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7 Effective Ways to Build Your Own Web Site
Copyright 2002 Herman Drost 

Running a business without building a web site, is like a fish
swimming in a small pond. The fish needs a vehicle to reach
the ocean. If you are a small business person who wants to reach
millions quickly and easily, building a web site is a necessity.
There are many ways to build a website but I'll just give you an
overview of the most popular ones. 

Before you begin to build your web site, register a domain first
(read my article "How to choose, register or transfer domain
  This means you are serious about your business. 

1.Web Site Templates - Free and Paid 
This is a quick and simple way to design your site without
spending a dime. With a free web site template, you can add text 
and graphics and host it on a free web host. 

Free - these will give you a quick and simple design.

Paid Templates - generally these provide better looking designs. 

Pros - quick set-up, saves time on design time. 
Cons - lack of uniqueness and flexibility, not custom built to suit
your business. 

2. ISP Site Builders 
Some ISPs provide site building software
as part of their package i.e. AOL, 

Pros - "all-in-one" package, no html required. This may consist of
just site building (AOL), or a combination of site building, hosting,
search engine submissions and newsletter management (Bigstep) 
for one monthly fee. 
Cons - template pages, page links generically named, pages can't
be individually optimized for search engines.

3. Learn HTML
This will allow you to build your web site from
scratch and have total control over any changes you may 
wish to make. 

Pros - total control, flexibility, inexpensive (you can
even use the text editor, notepad, that comes with your
Cons - steep learning curve to become proficient,
takes a lot of time to change hundreds of pages. 
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4. Use Web Editing Tools 
There are two kinds of web site editors.
a) HTML Editors - these will help you with writing and editing your
html (i.e. automating repetitive tags and color coding the different 
tags used).

Macromedia Homesite 

b) WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editors 
These graphical editors will help you to design a professional
looking web site after a lot of practice. Here are the two most popular 
editors. These editors also allow you to see the code as you design your
site. You can also manipulate the code within the editor.

Dreamweaver MX 

Pros - complete control over the design and maintenance of your
website, can write or edit code as you please, maintain
hundreds of pages, many useful features. 
Cons - can be expensive, learning curve, some WYSIWYG editors
add unnecessary code, creating bloated web pages. 

5. Browser Software -  Mozilla Editor
The Mozilla Editor is modeled on Netscape Composer,
the editing module of the Netscape Communicator suite.
You have to install the entire Mozilla package, then
launch the Editor (Composer) from the "Tasks" menu to use it.

Pros - free, easy to use 
Cons - some learning curve needed, lack of features
and integration with graphics software, when compared with other
high-end web design editors. 

6. SiteBuildIt 
This is an all-in-one system of tools to build, host and promote
your web site. It includes one year of: 
Domain name registration
Web Site Hosting 
Graphic Tools (LogoCreator and NavBar creator)
Search Engine Optimization
Automatic Search Engine Submission and Re-submission
Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Research 
Traffic Stats and Click Analysis 
E-zine Subscription and Delivery 
Cost: approx $300/year 

Pros - all-in-one solution for creating, promoting and analyzing
your web site, no need to learn html, add your own text and
Cons - use of template generated web pages, lack of
business uniqueness, limited flexibility over html code,

7. Professsional Web Site Designer
If you choose a professional web designer, make sure he has 
the qualifications and at least several years experience designing
web sites. Take a look at his portfolio to give you some idea of
the sites that have already been designed.
(Read my article "How to Choose a Web Site Designer"

Working with a specialist in designing and optimizing websites.
Professional image for your business
Years of experience building, optimizing and promoting web sites.
Saves time - leaves you time to concentrate on building your 
business while the technical aspects and maintenance of your 
web site is taken care of. 

Can be expensive
You have less control (must work with your designer).

If you want to build it yourself and have the time to do it,
then learn some html and invest in a professional web editor.
Learning html will enable you know what's wrong with your site
(particularly when a web site editor doesn't write proper html
or adds unnecessary tags). The editor is very helpful if you
have to maintain a large web site that contains hundreds of

If you don't have much time and wish to do-it-yourself without 
learning html, then download a web template. 

If you don't want to learn html and want an all-in-one solution
for building, hosting, promoting and web traffic analysis, then
SiteBuiltIt is a great way to go. 

Hiring a Professional Web Site Designer 
This will save you a lot of time instead of doing it yourself. 
You can also be assured of having a professionally designed
web site built to reflect your business. A good web designer 
will know how to build a web site that sells, which is the ultimate
goal for your business.
Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of 
Affordable Site Design and Low Cost Hosting

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