Expect the unexpected. Perhaps a sudden move from failed web hosting can make you realize you're ill-prepared for flexibility. It all boils down to planning, and being primed to be liquid. Especially if you are a raw beginner at web site development, you're a lot better off taking the time to start with the fundamentals. Planning your web site involves a four phase approach — setting your strategy, developing your design, technical production, and implementation and maintenance. To be effective, work them in order. Otherwise you will end up with a disjointed hodgepodge of broken dreams and unfulfilled aspirations. Look at object collection, navigation planning, site hosting arrangements, and design template building. Don't forget backup and recovery in the event of a disaster.
The Bare Essentials — Our unexpected move to a new web host years ago made us realize we were ill-prepared for flexibility. Ideally you plan for the emergency before it happens. We learned some lessons from that experience and have done a better job of continuing the circular process of web development. So we introduced this section to our Tips and Tools, starting with the fundamentals. Planning your web site involves a four phase approach — setting your strategy, developing your design, technical production, and implementation and maintenance. To be effective, work them in order, continuously.
Do Your Own Thing — If you are a raw beginner at web site development, you're a lot better off taking the time to learn and practice the fundamentals first. Then you can look at automated templates and free, on-the-web graphics files. The reason? Very simple; you must think long-term. You will also find it a lot easier on your budget, not to mention the self-satisfaction from developing a new skill. You will save a lot more in the long run by taking the do-it-yourself approach to web building, especially if it's for nothing more than personal and/or family pleasure. Here we offer a few pointers to get you started.
Community Building 101 — A guest article by Aaron West, formerly of the W3Nation Network. Local communities exist all over the World Wide Web. Some are dedicated to a specific topic, while others are more generalized. Virtually all of them are trying to add more people to the community, while most web surfers are looking for a place they can "fit in." The trick is in connecting the two. Find a topic that suits your particular expertise. Spend some time researching a subject that interests you. Once you've found a topic you feel you can communicate and possibly educate, then you are ready to lay down the groundwork.
Design Concept — From the keyboard of Maggi Norris, this article from the creator of Ask Nem5 — Nemesis World sets the table for your presentation. Maggi discusses object collection, navigation planning, site hosting arrangements, and design template building. If you plan to use large databases or if large multimedia files will be downloaded by your visitors, you must verify the server you select can handle the bandwidth requirement. If you plan on using contemporary content management systems, you must insure the backend software is available to execute the programs. There is more to construction of a quality web site than meets the eye. Maggi helps you get that eye focused in the right direction.
Site Management and Maintenance — Another guest article; this time from Loadstar of Loadstar's Lair. The maintenance and updating of any web site is a time consuming business. Never put up those "Under Construction" clipart signs. Every site is, or should be under construction constantly. Therefore, these little flashing annoyances tend to become irritating in stating the obvious. Check your external links frequently. The web is in a constant state of flux. Sites come and go, so yours can develop link rot. Stay abreast of your web hosting requirements. Perhaps the most important aspect of Web site management is that you enjoy yourself. If you ignore every other detail in this article, remember this. Put your heart and soul into having fun with your creation.