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Monday, November 8, 2010

How to produce a website

With my vast experience in partially producing a single website – that isn’t completed yet – I present to you “Melinda’s 10-ish step guide to creating a website”!

1. Decide you want to produce a website. Mull it over for a couple of months. Decide that it really can’t be harder than creating a power point presentation.

2. Ask around and find people that have done something similar. Realize that there is this thing called “hosting” and you will probably need it. Ignore the feeling that this is WAY OVER YOUR HEAD and actually BUY hosting and a domain name. Be optimistic and buy 2 years of service.

3. Start creating the website. This is where the real fun starts! Open up a word documents “as a web page” and realize that there is this thing called “html” and it’s a requirement for building a webpage from scratch in word. Mmmm…..decide to buy a program that really does make web site building as easy as power point.

After doing some research, realize you don’t want something that makes it TOO easy because it will produce a website that produces messy code, and maybe in the future when you really do know what you are doing, you won’t be able to alter the code to produce EXACTLY what you want and you will forever be stuck with a not-so-fantastic-template. Instead BUY a program (and if you are like me, it’s likely the first piece of software you‘ve actually bought – not a free demo, not a trial version, not a borrowed program….) that’s more complicated than drop and click, but you don’t have to actually know code to produce a half-way-decent website.

4. Decide you have HAD it with your *&*&^&*% old computer and the &&*%%^&* development program.

5. Look up a basic tutorial online for html coding, get a few basics, take a deep breath. Decide that the website can be produced in stages. Stage one will be a website good enough that you don’t have to apologize for it. The finished product once you figure out the *^&%(()^%$^ html programming needed to change templates, will be utterly fantastic and actually match your initial conception. Because let’s face it – you are WAY too picky to be content with a template!

6. Dive down into some of the underlying program of the web page development and realize that you’ve picked up enough coding information to actually know what you are looking at! Start with something basic like inserting a customized pic instead of the stock banner. It works! This is actually kind of fun…..Tweak the aspects that are super important for the initial roll out, but leave the rest alone – with your luck you’ll save something as a jpeg instead of a png file and it will completely screw everything up and you will have NO IDEA what you did. And you will have to start over…..

7. Throw some content into the pages. Anything will do. Try to avoid glaring spelling errors. Throw in some pictures to dazzle the reader and distract them from the grammer and formatting mistakes.

8. Hit publish and go have a drink. You’ll need it for the next part.

9. Review your website. Find glaring errors. Fix errors. Re-upload your site. Ignore the boyfriend in the corner that’s glaring at you. After all – he was warned this was “website weekend”.

10. Review website. All your images are gone. Realize it’s because you accidentally deleted files off your sever during the update. Try and figure out how the h*ll to get your fancy software to upload the ENTIRE site again instead of just the updates. Have another drink. Swear at the computer for freezing for the &*&&*^*)*(&^%^th time in an hour. Upload site.

11. Review site. Find formatting errors – the font doesn’t match and neither does the size. Boyfriend is now actively trying to distract you – asking you about inconsequential things like “when are you going to start dinner”, and “are you changing out of your pajamas soon?”. Decide that the idea of having phases or “multiple roll outs” is an absolutely genius idea. Decide that phase 1 does NOT include fixing all the formatting errors. Post an announcement about your new site and pretend that all is going according to plan.


  1. >snork<

    I feel your pain, gal. Really.

  2. For what it is worth, we use Dreamweaver here. I found it fairly easy to use and was able to put my web site up without too much trouble.

    Of course, I have relatively low standards since I am not selling anything.


  3. I'm sure you'd rather do your website on your own. And you probably can learn how to get one up and working. But is it worth all the time and stress?

    I can design your website for you for $800. Plus our monthly webhosting fee. It is a hassle. And if you want to sell things from your website, even more of a hassle. I can make it exactally the way you want it.

    Michelle Detmer
    (SE IN endurance rider, arabian horse owner, Renegade boot user, blog reader and web/graphic designer)

    Good luck!

  4. Michelle - I'm definitely enjoying the challenge so I'm not looking for a web design service yet! Maybe if the business really takes off after a couple of years. Even investing $200 in the site (cost of hosting + software) I doubt I'll see a profit for sometime.

    I chose rapidweaver over dreamweaver because rapidweaver is suppose to simpler to use and have less of a steep learning curve, while perserving much of the same functionality. I'm pretty sure it's just stuipidity on my part!

    I'm updating the website again today so I'll see if I can get it done with the minimum about of hair-pulling out this time!


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