You've seen home pages on the internet, and you've probably said to yourself, "I'd like to have home page, but I don't know how to make one." Well you're in luck. You can easily and effortlessly create your own home page and place it on the internet for free. There are free web page creation programs available on the internet, as well as places to store your web page for free.
Creating a basic web page is as easy as using a word processor. In some cases you can actually use your word processor to turn a word processor document into a web page. If you have Microsoft Word 97 it contains a web page authoring feature. There is an update for it Word 97 Web Authoring Tools Update. Another item from Microsoft is an HTML printer driver for Windows 95. With that you can print from some applications and turn the output into a web document.
For any real web page authoring I use AOLPress. This comes in PC and Mac format. This is a great and free web site authoring program. It has some features that rival commercial web authoring programs.
Creating a basic web page is nothing more than typing away the information, much like a word processor. The only difference is that pages are linked together. Making a link is almost as easy as making a few words in a word processing document bold. To place a link, you type in some text, highlight it, say that it's a link from a menu selection, and then type in the address or filename. It's very simple. You don't need to know any HTML to write a web page.
If you want to get creative you can include pictures in your pages. There are many free graphics on the internet. You can find links to them in my computer help page in the web help area. If you have a scanner, you can scan your photos into the computer and place them on the web. It's best to scan at 72 dpi, and use jpg file format for photos and gif jpg file format for cartoons. In gifs try reducing the image's colors to reduce the file size. For jpgs, when saving, you can reduce the overall image quality to get a smaller file. You can then insert them into your page, in much the same way you would insert them in a word processing document. If you don't have a scanner, or don't want to take the time to scan your photo's, Mystic Color Lab can turn your camera's film into computer images and mail you a disk with the picture on it (as well as regular prints). They handle PC or Mac. I tried this and it was ok. For the disk it was in low color. However they have an option to get the images over the internet at higher quality. I use them for prints and they are excelent. I've used the option to have the image send on a CD and that's excellent.
Once you have your home page made, you 'll need a place to store it on the internet. Usually your internet provider offers a way to place a web page. You can ask your provider or check their home page, usually http://www.yourprovider.com , filling in yourprovider.com with the name part after the @ in your e-mail address. So if your e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org then try http://www.isp.com. They'll let you know how to submit the page to them as well. You'll usually need a couple of programs. An FTP program such as WS FTP LE, to upload your files to your internet provider, and perhaps a telnet program such as EWAN, to change the access level on your home page directory so others can read the files. However this can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with these programs. Generally your provider would offer detailed instructions. There are other options, see the following paragraph.
What if your internet provider doesn't allow you to put one up? Then go to GeoCities, AngelFire, Tripod, Infoseek,or Free Yellow. Personally Geocities looks the best, I set up a friend on them and they are really user friendly with an easy upload option. Free Yellow, I've been told is a good place and they allow businesses, here is an example of a page (at the bottom there is a link for a free web site). If you want to set up a site to promote your business try Tripod. They don't explicitly say no businesses, but that could change, so read the agreement when signing up. AngelFire lets you advertise your business, however they only allow a small amount of memory and erase pages not accessed for 60 days. Also the updating part is somewhat awkward. So I can't really recommend AngelFire, but they are a free web hosting place none the less. The best is GeoCities; I never used Tripod or Free Yellow. Infoseek is new, and they say you can use if for a business, so that's good news.
If you want to make a commercial page for your business, it's best to get your own domain, like www.yourcompany.com . That way for the life of your business you will have a web page. This is usually called a virtual domain. Another kind of page is a sub domain. An address would look like http://yourcompany.someisp.com isn't that good, because then you are depending on the someisp part of the address, where someisp is some hosting service. If they close down or you want another provider, your address is no longer valid. If you have a page on the free web hosting services mentioned above, or your internet provider, you are at the mercy of them. If they close down or if you change internet providers, people can no longer refer to your web page at the old address. However if you own the domain, you can change web hosting services, but your domain name remains the same. This is because when you connect to a web page it looks up the domain and finds it's address. It's almost like dialing a phone number by name and the operator finds out the person's number and then connects you to them. Web hosting costs around $20 a month. You also need to pay a yearly fee of $35 (2 years payment in advance) to Network Solution to register your domain name. The place that hosts your page will generally do all the work of registering your domain.
If you want to find a list of web hosting places look at Yahoo's List of Web Hosting Services. Many of those places can also make the pages for you, for an extra fee of course. You can also search for a web hosting place at Web Host Directory. You can find on that site a hosting service that has the specifics you want. For example unlimited transfer, CGI, Unix or NT, FrontPage, SSI, and other options. Here's a link to the Web Host Search.
Once you have placed your page on the web, you need to tell the world that you have made the page. You can go to most search engines and find an "add url" or "submit url" link to tell them about your page. There are places like Submit It, Add It, or Easy Submit that can submit your page to major search engines. For a big collection of places that offer submissions, look at Yahoo's listing of web promotion sites. They list free and fee based submission sites. The main site to get listed on is Yahoo, so go to them first. Visit a category and choose Add URL, to be listed in that category.
For some great business information and free web pages and free e-mail check out Working Online.
I hope this page has given you some insight into what steps you need to go about making a web page, and perhaps you'll take the first steps to pursuing your own web page. For more web page help, visit my computer help page and look in the web page help area.
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.