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Okay so I've learned that I HATE the web builder tool (Network Solutions Image Cafe) that I have used for my first design. You can't even make thumbnail images linkable (I really wanted to do something like this but couldn't with their software... http://www.aceengraving.com/examples.php). So I'm thinking about alternative ways to build/make web sites & I'm not sure where to start really. I know this is going to sound like a STUPID question but can you walk me through web design, etc from the beginning. For example, you purchase a domain name from somewhere like go daddy then you use a web hosting tool such as Network Solutions (it appears to me that Network Solutions is a web hosting tool) to maintain it & all the others you maintain when maintaining multiple web sites. Within Network Solutions there is a web site builder tool but if I don't want to use it, instead I'd rather use something else, how do I build & publish a web site? What software package(s) should I consider purchasing (I've heard of Frontpage & Dreamweaver)? I don't have a lot of money so at least to begin with I'd like to think about something that just has the essentials (i.e. I can't afford all the bells & whistles right now but hope that if I really get into this I'll be able to afford it in the future). Do you have any recommendations, please?
I am not that familiar with Network Solutions, but I did take a look at what they offer. To be honest the web host I use offers a whole lot more for less money. The web host I use is Netfirms and for $12.95/mo. (you generally pay yearly) they offer 3000GB disk space, up to 5 domain names, 1000 email accounts, and more. They also have Joomla and WordPress which are CMS (Content Management Systems) that are easy to build customized websites that provide you with many additional feature like photo galleries. I have never used WordPress, but I have heard that it's excellent and easy to customize. You might want to get more information about it from LadyViola.
As far as software to use that is easy on the budget here is a list that you might find to be very helpful. Most of these are either free or a lot cheaper than buying Adobe products. However, let me say that Frontpage isn't the best for web design. It's one of those products that Microsoft stopped support for because it was useless. Added too much extra and hidden coding that wasn't good at all when it came to validations.
Color Cop - There is absolutely nothing fancy about this program, but it is very handy when trying to get the right colors when creating graphics and adding the right codes when designing your websites. Color Cop: about
CeiCei posted some great links and in addition you should check out this link. For starters definitely check out coffeecup software. Most of their software is less than fifty bucks and its very good for beginners. I have about 10 or 12 of their software programs but the only one I use on a regular basis now is the form creator. Just keep in mind that as you learn more you will probably want to use something a little more advanced with more features (like the list CeiCei just posted) SwishMax is highly recommended by myself, as I use it on most of my flash. Its pretty easy to use too and isnt nearly as expensive as adobe's flash program. GIMP is a great alternative to photoshop (ITS FREE!!). So basically, ditto everything CeiCei just said.
Also, CSS or tables can be used to get the layout in the link you posted. You dont need any software at all to accomplish that. I am going to be posting a tutorial soon when my schedule clears up a bit. Now to get started on web design, you dont have to purchase a domain if you are just interested in practicing. As long as your file is .html, .htm or similar, you can test the files locally. In other words, you can create a website on your computer and view on your computer. if you want others to be able to view it online then that is when you need to look into a domain name. I use godaddy for all my hosting and domains. You can get a domain name for 1.99 if you also purchase their hosting. I use the 7 dollar plan and get 1500 gb bandwidth and 150 space, and unlimited websites. This is comparable to the plan that CeiCei posted, but a smaller plan. I am hosting quite a few sites on that one plan and havent even gotten close to using 5% of my allowed space. Once you've picked a domain provider and hosting provider, then you need an ftp program. I know Godaddy has an online ftp program but I find it easier just to use Filezilla. Its free. Once you download it, you can input your hosting username and password (which you will setup with your hosting company), then login and start uploading files. Thats a crash course!
Thanks ladies! The guy who is contracting me to do the web sites for him is already using Network Solutions so I may not have any control over that other than to recommend other hosting plans.
Okay so what I know so far is that I really need an HTML editor & a FTP program. I have Adobe Elements (though I'm still not sure how to use it's many many features) so I thought it'd do for now but am very interested in GIMP since I know A LOT of people use it to create outstanding blinkies, siggies, & such. The DHTML builder looks outstanding as well & I'll come back to flash once I get accustomed to everything else! I think that will get me started at least. Wow, so much to learn, so little time to learn it in!