Building Your First Web Page
Building your own website can be adventurous and gratifying. The more elements you choose to add to your site — the more time and knowledge it takes to build it. Understanding the basics of Web page coding gives you a solid foundation to start your journey. Let's get started.
First, it's a good idea to be familiar with the terminology you might encounter while building a Web page.
- Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) — HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites. This language uses tags that code the way your text and images display online. For more information, see What is HTML?
- Tags — Normally come in pairs like <h1> and </h1>. The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag. In between these tags you can add text, tables, images, and other elements. To build your own Web page, you need to understand these tags:
- <html> — contains all of the contents of your Web page.
- <head> — contains elements for search engines and Web browsers. Most items included in this container are not visible on your website. Here are a few elements that can be found in the <head> tag:
- <title> — defines the title of your Web page. The title of your Web page displays at the very top of your Web browser. This tag is the only required HTML tag in the <head> container.
- <meta> — contains information about your webpage for Web browsers and search engines. Meta elements typically include Web page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified, and other meta information.
- <body> — contains the visible page content.
- FTP — To upload your website's files, you need an FTP client to connect your computer to your hosting account. For more information, see What is File Transfer Protocol (FTP)?
If you can get the following things together before starting, it'll make the rest of this process a lot smoother. That way, you won't have to stop what you're doing to find what you need to move ahead. It might take a few minutes, but it's well worth the time to round up these items:
- An Idea — If you don't already know, start thinking of a few words that describe what this website should do for you. Promote your business? Show off your hobbies or interests? A way to share family photos? Having an idea in mind helps to unleash your creativity.
- A Domain Name — A domain name is like the license plate you're going to stick on your website. If you haven't already registered a domain with us, go ahead and register one you like.
- A Hosting Account — Once you build your website you need to have a space to put it online so other people can see it. Hosting gives you space on the Internet. If you don't have hosting yet, you can view our plans here . Also, be sure to set the hosting account up so it's ready for you to upload your site. For more information, see Setting up Your Hosting Account.
- A Simple Text Editor — There are several different applications you can use to build your website. You can purchase web design programs like Adobe Dreamweaver® and Microsoft Expressions Web® to assist you with the process. Or, if you have the time and understanding, you can build a website using a simple text editor like Notepad or SimpleText. It's your preference. As long as the program or application you use can produce HTML files, you're good to go. For this example we're using a simple text editor.
OK. Time for the meat of this activity. We're going to build the Web page. For now, we're only adding text to the site. But, when you're ready to add more elements — such as background color, images, and hyperlinks — there are several resources available on the Internet to get you started. Just use your favorite search engine and look up HTML Tutorials.
To Build your Web Page
- Open the text editor application you're going to use to build the Web page.
- Type the following information in a blank text editor — Or, you can copy and paste to save some time:
<html> <head> <title>Title of Web page</title> </head> <body> <p>My first Web page!</p> </body> </html>
- Click File, select Save As, and then name the document
Can you believe that's all you need to code your first Web page? Check it out. Open the file in an Internet browser, and you can see for yourself. On a PC, just right-click on the file and open it in a Web browser such as Internet Explorer® or Firefox®.
You still need to add your personalized content and include elements to the page. But for most, seeing how easy it is to "hand-code" a Web page is groundbreaking and empowering.
Ready to start your online presence? Let's upload this file and get it online. See Uploading Files to Your Website (FTP) for more information. Otherwise, continue building on this foundation and upload your Web page when you're ready for the world to see it.
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Connecting to Your Shared Hosting Account with FTP-SSL
Using Windows Vista to Upload Your Site
Why does my website not display correctly?
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