How to build a Web Site

Building a web sites can be both easy and complex. When you imagine the website you want to build, if you do not have the experience necessary to build it, you may be taking on too much of a challenge. There are a few basic things that go into websites, but the two main elements are graphics and coding.

Most web designers will start by designing their website in Adobe Photoshop. In the Photoshop file they will create and place the websites logo, decide how they want the navigation of the page the function, color scheme and background, how the content of the web pages will look as well as any other bells and whistles they want to incorporate into the website. In short, you can think of your layout in Photoshop as a blueprint for the site that will eventually be transformed into code.

After the design is complete the image should be either passed to a software engineer for rendering or if you have the knowledge and know-how, you can transform your graphics into the usable website. Normally you would begin by flattening and cutting out the graphics you need in Photoshop. Remember to keep one or two copies of the file when flattening and merging layers as if you merge them and forget to undo before you save the file, you will not be able to separate the layers again.

After all of your graphics are cut out you can begin uploading them (via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to your websites images folder. If you do not have a website yet, you need to buy a domain name and setup web hosting. We suggest to start with an inexpensive web host to start and as your website grows, take time then to look into virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated servers.

After your domain name and hosting are setup you need to start compiling the code to display your website. If it is a basic informational website you will probably only need to use HTML, a little bit of CSS and possibly one or two JavaScripts. More complicated dynamic websites will require an understanding of PHP, MySQL and possibly AJAX.

HTML is a pretty easy language to learn and understand. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is an extension to HTML in order to make your coding and life easier. CSS files store your websites theme information including what fonts you want to use, colors and more. If you need any JavaScript for adding some interactivity to the website, it is not imperative to learn the language through and through, some basic understanding might help but there are many copy and paste scripts available on the internet to complete the functions you are looking for; for example a button to 'Check All' check boxes or to clear a text field when the user inputs the cursor.

After all of the coding is complete and the images are in place, you only need to upload the files and access your sites homepage via your internet browser. If you did everything right your site will appear.

Please note that this is not in any way a complete how-to guide but written to give you a general understanding of what it takes to get a website online. Learning how to use Photoshop and how to write HTML code will take some time and willingness to learn new things. Search the internet for specific Tutorials and How-To's and before you know it, your first webpage(s) will be online.

Posted: January 21st, 2015

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