Creating your own website

Today, following on from the request of John Mills in Roselands Drive last week, I’m starting a multi-part series focusing on the basics of creating and uploading your own website.

Last week I asked you to register your own domain name on the Internet so that you would be ready to begin creating your website and I have a quick question from a reader to field regarding this:

You mentioned www.redstation.co.uk, in your latest article and that it would cost £9.40, I can't seem to find any thing for that price, has it changed or am I not looking hard enough?
Mike Cresser, via e-mail

The price of £9.40 that I mentioned was the inclusive of VAT price, if you click on ‘Domain Registration’ on the left hand side of the webpage, you’ll see the price of £8 + VAT.Just enter the name of the site that you would like to register in the box on the site and then select payment details.After this is complete you will be given the choice of setting up free hosting which I suggest you take advantage of.

To continue, the first step in creating a website is obviously to acquire some software that will allow you to create the pages that you will eventually upload onto the Internet and your options for this are almost endless.The one piece of software that is both easy to use and widely available would be Microsoft FrontPage which comes as part of many different Microsoft Office suites or FrontPage Express which comes as part of Internet Explorer.If you can’t find either version installed on your computer then run the Microsoft Office setup or download the latest version of Internet Explorer from www.microsoft.com.

This article is too short to cover the finer points of creating a website in Microsoft FrontPage as to do so would necessitate writing an entire book on the subject; however, there are a number of websites and books available to help you with this as well as the programs help file.Incidentally, if you missed last weeks article or happen miss any future articles, they will all be made available from the Herald Express website (www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk), this includes an article I did on compressing images which you may find useful as if you can make your website as small as possible then you decrease the time it takes for your readers to download it.

The interface for FrontPage is similar to Microsoft Word or Publisher in the way everything is laid out and so any of you with experience of either of these programs shouldn’t have too much difficulty creating a simple site.As a first step, if you create a page that you would like as your first page and then save it as ‘index.html’ then this ensures that whenever people go to load your site that this will be the first page that loads up by default.As you know, a website is a collection of a number of different pages (A hotel, for example would have a different page for their price list, brochure and contact information) and so to form links with your other pages, you should create something called a hyperlink which will allow the user to hop from page to page.To do this, select a piece of text that you want to use as the link and go to ‘Insert’ and ‘Hyperlink’.If you now select another page that you’ve created (such as a contacts page) then whenever someone browsing your website clicks on your link then this page will open.Please bear in mind that to keep things simple to begin with, all your files should be kept in the same folder and you should try to keep all your filenames in lowercase.

Of course, it is also possible to insert compressed pictures, tables, symbols etc. into your webpage as long as you ensure that everything is stored in the same folder.

Once again, this article is far too short to go through the finer points of creating your own webpage so I suggest that you experiment with FrontPage and look up some extra reading material on the subject before next week when we’ll talk about uploading your webpage.If you want to test your page before we prepare to upload it then click on ‘File’ and ‘Preview in browser’ where you will be able to get a better idea of how your site will appear to your readers.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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