Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Building A Simple Web Site For The Beginner

When you're fairly new to the internet, the thought of building a web page seems like a distant dream. Well, I'm here to tell you that you can build simple web pages even if you have no HTML experience and without having to do a training course. It's not easy at first, but it is completely within reach for anyone. I should know, I didn't know anything about web design and within a couple of weeks I had a simple lead-capture page built. So this article is from the beginner's perspective.

When I started out, I had been considering ways of building an opt-in subscriber list. The obvious answer was to have my own lead capture page. I didn't have the money to pay for someone else to build it for me so the only option was to attempt it myself. So the first step is just to decide that you will give it a go. Second step is to decide what the goal of the page is. Is it a sales page to promote an affiliate product; a lead capture page to capture subscribers; or a home page? Whatever you decide, I recommend that you keep it really simple for your first one, just to get "your feet wet".

Now that you know what type of page you want, the easiest way to work out the sales copy, content, layout and design is to create it with a word processor first (like Word). This for me was the quickest and easiest way to come up with the design, to see what it would look like and to make changes as needed. Once I was happy with that I could proceed to the next step, which was to build the page with a web page editor.

Once again, I was restricted by the budget (as many people are) so to buy a web page editor was out of the question at this stage. But there are many different free options. I ended up going for FirstPage2006 by Evrsoft.com and downloaded that to my desktop. Once you have it downloaded, open it up and click on the Basic HTML Document button. At this stage I copied and pasted the text from my Word document to Notepad (to convert it all to plain text).

Then on FirstPage2006 (FP2006) go to file, click on convert text file to HTML, locate your Notepad document and click on open. That will open your Notepad document in FP2006 in HTML format. Now all you have to do is go through the content and modify the font types, sizes, colours, alignment and margins. This can be very tedious at first but keep going and you will get there. Just a tip: save your work every few minutes, as I found that I made many mistakes along the way before I was happy with the layout. I won't go into all the features of the page editor because it will depend on which one you've got but keep playing around with it and you will learn quickly.

Have a good look around at other web sites to get ideas and to learn from them. Especially look at the ones that catch your eye and model your site on their's (please note, don't copy their work but you can model successful elements of the page). Good sales copy is beyond the scope of this article, but basically go for a big, bold headline (usually red looks good) and a sub-heading that conveys benefits and arouses curiosity. If you have a long sales letter, break that up with sub-headings that people can "scan" to keep them on the page. That also depends on what the goal of the web page is as well.

Once your page is finished it's time to get a domain name, hosting for the site, and upload everything to your host. Your hosting company should have instructions on how to upload your site.

This is just the very start of things. You should consider getting extra training to enhance the basic skills that you've learnt and maybe upgrade your free editor as well to build better pages. Even so, you can still build professional looking pages with the bare minimum so just give it a try. Once you build that first web page, there will be no holding you back and the satisfaction and rewards are well worth it.

About the Author
Andrew Jones has been a business owner for the past 10 years, and is now a Plug-In Profit Site owner. To find the best earn extra income opportunity.

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