information resources, UK, web site optimisation, pay per click, how to write
better copy, tips tricks, get more hits, optimisation, one stop shop for
web site traffic advice. Locating web site traffic information on the web.
UK information resources directory for increasing your web site traffic using
search engine optimisation techniques, pay per click with other web site
traffic related services on the web.
Pick Your Tools- Website Design and hosting Options
By Eric Lester
New to website design? There are a number of options available to
first-timers and novices. From cracking the books to online site builders,
a few of the most common are explained here.
The journey from first getting that spark of an idea for a website and the
finished product can be long and difficult. This article will focus on the
various means available to create a web site. Finding a suitable place to
host it is another matter entirely. It is generally wise to, if not already
have your site complete, have a very good idea of what the finished site
will be before shopping for web design and hosting.
Do-It-Yourself Options- Design Software
There are 2 kinds of "do-it-yourself" options, design programs and online
site builders. Design programs can vary wildly in both scope and complexity.
For simple, static sites, an easy-to-use editor with a limited feature set
might be ideal. More complex sites may require more complex, and usually
more expensive solutions. In an industry where highly varied personal preference
is the most common factor in choosing a design program, it's difficult to
say there is an "industry standard" design package. Popular design programs
include Dreamweaver from Macromedia/Adobe, and FrontPage, from Microsoft.
Dreamweaver is a powerful and complex program with a reasonably steep learning
curve. FrontPage is targeted more towards the beginner, but in doing so,
compromises a great deal of quality in its resulting code.
Additionally, a number of web design programs can be found on the
web as "freeware" and "shareware". Searching various file repositories such
as "download.com" will reveal a wealth of alternate choices, far too many
to list here. Do research and test them out first before making a purchase,
you may find one you enjoy and are comfortable using. If you wish to go the
extra mile and learn HTML itself, your design software options may include
something simple like a text editor. Many web designers swear by Notepad
as their favorite design tool. Learning HTML may seem a little more daunting
than learning a single web design program, but the benefits, even if you
still choose to use a more advanced, graphical editor, will stick with you.
Having an understanding of how the underlying tags work will make your design
work much easier.
Do-It-Yourself Options- Templates
One additional option to consider if you wish to use a design program is
a template. Website templates are, usually, complete sites with graphics
and placeholder text that you can modify using most any kind of design software.
Templates provide a kind of design 'shortcut', allowing the user to move
almost directly into adding content to an already existing site. Be aware,
that most templates require some knowledge of either HTML or skill with a
design program in order to use effectively. Also, they may require a graphical
editing program if you wish to change any graphic elements. Commonly this
editor will be Adobe's Photoshop, which, unlike design software, is the widely
regarded "industry standard" in graphic editing. Though templates can be
a short cut, they are more a short cut for intermediate to advanced users
who can effectively exploit them.
Do-It-Yourself Options- Online Site Builders
Those looking for an alternative to the older method of web design and hosting
on a local machine and upload to the web server may want to consider online
site building programs. These programs, of which there are a few, are generally
provided by your web design and hosting company and viewed through your web
browser. They don't require any information to be installed on your home
computer. Everything they do is handled remotely, through the browser, so
your site can be created then updated in "real time." All site builders share
a few common traits. First, they will all be template based. Not exactly
the same kind of advanced template discussed above, but a general color and
layout you will select from in the initial stages of the site builder's setup.
The bonus to online site builder templates is that you can change your template
selection most any time and have your entire site change automatically and
immediately, without losing any of the information you have uploaded to that
Second, most online site builders will have some kind of editing screen into
which you will type your content. The exact method by which individual site
builders accomplish this can vary. In all cases you will be able to add and
delete paragraphs. More advanced site builders allow you to add items like
additional graphics and tables. Finally there will be various "extras" and
"features" you can add to your site. Again, what these features will be will
vary according to the specific feature set of the site builder you use. They
can include everything from rotating text to a full shopping cart. If you
are interested in using a site builder, contact your prospective website
hosting company and ask if they have demo of the site builder they use or
where such a demo can be found. By their nature, most site builders have
online demos to allow users to test drive the product before use.
Profession Design Solutions
Those unwilling or unable to learn either HTML or design software will need
to seek professional assistance. Like the plethora of design software, there
is an even greater assortment of design firms ready and willing to take your
business. Even someone experienced in web design may know when their current
project outstrips their personal skills and calls in some additional help.
Certain types of sites simply lend themselves to a team rather than a single
designer. Very large ecommerce sites are one such example. Professional
developers can split their resources among coding the site, setting up the
shopping cart, and entering the products. By having a professional team working
on a site, the site can be completed faster and more efficiently than by
a single individual.
Finding a web design firm can be as simple as web search or even a trip to
your local yellow pages. This becomes a matter client preference. If you
wish to meet the designers, have face to face discussions with them about
the nature of your project, then you should confine your search to local
firms. If you are comfortable with phone and electronic communication, then
most any web design firm you track down on the web should be able to accommodate
your needs. In many cases, online firms will have a kind of "Customer Relations
Management" or CRM tool, that allows direct interchange of information and
content between the client and the designers.
About the Author:
Mr. Lester has served for 4 years as the webmaster for Apollo Hosting.com
and previously worked in the IT industry an additional 5 years, acquiring
knowledge of web design and hosting, design, and search engine optimization.
Apollo web design and hosting provides
hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.
Established in 1999, Apollo prides itself on the highest levels of customer
- Please note that all articles on this web site does not constitute
professional advice. All articles are intended to provide a general view
of many topical subjects from a variety of sources. We are not responsible
for the content or any sponsored links that you may choose to visit from
this web site. We suggest you to consult a solicitor and your doctor for
advice relevant to you own situation before making any important decisions.
The author is not an expert in any given field. By printing, downloading,
or using you agree to our full terms. Below is a summary of some of the terms.
If you do not agree to the full terms, do not use the information. We are
only publishers of this material, not authors. Information may have errors
or be outdated. Some information is from historical sources or represents
opinions of the author. It is for research purposes only. The information
is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury.
You agree that we have no liability for any damages. We are not liable for
any consequential, incidental, indirect, or special damages. You indemnify
us for claims caused by you.