1. Introduction, headfirst into building a website

1. Introduction - Head First into building a web site

What this guide does

Head first is a quick guide to how to build a website.

You'll have to make your own assessment of the usefulness of this guide and all of this is at your own risk.

But a little about us. We've been involved in web development since 1998. We've used for the various iterations of this site alone at least, three web hosts, two domain name registrars, and five types of technology to create the website.

If you follow the guide (read through before starting), you should produce a pretty decent effort the first time. Perseverance can pay off.

Criteria for a successful site

The main criteria for success for a site could be:

  • does it do what you want?
  • does it do what your audience want?
  • Is the site cost efficient?, and
  • how easily maintained is it?

This guide and steps

This guide focuses on free software, resources and on teaching you to learn how to do it yourself.

The main steps are:

  1. Introduction - the purpose and scope of this guide (you are on this page),
  2. Concept and name of the site,
  3. Site technology and hosting,
  4. Testing, usability and promotion,
  5. Tips and useful resources, and
  6. Feedback.

You can navigate the guide in order, or use the navigation to flit around. It is recommended to at least scan the whole guide before creating a site to avoid some of the worst website atrocities.

We've gone for quick rather than comprehensive. So while we welcome suggestions, we emphasise the main features of good site design rather than create the 'war and peace' of websites.