Thinking about Making your own Website?
Making, uploading (putting it online), hosting and advertising a website need cost you nothing if you do it all yourself. Pay others and it can cost many hundreds. This is not intended to be an instruction manual - just a general guide. You don't have to try to do all this in one day. The process may take you weeks, and you will learn every day. (Although it's possible to create a simple website in a day) Don't therefore be put off by reading through all this all at once!
Webpage Making Programmes
Making your Website
The most important advice I can offer..........Keep it simple! Very basic. Don't use frames or "themes" for your first webpage.
With programmes such as Microsoft Frontpage, or many others - many of which come free on computer magazine CD-Roms, it's relatively easy to make your own website. You don't need to understand complicated code. With the right programme, it's just like using your word processor programme (you can make a website with most of those too! I first made this site with Microsoft Word - I now use Frontpage)
Webpage Making Programmes - find the right programme. You probably have one on your computer already!
Expage and Treeway are sites that make it easy to make your own website - you do everything online! Nothing to upload!
If you don't want to try it yourself, then you might consider paying someone else to make it. There are many many firms out there who will make a website for you and charge the earth. Be careful!
Valiant provide a webdesign and building service for reasonable cost. I recommend them because they've been hosting this site for several months now without problems. Their costs are very reasonable, are keen to help and answer queries promptly. I'm assuming their web design service is of a similar standard.
Making a Website - the basics But if that's not basic enough - try the kid's version!
More Info Here How to create your first website Answers to lots of questions here Web Builder tips
Help with HTML code (for the more adventurous)
Once you've made the site, you can either use the free web space your ISP provides (eg Freeserve etc) or there are other free hosting services around - such as f2s.com (there are many free web space companies, but most insist on banner adverts or pop-up windows on your site, your ISP or eg. Freedom2surf don't have ads) - or pay for hosting and e-mail forwarding services. I recommend www.valiantuk.co.uk (they host this site) There you can register a name (yourname.co.uk or whatever), they will host the site and give you e-mail address - all for £40 a year or so. Supanames.co.uk offer a hosting package (with domain name of your choice - eg. yourname.co.uk) for £15 per year, including unlimited e-mail addresses, and a dial-up ISP service. Sounds good - but I have no experience of them, and I've only read their website ads! Easily.co.uk also now provide hosting services.
Some companies (some free, some paid) also supply extras such as counters, e-mail forms, guestbooks etc (Valiant also have more expensive hosting plans which include some of these services)
Bravenet.com provide many services all free - such as those I use. They can give you e-mail forms, counters, guestbooks, site submission service, discussion forum etc etc But they don't host sites - they will add to yours.
If you use a free hosting service (eg your ISP) then you can register a friendly domain name at Easily.co.uk and instead of people having to type in http://home.yourisp.com/yourname or whatever, they just need to type in what you chose as your web name eg. www.tosy.co.uk Easily just sends them to your "real" web address. Valiant also provide this service.
If you use Treeway or Expage - there's no uploading to do, and it's already being hosted there!
To be able to upload your site to the host site, you will probably need an FTP (file transfer protocol) programme. Some of the web building programmes come with one. I use Terrapin (small cost to download), but Cute is free. About all FTP programmes Other Free FTP programmes Some host sites don't use FTP, and use a facility where you upload your site via a webpage. Some hosts offer both services. Dencity and some ISPs for instance. Once you've set up the FTP connection, then it's far easier and quicker than uploading via a web page.
Advertising your Site
Now your site's online, you need to tell everyone it's there, and make sure others will find it. Most people use the major search engines to find website. To get your site listed at the search engines, you need to tell each one about your site - "submit your site"
Before you submit your site for listing at the search engines, you need to make one more addition to your home page.
Go to Bravenet's MetaTag Wizard, and fill in the details it asks for. Then copy and paste that code into the very top of the html code of your home page. (Between the "Head" tags) That code is what most search engines use to index your site. Upload the updated page to your webspace. Now you're ready to submit your site to the search engines.
Submit site to the search engines
Most search engines have a small link on their home page, saying "add url" or "submit your site". Directories such as Yahoo do it a little differently. I've put the pages here for some of the big search engines and directories. The most successful sites for referring people to this website have consistently been Yahoo and Google - and now they've amalgamated, the vast majority of first time visitors come via them. Once you've submitted your site, don't expect instant results. Some search engines process your site within days, but most take several weeks before your site is listed. (Not all sites are accepted either)
http://www.dmoz.org/add.html covers AOL, Google, Netscape and lots more
Free site submission services (some of them like you to add a small ad button on your site)
This is the easy way to submit your website to many search engines all at once. A great time saver. With the exception of Yahoo - you still have to do that one yourself. Some of the following websites also provide additional services requiring payment. Most of them submit to approx 20-30 websites free.
If you're asked for an e-mail address - put an old address that you no longer use, or take out a new e-mail address at Yahoo or Hotmail so all your junk mail goes there, rather than to your desktop.
Paid submission services (there are many of them around, and I have never used them and I have no idea whether they are reputable or not) The difference from the free ones is they submit to more search engines - but the others are small ones. They also submit monthly (or whatever) and that makes sure the websites keep spidering your site, and keeps it's listing current.
Links from Other Websites
Find sites with a similar interest and ask them to provide a link to you - they'll be more likely to do so if you include a reciprocal link at your site. For this site for instance, I sent e-mails to a lot of the popular TS websites and asked if they'd consider a reciprocal link. I also e-mailed all the major general health sites in the UK etc
Send E-Mails around to friends and relatives, tell everyone you meet!
Guestbooks, Message Boards, Counters etc
There are many online companies offering free services such as guestbooks, discussion forums, chat rooms etc.
I use Bravenet services
but there are many others, such as
Message Board links
Webpage Making Programmes
Back to Top