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Creating and maintaining a web site is a lot of work, and when you have a fairly entertaining or functional website, people often want to know what tools you used and how you accomplished what they've enjoyed.

Here I'll list all the applications that I've used in the production and maintenance of my site, including HoTMetaL PRO and plain "old-fashioned" HTML.

Approximately one year ago, I became quite interested in web design and how amazing and complicated some internet sites have become! Listening at work to some of the younger kids talk about the HTML classes they were taking at school and just how easy it was, I started asking them a few questions. - Heck, I figured that if they could do it, so could ol' Joe!!!

So, off to Barnes & Noble I went... in search of that ONE perfect book... you know, the one with ALL of the answers!!! - Well... I came home with a few extras.

  • Creating Web Pages for Dummies . . . by IDG Books
  • HTML 4 for Dummies . . . by IDG Books
  • Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 . . . by SAMS
  • Teach Yourself FrontPage . . . by SAMS

But all the books in the world couldn't have helped me - I mean... What the heck is this HTML stuff and how am I supposed to understand it? - It all looks GREEK to me! - So..... Back to the drawing board (or kids in this case). -Where can I get classes? - Adult-education classes? - 'Could one of you teach me' classes? - Anything at all? - Could someone please help me??? Their answer was quite simple..... Why don't you go back to school? - - - So, after a little research, I signed up for a few weeks of night classes at Metropolitan Community College - Yep, "HTML 101".... That's for me! A beginner's guide to internet web design! - - Approximately 24 class-hours later I graduated with just enough knowledge to do some very basic pages. - But that's all I needed to get me hooked!!

It was during these classes that my instructor recommended several alternative methods of creating a web page or site. - He discussed many of the recently released software programs that do much of the design work for you. - So back to the research store I went! - - There are countless Internet Sites specifically designed to compare, rate and download almost every type of software program ever released. - These are just a few:

These sites (and others like them) offer valid comparisons and suggestions regarding similar types and classes of software titles. - They even provide links to download 'trial' or actual versions of each program. - It was here that I found several of the Web Development programs currently offered on the market. - Everyone has their own opinions about the use of these 'Utility' packages versus good ol' fashioned HTML programming. - Personally, I feel that such programs were developed to assist the average Joe-Blow in designing fair-quality web pages and sites! - But a 'basic' understanding of Tags, Headings, Formatting, Frames and Tables is essential in successfully 'tweaking' your creation before finally publishing and uploading it for the entire world to enjoy!!! - Most of the popular Web software developers offer a short trial period where potential users can download and 'sample' their products. - I examined several before finally choosing one that I felt the most comfortable with. But believe me... There's dozens available and they're ALL good !!!

After creating a few basic pages, it was time to choose a URL and register it with Network Solutions (formerly Internic). I also had to start looking for a provider to Host my site. I would suggest that you allow your host to complete the registration process for you, even if they charge a small fee for doing so!!! It took me nearly three months to complete mine due to my own ignorance. . . . and their's!!! - Again, there are hundreds of 'Hosting' providers available. Things to consider when choosing the right one for your site are, of course, price, size allocation, and customer support. I took my brother's advice and chose American Web Hosting - The same provider that he was using for his site. They've got a plan for every size and type of site on the internet! - They're very easy to work with and always willing to lend a helping hand when the need arises.

To Be Continued

www.amhosting.comx xMetropolitan Community College x x

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