Getting Started in Web-Design
Before you even start creating a website you going to need to know the in between bits of Web-Design scene. Although actually creating a website is part of HTML, it's not actually the beginning of your journey. This tutorial will explain some factors you need to know before you coding a website.
What is a website?
We all know what one looks like but what exactly is one?
A website can come all in all different shapes and sizes, there are so many websites in the world and so many different styled/coded websites exists, but in simple terms a website can be a collection of media items, such as text, images, photoshops, video's etc, which are accessible online via the big WWW (World Wide Web). Websites tend to be publicly accessible pages for people to view and see. There also many different types of websites, such as, blogs, enterainment, forums etc. I could end up making the defintion go on forever but we're keeping it simple!
There are different types of websites as well:
- a personal website
- a commercial website
- a government website
- a non-profit organization website
There are more types but these types cover a vast majority of websites currently on the WWW (World wide Web)
In order to have a website you must have a host. A host will have web-servers which are specifically designed for website hosting, so this means they are optimised for the task in hand, and that is to host your website and house it's data. But there are so many web hosts out there, which one would be right for you? To answer that were going to look at the different hosting types.
Free hosting is what it says, free. No credit card or PayPal account needed, many hosts will offer free hosting. If you just getting into the whole website scene then free hosting is a great way to experiment with how web-coding and of course web-hosts works.
Free hosting comes with it's flaws. Example, free hosting will almost always have restrictions which will be immedietly placed on your account. Restrictions like no support of coding such as MySQL and PHP. And a favorite of free web hosts is that they force you to place ad's on there site, or there automatically embedded into your pages. But like I said it's free so of course you have to deal with these restrictions
Free hosting I would say is recommended for either the curious type who is getting into building websites, or a person who aims to set up a small personal website, which will not be expecting masses amounts of traffic. If you are aiming to create a busy traffic website you might want to consider looking into to paid professional hosting
Shared hosting is a step up from free hosting, and can be very affordable prices can be as littles as $2 a month, because your sharing a server with others it's fairly cheap in price. Shared hosting is often the most popular type as lots of different hosting plans are occassiated with it. With shared hosting if you compare prices from other hosts and find identical pricing you can usually tell if one's providing a better overall service while the other is saving on hardware.
If you come across cheap prices for shared hosting don't just think the service will be rubbish. Remember your sharing with others, so the price will be low. This links to speed and resources. Remember that other websites are hosted on the same server. So if one website is using alot of the servers resources all websites on that server will be slowed down.
Paid/VPS hosting is the biggest of the three hosting types but also comes at the most expensive. By having paid hosting you get much better servers than free/shared hosting, and also they will be configured to handle big loads, unlike free hosting. This is literally the best hosting out there, but like I said it's very expensive. And unlike Shared hosting prices don't tend to vary, they tend to be set prices.
But if it's so expensive and what not, why would it exist. Well because paid hosting mean usually your own server this would be perfect for business comapny websites, and general sites that get literally 100k views plus to there website (refering back to high loads scenario)
This type of hosting would be for the experienced webmasters with websites and hosting, it's not for beginners, as it's expensive the servers are usually quite complex and you'll have alot of configurations to know and sort out.
A domain name is simply this, http://pulsegfx.net it is bought from someone called a domain registar, domain names are custom addresses that people can make. This is slightly different to such things like Sub-Domains, Example you are hosted at a free host and for your website address is something.yourwebhost.com a domain name cuts out the .yourwebhost bit out and making it independant of any other website.
Domain name can also have different extensions at the end of them such as, .net, .co.uk, .org, .org.uk, .gov, .com etc. In some cases you can have custom ones created, but these cost alot of money.
Domain registras are the providers of the domain names. There are many registars out there a few are, name.com godaddy.com and namecheap.com each service will differ but in the end they are providing the same thing.
Getting started is always the hard part in starting off a website. You do need to consider lots of factors if your seriously going for it. Factors like what content can I provide, what shall my website be about, what features can I include in my website. Factors like that need to be addressed before you even start.
A sneaky start up trick
If your completly stuck on how to start then you can use something called a CMS (Content Management System) These are systems that manage content and you install them onto your website. CMS's can be customized to your liking, and once more they manage all the hard stuff like XHTML and CSS for you. This would be a great for someone starting out, but i'd recommend you don't just use a CMS as your shorcut method. It's a good idea to learn about XHTML and CSS so you understand how things work even if you can't code/design a website.
You can use one of free web templates to get an idea of customization and then move on with paid fancy premium ones.
Learn on the job!
A great method of learning new ways in building websites is to learn while you create the website itself. Simply by using knowledge of what you already you can expand on it and then learn how to do something you already knew even better.
Patience will play a key roll in your new website, when you start it no one's going to know about it, so it's going to be your job to get as many link exchanges and back links as possible. Also when your first starting out at coding you won't neccesarly get the hang of it. Don't worry. I can remember the first version of Pulse GFX back in 2006, they looked horrible, but experienced It I can offer you some handy tips.
1. Don't throw away any website design/code you work on. Save it and expand on it, learn from it. Improve it.
2. Remember a pretty looking site looks good, but in the end the content is the meat of your success
3. If you can't do something. Learn how to, don't give up. There are loads of tutorials on XHTML, HTML and Css etc so give your brain some work outs!
4. Getting traffic to your website takes time, infact it's taken Pulse GFX Two years to be where it is today!
5. Finally. Enjoy being a webmaster! I love my website, I'd never give it up because it's something thats part of me. If your passionate about it. Go for it. No one can stop you!
You've come this far. I hope this tutorial sheds light on the whole Web-Design scene for some of you. Good luck if you quest on and start a website!