Tech noob setting up a website? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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11-30-2010, 09:55
I'd love to build my own website. With my wife at home (out of work) with 2 kids, it would be nice for us to try some kind of home based business. I saw that there are a few ways that a tech noob like me can actually build his own website through places like "website tonight" and "site build it".

I already have a domain name through Google. ($10 to own it for a year) and now I just need to learn more about how to build the actual site and how to get a host?

Any other tips? I know it takes months even years to really make any significant money but my wife is home with the kids and unemployed anyway and the idea is interesting.

11-30-2010, 12:35
Look into Office Live Workspace.

I think that may do what you are looking for at no charge. :wavey:

11-30-2010, 15:04
Be careful who you choose as a host. Sometimes, ending the contract is like herding cats.

Most "you build its" use templates. Find one with templates that seem to fit with your intended business.

Will you be implementing a "shopping cart" or .... ?

Do not post silliness like "This site/page is under construction. Please check back soon." Most folks won't check back.

Avoid, like the plague, colors that do not contrast. Such as navy blue and black together.

Avoid bizzarre fonts that might be difficult to decipher.

Do not use a black/dark blue background. It looks like crap.

Design the site for the slowest possible connection, and least tech savvy visitor.

Don't be innovative if it's so off the norm-chart that visitors will ask themselves "What the ...?"

Think first. Design second. Code last. Test it on several different browsers to verify the site is interpreted/displayed the way you want. Be prepared to make adjustments based on testing.

Do not make several changes in a short amount of time. Visitors want a stable look rather than wondering if the site is changing every day or if there is something wrong.

11-30-2010, 15:36
There are several ways you can go to build the website. Some web hosts will offer templates you can choose from, only requiring you to add your info to the template. A template based site will of course be limited by the template layouts available. But you could start with that to get going, then upload your own pages later as your skills increase.

Or you can use a "what you see is what you get" HTML editor. They allow you to drag, drop, insert, etc, and usually include an FTP function to upload to the webserver. There are a lot of pretty good WYSIWYG editors that are free. Look at SeaMonkey Composer (Mozilla), Trellian, or KompoZer (which is the current offering of the discontinued NVU editor). They provide a graphic interface, similar to using a word processor, allowing you to arrange text and images as you like, preview the page, then upload the editor generated page script and images to the server.

The other option is to do it manually with a text editor, but you need to know HTML and also CSS if you use style sheets, since you're completely on your own to write the script. It's not that hard, start simple and advance as your knowledge increases. I prefer the manual method since it's not limited to what an editor allows, the scripts will be smaller and load faster, and you can place things with single pixel precision. I use Notepad ++ for all my script writing because it does syntax checking and highlighting for HTML, PHP, Javascript, SQL, CSS, etc, making it easier to find your typos and omissions while composing and debugging.

I started out with WYSIWYG editors over 10 years ago, then started manually editing the editor generated scripts I was using, until I was eventually writing my own from scratch.

You can actually create web pages using MS Word to start out. Create the document (page), then save it as HTML. But like most MS web page creators the scripts will be huge, since they contain a lot of MS only information that serves no purpose. And the page is not going to look exactly the same as it did in Word, the alignments will be off. I can create a webpage that is only 2K in size, put that same text into Word and generate a web page and it will be over 60K in size. It will have 58K of pointless MS fluff added into the script, the same concept they use in their operating systems.

Web hosting is very competitive, and isn't that expensive. Just remember though that $2.95 a month web hosting is what you'd expect for less than $3. You'll be limited in space, bandwidth, and may even have to have some of the web hosters ads on your pages. You should be able to find pretty good hosting though in the $8~$12 a month range. Our company has it's own webservers for our own use, and we host other business sites as well, so I'm not really up on the best deals in web hosting anymore.

Shop around for web hosting, you will be overwhelmed by the choices. If you eventually plan to have a shopping cart keep that in mind and look at hosters that provide shopping carts already set up in the hosting package. At your level of experience you probably don't want to have to install a shopping cart on your site, if the hoster will even allow it. That will depend on how much you are paying per month, whether the hoster provides one or more SQL databases, etc.

11-30-2010, 17:58
I ended up using powweb for my site. It's 3.88/month with unlimited storage and bandwidth. They have everything you need to get started, and other stuff you can add in later.

edit: Meant to say that they have a couple of wysiwyg editors built in to the hosting plan. I used it for awhile but they want you to pay for it if your site is over 9 pages. By the time my site got that size I was comfortable editing it in notepad.

11-30-2010, 20:29
Go Here:
Build Your Own Business Today (

And get the free eBook. The book is really well done, got me on the internet in a nice fashion in no time!

HostGator is probably THE most talked about in terms of Tech Support really works, they take care of their clients, and the prices are good!

Hope that helps you out...

11-30-2010, 22:02
Host Gator? Ironically, just after I posted this question, we went out to lunch and passed by a Host Gator billboard. I'll go check them out tonight.

Thanks for all the info guys.

11-30-2010, 23:41
if you are going with hostgator, first do a search for

hostgator coupon

It might save you a few bucks.

12-01-2010, 06:33
if you are going with hostgator, first do a search for

hostgator coupon

It might save you a few bucks.

Absolutely a good idea!

12-01-2010, 10:10
Yeah I saw the 20% off deal.

I am looking at Go Daddy's web host plans right now too? It looks like Go Daddy just redirects users to Website Tonight though?

12-01-2010, 11:33
you can buy standard webhosting at godaddy.

"website tonight" is an additional feature. I think it has templates to customize.

if you are going with godaddy, first do a search for

godaddy coupon

It might save you a few bucks.

12-01-2010, 11:52
@Mixflip - Check Hostgator's comparison page - I am pretty sure you can add on domains easily with them. Pretty slick setup. I went with the Baby Plan for bout $10/mo and had 4 sites with them. No problems, no outtages. I will be going back to them!

Don't know about Go Daddy... I saved $40 renewing 4 domain names with !!! Forty bucks matters in my world, and also has a good reputation in the circles I travel. They also throw in 'privacy guard' the first year... Those I talk to say Tech Support is good.

Getting off of GoDaddy was a PITA - they change some common nomenclature for domain transfers to ... slow the process I assume. Don't know that I can look someone in the eye and say GoDaddy is my choice when NameCheap is so competetive.

Just my .02 - That and $4 will get you a coffee somewhere...:supergrin:

Hope That Helps...

12-01-2010, 14:59
I'd go with WordPress and look into "skins" or "themes" that you can buy to dress it up.

This is an example of what you can do with WordPress + a skin/theme:


12-01-2010, 18:43
I'd go with WordPress and look into "skins" or "themes" that you can buy to dress it up.

This is an example of what you can do with WordPress + a skin/theme:


Wow, that was a very slick looking site. I'll look into word press also. Thanks for all the tips guys.

12-02-2010, 07:44
I'd go with WordPress and look into "skins" or "themes" that you can buy to dress it up....[/url]


I would second the WordPress route. You'll still want to learn some HTML and stuff, but WordPress or some other blog (content management system) makes it easy to change themes and implement plugins for other stuff.

I write a commercial HTML Editor, and I still use WordPress for almost all my sites.