site. Content is text, graphics and music that you would like on your web site. Do not copy text and graphics from other websites. This is called copyright infringement and is illegal. You could open yourself up to lawsuits. Type up your own text that you would like to appear on your web site in a word processor. Be sure to check your spelling. Any photos you want on your web site will need to be scanned.

You can give your site a polished appearance by purchasing a professional website template. Besides getting your site up and running quicker, all you would have to do is paste in your text. Using an online website builder is another option.

5

Secure your web hosting. Web hosting is a monthly fee that you pay to have your site accessible on the Internet.

6

Add some eye-candy like a few graphics. View royalty free graphics and photo resources. Nobody wants to look at a web site with just plain text. When choosing graphics, be careful not to add too many. Less is more.

7

Add items that make your site "sticky" (items that make your visitors stay on your site). Things like message boards, guest books, polls, and articles make your visitors want to stay around for a while. Giving away free items will always make surfers want to visit your site. This site has a guestbook, a messageboard, a free sitebuilder, free templates, a font archive, a sound archive and other things to attract visitors. There are many scripts that you can use to make your site come alive.

8

Once all of your content has been added, ensure you add meta tags to each of your pages. Meta tags are very important. Meta tags allow search engines to find your web site. If search engines can find your web site people will be able to as well.

9

This is a good time to sign up with an affiliate program. Affiliate programs allow you to earn money from your web site by advertising products for a company. An example would be that you have a website that discusses books. You could have a link that would allow your visitors to buy the book from your website. Your site visitors would also appreciate being about to read about the book and then being able to buy it as well.

10
Check and double check the spelling on your web site. Nothing makes a bad impression worse than misspelled words on a web page
11

Promote your web site. You can have a great web site, but if no one knows it's there it won't do you any good. Add it to search engines, directories, spam-free ffa pages, and guest books. Ensure not to put blatant advertisements in someone's guest book. That's very rude and would offend anyone. Take a look around the person's web site and tell them what you liked about it, while also leaving your link. Invite them to sign your guest book if you have one. You should attach your url to every email message you send out. This makes it easy for surfers to come back to your web site. Be patient because it takes time build up a steady flow of traffic. Paid Promotion is highly recommended because you don't have to wait to be listed in search engines.

Guaranteed Search Engine Submit is also recommended because this service assures that your web site pages 'get in' and 'stay in' the search index which powers top search engines such as AOL, MSN, iWon, and HotBot. Your web page is automatically re-spidered every day and reflects any changes you make to your web site. You also get to see how many searchers visited your web pages and which search terms they used.

12
Update your site often with new content. Give your visitors a reason to come back.
 

You can skip all these steps by hiring a professional web site designer to work on your web site project. Hoover Web Design specializes in web site design for small business owners and individuals. Click here to view our portfolio and to request a free web design quote. Another option is to do the site yourself with the help of an online website builder.

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