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Building a Web site: Learning while doing

by Robin Hansson, staff writer


Internet as recreation, business, and lifestyle has gradually become an important part of our everyday life. No matter what kind of job your future holds, being more than just computer literate will advance your career.

A great way to develop computer expertise is to make a Web site. By creating a Web site, either for business or personal purposes, you will learn what computers have to offer and how and when to interact with Internet users through computers.


There are many ways to start, and many paths to follow and all of them are equally correct.

Two of the easiest ways to start off will be presented here. The first way is to find a hosting company that doesn’t charge anything for its services. Free hosting is not uncommon. Two companies that provide free hosting are and Both of these hosts allow you to learn while playing around with your Web site, without charge. The down side is that these hosting companies make their profit from advertising on your site. Annoying things like pop-ups, banners, and the like will automatically be added to it.

The second way is to register a domain. A domain is the address that has to be typed in every time you visit a Web site. An example of a domain is One of the cheapest places to register a domain, about ten dollars a year, is at Follow the instructions to check if the name you have in mind is still available. Remember that most single words and family names are already taken. Try to come up with something original that can be applied to you or the purpose of your site.

The most important thing you have to do is to choose what software to use when making your Web site. Most professionals today prefer a software from Macromedia called Dreamweaver. This allows you to effectively create, upload, and maintain a Web site in a user-friendly format. The application software includes tutorials for those who are willing to learn more than just the basics.

Dreamweaver’s only problem is the price. Expect to pay up to $250 for the newest edition. Cheaper software such as FrontPage, offered by Microsoft stock, is useful but will limit your creativity as you get better.

When you have reached the point where the Web site is functioning and fills its purpose, it’s time to upload it to a server that will connect your Web site to the Internet. A server is a powerful computer that hosts a registered domain and stores all Web site information for you, usually for a fee about $20 dollars a month. Before choosing a hosting company, determine how reliable they are by finding the numbers of users and whether they have a back-up server, and batteries and/or a generator in case of a power failure.

If you don’t feel comfortable making these decisions, consider enrolling in Dr. Jade Huang’s COM 3803 course.



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