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DR. WEBSITE: Helpful Resources For Aspiring Web-Page Designers

By David Fiedler and Scott Clark

Dear Dr. Website®: I have never set up a Web site, but would like to. Is there a source that would instruct me how to do so?

We modestly suggest you start by looking at the WebDeveloper .com site, especially areas geared toward beginners (such as www.webdeveloper.com/html/beginners_html.html). If time is not a problem, and you want to learn HTML (the "source code" for all Web pages), then your best bet is to check out some sites that explain HTML, pick up a beginner-level book or two, and view the source code from some of the Web pages you find that appeal to you.

Almost all Web browsers allow you to view the code to any site by selecting View | Source (or Page Source) from the Web browser menu. If you cut and paste some of this code into a text editor window, do some editing to put in your own content, save it as a file, and then open it in your browser, you'll have a Web page.

If you don't have the time or inclination to learn how to manually code HTML, then you may want to check out some of the site authoring tools now on the market. Some of these programs (such as Microsoft FrontPage 98 and NetObjects Fusion) will allow you to create your page using a WYSIWYG editor, which will enable you to drag-and-drop elements onto your page.

These tools do not require you to know any HTML, and they feature wizards and templates that will guide you though the creation of your site. See www.webdeveloper.com/reviews/index.html for reviews of some of these programs. When you've finished the creation of your Web page or pages, you'll have to upload them to the server where they will reside. For this, you'll need two things: some "space" on a server to upload to, and an FTP program to physically perform the file transfer (try cws.internet.com/32ftp.html if you use Windows). Many of today's site authoring tools and HTML editors have an FTP facility built in, so you might not need a separate program. Numerous Web service providers will rent you space as well as provide premium services (see www.webhostlist.com). But many Internet service providers (see thelist.internet.com) offer free Web space to their dial-up customers, often as part of the monthly access fee.

Other ISPs only charge a small fee for several megabytes of Web space--an amount of space that is certainly more than enough for most users.

If you don't wish to go to that much trouble, you can use services on the Web--such as GeoCities and Tripod--which will allow you to create and host your Web page on their server free. These services make their money on advertising, and even provide form-based Web page creation tools that you can use online to create your Web site.

While these types of services do not allow the flexibility of hosting your site on an ISP, they are easy and cheap, and they may be just what you are looking for.

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Keywords: design, htmltools
Date: 19971110

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