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Now you've figured out what you want to put on your website.  It's time to choose a method for developing it.

There are several ways you can choose to develop your website.  Here is a brief list of your options and several suggestions in each category - definitely not a comprehensive list.  For additional information on programs, check out the links at the bottom which give you many options - some free and some to buy.

  1. Use a pre-programmed web template - start with someone else's design and put your information in it.  NOTE:  Some web templates may use things (like FrontPage extensions or scripts) that are not allowed on FreePages, so be careful what you choose.  Some of these have free templates while others are for a fee (small or large).

If you do use a web template, check out the instructions at TemplateHunter.com covering: How to customize templates.

  1. Use a Visual or WYSIWYG editor - the middle-of-the-road option. 
    WYSIWYG is pronounced Whissy Wig.  This stands for What You See Is What You Get. This means that you are working with a representation of the finished page as it should appear in a browser.  In real life most browsers will show it similar to what you see in a WYSIWYG editor, but all browsers are slightly different so it will only be similar, not EXACTLY the same.  There are many options from free to very expensive.  Here are a few of the more well-known and there are many more in the links at the bottom of the page:
Some people believe that the only proper way to develop web pages is that you MUST learn HTML coding and code your pages by hand, but there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of technology and the programs that have been developed to help us make webpages quickly and easily -  as long as you choose wisely.  Even if you do start with a WYSIWYG editor, over time you may learn some HTML in order to figure out how to do something special that your program won't do - or to figure out how in the world you created what you did!
  1. Handcode your HTML -
  • If you do decide to handcode your HTML, you'll need to learn how to do it, so check out my Tutorials page for some websites to help you.
     
  • But what program to use?  There are many options:
     
    • We recommend that you don't use Microsoft Word. While Word is a great program (I love and use many Microsoft products) and documents can be saved as web pages/html documents, programs like that tend to add a lot of un-necessary code. All that heavy coding can make un-necessarily difficult pages for the user's browser to load.  If you are thinking of using Word to create your web pages, we'd suggest you read the following articles first: 
    • Because HTML files are straight text files, any ordinary text editor will do and most systems come with one pre-installed with the operating system..
      • If you use Windows, try Notepad, which comes with all versions of Windows.
      • If you use Macintosh, try either SimpleText or TeachText.
         
    • If you want another HTML editor, there are a LOT of them out there built specifically to handcode your HTML pages - some free and some not.  A specifically-designed HTML editor can have some benefits over a straight text editor like those above.  Check out the links at the bottom of the page to find many to choose from.
       
    • FreePages Online Editor - you can code your HTML directly in the FreePages Online Editor -
       
      • Log into the Online Editor
      • Go to the community/directory where you want to add a page
      • Look for the section called "HTML Editing Controls" (see graphic below)
      • Use the "Create New HTML File" button to start a new page

HTML Editing

One major drawback to doing your coding directly in FreePages Online Editor is that you have no backup on your computer, which is always recommended.  If for some reason FreePages lost all the pages on their server (which would probably never happen, but you never know), you wouldn't have a backup to load back on your website.

 

Links to other sites and information on WYSIWYG and HTML Editors:

 

 

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This page was last updated on Saturday, May 29, 2010.

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