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How to Design a Web Site: A Beginners Guide

"I have learned more from this web design course than I did from a course I took in college!" - Joseph Seeles

If you want to have your own web site on the Internet, but have no idea where to start, this article will provide you with the exact information you'll need to get started, including what you can expect to pay to get your site up and running. However, before I begin, I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself, and how I got started, so you'll know who you're dealing with.

When I started online back in 1997, I was completely overwhelmed with the Internet and had absolutely no idea where to start. I knew that I desperately wanted my own Internet business, which would require me to have my own web site, but I was very low on cash and there wasn't much information available to assist me at that time. For this reason, I knew I would have to do everything myself, which included learning how to create my own web site.

I spent countless hours online researching and learning everything I could about the Internet. I went to web sites that I admired and looked at the source code (HTML code that is used to create a web page) so that I could see exactly how that site was made. Keep in mind, I used their source code for learning purposes only, which is completely acceptable.

The first time I looked at all that code I was completely overwhelmed. I began to feel a bit discouraged thinking maybe I was trying to take on a bit more than I could handle. However, when I began really looking closely at the coding, I began to see how things worked. It really wasn't as difficult as I thought. And the more I looked at the code and began testing different things, the more confident I became. I realized that this really wasn't hard at all! At that time, I knew I could create my own web site.

When I first started online, I had to connect to the Internet through AOL (America Online), which was a slow dial up connection. At that time, AOL provided their members with space on their web server (a computer that holds web sites, graphics, etc., to be displayed on the Internet), to enable them to upload their own web pages and graphics. I remember, I was allotted 10 megs of space. Not much, but enough for me to create my new web site and upload it the Internet. I was thrilled!

AOL also provide me with a great free WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) HTML editor called, AOLPress. Unfortunately, it's no longer available. However, this editor enabled me to create a web page by clicking on different options. But, the best part was, I could view the source code as I created it! This program was going to be my teacher and I couldn't have been happier.

I clicked on a button to add an image and then viewed the source code to see what code was used to display the image. I clicked on a button to add a link and then viewed the source code to see how the link was created. I clicked on a button to make my text bold and then viewed the source code. I did this for every available option I could find. AOLPress was such a blessing to me and literally taught me how to write my own HTML.

Within a matter of a couple of days, I had my very first web site displaying on the Internet. I remember it had a large spinning gold 'Welcome' graphic, a gray stone background and was actually very unprofessional. But, it was a start. It was my very first attempt at web design. And although it certainly wouldn't have made any sales, it served its purpose. It taught me a very valuable lesson - that I could do anything that I put my mind to. I just had to believe in myself, even when I had doubts, or my family and friends had doubts (I think we all have some negative people in our lives) and I had to take the necessary steps to make it happen.

To make a long story short, I continued to learn more and more about web design and kept records of everything I was learning. I used this information to refer to over and over again over the years. To be honest, sometimes I still do! And, after years of trial and error, I designed and launched This site has grown to nearly 2, 500 pages over the years and receives 2.5 million page views each month.

I'm not telling you this to brag - just the opposite. I'm sharing this information with you to show you that if I can do this you can do this. It's really not hard.

Although it took me a few years to learn everything I needed to learn about web design, Internet marketing, etc., especially because I had to learn the hard way - by trial and error, I feel that it made me a better person. I truly appreciate my success, and love to help others achieve the same thing.

Remember the records I told you I kept as I was learning over the years, well, I used those records to write a web design course for anyone who wants to learn how to create their own web site. There is no need for you to have to learn everything the hard way. And if you keep reading, I will tell you how you can get several chapters - free.

Getting Started

Now, as I'm sure you have a ton of questions about getting started designing your web site, the rest of this article will focus on providing you with some helpful information.

Although there are a lot of people who would love to have their own web site, many are concerned that it may be too expensive and don't even take the time to learn about it. You may be surprised to learn that it really isn't. As a matter of fact, I will show you how you can get your site on the Internet very inexpensively. Remember...I started out with very little money and learned how to do everything very inexpensively.

You may also be thinking that creating your own web site may be too hard. Well, I'm here to tell you, it's really not as difficult as you may think. Once you have a basic understanding of web design, you can immediately begin designing your first web page. You don't have to learn everything when you're just starting out, just a little bit - the very basics, which is simple. Then, little by little, you can learn new things when you're ready.

If you will allow me, I will teach you step by step how to create your own web site.  Not by using big fancy words that nobody can understand, but by talking with you in a simple everyday language that everyone can understand.
Just like I'm talking with you now.

Can I use a web design software?

When you're just starting out, I highly recommend that you learn how to write your own HTML code and not use a web design software program. However, once you have a basic understanding of HTML and how it works, you will then want to use a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) HTML editor, as this will enable you to quickly and easily create your own web site.

Do I really need to learn how to write HTML?

You may be wondering why you really need to learn how to write your own HTML code when there are web design software programs that will write the HTML code for you. It is always best not to completely depend on a web design editor when designing your web site, as you really need to have the ability to edit your own HTML code when needed.

For example, your editor may not enable you to add special effects to your web page, such as highlighting your text when you place your mouse pointer over it. If this is the case, you would need to have the ability to edit your own HTML. If you don't know anything about HTML, this won't be possible.

There will most likely also
be times when you will want to use scripts (software that resides on your web server or within your HTML code that performs specified tasks, such as processing forms, displaying image slide shows, etc.), such as JavaScript, CGI, or PHP to add special effects to your page. Some scripts, such as JavaScript, are placed directly within your HTML code. If you don't know anything about HTML and web page design, you won't be able to add the script to your page.

Will I need a special software program to create my web site?

You can begin writing your own HTML code using a plain text editor, which should already be installed on your computer. You will also need a web browser, such as Internet Explorer or FireFox to view your web page, which is also already on your computer. Your browser will read your HTML code and display your web page.

How will my web site be viewed on the Internet?

Once you are happy with the way your web page looks, you will need to place it on a web server (a computer that holds web sites, graphics, etc., to be displayed on the Internet), so that it can be viewed over the Internet. Prices vary, but you can host your web site very inexpensively. For example, I use a great web hosting company (a company that rents web servers) called, Host4Profit. They charge $24.95 a month and provide everything you will need to get your web site up and running on the Internet.

A web host, such as Host4Profit, will provide you with server space in which you can place your web pages, graphics, etc. However, you will need to design your own web pages and then place the pages on their server. Not to worry, I will explain how to get your web pages on the server in my web design course. It's really very simple.

There are also all-in-one web site solutions, such as SiteBuildIt, that will provide you with an online editor that will assist you in building your web site right online and even host it for you. They will take you by the hand and take you step by step through building an online business from start to finish. If you'd rather join a site like this, give SiteBuildIt a try. Ken Evoy, the owner, is a great person and has developed this system to help you have the greatest chance of succeeding. If you do, send me your receipt and I will give you a copy of my web design course.

What will I need to create my web site?

When you're ready to begin designing your own web pages, there's really not that much you will need. Let's go over what you're going to need and how much it's going to cost to get your web site designed and displaying online:

  1. A web design course to teach you how to design your web site. If you take an online course, this may cost between $200 - $300! Don't panic. I've got you covered. You can get my professional web design course for under $70.00 or free if you sign up with SiteBuildIt, so please don't waste your money on expensive online courses or offline classes that will cost much more. You won't need them.

  2. A WYSIWYG software program that you can use to create your web site. There are several programs for sale on the Internet that will cost you hundreds of dollars, but don't buy them! When you get my web design course, I'll recommend a great HTML editor that you can purchase for under $50.00. That's very reasonable.

  3. Graphics for your web page. There are free graphics available on the Internet. I'll tell you where to get them in Volume 5: Webmaster Resources of my course.

  4. A web hosting company. You can host your web site with Host4Profit for just $24.95 a month.

  5. A domain name. For example, This will cost you around $9.00 - $15.00 a year.

That's it!

So, if you add it all up, you can get your web site up and running for under $155.00 USD. In other words, you can have your own Internet business for next to nothing! And, what's more, if you will be selling your own products, I will even tell you where you can find a company that will enable you to immediately begin accepting credit cards. There are no set up fees and no monthly fees. They simply take a small percentage of each sale you make for their services, and deposit the rest into an online account - very similar to a bank account. You will even receive a debit card!

Although there is an initial start up cost, once you're up and running, all you'll really need to spend is $24.95 a month for hosting and $9.00 - $15.00 a year to renew your domain name.

In my course, I will even show you how you can promote your new web site for free.

To get you started, I want to give you a free mini website design course. Not to worry, I won't share your information with anyone and I won't send you any unwanted junk email. I just need your email address to send you your free chapters. Please fill out the following form:

Your First Name:

Your Main Email:

(Please DO NOT use an anti-spam email address, as you will not receive all of your lessons. If you must use a Yahoo address, please add and to your safe list.)

If you'd like to learn more about my web design course, you can visit my Web Design Mastery site.

I hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you the best of success with your new web site!

To your success!