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How to Build a Web Site


At one time, in paper based publishing, you had to go to a graphic arts expert, or print shop, to get simple fliers, pamphlets, posters or business cards made. That was until Apple created an environment for doing it on a computer. Slowly the experts started using computers to simplify their job. Little did they know that this power would find its way into everybody's office and home. Now people who want to create documents can do it on their own computers. Many of those old professionals have gone the way of the blacksmith. That's the history of desktop publishing (DTP) I think this is changing in web site development as well.


They say the personal web site is dead. This is based on the popularity of twitter, my-space, friend-feed and other social networking solutions. I don't believe this. I think there is a growing need for personal and small business web sites. Demand is soaring. But there are some real problems. If you are not an expert, how do you do it?


You can use a content management system like moveable type, word-press, and various proprietary hosting applications that make it easy to get on line fast. Unfortunately they are not so easy. Anyone who wants full control of what their web site looks like will get frustrated very quickly with these avenues. The style and appearance of your web site is usually something less than acceptable. And you are totally dependent on other people to fix it if it gets broken. And it will.


There are a few programs that will allow you full control of your web site from your own desktop, just as if you were using a desktop publishing program. On the Mac you can use a program called iWeb. For the PC there is Serif's WebPlus (which I use; and I don’t have any connection to this company) There is even Dream Weaver (Adobe) which can do WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) as well.


The advantages of using a WYSIWYG program is you don't have to learn any HTML, CSS, Java, Java Script, Ruby, Rails, PHP or any other language. You do it by laying out your work, clicking on the navigation, adding any YouTube videos with links, add podcasting links, add any text and press a few buttons. Your user name, password, along with URL information is required. And presto... Instant web site. Looks good to. If you can drive a DTP program; you can build a web site.


The downward potential? Not very much. You have to backup a copy of your site. You will have to spend $79.00 for the software. And, all of the web developers will be starving.


As soon as more people catch on, web site development will be revolutionized.


Richard Roocroft


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