NHS Designs
Web Design

Getting Started


People make Web sites for all sorts of reasons. Some will make sites about their favorite bands, about their hobbies, or in order to sell things. Web sites can take the form of anything you can think of. Just like the people in your family, some Web pages are neat, some are weird, some are boring, some are interesting.

Before you start creating a Web site, first think about why you're making it. Knowing the purpose of your site will help when you get ready to design it.

For example, let's say you really like staplers. Staplers are terrific, you say to yourself. They're useful and neat looking and just all-around great pieces of modern technology. They deserve their own Web site! OK, so now you know the purpose of your site: to tell people all about staplers and how wonderful they are. So you'll want to have a few pictures of staplers and some text describing what they do and why you like them. Then maybe you'll want to add some links to other stapler-related sites so your visitors can easily find more information. Great! You already have more ideas for content than a lot of Web sites out there right now.

Sketch It Out 

Now you can sit down and sketch what you want your page to look like. That's right, sketch it out with good, old-fashioned pencil and paper. Forget about all this computer junk for a few minutes and just draw it. Where should the picture of the staplers go on the page? Where should your writing go? What about those poems you wrote about staplers? Where can they go? And the links?

If it looks too crowded with everything on one page, think about having a second page and then linking them together. Also plan out what color you want everything to be. Should all the writing be green? Should there be a pattern in the background? Don't worry about how you're going to do all that stuff, just think about how you want it to look, and we'll figure out the details later on.

Get Organized

You want lots of people to come visit your site, right? So make it easy for your visitors to get around and find what they want. If you're making a page about staplers, don't have a bunch of pictures of your pet monkey and then squeeze all the stapler information down at the bottom of the page. As you probably know, people get impatient really quickly when looking at Web sites - there are always other places to go. So make sure your site does what it's supposed to do. If it's supposed to tell people about staplers, then it should do that quickly. If it's supposed to annoy people with loud recordings of your singing, then make sure those recordings play as soon as the visitors arrive at your site.

OK. So there's a lot of planning involved with making a Web site, but all this thinking means less work for you down the road. You'd be surprised how many people skip the planning part and jump right into making the site. It'll take them about 10 times as long to finish, so let's take a moment right now to laugh at those poor fools. Ha ha ha. OK, that's enough.

So now you know what you want your site to look like. How do you get that cute little sketch onto a computer? You need to learn some HTML, which you can do in this lesson.

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