This is not a page for pros. If you have ever built a website before
and got it to work well, then you don't need this. It is strictly for beginners who haven't a clue how to
build a site that functions clean and
This is ONLY the beginning of web design. It is enough to get you started on a
solid foundation, but you can, and SHOULD, learn new skills on top of this. The methods recommended here are
not always the BEST methods by some standards, they are just the SIMPLEST ways to get a PREDICTABLE site.
This is the cheapest, surest, simplest way to get a site that works predictably without annoying
If you do it right, you'll outgrow the resources provided here. But
they will get you started without overlooking anything that is absolutely necessary, and they'll give you a
site that looks far more professional than a badly done site with different features!
You can build a website with five steps. Notice, I did not
say it was “easy”. Nothing good is ever easy, but this pattern will simplify the process, save you time, and
take care of many of the problems that new site builders often face. You'll avoid some common problems, and
build a better site with less time and effort.
You can find step by step instructions, with
pictures of how to do all these steps with NVU (which is very similar to most drag and drop HTML editor programs),
This article refers to building a static HTML site, which is the
simplest type of site for a new designer to build if they want a unique and personal site that will fit a niche
Step 1 – Template
Create a template. As you create this template, you'll be planning
your whole site, so think about how many links you need to create - it is usually MORE than you think you
need! The template needs to work for your whole site. Put your logo in, “site designed by” and copyright
notice at the bottom of the page, and any standard notice or disclaimer that needs to be on every page. Leave
an area where you can change the content for each page (for example, this page has the entire center section
where the content goes for each page). Make sure you put in a page title (behind the scenes coding – look for
a Document Properties or Page Properties, or Page Editor to do this), add Description and Keyword metatags,
and put Alt Tags into your logo and any other images that are on every page. Do this now, and it will work as
a safeguard for you if you don't get any other optimization done. If you ALREADY have an active Google
AdSense account, then you can put your AdSense code
into the template, just remember not to upload pages until they are finished, and to remove the code from any
pages that you are not supposed to have it on (Thank You pages, etc). If you don't have an active AdSense
account yet, then make sure you think about where you want the code to go, and be sure your page layout will
hold then in logical places.
You can use a pre-built template if you wish -
there are some simple ones with good instructions,but remember, some programs
handle HTML code differently, so it may be hard to change certain things. Pick a template that you like the LAYOUT
of - that you can imagine holding the stuff you need it to hold. You can change all the colors, so don't pay
attention to them. If you run into a problem trying to change the colors or font sizes, feel free to email me from
any of my websites, and I'll help you personally if you need it.
Do not use an online sitebuilder - they do NOT give you the ability to
optimize a site well enough to get good natural traffic, nor will they give you a template that is unique or
that suits your business.
Step 2 – Links
Create a standard navigation area. You may need more than one – a
common layout has a horizontal bar for your reference links and Home link – for example, Contact, Email,
About, FAQ, Policies, or other information that is there for reference. Site content can go in a sidebar, and
would include topics, categories, products, services, and the actual information that your site is about. You
can be creative with the navigation, but you need to make it so that the visitor can find what they want in a
way that is somewhat familiar to them. You don't have to use what I described, it is just an example of a way
that people are familiar with, that is commonly used (because it works well). You can see on this web page
that I used this type of navigation. Remember, function is more important than creativity.
After your navigation areas are built, then put the links in. You are
going to make the links BEFORE you make the pages they link to! This will save you masses of time if you do
it this way. Name your links with names that help the visitor know what they are about - if you use keywords
in the links, and the page names, where it is reasonable to do so, that can help you some with search engine ranking.
Step 3 – Replicate
Once your template looks like a home page, save it – you must save it
before you start the next step! Then choose File -> Save As, and save it with the SAME file name that you
used for one of your links. For example, if you named your About Us link as about.htm, then save the page
with that name. Make sure the name is exact, or the link won't work. Work your way through every single link
one by one until you have pages for each of your links. Some software lets you use a template and then uses
it for the whole site, so your software may not require you to do this particular step, but most low cost
You may have sub-links – in other words, categories with more links
coming off them. If you do, then you'll need to replicate once more, after you put more links into each
category page. Then replicate that page for each of the links that goes in the same
Step 4 – Content
After your site is roughed out, go through page by page and start
adding your content. If you have categories with more links coming off that, then each category page will
need an introduction to what that category is about, and links that go to the actual information or product
pages. I find that it is easiest to go through and add the text content, then come back through and pretty it
up with images, unless the images are worked into the content closely like they are for an instructional
page. You can create the content as you go, or you can copy and paste it from existing
Put a visible page title into each page at the top of the content (you can see that on this
page, in green). Select that title and make it a Heading style (look in your Help system for H1 tag to learn
how to do that). This will make it bold, but is not quite the same as using the regular Bold command - H1 is
better for a heading because it helps the search engines know that it is a heading.
Step 5 – Optimize
You can upload, register, and start marketing your site before you do
this, but you'll want to make sure you work on this at some point. Some of it can be done as you go along,
but even if you do optimize as you go, it is a good idea to go over the site page by page to double
1.Customize the Page Title for each page. Make it so that it describes
that page specifically, and use your most important keyword in the title.
2.Customize the Description metatag for the page. It should describe
the contents of that page, and should use your three most important keywords in the
3.Customize the keywords for that page. Use keywords, and keyphrases.
Do not use keywords that do not have to do with that page!
4.Put in Alt tags for the images. Use 1 or 2 keywords in the alt tags
IF APPROPRIATE. Do not load the alt tags with keywords.
5.Go through your content. Use keywords in different ways throughout
the content. Make sure it is done in a natural manner. If your page does not have much text, and mostly has
images, then put a page description with visible text at the bottom of the page – below the content, but
above the standard notices. Make the description clear and legible. Use a size 2 font (10 point), and make it
clearly readable. Do NOT make it invisible, it can hurt your site if you do!
You can also put a quick site description at the top of the page - see
the top of this page for an example - in the blue box above the Content Creation Cupboard header. Keep it
short, and make the words mean something. Use your MOST important keywords only, and use them naturally in a
sentence that makes sense.
6.When you finish, resubmit your site to the search engines that do
not regularly spider your site. Do NOT resubmit them to Google, Yahoo, or MSN, they will pick up the changes
on the next pass.
When your site is finished, you'll have to market it. And that is a
totally different subject, and requires just as much work as building it! Take it one step at a time, do a
little marketing each day, and you'll succeed, just like you will with your site if you do it one step at a
Try not to get overwhelmed. Learning to build a website is hard, but
the right instructions can help a lot! Keep it VERY simple, and focus on function and content the first time
around. There will be time to spread your wings later on your next site. Just do a little each day, and your
site will come along just fine.