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Build Your Site At No Cost

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PCQ Bureau
New Update

Surfing

the Web, you must have come across many interesting sites. And at some point

of time, you might have asked yourself, "Can I create a Website like

this?" Well, this is no longer wishful thinking. Today, you could have

a site devoted to your favorite hobby or use it to display your family

photographs or set up a site for your business…the list is endless.

Whatever it may be, here’s a step-by-step guide to have your site up and

running, absolutely for free.

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Step 1: Sign up for free

Web space




To set up your site, you’ll need space on a Web server to store all your
HTML documents. There are a lot of sites on the Net that give you free Web

space. (See table, Free Web hosting services). Select one that meets your

requirements. We’ve used Geocities in this example.

Website

Free

space per account (MB)

www.geocities.com

15

www.tripod.com

11

www.topcities.com

11

www.50megs.com

50

www.virtualav.net

20

www.freeservers.com

20

www.netcolony.com

35

www.1freespace.com

50

www.webjump.com

25

Step 2: Site contents



Now that you have your site ready, you’ll need to create the
contents for your site. For this, you’ll need an HTML editor. An HTML

editor is basically a helper program that lets you manipulate code. If you’re

very familiar with HTML, you could use a text editor like Notepad but then

you would know enough not to need this article. Otherwise, you could make

use of WYSIWYG editors. These editors generally hide the code from you and

make creating HTML documents as easy as creating word processing documents.

However, they don’t allow you to do everything under the sun. Most of the

free Web services like Geocities offer such site-building tools. You could

make use of these or you could use packages like Dreamweaver or FrontPage.

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Where do you get an HTML

editor? If you have installed Netscape, then you have got Netscape Page

Composer, which you can access from the Communicator menu. If you have

Internet Explorer, then you get FrontPage Express along with it. The PCQ CD

has regularly carried shareware or demo versions of HTML editors like

Dreamweaver.

You don’t need to be a

crack designer to have a good Website up. The trick is to keep it simple–don’t

use too many or garish colors. Similarly, don’t use too many different

fonts and font sizes, and effects like blinking text or bold text should be

kept minimal, if used at all.

While designing your site,

take care of the following:

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a) Give your site an

informative title

b) Don’t overload your

site with a lot of graphics, as Websites with a lot of graphics take a

long time to load

c) Don’t put everything

you have on one page. Make multiple pages and provide links so that

visitors can easily move from page to page.

d) Provide your e-mail

address in a hypertext or graphical link. This will enable people to get

back to you with comments and suggestions.

Step 3: Upload your site



After creating the contents, you’ll need an FTP program to upload your
site. FTP stands for file transfer protocol and is a way of transferring

files to and from computers on the Internet. An FTP client program (FTP

client) sends a request to an FTP server program (FTP server) asking to

exchange information and transfer files. The server then verifies that the

user is authorized to send or receive files and responds to the request

accordingly.

Numerous graphical FTP client

software packages are available as freeware or shareware. One of the best

clients available on the Internet is WS_FTP. You can download it from

www.tucows.com
or www.ftppro.com. It’s also available on many PCQ CDs.

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Here’s how you can use FTP

to upload HTML files from your hard disk to your site. After your files are

successfully transferred, you’ll come across the following screen

Your site is up! Type in the

URL in your browser and check that every page is showing as you expected it

to be. To be doubly sure, check in both Internet Explorer and Netscape

navigator. The page could show differently on the two browsers, or even on

different versions of the same one.

Some

popular redirection services

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Step 4: URL redirection

services




When you set up your site on a free Web hosting service, the URL you get
wouldn’t be very easy to remember. If you’ve got those long URL blues

and want a shorter or more personal Web address, then you could make use of

the free URL redirection services available on the Web. These sites for

instance, replace http://something/members/~trouble/yourname with

www.yourname.cjb.net.
e

popular

Step 5: Launch your site

at search engines




What is the point of having a site if the world doesn’t know about it? So,
after you’ve designed and uploaded your site, it’s very necessary to let

people know of your site’s existence. One of the most important things you

could do to increase traffic to your site is getting listed in the major

search engines. There are two ways to do it:

Automated submission



There are a few sites on the Net that quickly submit your Website to many
search engines at once. This is easy, but usually produces only mediocre

results.

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Sites that do the

submitting for you:

Manual submission



Or you could submit your site to each of the major search engines, one by
one. The sites on the search engines are arranged in various categories

like, Education, Entertainment, etc. To sub
mit your site, first

select an appropriate category and then click on the "Submit your

site" or "Add a URL" button from the end of the category

page. Some of the search engines where you could submit your site’s URL

are:

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Search engines have their own

rules for indexing sites. So, you need to do quite a bit of homework on

this. There is also software like web positiongold (www.webpositiongold.com) that can do the job for you.

E-com for free



That brings us to an interesting question. Is it okay to host an e-commerce
site at one of these free services? The answer is Yes and No. It’s not

advisable to set up an e-com site at a general free service like Geocities.

This is more from the viewpoint of security and of tying up the e-com

backend like payment gateways, etc. Service providers like banks who provide

such services may not service a site hosted at a free space provider.

But then there are free sites

that are meant specifically for e-commerce sites. A good example is

www.netstore front.com. Services like bcentral.com from Microsoft hosts your

e-com site for a small fee. These sites are made to order for e-com, and

provide you with templates and databases that you can start using right

away.

That’s it. Now sit back and

look at your Website. Doesn’t it give you a tickle to feel "Yes, I’ve

done it!"

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