flow for creating
a web site?
attracted to the idea of having a website
Discussion with designers on the nature of the website
Decision to have a website
Getting a 'domain name'
Agreement with designers on conditions of execution
of the work
Handing of material to designers
On-going consultation between designers and owners
of the site
Getting a 'dial-up' Internet connection
Getting a 'virtual Hosting Internet Provider'
Delegating your domain name hosting location
Up-loading your site to your virtual host
Testing & approving your site
'Publicizing' your site (registration in search
Maintaining your site
Making money with your site.
do I need
to give the
(photos, drawings, logos)
Sounds (voice, music, special sounds)
Text (from brochures, newsletters, papers, information
about your business, etc.)
General (or detailed) ideas about the lay-out
Copyright documentation (from people that may own
List of 'keywords' for registering in 'search engines'
List of Internet sites for which you wish to provide
links through your site.
Account details necessary for accesing your space
at your hosting ISP. (Optional)
I have to
of my web
yes. A constant communication will be necessary
for arriving at a good result. However, the construction
of a website, thanks to appropriate software tools,
doesn't take that long. It's very important for
you to look at the site often until it's ready,
(and afterwards as well).
how do I get
|| You can
have either a proper 'domain name' or simply a space
to put your site. If you need a proper domain name
(what's advisable for a business), someone has to
obtain the name from a national Internet authority.
If you are getting your name in the USA (www.yourname.com),
you don't need a company or business name formally
registered (although to play safe it's better if
you can show one).
If you are getting your name in Australia, you need
to register an almost identical business name. Sometimes
you can get your domain name through the ISP that
will host your site.
Registration of domain names is growing exponentially,
and to insure you get the name you want you must
get it as soon as you think of having a site. You
can even register a domain name and 'park' it at
some virtual hosting ISP until you are ready to
have a website. (Sometimes this 'parking' is free).
Once you register the domain name, you'll end up
with an IP number associated with it. You have to
pay the registration every 2 years to continue having
your domain name registered.
I talk with
the web designers
of the work?
size of the site,
character of the site,
objective of the site,
type of site,
number of images,
type of virtual server,
what you wish the designers to manage for you, and
other relevant matters.
|| This has
nothing to do with the hosting of your website.
You dial a phone number to access your 'dial-up'
ISP to surf the web, or to send/receive e-mail.
(You may be also connected to your ISP through 'cable
modem' or a dedicated phone line). If you have a
normal modem connection, your 'dial-up' ISP must
be accessible through a local call to avoid large
do I get 'web
|| If you
are not going to host your own site yourself, either
you or the designers must get the space from an
ISP to host your website. Usually you need a minimum
of 5 Mb, however depending on the size of your site
you may need more. Your Hosting ISP can be anywhere
in the world. It has no practical advantage if it
is local, except that you can call for questions
or support easily. Nevertheless, this is so rare
that can hardly be considered an advantage. Your
hosting ISP will provide you of one or more IP numbers
that are associated with his/her site. Later in
time, you'll need those IP numbers to carry out
that of delegating?
|| Once you
have your domain name (and your IP number), and
the IP number(s) and name of your virtual hosting
ISP, you need to tell someone about this. In fact,
you tell the national Internet authority from which
you got the domain name. That national authority
will enable the association between your name and
IP number to your hosting ISP. It's like having
a mailbox at certain branch of the post office assigned
to your name.
do I up-load
my web site
to my virtual
|| Once your
site is ready, it needs to be 'up-loaded'. 'Uploading'
means sending information. 'Downloading' means getting
information. You up-load through FTP ('File Transfer
Protocol) service software. Your web designers can
take care of that if you wish.
of a web site?
site has been uploaded, it needs to be tested and
tuned-up accordingly. This stage has to have your
cooperation as only you can say if your are happy
with your site. It is also useful to have other
people to try your site out and notice their reactions
and suggestions. The elements to test are:
the designers if you catch spelling mistakes, even
if you provided the text)
information sound right? Any inaccuracies? Any statements
that could offend someone?)
|| (Do the
colors (colours) show OK? Do the colors (colours)
reflect the image of your business?)
|(Do the images
match the text? Do they have the right quality and
size? Do they load quick enough? Is the logo OK?)
relevant or distracting? Do they play OK? Do they
||(As for item
of the site easy and logical? Are navigation
buttons obvious enough?)
satisfactory ways for your visitors to communicate
with you? Does the site react to visitors' wishes?
Does the site provide of acknowledgment to visitors'
site allow for visitors to be told when their input
is invalid? Does the validation take place on the
spot, or do users have to wait for the server to
is to 'publicize'
with you have a fantastic website, but guess what!
Nobody knows it exists. Big deal! When people surf
the web, they usually 'search' for something specific.
You want to be found when they are looking for something
Usually the best 'search engines' automatically
will eventually discover your site and put it into
their database. They do that through programs called
'crawlers', or 'robots, or 'spiders', and other
things. However, this may take time, as there are
thousands of new pages and sites everyday.
What you do is register your site in the 'search
engine' directly. You build a list of 'keywords'
that you give the designers well ahead of time.
The designers will incorporate those words into
the pages of your site. The 'search engines' will
use this list to index your pages, and voila! The
web surfers will find you. That is, hopefully, anyway.
This process can be slightly tricky.
A good way of advertising your site is to place
its name in every piece of stationary you have,
including business cards. You can also put it big
and very visible in your shop or business location.
You can have stickers printed. You can have it painted
on cars, trucks, etc. You can also print it on mouse
pads that you can give away, etc. etc. There are
also more expensive ways of advertising. You must
decide what amount of resources you are going to
allocate to advertising your site depending on the
objectives you have in mind.
do I need
have your site up and running. Your first users
have praised you for your site (something that hopefully
you've let your designers know). However, in the
near future your visitors will want to see new things
every once in a while. You'll have new information
to publish online, or things to change in your site.
You accomplish this 'maintaining' your site. You
can maintain your site yourself if the changes or
additions are simple, or have web designers do it
for you. Commonly, you'll need to prepare the 'raw'
information in such a way that it has good quality,
the right colors, and small size footprint. This
is often known as changing the information from
'raw' into 'Internet-ready'.
I really make
|| There are
three main ways to make money with your site.
The first one is through gaining image or status:
"A business with a website is a trustable, solid
business ahead of the pack!". If this is true or
not is another issue. This works pretty much as
The second way is through a more practical fashion:
You're providing information about your products
and services. You're also getting feedback from
your customers and clients. You are also getting
orders and expressions of interests through your
site. If you have a full-blown e-commerce site,
this will be a major source of income at some point,
but even if you only have low-level sales, the site
will usually pay by itself.
The third way is through selling advertising space
in your site. The more popular your site is, the
more expensive your space can be, and the more money
you make out of it. This source of income is not
easy to develop. You need to invest heavily in advertising
and you need to offer extra 'goodies' to keep attracting
it to provide
|| One of the
most welcomed and thoughtful gifts you can give
your visitors is to offer them the possibility to
jump to other sites that have complementary information.
You can use this service as a hook to attract new
visitors, and promote repeating visits from old
users. Any research time spent on collecting a good
list of relevant sites is time very well invested.
is not a 'lay-out' language. It doesn't tell browsers
how thing should look. It's up to the browser how
it will interpret the instructions. Quite a disappointment!
Isn't it? The look may not even be the same with
different versions of the same browser. The designers
should make sure that at least the site will be
OK with Netscape and Explorer which cover above
the 90% of cases.
behave differently, or will not work at all in some
versions of the same browser. Sometimes it may be
necessary to provide alternative sites for different
versions. This solution must be avoided as it increases
your costs. You'll also get different results with
different video cards and resolution settings, and
with different operating systems.
I need a secure
However, you need a secure server if you are going
to receive credit cards numbers on-line. Well, you
don't even really need it in this case, but it is
a fairly trustable guarantee that your customers'
or clients' credit card numbers are not going to
fall into the wrong hands. To have a secure server
service is not that expensive. In fact, you may
not even notice the cost of it.
I need a full-blown
You need it
though, if you
are going to
In this case
you want to
get the transaction
the bank automatically,
and what's best,
for these solutions
may vary from
to very high.
A typical example
of the latter
case is www.amazon.com
file format has been developed by Macromedia. ShockWave
files 'stream' (they play as the information comes,
instead of waiting for the whole file to download).
This makes them very convenient for large files,
such as games, or animations. They can be interactive,
they can even handle databases, and most modern
browsers have the plug-in to play them. This technology
is a very serious challenger to standard dynamic
HTML format. They also compress sound files up to
1 to 70! Please visit www.shockwave.com if you want
to have a look, or click
here to see a ShockWave game from our site.
is another file format from Macromedia. They are
very similar to ShockWave but they use 'vector'
graphics. 'Vector' graphics are small, they are
displayed through decoding a compressed set of instructions
that depict the image. On the contrary, 'bit-mapped'
images are large files that contain the information
that you see on your screen pixel by pixel. They
can be compressed, but never to the extent of 'vector'
images. 'Flash movies' also 'stream'.