My Mistakes as a Web Design Newbie

November 17, 2010 by  
Filed under XsitePro

Approaching retirement age I was made redundant last year and decided to create my first web site, initially knowing little about it. I hope that, by reading about my experiences, that I may save you both time and money if you ever find yourself in the position of wanting to build a site with little initial knowledge.

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 eBooks
I bought five or six ebooks on how to make my web fortune from the one-page web-sites that you see on the web. The prices ranged from $9.95 to $29.95. It would be unfair of me to say that they were of no use, as you can always pick up the odd pointer, or contact. However, with the benefit of hindsight I would not have purchased any of them. Instead there are free, better written books which give you at least the same pointers, and often have more substance. You can download from my web site, for free, two excellent books by Ken Evoy, which will provide you with a good basic knowledge to move forward. Don’t get carried away with the sales hype contained in some of these “get rich quick” single page sales letters that offer huge free bonuses and an imminent price increase.

Universities and colleges
There are various colleges and universities on the web which promise you the ultimate in web creation, site marketing, search engine optimization and much more, “all under one roof” They usually have libraries of “how to” books and membership is by monthly subscription with some offering a lower fee for the first month. Have a look, by all means, I looked at three and claimed my refund within the stated period. I found that I could obtain similar information offered for free with a little searching, and that what they really offered was convenience.

Web Design software
I initially purchased a web site building package for $69.95 and was soon disappointed by its lack of functionality. I then looked over the shoulder of a friend whilst they showed me the workings of a top-end product costing nearly $400.00 but I found it to be too complicated with too steep a learning curve too be quickly productive.  I posted a request for help on the Warriors forum and there were more recommends for a particular product than any other. So I decided that my first web site would be a review of that product, which I would create as a trial, before I went on to build a site that would aim at generating income.

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What should the web site be about?
Several of the books that I read suggested that the subject matter should be about something that you enjoy doing and therefore you will create your site with more passion and enthusiasm. Whilst this is sound advice I found that the need to create a trial site, which would force me to learn the basics, was more than a sufficient driving force.

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