Paradise Garden

Gardening Articles written by Experts

Introduction

I now write and manage several websites, and although I am too busy to take on more work, I am happy to pass on some useful tips to anyone wishing to write their own website. Many of the tools needed are inexpensive or free, so there is scope to save a lot of money.

Creating the Website

My first piece of advice would be to write your own website. It will be far cheaper, and you will ultimately end up with a better website than any third party can create for you. You will, in either case have to do the hard work, writing the content and defining your target audience. Writing the HTML is the easy part.

My second piece of advice may be more intimidating, but is equally important. If possible hand code your site. It really is not difficult, can be learnt in small stages, and is the only way to have complete control over your website. WYSIWYG authoring programs often use obsolete or proprietary code, and you will never really understand how it works. Download Bluefish and keep it simple to start with.

Buy Craig Grannell's book : Web Designers Reference. You can get it from Amazon.co.uk using the link below. It is very well written and makes the whole subject very easy to understand. Even if you choose a WYSIWYG HTML editor, you will need the book to remove or remedy the worst kludges in the code produced. The book will also introduce you to .css in the first chapter, making life far easier for you.

Domain Names

Choose your domain names carefully. Most of the obvious ones have already gone, so you will need to do a lot of lateral thinking. The most desirable GTLD is .com but .info and .co.uk are also good. Try to choose names that incorporate your most important keywords as this will enhance your search engine performance. If you buy your domain names from the same source as you buy your website hosting, it will simplify your DNS management. Always buy .com and .info domains from a US company - they are considerably cheaper. Conversely, .uk names are cheaper from a UK based company.

Hosting the Website

We now use Godaddy for domain names and website hosting. Unlike some other US companies they accept UK addresses and UK credit cards. They are also far cheaper than European companies and offer great discount deals. Their Deluxe Hosting Plan is particularly good value offering the chance to host an unlimited number of websites, and with attractive discounts for 24 or 36 month contracts. Service and customer support are excellent.

GoDaddy.com Hosting & Servers

Books

For learning correct XHTML syntax and how to use CSS, we recommend the following books:


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© 2012 Mark Rowland