Web Design Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to get started?
A domain name (example: mine is wendylebel.com). You can get a domain name through AbleTeam (I use AbleTeam for my domain and hosting). Click "Search for Domain Name" to see if the one you want is available. Click "Purchase Domain Name" to buy it.
Hosting. In order for people to see your site, it needs to be on a web server - these are computers set up to store your site and allow others to view it. You can get a web hosting plan with AbleTeam.
- Look online to find sites that you like and write down what appeals to you and what you don't like.
- Create an outline of what you want on your site. This is helpful in determining which navigation buttons you want (shorter descriptions are best):
- Get all of your information together such as text for your pages (send it as a Word document or text file) and any images you want (if you are a reseller, you may be able to use your distributor's images, but you'll need permission to avoid any copyright infringement).
Deciding which type of site you want
There are several categories of websites:
- Brochure-style Sites
- Brochure-style sites are informational sites. Use these to tell people about you or your company.
- Interactive Sites
- E-Commerce Sites
- E-commerce sites have online shopping. These sites require several things depending on the method you choose for customer payments and how many products you have. More...
How do I build my site?
If you want to change text on your site yourself and don't have any programs to do it, use Web Builder. (Try it out (free)!) This is a program you can use to build your site with templates and predesigned themes. You can get this by getting your hosting plan through AbleTeam.
Otherwise (and this is what I hope you'll decide), have me build your site for you! If you still want to make changes in the future, I can use the Web Builder to create your website, however, FrontPage and Dreamweaver allow more flexibility with the design aspect.
If you do decide to build your own site, check out this very helpful site with tutorials and free programs to help you build your own website.
Promoting your website
Unfortunately, you can have the nicest website in the world and no one will know you're there. This is where promoting your site comes in. There are many ways to do this ranging from meta tags (invisible to regular viewing - code on your pages), keywords on your pages, search engine submissions, pay-per-click programs... View more about marketing and promoting websites with AblePromote.
Can I change the graphics if I use Web Builder?
Yes and no. It's possible, but not easy. You can replace the existing graphic files using an FTP program (I use FTP Commander - free ), but anytime you add a page, or make certain changes, it will overwrite your graphics (causing you to have to upload them again). You also have to make sure they are exactly the same size as the ones you are overwriting...
What do I need to start an online store?
If you use AbleTeam hosting, certain things are already provided in your monthly service plan (signified by ).
- A unique IP address
- SSL (secure socket layer)
- Secure site certificate ( $149/year) - this depends on whether you use a shopping cart on your site or not (see below).
- Merchant account
- Payment gateway (unless you have the ability to charge credit cards yourself). PayPal is a payment gateway - if you use their service, you can use their shopping cart and payment pages, and you won't need to purchase a site certificate. Some other payment gateways don't have this option and you need to find someone who can code your pages to connect with them or implement a shopping cart.
- Shopping cart (optional - see above): AbleTeam will provide an installation of osCommerce on your website if you'd like to use it. osCommerce is an open source program (users can customize it themselves, depending on their knowledge of php programming). Very easy for anyone regarding product inputting, etc.