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Build a website 1 - Build a webpage


On this website you find the webpage called
Spread the Word
and there you are encouraged to create your own website.

You could for example take a message from Bertha Dudde that really appeals to you and translate it into your own language and publish it or you could even just take it and leave it as it is and publish it because you like it and want to give it out in addition to other already available publications.

So I would encourage you to build your own website.

And in order to do this I want to show you how easy it is to do just such a thing.

The best way to start to do it is to just create a single webpage as a start and by doing this and creating a webpage you gain hands-on experience and this makes learning a lot easier.

All you need for this you probably have already or you have access to: it is a computer and the software you need is most likely already on it.

You just need a word processing software and the simpler it is the better. And you need a browser which most computers have. There is often a simple word processing software included in the operating system of the computer. When you have Windows as the operating system then you also have Notepad. It is a simple word processing program.

I find Notepad when I click Start at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and then All Programs and then Accessories. Notepad is listed under Accessories and when I click it, Notepad appears on my screen.

Now let us say I want to create a webpage that just gives my name and my email address and put this webpage in the net so that people who know me or heard about my me or read my name somewhere can find my website and can contact me.

So let us say my name is Joe Jones and my email address is and then I would type the following into the opened Notepad window:

<title>Joe Jones' webpage</title>
Joe Jones<br>

And that is already all I would have to type.

Now let us say your name is Chris Christianse and your email address is then what you have to type would look like this:

<title>Chris Christianse's webpage</title>
Chris Christianse<br>

The reason why I first showed the version for Joe Jones and then the version for Chris Christianse is so you can see the difference between the two and especially so that you can see what the two versions have in common because that, what they have in common, is what makes the whole thing a webpage and gives the browser the information how to display the text.

Now I want you to create your first webpage.

Do the following:

Open Notepad.

Type the text shown above for Chris Christianse.

It should look like this:

<title>Chris Christianse's webpage</title>
Chris Christianse<br>

Before you save it, create a new directory or folder to save it in. The purpose of this new folder is to have all the files you will create in one place. So this file you just created and other files you will create in order to learn how to build a website will be together. Give this new folder a name, perhaps MySite and name this first file MySite01.

I want to show you the difference between a file that is a text file (or a word processing file) and a file that is a webpage and in order to do this I want you to save your file twice, first as a text file and then afterwards as a web file. The difference is in the ending of the file name, or file extension. The first has the extension .txt and the second the extension .htm and that is all that is needed.

To make it easier to see the difference of these two file names I recommend to you to let Windows Explorer display these file name endings. If I want Windows Explorer to display file endings I go, in Windows Explorer, to Organize and there to Folder and search options and there to View and there I deactivate Hide extensions for known file types and after that click OK.

Let us say you now have created this new folder MySite und now want to save this file in it. In Notepad click File and then click Save As... and then go to this new folder and as File name you type MySite01.txt and then click Save.

What you have now saved is a word processing file or a text file and you do this in order to see the difference between a text file and the file that you are to create next, a file that is a webpage.

So the next step, the second step, is to save this again but now as a webpage:

Now, still in Notepad, click File again and then click Save As..., also again, and then go to this new folder, also again, and as File name you now type MySite02 and before you click Save change the ending of the file name from .txt to .htm and this is all and with this different ending you are making this file a webpage. So have .htm as the extension of the file name MySite02 so that it now looks like this: MySite02.htm and then click Save.

Now go to the folder MySite in Windows Explorer and see the two files displayed there.

Double click MySite01.txt and Notepad will be opened and show you what you previously had built.

And now go back to Windows Explorer and, in the folder MySite, double click MySite02.htm and your browser will be opened and show your file as a webpage.

So you have created your first webpage.

Now in order for you to learn to manage this webpage we want to make a change to it. Let us say you would like to have more space between the two lines, between the first line, Chris Christianse, and the second line, and for this purpose we have to go back to the Notepad file MySite01.txt and do it.

We simply add a second <br> to the first one so that the sixth line looks like this:
Chris Christianse<br><br>.

Do this and then go, still in Notepad, to File and then to Save As... and then change the file name from MySite01.txt to MySite03.htm and click Save.

Now go to Windows Explorer and see that there are now all three files displayed and double click MySite03.htm and your bowser will open and display the now changed webpage which is actually a new webpage but I wanted you to keep the previous one so that you have a record of what you did.

Now let us say you closed all open windows and left the computer, and the next day you carry on and want to make a further change to your webpage.

You are aware of spam and want to prevent people sending you spam emails and therefore make it more difficult for them to harvest your email address and therefore you now change the portrayal of it from to chris.christianse at jmail dot com and in order to do this you open Notepad and there you click File and then Open... and then you go to the folder MySite and there you find MySite01.txt and in order to also see the rest of the files in that folder you click the down arrow in Text Documents (*.txt) and then click All Files (*.*) and now all three files are displayed.

You now highlight MySite03.htm and this file name will now appear in the File name box and you then click Open and the file will appear in the Notepad program and you can now make the changes.

Make the changes as discussed above and then save them, but this time you do not create a new file or a new webpage but carry on using the existing file name MySite03.htm.

To do this click File and then Save.

Now go back to Windows Explorer and double click MySite03.htm and your browser will display your webpage and you can see the changes you have made.

You could also go back to the browser that is already open and there Refresh the display by clicking the appropriate button or by pressing F5.

You have now created your first webpage and you also now know how to change it and how to manage it.

This is basically all you have to know about creating a webpage and even how to create a website because a website can consist of just one webpage. Everything else is additional stuff and is helpful but not essential.

This webpage is now on your computer and you can use it.

You could for example now use this file you created for learning purposes to again change it and take the details for Chris Christianse out and exchange them with your own details and save this new file under the name MySite04.htm and that would then be the file that you could use as your website that would have only one webpage. Before you then actually upload this webpage to the server of the hosting company which you have decided is to host your website you would probably have to change the name of the file again, to index.htm, because that is what most hosting companies seem to want the page to be named, the page that is to come up when the web address, the URL, is requested by a surfer, and because you then have a website with only one webpage, this one webpage will be the webpage that comes up.

Should you then, later, perhaps want to have more webpages than just one, you can give them names that you choose.

All additional stuff like how to get a web address and how to get a hosting company and how to put this webpage or this website into the net and how to have several webpages on one website and to link them together and how to provide links to other websites and webpages is of course useful to learn.

So you can learn a few more HTML details but my advice is to learn them and use them and not to use any programs that seemingly help you because they could just cause you to have less control over what you are doing. I also would recommend to stay away from images, from colours, from animations and a lot of other fancy stuff. Staying away from all these additions helps you to save time and energy and when you read books about the building of websites you can save reading and studying all these chapters, but the main reason is that most of these fancy things do not improve your website but achieve the opposite. The word only is spiritual, all kinds of symbols and images and pictures and colours are not only unnecessary but also show that the creator of such a website is not really spiritual. Look at a Bible that does not just contain the word but has pictures in it like in a Bible for children. These pictures might help to look inside the book but they also have negative influences because they might fix an idea about some story in the Bible and they might also cause the reader to just see this interpretation of the passage and often passages have many layers of interpretation.

Another reason to keep webpages simple is to keep loading time down. Especially in less developed countries is this of influence. There are many people living in countries where computer access and internet access is still a quite expensive undertaking. In such countries competition might be much less than in more developed countries and the same applies to consumer protection. In such countries the number of companies providing computers and providing internet might increase but that is not so much to increase competition and decrease cost for the user, but to enjoy the high profit margins that exist there. And that is also the reason why more fibre optic cables are laid to better connect such areas in the world, because it is lucrative.

There is another reason to keep webpages simple and that is the increasing use of hand held devices like smart phones. A simple webpage is much easier to read there than one with all kinds of complicated layouts. When there is just text then it adjusts itself to the size of the screen.

If you now want to see more information about HTML go and have a look at the way this webpage was done. If I would do this in my browser Internet Explorer I would click Page and then View Source.

If you not only want to have a look but want to keep the page and change it and use it for yourself than you could save it to your computer and then open this file in Notepad and there you could do changes und save them under a file name that you determine.

Now when your own website is on the web then search engines will probably pick up this new website and include it in their system and when someone uses such a search engine to search your name on the web, this your new website might come up and the searcher can click it and so get to your website and find your email address and he can now contact you. So you will be, internationally, accessible and you can keep this web address and this email address and don't have to give people your new address every time you move. It is even better than a mobile telephone number because that you are likely to change when you move to another country.

So creating your own website can be quite easy and with little effort a webpage, the first one, can be created and when one has taken this step then the main step has been taken because many people don't know how to do it and that might keep them away from having their own website. Now the rest is more a question of organizing things and a lot of these things change with time. Some years ago one had to submit one's web address to a search engine in order for the search engine to include this website but today I believe this is no longer necessary and so it is with many other things related to running a website, they change. But the basics of building a webpage have not really changed a lot, so the more you stick to the basic things of HTML the less energy you have to spend. The organizational things of maintaining a website might change and there you have to go with them.

For having and running a website you don't even need permanent access to the web, you could take your laptop to a hotspot and get into the internet. You don't even need your own computer. You could use other computers. You could create and have your webpages on a portable disk like a flash drive or USB stick and then create new webpages on it with any computer available to you and also the uploading of the new or changed webpages you can do from any computer you use. You do not even have to have an FTP program to do the uploading; you can use Windows Explorer or the browser, just give in the address of your server and then with the password and the User ID you proceed. It is easier however to use a FTP program but also there you could use one that works on your portable flash drive and when the computer you are using does not have a FTP program then you use your own. In an Internet Café for example the computer you use there might not have a FTP program, so you use your own which you brought with you.

Also with an email account you only need access to a computer and to the internet to create an email account and use it. You don't need an email program on your computer, just use web based email.

So people who are mobile a lot, or who do not have much equipment or do not want to have much equipment, can do with very little to carry around. For email they need basically nothing. The name of the website of their email account and their own email address and its password they can even keep in their head. They just need a computer to be available.

To run a website you need something like an USB stick and the use of a computer. If you have a website that has nothing what has to be changed, like just one page with name and address, then you also need nothing once you have uploaded your page or pages to the server.

If you use a hotspot to upload webpages then you need a laptop and that is some equipment that can easily be carried.

So to run a website one can do without a lot of things.

A portable FTP program might be a thing you could use but such programs are available on the internet and can be downloaded and some even without having to get involved with things like giving your credit card details because they are free.

The simplest way to an own website is therefore to build a website and that needs, as shown above, to be only nine relative short lines and then to determine a web address and to perhaps have alternatives ready and then to choose a hosting company for the website and then to go to this company in the web and there to find out whether the web address is still available and then to order this web address with this company and then to upload the website to the server of this company and then afterwards to go to this new website on the web and see if everything works.

So you could actually walk into an Internet Café and there do all this and walk out.


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