Webpage Creation Lesson

A webpage or web page is any page of a website that is accessed through a web browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer. This page is usually in the XHTML or HTML format.

Web page creation may seem hard and pretty intimidating to non-techie people, but anyone can achieve this by simply following directions. You will be faced with technical terms every now and then, but remember that a web search is just a click away and layman explanations of every possible topic under the sun is already readily available on the net.

You have three choices in creating a webpage – hire someone to make it for you and ask them to make the webpage from scratch, use ready-made templates, or create blogs. This article will guide web newbies who has not created a webpage before.

Custom Webpage: Hiring vs. Do-it-Yourself

Creating a webpage depends largely on your needs, budget, and project goals. To determine if you’re willing to pay someone to do it for you, use ready-made templates or learn all the ins and outs of web page creation, you need to ask yourself three questions:

  • What is the webpage for? Is it for business or personal? Who is your target audience?
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • When do you need the page completed?

Business websites usually require a more polished look, so you can either hire someone to do the webpage for you, or learn how to create a professional web page. However, if you have a deadline set for the project within a month or so, you may not be able to learn everything by then, so it is recommended to hire a pro. If you are short of money, but need the web page live as soon as possible, then your best bet is to go for ready-made templates – just pick a template that would suit your niche.

Learn more about your options:

  • Hiring a Webpage Designer – If you have no HTML skills whatsoever and you have money to spare, you can hire a web designer or web design company to build a webpage for you. The advantage of letting someone do the webpage is you’ll get a custom designed page built based on your specifications. There are all-around professionals who can design, code and write content for the page, while some workers specialize on design, code or content writing alone. Since most of these contractors are paid on a per-project basis, you’ll be able to rely on them to do most of the technical aspects of the webpage. However, be aware that hiring a professional can be costly.
  • Use Ready-Made Templates – If the webpage you need is not complicated, you can just use any online service that offers ready-made template-based web designs. Web hosting companies like Hostgator or domain services like GoDaddy provide everything you need to build a web page at minimal costs, even without technical skills. The downside of going to this route is that the webpage will be generic, with about thousands of them that look exactly alike made by other people. The webpage will also have limited features and usually cannot be customized enough.
  • Do-it-Yourself Web Page Creation– Since you will be learning about HTML and other technical skills necessary to design, code and publish a web page, you won’t be spending any money. The web has thousands of tutorials online to teach you everything you need to know. However, it can be time consuming to learn.

If you want to continue learning how to make a webpage, three things are needed – HTML, CSS and web design skills. To put it simply, compare these three elements to building a house. HTML makes up the walls, floors and foundation of the house, while CSS personalizes the house by assigning colors, arranging furniture and adding texture like carpet. Meanwhile, web design serves as the glue that would bring all the elements of the HTML and CSS into one piece.

How to Make a Web Page

Regardless of what route you take, you have to follow several steps to get a new webpage live on the web.

1) Domain Name – Each website has its own unique name called a domain name, which creates the address of your pages. Mywebpage.com is an example of a domain name. You have to choose one that isn’t already taken by searching on domain name registrars. Domain names are paid yearly or for a set period of years.

If you wish to get a free site, you can do so at your own risk. Free webhosts are usually unstable and provides longer domain names, such as http://freesite.mywebpage.com.

2) Web Host – A webpage cannot exist without a web host, a company that houses your site’s files. Web hosting can be paid monthly or yearly. Once you have chosen a web hosting company, you need to ensure your domain is connected to the web server, a process called “setting up the DNS” (domain name system).

3) Web Building Software – If you decided to make the webpage yourself, you’ll need some kind of web editing software, such as Adobe’s Dreamweaver. If you plan to learn how to code HTML from scratch, then you won’t need this type of software. Those who will be making web pages from ready-made templates, all the necessary tools are usually included in web hosting companies. Be aware that most ready-made templates do not have rich features such as forums, chat rooms, photo galleries, online guestbook, shopping cart and other interactive features. Each of these features requires a specific kind of script (free or paid) that includes instructions on how to set it up. If you’re doing the web page on your own, this may take a bit of time, but the process really isn’t that difficult.

4) Web page Content – Every webpage needs unique content for readers to see. Known as “publishing” the content, this can be done on your own, a program or a professional writer, depending on your needs.

How to Create a Blog

Blogs are another type of website, which usually organizes content by category and date, with the most recent posts displayed first. Webpages that arrange posts by content is called a static webpage. If you want a journal-type of website, a blog is the way to go. There are two types of blogs: remotely-hosted and self-hosted blogs.

  • Remotely Hosted Blog – As its name suggest, this blog is hosted remotely or on the server of the blogging platform such as Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Since you don’t have to get a domain name or a hosting provider, you use the blog free. The problem with this type of blog is that you don’t actually get to own a domain name. Instead, you share a dot com with thousands of people, so your web address would look like http://myblog.blogspot.com or http://myblog.wordpress.com. Another disadvantage is the risk involved in investing on a remotely hosted blog, because when one of these platforms shut down, it can be a hassle to transfer all your work, or worse, lose all your content.
  • Self-Hosted Blog – A self-hosted blog is recommended if you prefer a more professional domain name. With a self-hosted blog, you will need to get a domain name and web host. Your web address would look like http://myblog.com and all posts, photos and other content are hosted on a web hosting account you own.  The best thing about self-hosted blogs is it allows users more flexibility on the features you wish to include on your blog. You can still use WordPress with self-hosted blogs and take advantage of thousands of free themes and plug-ins that could add functionality to your blog.

Static Webpage or Blog?

Know that you know the difference between a blog and a static webpage, you might still be confused on which route to take. Static websites are created using HTML from scratch or ready-made templates, while blogs can be created even if you don’t have technical knowledge due to the availability of various themes and plug-ins.

Some experts believe static Webpages work well with monetizing a website, but you’ll find many people who prefer blogs because they can be customized to include static pages. The decision relies largely on how much work you’ll be investing on the pages. If you would be working on the pages once (just to have web presence for your small business), then a static webpage could work. But if you plan to provide daily or weekly updates, a blog is a better option.

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