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How to get started on your first website

9:50 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well the other day I found out from a friend that his sister in law made TONS of money with her free "IQ test" website and I decided I just wanted to see how it all worked.

My brother knows how to make webpages and I had an idea for a site that I figured would get alot of hits. (A help site for a game that have played since we were kids that is still very popular).

My question is, how much would we have to invest into it? I know this kind of thing doesnt really happen overnight but how much money is in these kind of sites that get commisions from advertisements?

11:55 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Start by learning the 20 or so tags in HTML, and the 30 or so CSS properties.

You don't need to get into PHP or scripting just yet.

12:00 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

All right. Any good tutorial sites for CsS or PHP?
12:21 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Again, I like webmonkey, although some of their articles might be kind of dated. Devshed has some good material also.
12:35 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks again :)

I am felling more and more anxious to get this thing started!

2:42 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One more thing--and this is just my personal preference--but don't go overboard with CSS. I use it sparingly to assign font sizes and colors globally to certain tags. So, for example, if I want all of the text that appears withing the <p></p> tags to be Verdana 10px blue, I can do that. I *might* even go so far as to assign a margin to that tag. It's also good for creating a border around text and/or a background color.

But if you start getting into the more advanced stuff like relative positioning and the like, you'll find yourself spending tons of time getting frustrated because it won't work like you want it to. This post might draw fire from those who have successfully done some really cool stuff with CSS, but my advice is to use it for the basics and that's all.

2:52 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Good advice. Start off simple and use CSS with maximum effect with minimum effort. I do all kinds of stuff with CSS now but when I started out it was good enough to get stuff looking nice with the smallest amount of CSS code.

I remember my head swirling with the amount of info I got from this site when I started out - better to keep it simple and then progress.

Ah! I remember my first website (getting lost in nostalgia now...).

3:31 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wow. I sounded like I knew what I was talking about *and* got validated--all in the same thread! <joking>I think I'll go out there and make $500/day!</joking>

AND, I see, got my membership status upgraded on WebmasterWorld from "New Member" to "Junior Member." If I'm not careful, I might become impressed with myself. Unfortunately, I suspect that the upgrade from New to Junior has to do with the quantity of my posts--not the quality. ;)

3:50 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I suspect that the upgrade from New to Junior has to do with the quantity of my posts--not the quality. ;)

Well at least you took the time to contribute. My problem is I always want to post after drinking too much Jack Daniels or Guinness - plently of posts - not much coherence.

Now what on earth does this have to do with a new web site - I dunno - maybe too much JD...

4:14 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

4:29 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Heh. Perhaps the board needs new markup tags:

<on 3 pints of Stout>
Advice here.
</on 3 pints of Stout>

7:38 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I was looking around the forums and am trying to figure out what these things are and how they affect me, it they do at all:

robots.txt and spiders

8:53 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

They have everything to do with the search engines crawling and indexing your pages. Of course, unless and until you have your pages written (and Search Engine Optimized) there is nothing for the spider robots to crawl.

So I wouldn't worry about it until your site is ready to put online. I'm not. Somewhere in here there is a good little tutorial about all of the tags you'll need in the <head> portion of your pages. If I find the link I'll post it here or sticky you.

9:38 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks, that would be greatly apreaciated
9:57 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here you go:


5:41 pm on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thank you
5:15 pm on Nov 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just found this too.

When I heard you wanted a content site, to make money, as a beginner, I instantly thought of PHP-Nuke.

PHP-Nuke is used on a lot of sites, and it's a full-blown free content manager. It let's people make accounts, you can get a forum for it. There are sections for news, downloads, everything. My friend hardly knows anything and he started his own PHP-Nuked site. See phpnuke.org

Money, I would go with Google AdSense, just because it's so easy. Just don't paper your site with ads or people get annoyed quick.

Hosting, I personally use 1and1. GoDaddy is the most popular (in the US I heard). Both come with PHP/MySQL(database) in their cheapest package. Those two are the biggest web hosts. They'll have probably the most features for the lowest price.


4:51 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the advice. :)

And I am not expecting to get rich, let alone do it quick :)

9:41 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just wanted to say that b/c my friend thinks that he's gonna get rich quick and get that video iPod he wants for Christmas <g> He's forever trying to get people to click on his ads.
9:56 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yah but you also read all of the on here that if you put all of your effort into your adds then its less likely to be sucessful. I saw a post on here a couple weeks ago and somone was saying 'I need help on my site!' I looked under his profile, clicked on his site, and almost had a seisure. All it was was blinking ads. He was complaining about only makeing $30 a month. I was surprised he made that much.

I make an oath right now that any sites I make will be based on content first, and ads last. Of course I wasnt to make some money but I am not prepared to make any soon.

I have one more question (I know they seem to never end). So when I finish my site and find a host what do I do next? I mean how to I actually GET my site on the internet? Somone sent me a sticky about a content managment site but it all blew right past me. I thought it would be an easy "add a address to each page, stick all of the files in a folder with the pictures and .css and .htm files". Is it really more complicated then that and if so how hard is it for a total noob to learn?

10:10 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Yeah, getting the completed site online is just putting the files (HTML, images, CSS, JS, etc) on the webserver, in the www folder, using FTP.

Designing the site includes the content, the visual layout, the actual HTML coding, the site navigation, the format of the links (like www.domain.com/folder.name/ etc), and the server settings (redirecting non-www to www etc), and many other factors.

Get hosted using Apache if you can, as it allows you a lot more control over what you are doing.

10:15 pm on Nov 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks :)
9:12 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The trick is Junanagoh is to take it slowly and think things through.

Get your main content and graphics online, spell check, and get some links. Then slowly add more content as you run your site. If you rush you'll make mistakes (everyone does). If you take it slow and think about each page your less likely to make mistakes which may cost you in the long run :)

9:38 pm on Nov 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks. I think that right now I am just going to gather content and knowledge. I just bought a couple of 'dimmies' books on html (which I now have a basic concept of but want to get a pro at it) and webmastering. I will read these while I gather my content and continue to ask questions where I can on these great forums.

I will take it slow and think that its going to take a lot longer to launch my site then the 3 months I gave myself. (I have a full time job and a pretty heavy social life). I figure that I will be ready to launch the site in April. (Probably will be sooner but who knows).

Thanks for all of the great advice everyone. I will definately let you all know how it goes. If anyone know of any good books that will help me out send me a sticky :)

12:50 am on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Nothing wrong with taking your time. I just looked at my profile and see I became a member here in Feb. 05. While I've gone back and forth about whether to really try this, I am now totally committed and have been spending months of my spare time learning what I need and developing content. I'm excited about launching but am not in a hurry. Once I do launch, I'm sure I'm looking at 1 year before I make *any* money and another 5 before i make any *significant* money. That's assuming I'm working my tail off and adding quality content that whole time.
5:04 pm on Nov 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I dont think it will take me that long to make significant money because of the nitch that I have found and how much I know about the topic. Its just reading these books, and making the page look like magic that is going to take me alot of time :)
10:38 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you're talking about the "Dummies" line of comp books, please tell me they're teaching XHTML.

So many of those books are out-of-date and are teaching 90's style "bad" html and design. We're in the 21st century, folks.

10:42 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh yeah, and make your website have a uniform theme, and make it so that if you want to change the look of the page, that you don't have to go through every single page to do it. That must be one of the biggest problems:

Webmaster A decides that he needs to add a link to the nav bar that's on every page. He realized that he didn't plan earlier about this kind of stuff. Few hours later, Webmaster A is done copying and pasting the same link to fifty pages.

Webmaster B addes a little link to the header file, and spends the rest of the time watching Jay Leno. He planned ahead.

Includes work just dandy for that (and better than frames too!)

10:53 pm on Dec 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Using includes, CSS in external files, and designing using headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, and forms, are but one small part of the knowledge base.

Usage of XHTML vs. HTML 4.01 shows no obvious advantages either to coder, or to the surfer - as has been discussed several times before in recent months.

9:56 pm on Dec 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I am using xhtml and css files, dont worry :)

I just launched my first site thanks to all your help. It wasnt the site i was talking about earlier but was more of a crash course for me. Its a forum to discuss books in a certain nitch. Simple, fun, and easy. I am loving it :)

This is one of those sites that I dont care if I make any money or not because its so fun. I am adding a few pages here and there but its mainly just a phpbb forum. And if I make money... well thats not a bad thing! :)

Thanks for all your help people. You all helped me get started into a new hobby that I am really enjoying. I am even thinking about going to school for it and maybe start for a career change. :)

7:48 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Congratulations on your first site, I admire your go get attitude, Ive been lurking this forum for couple of years and I still havent gotten my website up.
Could you sticky me your site, Id love to check it out?

There are basicly 6 categories of how to make money of a website:

Adword advertising - Putting a script on the site that displays adword advetisment, its mostly per click.
Affiliateship - Providing a link to a merchants site and getting a commision if the visitor buys anything, either per lead or as a % of the purchase.
Banner advertising - Putting a banner on ones site and getting paid either a flat rate or pay per click or per impression.
Dropshipping - Advertising a product and taking orders for them, accepting payment and then sending the buyers address plus payment to the third party that ships the goods.
Selling own service - Can be anything such as site design, seo (search enginge optimization) or something totally unrelated to the internet.
Selling own product - Again can be anything.

Roughly I think this list is low in startup cost and effort at the beginning and hight at the end. The same goes for earning potentual. A note on banner sales, perhaps they should be at the beginning but I place them where they are becouse today it is very difficult to get anyone to pay for placing a banner on ones site unless it has huge traffic numbers. In that case the reward shoud be accordingly.

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