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Build a Website With the Right Focus




This hands-on guide on how to build a website focuses on webpage creation, linking webpages and uploading your website to your server. It assumes you have read about the important of a website concept, domain names, web hosts and HTML Editors.

The process to build a website starts with building HTML webpages using HTML Editors, saving those pages with specific file name extensions, linking all the pages together and then loading them up to your web hostís server.



HTML & Webpages

As you already know webpages are built using the HTML programming language. This language defines how your webpage will look to the human eyes. You donít need to know this coding language thanks to the tools we have today. Read my discussion on HTML Editors for a comprehensive background on this subject.

I recommend getting your own HTML Editor to build your webpage to have full flexibility, freedom and control over your website. Your website is just a collection of a bunch of these HTML pages linked together.

Technically, you can use a Microsoft Word or a Notepad file to write your webpages. But like I said, there are so many affordable tools available today and you donít need to learn the coding language (you simply design your pages by selecting various designs and options, dragging and dropping, pointing and clicking your mouse). In fact, there are many free tools that you can use as well.



The Basic HTML Framework

Below is the basic HTML code that every webpage contains. Notice the "html" tags in the beginning and end? These tags tell the server that this is a webpage. Everything in between is just how the webpage will look like and what it will contain.

All tags come in pairs. Each tag has a corresponding tag with a / (back slash). This is to notify the server that the particular command has ended. So if you want to bold something you will start out the sentence by typing the bold tab < b >. To end it you will close it by typing < /b >. If you forget to close it, all the following sentences/content will be bolded.

"html"
"head"
"title"Page title"/title"
"/head"
"body"
All your webpage content goes here
"/body"
"/html"

Use brackets < > instead of the quotation marks above

Under the head tag goes your page title, description and keywords. These are not visible to your visitors but important for search optimization.

The body tag is the visible tag. Anything that goes between these tags is visible to the human eye. When you hear about search engine optimization, it is nothing more than including certain keywords between all the important HTML tags so that search engines can better find you on the Internet.

Type a search in Google for basic HTML tags. Take some of the tags from the search results and see how you can use them to enhance webpage design.



Name, Save & Test Your HTML Webpage

Save your file and name it using the keyword you focused on to create the content of that webpage. Use all lowercase letters and no spaces. Use hyphens and underscores to separate words (i.e. cool-toads.html, cool_toads.html).

When you are done programming your HTML webpage, save the file with an .html extension. This extension is important to signal web browsers how to interpret the text and how to display it.

Go to wherever you saved your file and double click on it to open it. Your web browser should open and should look like any other website, except with no content. Alternatively you can type in the path to where to save it on your web browser and it will open the file (i.e. C:\MyDocuments\MyWebsite\index.html)

The index.html is your home page or main page. When you start creating more webpages, they will all contain different file names and will be somehow linked to your main home page either directly or indirectly.



Linking Your WebPages

Linking your webpages together is very simple. The html tag for this command is < a >. All you have to do is determine where you want the link to appear on your webpage. Once you determine that simple type in the command < a > and close it with < /a >.

Then you type in the text you want visible in between the tags. So it can look something like this: < a > Other Cool Toad Resources < /a >. Now you will have to go back and add the link so that your visitor can click on the text between the tags and access the linked page.

To do this you add a ďhrefĒ command (hypertext reference) to your opening link tag. The file (HTML webpage) you are linking to must be in quotation marks. The code will pretty much look like this: Make sure to visit Other Cool Toad Resources!

Basically with this process you can interlink all your webpages and together form your website. You can design menus and table of contents on your index (home page) where you can organize all your links to other sections of your website.



Upload Your Website to Your Server

So right now you have a set of interlinked webpages which together form your website. But right now only you can view it because the files are stored locally on your computer. In order for you to be visible on the Internet, you must upload these files to your web hostís server.

Your web hostís server is linked to the Internet. You can use FTP software to load up your pages online. There are many free FTP software solutions available today. No matter which software you choose, they all work in a similar fashion.

Your web host will provide you with your FTP login information. Simply login to your FTP account and you will see a view of your local computer files on the left side of the screen where you can navigate to your webpage files. On the right side you will see the files that are loaded on the server. This should be empty if you are just starting to upload your webpages.

Through simple pointing, clicking and dragging, you can transfer files to and from between your computer and the server. Once you are done, open up your web browser and type in your wed address or URL. So for example, www.cool-toads.com. You will then see a URL that reads www.cool-toads.com/index.html.

This will seem like magic at first. You are pretty much now online! You will see your home page visible to you with links to other pages that you created. Send your web address to your friends and they will be able to see your webpage as it is now live on the Internet.



Knowing the Mechanics to Build a Website

This build a website discussion may have seemed complicated and overwhelming to you. I can understand that. But you donít have to know any of this. Of course having a background on how this all works and comes together is helpful (and that is why I wrote this section). However, you can use one of many HTML Editors available today that donít require knowledge of any of this.

The entire HTML coding still happens, but it happens in the background where you can see it if you want to at any point while building your webpages. Read more about HTML editors here.








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