The CTDP World Class Website Creation Tutorial Version 0.6.0 July 21, 2001
Updated March 31, 2004
This Website Creation Tutorial is based on my experiences with creating and promoting a website. When creating a website there are several different tools and methods available, but it is important to plan the steps. This guide will help outline the important steps required for website creation and promotion. Information in this document should help readers avoid many pitfalls and save time throughout the process.
Continuous feedback is important throughout the website creation and design process. The website designer must first plan the purpose and layout of the website. However, after some period of time, the website designer becomes incapable of objectively criticizing their own work. Therefore the design is in danger of not being pleasing to users, either with regard to look or use. It is important to get early feedback from other people about the design and layout of the site. This guide will provide suggestions about how to this and when it is important.
Website Creation Phases
- Inception and Planning
- Plan a theme - Plan the purpose of the website.
- Consider and plan a layout - Plan a layout appropriate to the theme of the website.
- Determine tools to use to create the website.
- Determine a web hosting provider and whether you want to use their tools.
- Consider how the website should be navigated.
- Determine your basic color scheme.
- Consider the types, positioning, and amount of graphics to provide on the site.
- Consider text fonts to use.
- Create a main page and get it running on a webserver.
- Browse the main page with several types of web browsers to determine whether there are any browser issues to resolve.
- Look at the main page using different screen resolutions.
- Get opinions about the layout from other people. - Is the purpose of the web site clear?
- Make any appropriate modifications to the main page.
- Make the site functional and complete the basic working prototype by adding additional pages or functionality.
- Be sure to set titles and meta tags for search correctly for each page's content. This is done so search engines will later categorize the page properly and help get traffic.
- Get more opinions about the completed site, how it functions, how it is designed, and how easy it is to use.
- Make any necessary adjustments and get the site completely running.
- Apply for awards for your site to organizations that review sites and give various awards.
- Get some awards and post this fact on your site.
- Submit your site to search engines.
- Get other sites that have similar content (or sites that your site supplements) to link to your web site (especially high traffic web sites).
- Place your site in webrings.
- Submit news articles to news agencies about your new site or any significant events that may help your site.
- Promote your site anyplace there are forums or discussion groups without being pushy. If your site has useful information relevant to the discussion, only post it then.
- Consider giving awards through your site.
If this all looks like it will involve a lot of work, that's because even if you know what you are doing, it is a lot of work. However, it can be fun and rewarding. If you are planning to create a world class web site, it will not be worthwhile to skip some steps. If you are just planning a personal website and don't care about promotion, the promotion steps could be skipped and some other steps could be skipped with some sacrifice of quality.