- Internet & the Web
Web Site Basics Tutorial
Website Implementation Recommendation
Are you a small business or a budding entrepreneur? Do you want your own website?
When a small business has taken the first steps toward creating a website, there are many factors to consider before it goes live on the web. Before you embark on the journey of web design, there is some terminology you should be familiar with, once that is covered the planning and implementation can begin. The first thing that should be determined is what content your site will contain, the next step, choosing a web hosting provider, is very important to your business’ website. After choosing a web provider you must be able to actually transfer the webpages you designed on your computer to the web server so that they can be accessed worldwide.
Some of the most common terms in web design and the internet in general are very simple to understand. The easiest is probably URL , which is an abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is simply an address we type in to our browser to access a website, for example : http://www.mscarpetcleaners.com. Inside the URL is a Domain name , a unique identifier for websites that are usually for on entity or person. In the URL we used for our example, http://www.mscarpetcleaners.com, the domain name is mscarpetcleaners.com. Under a single domain name there can be many websites, each with their own URL. For example: careers.mscarpetcleaning.com, appointments.mscleaners.com, faqs.mscarpetcleaners.com and so on.
Each website and all of the webpages it contains are hosted on a web server. A web server is a very large computer that has a massive amount of storage and is always connected to the internet. This computer provides access to the webpages, videos, photos and other content stored on it for other computers trying to access the content. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an internet protocol used to transfer files from home computers (workstations) to webservers. FTP uses an interface (program) to allow users to upload their files to the server. Now that the basic terms have been outlined we can move on to the next step in creating a website for your business.
Once you have a design in mind for your page, the next step is to spice up the basic text and HTML with pictures. Pictures can make a site more interesting and informative and tend to help draw and hold surfer’s attention. There are many image formats to choose from and each is suited to its own purposes. JPEG (.JPG) is probably the most common image format in use on the web today. JPEG is good for two reasons, first it has good quality and second the file sizes are small so the pictures can load faster. In general JPEG is good for any photo with lots of different colors because it supports millions of them; however for things like logos and high contrast drawings with few colors, GIF is the way to go. GIF’s format allows small images with a few colors (like logos) to show very clear and still have a small file size. GIF only supports 256 colors so detailed images can look cartoon like and distorted. GIF has one very unique feature that JPEG can’t offer, transparency. This means that an image saved in a GIF format could have a clear (see-through) background. This is useful for logos, allowing them to blend seamlessly with the background colors of a webpage. There is another format commonly in use on the internet, PNG. PNG is not fully supported by all browsers, but that is rapidly changing. PNG is basically a good mix of JPEG and GIF, but has expanded on GIF’s transparency options and supports more colors. Now that the basics have been covered, getting the finished webpage online is the next step.
When choosing a webhosting company it is important to find one that meets your needs. You should have a good Idea of how many visitors will using your site, and how much space you will need. Another thing to look for is a host with with high uptime, meaning it is available when someone types in the URL to access a website. Some hosts offer additional features such as email and forums, which may be vital to running a business online. Many hosting sites offer a domain name as part of a package, and it is usually best to do some shopping before making a decision. The site http://www.webhostingbreak.com/ has reviews of popular web hosting companies. Dome companies offer built in FTP programs to make transferring data easy. If the site does not offer FTP capabilities, there are options available to transfer the data.
WSFTP is a very popular free FTP client for windows and has a very simple graphical interface that makes transferring files to the web server a breeze. The most important thing to remember when transferring files to the web is to keep the same hierarchy as the folders on your computer to avoid broken links. Each domain name has a root folder with a file called index.html. This file is the default file that is brought up when someone types in a URL. Usually this page is the home page of a site. Each other folder is for other things, such as storing photos and those are created by the user as they are needed. Now that all of the steps have been completed, the website is up online and visitors can start using it immediately.
There are many aspects to getting a webpage started, but after doing it once it is very easy to keep doing and having the basic knowledge is more than enough to get started. Now that the process has been defined, it can be put into practical use for anyone aspiring to have their own website on the internet.