Designs on the Web .
Nasa has one. Disney has one. Oasis have several. These days everyone from governments to underground DJs have Web sites. So how does the wired person about town get one for themselves? Unravel the mysteries of WEB DESIGN with our step-by-step guide.
Story: John Henderson and Alastair Mabbott.
THERE ARE THREE main routes to getting a Web site of your very own. The first — providing you‘re armed with the essential PC or Mac and Internet connection — is to do-it- yourself. the second is to call on the help of a cybercafe. and the third to hire a commercial Web design company. Which road you take will depend entirely on the end result you‘re looking for. and how much you‘re willing to spend. If you‘re looking for a corporate on-
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line presence for your multinational company. it‘s unlikely you‘ll be going DlY.
The most important thing. whichever path you take. is not to forget your audience. What do they want from your Web site? Are you going to give them something they won‘t find anywhere else‘.’ 'l‘wo friends of mine recently set off on a round-the-world trip. stopping at cybercafes along the way to maintain a Web site about their journey. That‘s interesting if
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you‘re a friend of theirs. and somewhat less interesting if you‘re not.
Whatever you decide to do. it‘s worth bearing in mind that everyone else is experimenting too. The Web is a new medium. and there is no right or wrong way of approaching it. You never know. your first Web site might even be the start of a new career. (III)
WEB DESIGN: DIY
IF YOU ARE THINKING of creating a Web site. the first thing to consider is where you‘re going to store it. Most Internet Access Providers (IAPs) — such as Demon or Pipex — offer space to their subscribers. If you‘re already on- Iine. ring your IAP to ask them how they operate. Otherwise. choose an IAP which allows unlimited local call access with the capacity to maintain and nurture your Web-shattering efforts.
What will vary between IAPs is the amount of space available for individual Web sites. One Megabyte is enough to store about 50 pages. each containing an average mixture of text and graphics. but it‘s worth thinking about how much you might want your site to grow in the future before signing on the dotted line.
Presuming that you have thought through the content of your site. the next thing to do is sit down and create it. Anyone with access to a PC or Mac with Net connection is half way there already. Web sites are written in a scary-sounding language called HTML. but do not fear — there are programmes that do all the coding for you. You may even have one already. Microsoft Word 8.0 and Microsoft Office can save files you have created as HTML. although some formatting will be lost in the conversion process. What you really need is a dedicated Web publishing tool.
Two of the best are Netscape Navigator Gold and Microsoft FrontPage. Both allow you to
manipulate text and images in a manner fairly similar to a word processor. and you can obtain templates for them to give your design a headstart. Once you have completed your masterpiece. you simply upload it to your IAP. and then you‘re off.
If you are serious about Web design. it is definitely worth learning HTML and keeping up with its continuing changes. Having understood HTML. you will find it easier to correct design
errors. and you can pick up handy tips from the source code behind other people‘s sites. One of the most instructive books on the subject is Kent Cearley‘s HTML 3 Interactive Course. and one of the best HTML editors is HotDog 3. However you create your site. it is always worth remembering your audience. What may look graphically stunning to you during design can take forever to
download. And don‘t forget. a Web site is an ongoing process. People won‘t want to read the same thing the next time they visit. (JH)
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WEB DESIGN: Information
I Get Netscape Navigator Gold on the Web at http:/lhome.netscape.com/com prod/products/navigator/gold/i ndex.html
I Microsoft FrontPage, priced £99, is available in shops or from www.microsoft.com/frontpage
I HTML 3 Interactive is published by Waite Groupe Inc priced £37.50
I Hotdog 3 is available from www.fourthnet.co.uklhotdog
I The Internet Cafe is at 569 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, 0141 5641051.
I Java Internet Cafe is at 152 Park Road, Glasgow, 0141 337 6727.
I Cyberia Cybercafe is at 88 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, 0131 220 4403.
I Web 13 is at 13 Bread Street, Edinburgh, 0131 229 8883.
Web Design Agencies
I Calligrafix 'Internet And MetaMedia Developers' is at Trinity Cottage, Kelso, 01573 430 216.
I Spidacom Ltd is at 3 Quayside Street, Edinburgh, 0131 555
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