Creating The Website-Now that you have decided what income streams you’re going to be working with, you’re ready to create your website. For this step there are several options available to you. These options include: creating the website yourself, hiring a web designer to do it or getting a ‘pre-made’ site. This chapter will delve into each of these options in more detail.
1. Creating the Website Yourself
If you decide to create a website yourself, you can use HTML coding, a word processor or an HTML editor. If you use a word processor or an HTML editor, you can create a site from ‘scratch’ using the tools within these programs or use a template. This section will discuss each of these alternatives, so you can decide which one is best for you. You will also learn basic tips for: website design, content creation and how to place your site on the Internet. These tips will be helpful regardless of which method you choose for making your website.
HTML is a programming language used for building websites. It is read by the browser, which is the entity responsible for displaying the website. In terms of the format of HTML, it is generally easier to learn than other programming languages as everything is conveyed through a series of tags and attributes. Specifically, the tag is the portion of the code that tells the browser what to do, while the attribute offers a further specification for that tag. For example, the tag <FONT> tells the browser to prepare to display a particular font face for the text on the webpage. The “size” attribute within the <FONT> tag specifies how big the font should be. It offers more clarification for the <FONT> tag.
Of course, the above-mentioned <FONT> tag is just an example. There are many tags and corresponding attributes you can use when coding HTML. When you learn all of them, you can use Notepad or an HTML editor to type them out. In either case, you will want to make sure your document is saved with an .htm or .html extension, (since this lets the browser know it is about to read an HTML document).
So, how can you learn all of the tags involved with HTML? The language is easy enough that you can teach yourself through a book or an online tutorial. However, if you want to create more powerful websites, you’ll want to learn how to use scripting languages in conjunction with HTML. Although you can also teach yourself how to do this as well, you may find it easier if you learn these things in a classroom setting.
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It is important to note that not everyone will want to use straight HTML for creating their websites. It is a perfect option if you are technically inclined and you want complete control over your site, but it is not a necessity. If you want to create your website faster, consider using a word processor or the WYSIWYG, (What You See is What You Get), portion of an HTML editor.
Most modern-day word processing software such as Microsoft Word or notepad can create HTML documents. You would design the webpage as you would any other document except you would save it as HTML, a web page or any other similar option given by your word processor.
Depending on how recent your word processing program is, you might even be able to design your website using a ‘web layout’ view. This view is more reflective of how your web page would look in a browser, making it a better choice when creating your website.
What are the downsides to using a word processor for your web design needs? Well, the HTML that they produce tends to be ‘junky.’ This means that it will include code that is unnecessary, redundant and doesn’t make much sense unless you are an expert in scripting. Additionally, complex webpages made from word processors tend to display oddly in browsers. For this reason if you do plan on using a word processor to create your website, try to keep it simple. The screenshot below gives an example of a simple, (yet effective), website you could create using a word processor.
Now, this site is very short, but it’s brought in hundreds of dollars worth of income. So definitely don’t discredit the one-pager, which word processors seem to design well. Of course, this is not to say word processors are completely unable to make more complex documents… it’s just that you’ll have to do a lot more editing to make sure they look right in allof the major browsers, (which include Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera). So, if you do make a more complex site in a word processor, make sure you open it in each of these browsers as you are working. You can do this by selecting Open File in the File menu of each one.
Don’t be fooled by the term ‘HTML editor.’ Although these programs are designed to help you create or edit HTML, HTML knowledge is not necessary to effectively use them as long as they are WYSIWYG, (What You see Is What You Get). This means that their interface works like a word processor, allowing you to output webpages that will look the same way on the Web as they do in the editor. A couple very popular WYSIWYG HTML editors are Bootstrap, or Dreamweaver from Adobe.
In terms of downsides, HTML editors also create somewhat nastier HTML, though usually not as bad as word processors. However, they integrate better with browsers and they contain more website-related functions that you can add to your site. Indeed, if you can afford the price, (as most will be over $100), WYSIWYG HTML editors is a better choice than word processors.
Website templates are another excellent alternative for those who do not have the time and/or knowledge necessary to design the graphical elements of a website on their own. They can be used in either a word processor or an HTML editor. The screenshot below gives an example of a typical website template.
This screenshot was taken from wix.com, a site offering free website templates. As you can see the language is foreign but this doesn’t matter, because once you download the template, you would replace the existing text with your content.
There are literally thousands of templates available both free and paid. Each are equally effective, though paid ones do tend to be much more elaborate graphically. If you are looking to get several website templates for a lower price, consider yet again the value of E-Bay, since website templates are on sale all the time there.
Of course, there is also the option of using templates from your web hosting company. If your web hosting company offers them, usually you would use these templates through a separate editor from within your web hosting account. Everything would already be uploaded, so you wouldn’t have to worry about going through that step. Keep in mind there are also web hosting companies that specialize in the creation of online stores, (with Yahoo Stores being an example). The templates available through them would involve you basically entering in your inventory information then uploading pictures of your merchandise. Through this system you create an e-commerce site that looks as proficient as any of the leading sites such as Amazon.com or Buy.com. Take a look at the screenshot below to see a specific example of a Yahoo Store.
If you decide to get a website template, your design concerns are already taken care of. If not, the best thing to remember is to keep your layout simple. Most effective websites have their logo on the top, (along with banner advertising), website links on the left side and content on the right side. There are some sites that will have links on both the left and right sides with the content in the middle, though be careful doing this approach since it might make your site appear too ‘busy.’ Additionally, you can also use the bottom space for smaller text links and/or banner advertising.
Color-wise, make sure you know what you are doing, especially if you decide to use a colorized background. The right color combination is more visually stunning than a simple black-and-white text/background combination, but if it is not right, not only will your site look terrible but it will be unreadable by your visitors. For additional tips on choosing an appropriate color scheme for your website, check out the article “Choosing the Right Colors for Your Website” at Avangate.com.
Writing for websites is different than writing for other types of media. This is because you have to keep in mind keywords. That’s right… this is a concept you were introduced to earlier in this e-book. In fact, all of the things you learned in that section, (which was Wholesaling or Dropshipping Niche Products), also applies here. This means that before you actually begin writing your content, you will want to use a keyword analyzer such as Word Tracker to see which keywords you should actually use. Once you find the keywords that are highly-searched yet less advertised, you are ready to begin writing.
The general guideline for creating web content is to make sure your keyword density is 2 to 6 percent. For example, if you have content of 500 words, your keyword should be included 10 to 30 times. This is for the benefit of search engine robots. If you do not use the keywords enough times, the search engine robots won’t be able to find your site. However, if you use the keywords too many times, your site might get flagged for spam. If it gets flagged for spam it could not get indexed or even worse, get banned. If your site is banned, you will not be able to get it indexed at all, even if you change the content later.
Of course, don’t be scared by this tidbit of information. Even if you are not trying to optimize your website content, it’s natural to include certain key phrases more than once throughout. When you are consciously thinking about keywords, the process becomes even easier. Keep in mind also that it’s VERY hard to write normally and have your keyword density go over 6 percent. Most webmasters that go over this number does it on purpose, knowing that they are including their keyword too much. But if you need further assurance, you can simply count the number of times your keyword appears then divide it by the number of total words on your webpage. The resulting figure is your keyword density.
Putting Your Site on the Web
To put your site on the Internet, you will need web hosting. This is when you get a company to store your site on their computers, (also known as servers). Web hosting can be free or paid, though paid is preferable. This is because free web hosting usually requires you to place the company’s ads on your website. You do not receive any compensation for these ads. Also, (as you learned earlier), since these ads tend to be in pay-per-click form you may not be able to take advantage of other pay-per-click programs if you use free web hosting.
Either way, as you are signing up for a hosting account, you may be given the option to buy a domain name. A domain name is the textual address a visitor types in to reach your website. It starts with “www” and ends with a number of extensions, though the most popular is .com. The middle portion is determined by you. It is best to make it a popular-searched keyword, which you can find from a keyword analyzer such as Word Tracker.
If your web hosting company does not provide you a domain name, you can buy it from a separate domain name company. This option is a little harder, because you will have to do some manipulations within the account managers of both your web hosting account and domain name account to make sure it points to your website. If you are not comfortable doing this, consider using a URL redirect service such as Namestick.com. With a URL redirect service, you buy a domain name that will ‘replace’ your old domain name, at least to the eyes of your visitors. Setup for this is as simple as deciding on your new domain name and then typing in your old domain name.
Once you have established your web hosting and domain name, you are ready to upload your site. Some web hosting companies, such as Geocities, make this process easy because they include special file managers within your account. You would upload everything through this file manager. However, if your web hosting company does not offer this feature, you will have to upload your site through an FTP, (File Transfer Protocol) program. These can be downloaded off of the Internet for free or at a cost. Either way, to use them all you have to do is drag your files into the designated folders of your hosting company’s server. You will need to consult with them directly to find out the specific names of these folders.
2. Hiring a Web Designer
If you are truly stumped at the thought of designing a website on your own, you can hire a web designer to help you. You will still have to create your own content, (unless the web designer you’re working with has ghostwriters on hand), but for the most part everything else is taken care of by the designer. In fact, some designers also have servers, so web hosting may also be taken care of at an additional cost.
To find web designers, you can do a search online or use freelancing sites such as upwork.com or fiveer.com, (each of which were mentioned earlier). The advantage to using a freelancing site is that you can set your own price. However, you will want to make sure the people you get actually know what their doing. So, in either case, make sure your potential web designer has a lot of samples to show you. Also, if the web designer has previous references, be sure to check them. In fact, if you use a freelancing site, you can take a look at any feedback the web designer has received from other people they have worked with through the site.
3. Getting a Pre-made Site
There are many individuals and companies that sell ready-made Adsense sites. The best place to find them is through E-Bay by doing a search on ‘Adsense sites.’ Sometimes through E-Bay you’ll get a site that is both pre-made and already receiving traffic. However, keep in mind that sites that are already getting traffic, (also known as ‘established’), tend to cost significantly more.
So, what can you expect from a pre-made site? Basically, the graphical layout and the content are already taken care of. All you really have to do is upload the site onto your hosting account, though there are some companies that will provide their own hosting. If this is the case you pretty much don’t have to do anything except pay the money and start marketing your new site.