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How to build a web-site (for dummies) from start to finish...HELP!
Me | 07/04/02 | Me

Posted on 07/03/2002 11:00:05 PM PDT by kcvl

Where do I start? I am the dummie referenced in the headline. And, how do I choose a webhost?


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: buidlingawebsite; techindex
HELP!!!
1 posted on 07/03/2002 11:00:05 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
Your no dummy partner...It's becoming complex anymore..If you want an "easy" way to start with, I reccommend going to Tucows and checking out their web authoring tools based on the platform you are using..Many of the apps will help you design a site through GUI and after that you can look at the code it creates.

Second, webhosting? Well, you need to ask yourself how much traffic your expecting to receive first. I am on broadband and run my site off DSL (my site is for family only, so I only get approx 100 hits a month max). Some broadband providers do not allow http or ftp servers though..There is alot out there to host at very resonable prices..You just need to decide early on how much you intend to service..

Somewhat a vague post, I know, but maybe a few suggestions to get you started...
Have a good 4th...be safe..

2 posted on 07/03/2002 11:08:03 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: kcvl
You can aso go to Geocities [Or is it Yahoo/Geocities now?] where they have a simple web design format. You may teach yourself HTML with their web authoring tools. Once you know basic HTML you can try different web design programs and launch them on Geocities and work out the kinks.

Then you may be ready to launch you own web page on any ISP you want.

3 posted on 07/03/2002 11:16:49 PM PDT by ex-Texan
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To: unix; ex-Texan
Thanks for your suggestions!
4 posted on 07/03/2002 11:21:01 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
Okay, I might get hit by the anti-Microsofties, but I do a fair amount of website stuff and use FrontPage. It is very basic, yes, but it sounds like that is all you need anyway. If you use any Microsoft products, you will find it to be similar in look and feel. You do not need to know HTML. Then look for a webhoster with FrontPage extensions. One I know of is datapipe.com. I have worked with them for a few years and find them very responsive and helpful.
5 posted on 07/03/2002 11:23:26 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: DennisR
Thanks!
6 posted on 07/03/2002 11:30:57 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
A FReeper mentioned http://www.webstrikesolutions.com the other day.
7 posted on 07/03/2002 11:33:06 PM PDT by toenail
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To: kcvl
Knowing HTML isn't all that's involved. You must also be able to design a page that is "user friendly" - make sure it is easy to use and not cluttered. Speed is also important, nobody likes to wait for pictures or graphics to load so use them sparingly.

Good Luck!

8 posted on 07/03/2002 11:40:10 PM PDT by fellowpatriot
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To: DennisR
You damn Microsoft types...

Joking..Actually, MSFP is one of the few products that I really like from MS...Like you say, straight forward and easy to use. It creates a good skeleton site..I know you can do more, but for basic user needs, it really does fit the billet.

9 posted on 07/03/2002 11:40:49 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: fellowpatriot
"user friendly" is key..I howl at the sites with no TOC..just one Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooon g page...Big time no-no..
10 posted on 07/03/2002 11:42:46 PM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: kcvl
First thing you need to do is to decide how much traffic you expect both. Not only do you need to look at the amount of hits you expect to get per month but the quantity of data that's going to be transferred. You pay for the bandwidth. If you guess wrong it can be very expensive.

Here is a web site that has some good suggestions: http://specials.ft.com/ftit/ap ril2002/FT3C3N5520D.html and this is another one http://www.marketingchallenge. com/articles/webhost.html

Second you need to think about what you are willing to live with in terms of size. Your current provider may give you enough free space to satisfy your needs or you might need a whole lot more. Also if it's a commercial site you need to be aware of your ISP's polices in several areas. The first is do they allow commercial business to be run from the web space that comes with your account. A lot donít others allow you to use it for certain specific uses like a small business or a local charity. Most forbid you to use it for an adult site. Each web hosting company has slightly different rules.

You need to decide if you are going to use your own computer for the sever or theirs (better to use theirs they have a lot more backup which is another thing you need to check on along with their UPS systems and backup polices. Nothing worse than losing everything because they crash and donít back up frequently enough. You also want to make sure that they have backup facilities elsewhere. If they donít and thereís a fire your business is shut down until they get back up or you find a new host and get everything up and running. You should look for a backup facility thatís not subject to the same natural disaster. Two locations a block away from each other in southern Florida isnít much protection during hurricane season. The same applies for earthquakes on the west coast or flooding in a lot of the country.

Thereís probably a few other things that you need to look into but now your ready to start looking for a web host company. First start with your own ISP and see what they offer. Who knows they might be exactly what your looking for and even offer you the web tools to set up the site and maintain the site. Earthlink for example does. Iíd go to Google and search for low cost web hosting and low cost web hosting ratings or reviews. The last one will pull up some services that do some comparisons but itís very much let the buyer beware. Some of the really low cost services make up the price by placing ads on your pages. If thatís acceptable to you to keep down costs then you need to find out what kind of ads. If your running a nursery school you donít want them putting ads for a porno site on your page. Here is a good site to start with: http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_ and_Economy/Business_to_Busine ss/Communications_and_Networki ng/Internet_and_World_Wide_Web /Network_Service_Providers/Hos ting/Web_Site_Hosting/Director ies/

When evaluating the sites remember that a lot of these companies may be gone in a short while just like WorldCom.

11 posted on 07/03/2002 11:45:23 PM PDT by airedale
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To: kcvl
You need to decide what your 'website' will do.
- will you host it or someone else, on what OS?
- e-Business transactions?
- database access?
- browser access only or XML, webservices, api access?
- security, certificates, administration?

Or just putting a few pages?
12 posted on 07/03/2002 11:52:24 PM PDT by Starwind
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To: All
Know I AM TOTALLY CONFUSED!

First of all, it's a small business. Second, FIRST STEP FIRST. I need to figure out HOW TO MAKE THE THING! I want it SIMPLE! I have a store name that I will use. The site needs to contain pictures of items, descriptions, allows customer to use all types of credit cards and be EASY to use.

This is going to take me a LITTLE(ha!) time to figure out. I appreciate ANY AND ALL HELP! I am a VERY SLOW learner so PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME!!!

13 posted on 07/04/2002 12:06:12 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Starwind
What is OS? What do you mean by hosting it? I thought that's what I was going to pay for once I got the website done. Database access? Browser access/XML, api? Gosh, maybe I don't want to try this afterall! Surely it HAS GOT to be MORE simple than that! PLEASE tell me it's NOT that hard! I'm not stupid just SLOW!
14 posted on 07/04/2002 12:09:44 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: All
What about this place? Homestead Anyone have a HORRIBLE experience with them? Suggestions?
15 posted on 07/04/2002 12:13:30 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: All
Forget the above post DON'T like it. Frontpage small business e-commerce for Aspen Candles looks nice. That's kind of the thing I'm looking for.
16 posted on 07/04/2002 12:16:02 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: All
Check out this site... Aspen Bay Candles
17 posted on 07/04/2002 12:21:00 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
First of all, it's a small business. Second, FIRST STEP FIRST. I need to figure out HOW TO MAKE THE THING! I want it SIMPLE! I have a store name that I will use. The site needs to contain pictures of items, descriptions, allows customer to use all types of credit cards and be EASY to use.

That's quite a few things there to get right, when you're first starting out. I'd suggest setting up a small informational site for your business now and then worry about the ecomm later.

Regardless of what tools you use to create the site, there are going to be gotchas and the simpler the site, the easier those things are going to be to figure out.

18 posted on 07/04/2002 12:21:04 AM PDT by bobwoodard
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To: kcvl
OS is Operating System - Unix, Windows, Linux, etc.

The fact that you want to do credit card transactions for your store suggests several things:
1) You'll want security - you might check out Verisign.
2) You'll need a shopping cart application (so your customers can pick what they want to buy
3) You'll need a database to hold stock numbers, quantity, descriptions, customer shopping cart content, customer shipping address.
4) youll need a search function to customers can find the stuff they want to put in their cart
5) you'll need order fulfillment - after they buy, someone has to get a notice or a screen that shows what to put in a box and ship it to the customers address, and UPS or whomever, needs to be notifoed to stop by your store and pickup the shipment.

I suggest you go to amazon.com and pretend to select and buy a book - heck buy a book so you go all the way through the whole 9-yards, at each step imagine you're a customer using your web store, but it doesn't have to be as fancy as amazon.com, but the experience should help you clarify what you need to provide.

The book you buy on amazon.com ought to a book that explains building e-commerce websites.

If you can afford some professional help, at least get some sales presentations or proposals made to you by consultants(sales stuff is usually free education) to help explain what you'll need to do.

Then think about it.
19 posted on 07/04/2002 12:23:11 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: kcvl
My rule of thumb on building webpages is to base each webpage load time on 28,000 or 56k phone modem connection speed.

Remember, not everyone in cyber space has cable modems.

And also remember to keep the byte size of all images as low as you can on your pages. The lower the byte size of your images = faster page load time...

If its one thing that people hate the most is a webpage that takes forever to load.

After I have all my files loaded on my ftp I will have a watch in front of me and I will time the load time of my pages.

If I find a page taking to long to load I will make changes (Reducing Image Byte size, etc, etc). Then ill reupload the files on my ftp.

I will then clear all the files thats in my Cach folders and do a fresh page load timing the load time with my watch again.

Good Luck
BOB
Delaware Bay Waterfowler
20 posted on 07/04/2002 12:25:53 AM PDT by Mr Fowl
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To: kcvl
There's a lot going on under the covers. The visuals are simple, but the ability to search, shop, pay and ship is non-trivial.
21 posted on 07/04/2002 12:26:21 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: kcvl; *tech_index; Mathlete; Apple Pan Dowdy; grundle; beckett; billorites; ErnBatavia; ...
Very interesting thread.

To find all articles tagged or indexed using tech_index

Click here: tech_index

I'll just ping some additional people that are also very knowledgable on technical things!

22 posted on 07/04/2002 12:27:06 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: kcvl
Many others have given you advice on where to start. Here is some more...

First, determine what you want to publish to the world.
Second, investigate web hosting according to expected volume. Perhaps start with basic ISP provided web space, and move on from there.
Third, Investigate and choose either freeware, shareware or commercial web design products.

Here is a commercial product you might consider: http://www.v-com.com/product/wep_ind.html
I have no connection to the company, this is just one of many web design tools on the market.

Good luck.

dvwjr
23 posted on 07/04/2002 12:41:21 AM PDT by dvwjr
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To: All
Thank you all SO MUCH for helping me get started. This is going to take me some time but, at least, I NOW have a place to start. THANKS AGAIN!!!
24 posted on 07/04/2002 12:49:14 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
I forgot this.....

When working on you webpage or pages make sure you test your pages in diffrent Browsers because some scripts will not work in some browsers.

I test my pages on MIE, Netscape,Mozilla and EarthNavigator.

BOB
Delaware Bay Waterfowler
25 posted on 07/04/2002 1:05:01 AM PDT by Mr Fowl
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To: Mr Fowl
When can I plan my vacation?! lol! Those are beautiful lighthouses.
26 posted on 07/04/2002 1:05:52 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: All
Sorry for any typo's....Im very tired
27 posted on 07/04/2002 1:09:03 AM PDT by Mr Fowl
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To: DennisR
I agree with you. FrontPage is the way to go.
28 posted on 07/04/2002 1:12:28 AM PDT by BJungNan
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To: kcvl
"Those are beautiful lighthouses."

I agree, they are all on Delaware Bay. Some of the lighthouse's I use on each page are the lighthouse as they looked on the bay years and years ago.

As for your vacation, your welcome here at anytime!:-)
I live just 3 miles from the Bay. :-)

BOB
29 posted on 07/04/2002 1:18:04 AM PDT by Mr Fowl
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To: kcvl
I realize that the amount of feedback from a technical standpoint is a little overwhelming Even though your a small business and you want to keep it simple you need to think of this almost as opening a new store in the physical world. It requires the same amount of thought and effort and a business plan for the site (donít do one at your peril).

The techie part of this has to do with one of the key factors in deciding where to open a new store and that's location, the second is the size and cost of the new store. The next part of all the techie stuff is the way your store looks to the world and what services it offers. Look at those services almost like employees youíd need to hire to run this new store. Look at the way the web site looks and the traffic flow just like youíd do for a new store. I have a friend who used to run a large chain of shoe stores and he spent a lot of time with the layout and where the cash register would be located. The right locations for things and traffic flow increased sales on the other hand not paying attention to these things cost $$$..

The tucows suggestion that someone made is an excellent one. They have a lot of tools that are either free or shareware where you can play with it before you buy it. The tucows site is located at : http://www/tucows.com and use it quite frequently

The actual mechanics of getting the site up and running depends on why you want the site and what you hope to accomplish. Basically your back to the first paragraph above and the need to do a business plan which will force you to make some decisions. The first ones I mentioned above and the second decision is are you capable of learning enough quickly enough to get the site up and running. Itís got to be first class but that doesnít mean every bell and whistle (most of thatís garbage anyway.). If after looking at some books at the local bookstore about web page construction and reading some of the on line free books you decide you can tackle it then fine, but if your not or itís going to eat to much time (time being money) then you might want to consider hiring someone to set it up for you. If I had to do carpentry work to get a new store up and running Iíd have to hire someone or find a friend to do it for me. I donít have the skills necessary and even if I tried to do it Iíd probably take a lot of time to do it and it wouldnít be first rate. Youíve got to know your limitations.

We really donít know the purpose of your proposed site and thatís part of the reason you got more of a the answers on how to pick a web host. (location). If your site is nothing more than an information site with a few simple pages and a link to allow your customers to contact you. Thatís pretty easy. The more you add to it or services you want to offer the more you are going to have to learn with a pretty steep learning curve. A plumbing company might have a main page with the information on how to contact you by phone, pager, e-mail and fax. A description of the services offered. It should have a link to a page with comments by customers about the quality of the work. You would want to add some window dressing like some pages with helpful plumbing tips like how to clear out a blocked drain, fix a leaky faucet, why you should strap your water heater to the wall and other helpful hints.

After youíve decided on the content you then need to figure out how you want it to look just like you would with the store. Spend some time looking at web sites of business similar to yours and see what you like and donít like. Learn from what they did right and wrong. If you see something you really like you can always change the VIEW to View Source and see how they did what you liked. You can only do that after you have some background in the various web site construction tools. However, even if you are going to use an outside service to build your site knowing what you like and donít like will make their job easier and help you get what you want.

Iíll give you an example of something that I hate and as a customer it would totally turn me off. Some sites use a dark background with floating lettering in say blue. Itís hard on the eyes. Having a cluttered site thatís not pleasant to look at is a big no no. You only have a few seconds to make that customer decide to look around.

You also need to figure out ways to get people to find your web site. The more ways people can find you the better off you are. Also your site needs to be a value added site to make them want to come back.

This page from one of the web sites I sent you earlier has some great information on things you need to look at and consider when setting up a web site. They are trying to sell you their services but the free newsletters on this page are worth reading while you are in the planning stage. The page with the newsletters on it are: http://www.marketingchallenge. com/articles.html These free newsletters are a wonderful way to make people come back and to subscribe to them which gets their name in front of a potential customer every time itís sent. It also gives you the information they need to contact the people who visit the site as prospects for their services. Information like that is marketing gold.

30 posted on 07/04/2002 1:20:38 AM PDT by airedale
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To: Mr Fowl
I test my pages on MIE, Netscape,Mozilla and EarthNavigator.

On what OS are you running those browsers, what version of Netscape are you using, and what do you think of Opera if anything? ...if you don't mind my asking :-)

I never heard of EarthNavigator...gotta link? and why do you like/use it?

31 posted on 07/04/2002 1:32:13 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: kcvl
"This is going to take me a LITTLE(ha!) time to figure out. I appreciate ANY AND ALL HELP! I am a VERY SLOW learner so PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME!!!"

My friend from other threads, not to worry.

Go to angelfire.com, and don't be put off by all the adolescent stuff you see.

For the first five hours or so, you will feel like you're going crazy. You also won't be able to link from your homepage to FR.

But YOU WILL LEARN the basics of HTML, with help from a good tutorial, which they have linked to the site.

Check it out and let me know.

Regards,GG

32 posted on 07/04/2002 1:56:13 AM PDT by glorygirl
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To: Starwind
OS.... WindowsXP
Browsers...Netscape 4.7 and 6, MIE 6.0.2600, Mozilla 1.0 and EarthNavigator

I ran across EarthNavigator while surfing about 1 year ago and decided to try out the evaluation (30 day without adds).
I just dont like it the darn thing. Why? I don't know!
The only thing I use it for is just to test my webpages on it and thats all.
earthnavigator.com
I just went to their link using my MIE browser and about 10 popup adds came up..LOL That alone makes me hate it..LMAO

As for Oprea, I never used it or tryed it.
33 posted on 07/04/2002 2:10:24 AM PDT by Mr Fowl
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To: kcvl
Everything you always wanted to know about HTML/HTTP/XML/JavaScript/SQL/Web Servers/Browsers/etc., but were afraid to ask
34 posted on 07/04/2002 2:40:29 AM PDT by sourcery
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To: Mr Fowl
You might check out Opera

It is lightening fast and has got some great intended functionality in security, privacy, cookie mgmt, multiple pages open, online dictionary, source viewing, multi-platform support, etc, But...it's a bit buggy yet...but worth a free download....

I paid for it, and I was pleased with 6.01, upgraded to 6.03 which seems worse (ignores link history after restart), I'll upgrade to 6.04 this weekend.

My biggest 3 peeves:
1) cookie filtering not working quite right
2) bookmark mgmt almost non-existant
3) seems to have memory leaks which catch up after about 2 weeks solid heavy use.

There are a couple freebies Book Mark Priest and Opera File Explorer which make things tolerable.

Book Mark Priest lets you convert bookmarks between IE, NN, and Opera....so you can them all in-sync (assuming one browser always has a master copy - there is no sort/merge capability, just convert enmasse.

35 posted on 07/04/2002 2:51:29 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: Mr Fowl
Opera also has great pop-up blocking.
36 posted on 07/04/2002 2:52:38 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: Mr Fowl
Opera plugin mgmt is a bit rough yet...but I don't use to many of them - acrobat, flash, and real player seem to work fine.
37 posted on 07/04/2002 2:57:29 AM PDT by Starwind
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To: All
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. You all have really been helpful and I truly appreciate it.
38 posted on 07/04/2002 3:32:44 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: kcvl
Hi.

You'll need to take this in 2 steps.

  1. First put up a 'billboard', a site that is only for information.

    This is the (relatively) easy part, you'll only need to know html basics. And absolutely, get a tool like 'Frontpage'. Use it to build the basic skeleton, then look at the html it makes to learn.

  2. Second will be the 'interactive', e-commerce stuff.

    You can get by at first with just them 'emailing' orders to you, but in the long run you'll need a database and some db knowledge, and either Java, JavaScript, Perl or ASP knowledge (that's how the web pages 'talk' to the database). Security becomes a concern.

Good luck.

39 posted on 07/04/2002 9:27:35 AM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: kcvl
...........how do I choose a webhost?

Try this:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/710839/posts

I hear the University of Florida is extremely helpful in this regard.

40 posted on 07/04/2002 9:36:03 AM PDT by DoctorMichael
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To: kcvl
Hope I am not too late with a suggestion. Only just now found your posting. I have an easy to use, basic HTML tutorial online that may be of some use to you. I have taught many classes in HTML as well as other web design related skills. Try the tutorial and email me at marsha@wildwoodforeststudios.com if you need more help. I'll be happy to oblige. The tutorial can be accessed here.

As for the hosting, I find OLM.com to be an excellent hosting service. When you are ready to add e-commerce to your site, they have a package that includes "MIVA Merchant" a server-side program that allows you to build and hook up a full e-store fully customized to your look and feel.

41 posted on 07/04/2002 1:05:40 PM PDT by Apple Pan Dowdy
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To: unix
Wow! Thanks! Especially coming from UNIX! :)
42 posted on 07/04/2002 2:49:32 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: kcvl
Go to HTML Goodies. Lots of tutorials and step-by-step instructions.
43 posted on 07/04/2002 3:05:54 PM PDT by callisto
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To: kcvl
I'm a dummy too, bump.
44 posted on 07/04/2002 3:07:33 PM PDT by snippy_about_it
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To: unix
is it possible to have a local web site for things in the neighbor and have a pro and con interaction on local businesses?

Would it be costly to set up?

Would it be costly to operated on a small scale?

45 posted on 07/04/2002 3:18:27 PM PDT by restornu
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To: kcvl
You can build a website from your very own PC. The software comes with your Windows operating system. Or, if you want more horsepower, call up a local Internet Service Provider and see if they wouldn't mind letting you have 5 megabytes of memory on their server. All you need at that point is a file transfer program so you can upload the webpages you create at home to the ISP server. Everything is free except the ISP itself.

Later, if you want to upgrade the bandwidth to your webpage, you can transfer it to one of the big server providers, of which there are many.

46 posted on 07/04/2002 4:39:53 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: kcvl
Ref.bump
47 posted on 07/04/2002 4:42:23 PM PDT by tet68
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To: kcvl
I need to figure out HOW TO MAKE THE THING!

If you are reading this message, you already have everything you need to make your own webpage. It can be simple at first. Use your word processor, most have HTML built in. Put the name of your business on the page. Using HTML try to change the size of the lettering or the color, and look at the file with your internet browser, the same one you are looking at this message with.

48 posted on 07/04/2002 4:44:41 PM PDT by RightWhale
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

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