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Other First time true website building

Discussion in 'General' started by ghost25, 13 Aug 2011.

  1. ghost25

    ghost25 New Member

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    Hey guys, got a question I'm hoping someone can help me out with.

    I'm a pretty avid computer user, and recently decided to take a small business online. I've established a Facebook page for my business already, but I know that'll only go so far... after all, not everybody has Facebook. I have very limited money (can't find a job, ergo taking my business online), so anything listed needs to be absolutely, 100%, no hidden fees, free.

    I've done some research on Google already, but being that I've never taken a web site online before, I don't really know what I'm looking for. I used to dabble in HTML and even less in CSS many years ago, but it's been so long since I've worked with it, that I can't remember hardly anything about it.

    So, I guess it's more of a two-fold question. First off, can you recommend any good tips/sites for rebuilding my (probably obsolete!) HTML skills? Yes, I know there's probably some new format that's all the rage now, but whatever. I'm not looking for something that's too flashy, just a simple basic web page that will be a virtual storefront. So there's that consideration.

    My second request then, I guess, is where would you recommend I go for absolutely free web site hosting/registration? The way I figure it, I need to have a website built before I can actually register it, and it doesn't really make sense for me to have it hosted/registered until it's like 90% done, with just small details left to be ironed out.

    Got any suggestions for me? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. xMathiasD

    xMathiasD New Member

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    hmm just a suggestion, the other day i found a program called artisteer, it's used to make websites, on less than an hour, and it's really user friendly.. it may not be the right way to build a website, i think it creates some "smush" code.. but the good thing is that you can make a wordpress/joomla/drupal/dotnetnuke template with it - export it, install it and then you are ready to go..

    but if you want to improve your HTML/CSS they best way should be http://www.w3schools.com/ and experience!
     
  3. Fredrics

    Fredrics Hmm...

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    When I started out on my website, I used this company for my hosting - http://www.000webhost.com/ However as soon as I managed to get enough money together I migrated onto a paid host. I got the cheapest one that I could find which really isn't the best choice. Spend a little more money and get reliable hosting, one day downtime can result in you losing you more business than the more expensive host would of cost you.

    As for creating your site, I would strongly discourage you from creating it yourself if you are doing this as a business. The prebuilt solutions out there have been tested thoroughly and will make your site look much more professional. Then simply apply a few customisations to the site to make it unique. I am sure you have been on websites before and not purchased from them as they look "dodgy".
     
  4. ghost25

    ghost25 New Member

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    Well, Fredrics, that's probably the most sound bit of advice I've gotten anywhere, and I've posted also on Ubuntu forums (I'm a *nix guy) and on Facebook.

    You say that as soon as you managed to get enough money, you migrated to a paid host... was there a particular reason you switched from 000webhost? And what would you recommend for creating the site myself? I understand why you say not to code it myself, but I'm not sure I get where you're going with that one. Do you think I'd be better off going with a professional web page developer? My only issue with having someone else do it, as I'm sure you understand, is that issue of trust, and quality development... whether I find someone IRL or online, I have to know if their work is reputable. Do you think I should maybe put my requirements on Craigslist or something?

    And thanks for your quick reply Fredrics! Much appreciated!
     
  5. Fredrics

    Fredrics Hmm...

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    I'm glad that I could help, when I first started I found it hard to find information from someone impartial.

    I moved due to outgrowing what they offer, but also due to the occasional downtime. However they were definitely the best free host out there. You would probably be unable to afford a full website creation, that is in the 1000's for a good attempt. As for creating the site, it all depends on what your actual needs are. I have never had an online store, so can't really recommend anything that you wouldn't also be able to find online yourself however this thread I found seems to have some good suggestions http://www.wholesaleforum.com/discu...at-best-ecommerce-software-online-store-4184/
    Once you have chosen the software you can play around with it, and see if you get along with editing it. Depending on how unique you want your site you have the choice of using a template (and some of the bigger soloutions have 1000's of them) or you can pay someone to design it for you. I always had to pay for any graphics as I have 0 artistic skills. If you do hire someone to do it for you, make sure you give them more information then they could ever need - it will save you time in tweaking later on.
    The last issue you are going to have is accepting payment. Paypal is probably the easiest solution but I have found that it does not look professional as the user has to leave your site to pay. Many of the eCommerce software online will have their preferred option to, but all of these have their advantages and disadvantages (The fee being a major factor to look at) When you do decide on what your payment option is, 000webhost's free option may not be enough. They don't offer SSL (the encryption for payment) so that may force you to migrate.
    It really is a minefield out there, so don't hesitate to ask me any questions. However I don't know online stores all that well, but I'll try my best.
     
  6. ryan498

    ryan498 New Member

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    I know yoi want free web hosting, however that cannot always be relied on as its slow and can always go down at least every day.

    I would reccomend Hydro Host: http://www.hydro-host.com/ .. they have great prices :) as for coding, I'm guessing you'll be wanting somthing free, could try a trial of dreamweaver? Or buy a Mr Site package.
     
  7. getDownShep

    getDownShep New Member

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    Sitepoint.com is always a good place to brush up on your skills and anything new that is happening
     
  8. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    For hosting, go pay someone. No, Really. The server speed, uptime and support you'll get will be worth it.
    ESPECIALLY with hosting being dirt cheap these days.
    I'd also recommend going with someone well known for that. HostGator, BlueHost, GoDaddy, etc offer cheap "register-and-host" packages.

    As for the website:
    Nothing wrong with DIY'ing it, thoguh I'd probably (for the sake of having a content management system of sorts) go with joomla/Drupal/whatever, depending on your needs.

    Research shows time and again that professionally designed websites pull more traffic, fast websites pull more traffic, and easy to use websites convert more of the traffic to sales.

    So for starters:
    Pay for a domain and hosting. It bosots credibility.
    Go with a nice free theme and some plugins for Drupal or Joomla or something.
    Get a professional in as soon as you can afford it.
     
  9. TheLegendJoe

    TheLegendJoe Syntax error

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    learn here

    host here

    but you may aswell pay for hosting as BentAnat says, it costs a pittance these days!
     
  10. getDownShep

    getDownShep New Member

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    I've used 1&1 before for hosting and they have been excellent, never tried 123-reg for hosting, heard a story years ago, don't know if it is true, but during a heavy period of rain their hostiing went down something to do with their servers
     

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