Plan Your Internet Success – Part 6 – Create a Website

6. Create a Web site

Some people spend a fortune on this, which is not very smart unless there is an absolute need to have a very specific look and feel to create an image or ambiance. Most people on the Internet do not seem to care much about Web design, if you believe what you see. Amazon, Yahoo!, and Google are not exactly the most attractive sites on the Net, yet they seem to work just fine for the people who use them and that is the key. They work because they accomplish exactly what they set out to do: deliver on their audience’s expectations! If anything, look at Google.com (www.google.com) below.

Google Search - Main Page

Can you imagine less than that? Yet, Google commands close to 70 percent of the all Web searches. And, in my opinion, it works because this page is all about searching and nothing more. Are the results that Google delivers better than Yahoo! or Bing (MSN)? Frankly, I am not sure that most people can tell, but Google does not try to get you involved with everything and anything as Yahoo! does (www.yahoo.com) (illustrated below).

Yahoo Search - Main Page

It seems that Microsoft has learned that lesson and is doing what Google does with its newest home page (www.bing.com), and that is to focus on its core business, search.

Bing Search - Main Page

The lesson here is that you want to start with a simple, highly focused Web site, and then you can take it from there. There are plenty of sources for free templates and I encourage you to take them into consideration.

For those interested, I have made available free templates and other resources at http://www.planyourinternetsuccess.com/resources.html and I encourage you to check them out.

The only issue with templates, or any Web site for that matter, is to make sure that it is W3 Compliant (W3C – http://www.w3c.com). This ensures that most search engine spiders will be able to recognize and “read” your Web pages properly. The way to tell if your template or page is compliant is to look at the very first line of code on the index page (index.html or index.php) and note if the compliance statement is provided as shown below:

Compliance

Where I believe your money would be better spent is on a program that allows you to properly manage your Web site. There are free ones (open source) like Joomla, Drupal, Magnolia, as well as paid ones that are often specialized solutions, such as Salesforce, but be aware that these solutions cost a bundle.

I personally use neither and rely on Macromedia Dreamweaver and my knowledge of HTML programming, as well as the assistance of a PHP programmer when I need it, since I like 100 percent control over my Web sites. As a result, I recommend this approach, as well as a basic understanding and ability to program in HTML.

What is critical is to focus on learning the basics of building and maintaining a Web site, and not allow yourself to get bogged down with too many details. While it is not the easiest route to take, you always want to be able to understand what a Web site designer or programmer is talking about.

Resources:

http://allwebcodesign.com/
http://www.templatetuning.com/
http://www.flash-template-design.com/
http://www.dreamlinestudio.com/
http://www.oswd.org/
http://www.zerodollartemplates.com/
http://www.webmastersplaza.com/
http://www.dreamlinestudio.com/
http://watson.addy.com/
http://www.whitegyr.com/flash-templates.htm
http://www.freeflashsites.com/
http://www.templatepark.com/
http://www.bizweb2000.com/
http://www.roopletheme.com/
http://drupal.org/

Finally, you must have noticed that some Web sites show a small icon next to their domain name. If you want to create something like this, it is relatively easy. Simply create a logo (keep in mind that since it is tiny, it should be something easy to recognize, like a letter) and go to http://www.favicon.cc/ and follow the instructions. You’ll be surprised to see how easy it is to do.

However, whatever you decide to do, do not waste too much time re-inventing the wheel on this one. What you need is a simple, easy-to navigate Web site that is attractive and pleasing to the eye, fun and, above all, has something relevant to say (covered on next part).

Note:  You’ve probably noted that I only cover the basic in this chapter and do not go into more advance programing concept for dynamic web site (php, MySQL, ASP, Java, etc.).  Selecting a language, environment, way to manage your website, etc. are complex issues that no one cannot explain in a few sentences, and for which many books are available.  Furthermore different web sites require different approaches as far as programing language and data base management and this is something that I cover during the Success Group Sessions, and in even greater details during the one-on-one Success Guidance Sessions that I offer.

If you wish to download the complete manuscript note that it is available for free on my personal web site at jtouboul.com (still working on planyourinternetsuccess.com but I have changed the look of my personal website jtouboul.com)

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2 comments so far

  1. lylettep on

    Thank you for this information I myself am learning to build websites but truthfully I have only very basic knowledge of html and none whatsoever on how to get my sites noticed.

    I am trying my best to learn this so I will read your entire 6 part piece on Creating a website because you seem to have the relevant knowledge.

    I did learn some interesting stuff from your blog. So you will be sure to see me here often.

    Thanks again.

    Lylette

    • Jean Touboul on

      I’m glad that you were able to get something out of my post. That is precisely why I decided to have it and I hope that you get additional benefits out of Plan Your Internet Success.

      Also don’t hesitate to visit my site jtouboul.com where you will find more resources and planyourinternetsuccess.com where you can find free templates and download the complete manuscript.

      Best of luck.

      Jean


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