HTML and CSS Reference
your distribution channel may seem obvious because of its reach and low cost.
So why not just create pages with that content and glue them together with
embedded links and menus?
he simple answer is that planning pays of. Even if you want to cre-
ate a straightforward site that explores your passion for peanut varieties or
employee pension plans, taking the time to write a business plan will help you
organize your thoughts. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can't explain it simply,
you don't understand it well enough.” At the very least, writing down your
reasons for creating the website and what you are attempting to accomplish
can serve as the raw content for the site's “About” page.
More important, the exercise of writing down your goals and expectations
will provide the foundation for many of the decisions you will have to make as
you go through the process. Here are some important considerations:
. Will this be a content site or a service site?
. Will the content on the site be static or dynamic?
. Who will be visiting the website, and why?
. Is the website intended to generate revenue?
. How will the website grow in the coming months and years?
he answers to these questions will guide your development approach. It is
a choice between building and managing your own website versus using a web
service to deliver your content. Each approach has its strengths and weak-
nesses, and you need to be familiar with the various options for establishing
an online presence. Perhaps a Facebook page, Yahoo! store, or Ning site would
be a better it for your needs. hese services exist for a reason: to help people
get started in online publishing by taking care of the technical details while
they concentrate on learning what to do with the content. At the same time,
online services limit what you can do on the Web. You are constrained by
somebody else's design concepts. Also, your search engine ranking usually is
lower because your website is seen as a client of some other organization, not
as a publication of its own.
herefore, this chapter assumes that you have chosen to run your own web-
site. Usually this means having an account with a web-hosting company and
registering one or more domain names. Or possibly you have access to a web
host through your organization or school. You can run a web server on just
about any computer, even a laptop, connected to the Internet.