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Old 09. Oct 2009, 07:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building Web Site

I looked elsewhere on this site and saw Blogger and Wordpress recommended. I got Blogger up and running but didn't like the layout. All the methods to alter it use computer language. It was completely beyond my abilities. So I downloaded Wordpress but can't do anything with that. I do not know any computer languages or even most of the jargon.
Is there a simple, plain english way of designing the Blogger or Wordpress appearance?
Failing this can anybody recommend a simple, free, good Website. I think I'm looking for WYSIWYG?
Thanks for reading this
Tom
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Old 10. Oct 2009, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Web page building help desperately needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.p View Post
bk_

Get a cheap domain and a free host, surely that is 10 times better. Or a good domain and a good host, another factor-10 improvement. Depends on how you value your site, subdomain sites are disposable.

You can buy a real domain for 99cents, and get free hosting. No contest. I can't recommend a .info domain etc, but even that's better than a subdomain.
Hi Chris
That sounds like a great way to me. My problem is that I do not understand pc jargon or html. I desperately need a web site but I am completely lost among all the choices. I have spent days searching the net.
I am looking at a hosting site where they do a one-click Wordpress installation. Is one click really one click?
Can you tell me any links to articles or info on 'one click' or your advice to:
'You can buy a real domain for 99cents, and get free hosting. No contest.'
Any help at all is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10. Oct 2009, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default How to set up a WordPress website

OK, you need to buy a domain first. Go to Namecheap.com and get a .com domain there. They are not the lowest price, but are the best domain reg service I know. See this page on choosing a domain name.

Next, decide how you will build your site. Currently the easiest and fastest way to build a real site is to use WordPress, at a host with an auto-installer service. Using a 'hosted WP' service like Blogger etc is easier but I don't recommend that except for specific uses that don't apply here, it's not what you could call a 'real' website as there are so many things outside your control there.

So find a host at the cost that suits you, and who advertise WordPress hosting with an installer. It's not really one click but it's very fast compared to other build options. For example if you have experience then you could have a site live in 15 minutes after the creation of your account.

In your case it will be a bit longer but still 10 times faster than any other method.

Then you need to alter the appearance of the site. Many modern websites use the database system, as WP does, and on these sites the page layout is based on a template. If you install a new template (2 minutes experienced, 15 minutes beginner), then the entire site appearance changes instantly.

Just search 'wordpress themes' and you'll find a ton of free ones. Templates are variously called themes, skins, styles, etc according to the software project's preference. So you'll find good search results for 'wordpress themes' and 'wordpress templates'.

To set up your site you create a hosting account and pay. You need a standard webhost that clearly states they use Linux / Apache server (not Windows), that has a quick installer for WordPress, and that has cPanel. Don't go to a host without cPanel, this is a mistake, it's the best of the hosting account admin panels.

Make a very careful note of the access details. Keep the passwords safe. You will have 3 ways to access your website admin:

webapp backend - the WP admin 'backend' or administration area.
FTP - a way to upload / download files quickly.
cPanel - this is the general admin panel for the site, email, etc.

Webmail: you can set up your local email client (Outlook, Thunderbird) on your PC; or access the email on the server, wherever you are, via webmail. Your email address can be eg yourname @yoursite .com or whatever.

Here is a page on basic WordPress tips that will help you out.
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Old 10. Oct 2009, 08:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Chris, thanks

Chris, that is exactly the info that i was after.
I have had a good study of the Wordpress procedure and everybody seems to agree with you that it is the way to go.
The problem is that I have absolutely no understanding of the programming languages (?).
Do the free one-click installers handle that for me or will I have to copy out lines of html (?) text instructions? In other words, could a beginner tackle a 'one-click installation. I would have had a go already but the suppliers that I have looked at all want you to buy the hosting service before using the 'one -click installer'. Perhaps I have been looking at the wrong ones? Do any of them allow you to test the installation before buying the hosting service?
Anyhow, thanks a million for that excellent reply. It cleared up a lot of stuff.
Tommc
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Old 10. Oct 2009, 11:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The 2 most common approaches to building a website are to build it in the traditional HTML webpage style, or the dynamic webapp way.

To do it the HTML page way, you can write the code or use a wysiwyg editor. Each page is built separately although you can use one as a layout master and clone the rest from it. Using a visual editor, as 99% of people do, in theory you don't need to know any code. In practice it helps a lot because you will always be coming across code examples and if you know what they mean it is a big positive. This method allows the greatest freedom to create every single page looking different, if you need that. But it isn't a great solution once you get over 20 pages, it's too much like hard work.

The other popular way is to use database-driven server software. This is how many sites work now, like CMS, ecommerce, blogs, forums, wikis, directories and membership sites.

With this method you definitely don't need any coding knowledge as you never see any code. However if you want to get under the hood, then you can have as much code as you like.

As far as WordPress is concerned it is the easiest and fastest way to get a site online, and you don't need to know anything about code, websites or anything else. All you need is to be familiar with computers and to have patience, because you will need to learn how to run a website, at least in basic mode.

So - yes, WP is a one-click install (more or less) if the hosts advertise an auto-installer. If you want to get legal about it, then there's maybe 20 or 30 clicks and it will take you half an hour if you never did it before. But to put it into perspective, it could be done in 10 minutes or less by someone who has done a couple.

But you will need a little patience as you have to learn something about website management. If you can't spend a few minutes on that, then perhaps your best solution is to outsource that in some way. Find a service that does it all for you, for a few bucks.

The long-term answer for anyone that wants to get involved with sites in any way is to learn simple, basic webmastering, as unless you comprehend this stuff your life will either be tough or cost more.

Quick advice: get organised. Create a folder in My Docs or C Drive called Websites. In that, create another with your site name. Inside that, create some individual folders for gfx (graphics), page masters (docs and other stuff used to build a page), and site info.

Also in the main Websites folder, create a folder called webmastering (stuff that helps with running a site), and build up some info on running a site.

You will also find some other software useful: a simple FTP app, a good text editor, a handy gfx app - these are all freeware, you can find the best ones on this site.
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Last edited by chris.p; 11. Oct 2009 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 11. Oct 2009, 10:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Chris, thanks

Hi Chris, Thanks again. Your technical advice has sorted a LOT of problems and questions out for me.
Your between the lines advice has really motivated me i.e Get stuck in,
be patient and be prepared to learn.
I have Blogger but wasn't hapy with it. I will tackle the layout and learn to handle the code involved. As this proceeds, I will tackle Wordpress.
I will use the advice and plan that you have set out.
Thanks for the crystal clear technical advice AND the encouragement behind it.
Tommc
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Old 11. Oct 2009, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OK.

Well, you will have a lot of fun, creating a site, for sure. It's not easy at first but what is, that is of any value. The first couple of months is hard, so you must have patience.

Try to find good ways to do research. All the info you need is out there somewhere, though it's true that finding it is not always easy. Build up the resources you need such as small programs that do useful jobs, and bookmarks to good reference resources. All you need is a bit of time.
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Old 11. Oct 2009, 06:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Im pretty good with HTML, and picked it up easily enough, but use a wysiwyg editor to put together a fast layout. Kompozer is good. You can set it up to write in xhtml rather than html (which is more compliant with the www standards), and have your layout planned in CSS.

Another option is Microsoft Web Developer Express 2008, which is free for students, hobbyists and non commercial use, and it is a massive improvement on the old Frontpage application.

My nephew uses it and likes to mock up a web page in design view then review the code, then deleted the code and tries to recreate it using the code seen.

Yours,
Beev
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Old 03. Nov 2009, 03:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Tommc,

If you are having trouble with building your site with code you might want to look into using pre-made templates that a lot of host providers offer. With that all you would have to do is add your content, files, pics, ect and your down. Even if you did want to mess around with the coding process a lot of them will still let you switch to HTML so you can edit other things as well. Check out Wizard of the Websites, It is a pretty good site that can guide you through the process if you want to do it yourself and gives you some good tips once you are finished.

The site also has a list of really good web hosts and an overview of what comes with their services. Just look under their Website Host page.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old 03. Nov 2009, 09:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You need to learn XHTML and CSS for creating Blogger templates. For Wordpress you would need to learn PHP additionally. Photoshop knowledge is plus in all cases . Check out W3C site they have complete set of tutorials to start with .
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