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Newbie website setup (warning, stupid questions to follow)
Our church is getting started with our own website. RIght now, we have nothing. So this is all from scratch.
I am a little familiar with HTML language. I created some web pages in college, so I know how to get started building a web page. Once we get something started, I/we can later learn how to make it update friendly.
But, I have never done anything with domain names, Hosting, and the like.
I now need to learn more about the registering and hosting details. How does that all work? What steps do I need to follow?
Here is what (I think I have learned so far):
Step 1: Register a Domain Name(s). ~$8/year/domain name @ GoDaddy.com
Step 2: Get a host server to serve the website. ~$4/month basic plan @ GoDaddy.com... OR... should I host the site locally on our own server? Any other options?
Step 3: Create website and upload to the host server.
Is this basic plan correct?
Any other advice you could give is welcome.
What you are looking at are alternate styles of developing sites (instead of HTML)
In most cases, they are not needed.
Most commonly, you will be in good shape with .htm and .jpg (or .gif) for graphics. Other forms for music, video, flash, etc. are all optional but rare in church sites.
I have used godaddy and some others. GODADDY is OK, but a little more inconvenient than others because your domain is a virtual site, and uploading is a bit more complex... but at least they give a good clear explaination on their site, so you can find all you need about maintaining your site pretty easy.
You will need a web development software (Dreamweaver is excellent, FrontPage is easy, and since church sites are low security risks, it is a good program).
In all likelyhood, you might want a seperate File Transfer Proticol program (FTP) - There are several free ones that work very well... I use CoreFTP lite - I just personally like an external FTP, even though it means transfering my graphics seperately... it just works better for me.
Most of these programs are "WYSIWYG" (what you see is what you get), so they will give you a chance to develop your site even before you learn HTML better. (you will learn as you go... works well).
But those are some thoughts.
Keep Pressin' On (Phil. 3:13-14)
ItsaGodGig Music, Humble, TX
Back in college, I used Allaire Homesite 4.0 a bit. It was mainly a raw HTML editor, but had some simple WYSIWYG capablities. That is how I learned HTML about 6 years ago. I have not done much since.
I am aware of Dreamweaver and FrontPage, but I have never used them. Initially, I think I will try http://www.nvu.com. Namely because it is free and will likely do everything we need anyway.
For this thread, I am mainly interested in getting domain & hosting tips.
I was ushered in a mere year ago so don't worry... it all comes easily with patience and effort.
You're well on your way with the server and hosting info. In fact, that's my personal website's plan.
You can upload your files directly from IE as well. Just type in your purchased domain name with an ftp:// before it. You can change your username and password with GoDaddy. (assuming that's who you have hosting through)
CSS is a used to customize the look of a webpage without using HTML. The benefit is that you can change the look of your entire site by changing the CSS page rather than going to each page and changing the HTML. As you refresh on HTML, LEARN THIS TOO! It is invaluable to design nowadays!
ASP and PHP are scripting languages. With HTML, when a user opens a page, they're stuck with what's there... meaning the page is not interactive. ASP and PHP allow a user to dictate the contents of a page. It takes a little research to figure out.
My suggestion is go to w3schools.com. You'll find tutorials on all the major web coding methods.
With two years of learning and playing, I've coded my church's site and my own personal site (this one meets all web standards strictly )
Good luck and God bless!
Hey there! Good luck on this, and I have my own views and comments to share.
When it comes to hosting, there a lot of options out there thanks to software allowing people to resell what they already have. This means two things: One, there are always more options, and thus a nice market price fluxuation to meet demand and compare with other sites. Two, there are more people out there that won't be a great provider. Sure, they may have automation, a good server, and a clean design, but this doesn't mean they know what their doing.
I'd personally vote against GoDaddy for hosting, but get a domain from them. Look into SonataWeb.com for a website with GREAT support and a good control panel, (I use them myself,) as well as Globat.com for large/space and bandwidth usage. (I've also used them.)
If you wanted to run a website on a server you already had, that is COMPLETELY possible, assuming your ISP allows it. Check with them and see what they say on this being allowed. If it is, then the next step depends on your operating system. (Running your own server saves you a nice amount of cost, and everything is in your control.*, this is a blessing and a curse!)
Whether your using Windows or a POSIX based operating system on your server, (Unix, Linux, MacOSX,) any unix junkie, (myself included,) can help you get everything set up step by step!
When it comes to design, think about what's more important to you at this stage- Looks, or Content. Just make sure what's more important to you gets the focus. If your EXTREMELY heavy on content, I'd suggest a free, premade content management system such as Mambo, with a premade design, (or make one yourself.)
If you're half-way in between, or looks oriented, there are tons of free website templates out there, but learning how to design is always a nice thing to know. Just read a few HTML / CSS tutorials online from W3Schools and you'll be on your way, learning. Don't worry about any languages such as PHP or ASP for now, until you have a nice site going already.
Just remember, if you ever get confused or need even the tiniest bit of help, don't hesitate to ask!
http://kanago.net - experiences in media
The place I like to go for information about how to choose a host is CNET.COM. They devote an entire section of their site to choosing a company to host your site that meets your needs.
As far as the creation and design of your site are concerned, I'm a proponent of content and functionality over appearance -- at least at the beginning. (I'm assuming you have the good sense not to place red text on a lime-green background, or any number of other color combinations. ) I figure that the purpose of the World Wide Web is to convey information. A beautiful and perfectly executed website without worthwhile content is a waste of time, server space, and bandwidth! After you've got the content and functionality in place, go back and spruce things up.
In any case, I suggest staying away from Flash, because the wait is so long -- and, therefore, annoying -- for people using a dial-up connection. Even though I have a broadband connection, I always skip the Flash intros.
I agree that W3SCHOOLS.COM is an excellent place to learn everything you need to know to build websites.
(By the way, CSS stands for "cascading style sheets" and ASP stands for "active server pages.")
this post might be a little late in the game but heres my $0.02. Godaddy is great for registering domains but horrible with web hosting. I used them for one month and left. (Still continue to use them for DN registering though.) There are tons of hosts out there and a lot of good advice in this post. One of the hosts i came across was alphaomegahosting.com. They have good customer support (even have screen names on AIM and other popular IM'ing programs). And they are also christian owned and operated. Like i said...my $0.02.
ASP - Active Server Pages
PHP - PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
Cascading Style Sheets are a good thing. Using the style sheet technique, you can set the default attributes for objects so they automatically appear in the style you want. This makes the HTML pages smaller - about 75% for most of the ones I have converted. Even better, you can make changes to the overall appearance of your web site by changing the style sheet, rather than going through every line of your html.
Active Server Pages can be a good thing, but it is a Microsoft technology for server-side scripting the generation of your web pages.
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is another widely used scripting language for server-side dynamic web content. PHP
Bottom line: probably most of your needs can be met with CSS and HTML. When you need dynamic content, you'll need to use the scripting language(s) that your host provides.
As a little sidenote, PHP was named as "personal home page" by the creator, but it has evolved since then.
This whole thread gives me a thought. We have wonderful designers here on CMN, maybe make a store package item.. Church Website Templates designed by CMN members?
http://kanago.net - experiences in media
Second thought, "We've got too many designers to ever get consensus on a design"
Third thought, "My coding skill (20+ years) is still better than my design skill (4 years) :nosepick: ".
Maybe I should just shut up and ask how I could help.