Solutions - how-to guides - build a web site

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Solutions - how-to guides - build a web site

  1. 1. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business Solutions - how-to guides » Return to original page Build a Web site » Overview » Understand it » Plan it » Do it Overview » Use it » Buy it This How-To guide walks you through all of the steps involved in creating an effective Web » Download a pdf version of site, from planning to launch to promotion. It gives you the 10,000-foot view of all of the this how-to guide activities involved so you can begin the process with your eyes wide open and with the (212KB, PDF) appropriate expectations for the time and resources you'll need to get your site up and » Tell a friend running: Related courses » Understand it: find out why a Web presence is important and what The HP Learning Center it takes to create a compelling site. offers a variety of courses » Plan it: identify the business goals and audience for your site, and related to Web site design and development. Visit it then plan a site appropriate to both. today and look for: » Do it: walk through all of the steps involved in building a site. • Adobe Photoshop 7 » Use it: learn how to work with a hosting provider to launch your site basics and then promote it to draw visitors. • Advanced Adobe Photoshop applications » Buy it: shop for the hardware and software tools you'll need to • Building your first Web develop and maintain your site. page • Digital photography for Our Web Site Development Checklist will help you move through the process of planning, your business designing, and testing your Web site. • Graphic design for non-designers » Understand it • How to build your first Email this page Web site • Introduction to Macromedia Send this information to a friend/colleague Dreamweaver • Introduction to Web Your name: graphics • Scanning basics Your friend's email address: » HP's Privacy policy Email will not be used for additional marketing Comments: Rate this information 1
  2. 2. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi Solutions - how-to guides » Return to original page Build a Web site » Overview » Understand it » Plan it » Do it Understand it » Use it » Buy it A strong Web site is crucial to the success of companies both large and small. It offers an » Download a pdf version of excellent gateway to communication with existing and potential customers, as well as the this how-to guide opportunity to move into e-commerce. With a well-planned, well-delivered Web site your (212KB, PDF) company can increase awareness and acquire new customers that previously were out of » Tell a friend reach. Related courses There is more to a quality Web site than HTML and graphics. For your site to effectively The HP Learning Center represent your organizational image and convey the proper message to your intended offers a variety of courses audience, you need to analyze the purpose of your site and its audience. Once you know related to Web site design why you are creating your site and for whom, you can get down to the business of building and development. Visit it the site. Images, content, and other media come together to represent your business on the today and look for: Web, so quality is of the utmost importance. Solid site organization combined with an intuitive interface creates a productive and memorable user experience. Finally, a good • Adobe Photoshop 7 provider will meet your site hosting needs without breaking your budget. basics • Advanced Adobe Targeted promotional activities are the icing on your Web site cake, and drive visitors to Photoshop applications your site. A combination of search engine referrals, advertising, and solid e-marketing • Building your first Web activities will help you get the word out about your site. page » Plan it • Digital photography for your business Rate this information • Graphic design for non-designers Was this information useful? Your feedback is important to us. • How to build your first Web site j k l m n j k l m n j k l m n j k l m n j k l m n Not at all(1) Neutral(3) Definitely(5) • Introduction to Macromedia Submit » Dreamweaver • Introduction to Web Comments (optional): graphics • Scanning basics To download the latest Adobe Reader, please go to the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com. » Return to original page 1 of 2 5/30/2006 2:10 PM
  3. 3. How To Guides - Plan a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi Solutions - how-to guides » Return to original page Build a Web site » Overview » Understand it » Plan it » Do it Plan it » Use it » Buy it Before you dive into the details of creating your Web site, you need to develop a sound plan » Download a pdf version of that encompasses your objectives and your target audience. this how-to guide (212KB, PDF) Identify your site objectives » Tell a friend It's one thing to know you need a Web site, but do you know why you need one? Before you Related courses start designing your site, you need to have a clear set of goals in mind. Create a list of The HP Learning Center objectives that define your Web site plans. They might include: offers a variety of courses • Provide core information about your business related to Web site design • Provide in-depth, pre-sales information about your products or services and development. Visit it • Reinforce your branding messages today and look for: • Help your customers find and contact you • Adobe Photoshop 7 • Function as a landing page for e-marketing basics • Enable your customers to purchase via telephone or mail-order • Advanced Adobe • Allow your customers to purchase directly online Photoshop applications • Help new customers find you via search engines or other online directories • Building your first Web Once you have mapped out everything you want your site to accomplish, you can begin page thinking about how your design and content will support these goals. At this point, you • Digital photography for should also decide whether or not you will be engaging in actual e-commerce -- selling your your business products on your Web site. If you do plan to build an e-commerce site, you'll have an • Graphic design for additional set of tasks outside of planning and building the site itself. Be prepared to figure non-designers out pricing, taxes, shipping logistics, credit card or other payment capabilities, inventory • How to build your first communication, and other merchandising issues before you begin creating the e-commerce Web site site. Many Web site hosting providers can help you resolve these logistics. • Introduction to Macromedia Profile your audience Dreamweaver • Introduction to Web The demographics of your audience will affect the way you design your Web site. If your graphics Web site audience is very computer-savvy and will most likely be accessing your site with a • Scanning basics high-speed connection, you can load up your site with graphics and multimedia. If your audience will most likely have minimal computer experience and a slow connection, your site design should emphasize clear navigation and be primarily text-based. A good rule of thumb is to keep your Web site as simple and easy-to-use as possible while still using enough graphic elements to create a compelling, brand-distinguishing design. You should also consider how your target audience will dictate your design theme. If you have a conservative, serious audience, stick with classic design themes and straightforward information. If your audience is young and energetic, you may be more successful with brighter themes and more multimedia. To outsource or not? Depending on your level of expertise, you may decide to develop the site yourself or hire an outside programmer or Web site hosting service. If your site is fairly simple, you may find it most cost-effective to create it yourself. You can choose from a variety of Web layout programs that let you build a Web site without ever touching a line of HTML code. If your site will include e-commerce, it's best to have an experienced programmer create the e-commerce areas. Some Web site hosting providers offer e-commerce services as well. In many cases, these services will be simple to set up and use and you won't need to bring in a programmer. Even if you choose to outsource your Web site development, you still need a good understanding of the processes and activities that go into building a site so you can 1 of 2 5/30/2006 2:10 PM
  4. 4. How To Guides - Plan a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi communicate effectively with the an agency or contractor. In the end it is up to you to be sure the site fits your objectives and is appropriate for your audience. » Do it Rate this information Was this information useful? Your feedback is important to us. j l m k n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n Not at all(1) Neutral(3) Definitely(5) Submit » Comments (optional): To download the latest Adobe Reader, please go to the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com. » Return to original page Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to SMB webmaster © 2006 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. 2 of 2 5/30/2006 2:10 PM
  5. 5. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi Solutions - how-to guides » Return to original page Build a Web site » Overview » Understand it » Plan it » Do it Do it » Use it » Buy it Before you spend resources creating content and designing Web pages, invest some time in » Download a pdf version of creating a site map or flowchart that shows the structure of your site. This is an ideal way to this how-to guide identify the graphics and content you'll need, as well as a good time to spot and correct any (212KB, PDF) navigation or site structure problems. » Tell a friend If you're not sure where to start, begin by using a piece of paper (or box in a diagram Related courses program) for every essential page you can identify -- your home page, your company's The HP Learning Center contact information, etc. Then experiment with arranging these pages in the most logical, offers a variety of courses easy-to-navigate structure, adding pages as necessary. Finally, decide what content and related to Web site design graphics or multimedia needs to go on each page; this will be the list you can work from as and development. Visit it you create these elements. today and look for: Tip: If you outsource your Web development, a general site map should be the first • Adobe Photoshop 7 deliverable in the project. It will give you an opportunity to be sure everyone is on the same basics page, and identify and content or collateral you will need to provide for the site. • Advanced Adobe Design your look, feel, and navigation Photoshop applications • Building your first Web Most effective Web sites have a consistent design throughout the site: the same page background and font colors, navigation elements, and often a consistent look to the • Digital photography for graphics. This "look-and-feel" helps reinforce your branding and message, and makes it your business easier for the customer to find what they're looking for. • Graphic design for non-designers A consistent design doesn't have to be complicated; a simple look and feel can be more • How to build your first compelling than a fancy, animated jumble of graphics. Navigation should be prominently Web site placed and easy to understand. It's best to have one consistent navigation element -- like a • Introduction to bar along the side, top, or bottom -- that appears on every page. Macromedia Dreamweaver Create your content • Introduction to Web graphics The most important piece of your Web site is the actual information you put on it. Take the • Scanning basics time and resources to plan out what information you need for the site, and then carefully craft your presentation. Think of writing for a marketing brochure when you're creating your Web site content. Your text should be brief, compelling, and to the point. Web audiences have a short attention span, and another page is always just a click away. Break information down into manageable chunks, avoiding dense text-only pages. Identify where you could make or support your point using a graphic instead of a text explanation. Finally, ensure your grammar and spelling are impeccable. Create or gather graphics and multimedia The graphics you choose for your Web site have a critical impact on its effectiveness. A compelling site uses graphics to support branding, navigation, and key content. Beware the temptation to use too many graphics or multimedia -- not only can they clutter your page and make it difficult to find information, they will also bog down the user's Web connection. Depending on your site objectives, you may want to use many types of graphics and media files, including • Charts and graphs • Product photos • Your company logo 1 of 2 5/30/2006 2:12 PM
  6. 6. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi • Navigation graphics • Specially formatted text • Background music • Audio presentations • Video presentations • Video product demos While you need some level of expertise to create some of these (most notably the video and audio examples) , you can create and edit most with a graphics program. It's also very easy to create good-looking photos with a digital camera. In addition, if you have print photos or images that you like to include on your site, you can use a scanner to quickly digitize them. Photos and graphics are available for purchase online or in software packages, and you can find a wealth of clip art and stock photos that you only need to pay once to use. Some of the major stock photo agencies include www.photodisc.com and www.gettyimages.com. A search on any major search engine for "clip art" will point you towards clip art providers. Although it's been said that "If you build it, they will come," once you've constructed your site, you need to think next about how you will make your site available to the world and how you will draw the world to it. » Use it Rate this information Was this information useful? Your feedback is important to us. j l m k n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n Not at all(1) Neutral(3) Definitely(5) Submit » Comments (optional): To download the latest Adobe Reader, please go to the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com. » Return to original page Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to SMB webmaster © 2006 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. 2 of 2 5/30/2006 2:12 PM
  7. 7. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi Solutions - how-to guides » Return to original page Build a Web site » Overview » Understand it » Plan it » Do it Use it » Use it » Buy it A Web site doesn't do much good sitting on someone's hard drive. To use the site you've so » Download a pdf version of diligently built, you'll need to find a place to serve it from and then take steps to promote it this how-to guide once it is up and running. (212KB, PDF) » Tell a friend Finding a hosting provider Related courses While a few small businesses choose to run their Web sites on an in-house server, most The HP Learning Center companies benefit more by using a hosting provider to host their sites. Hosting providers offers a variety of courses (often ISPs who also provide Internet connectivity) offer uninterrupted service, a high related to Web site design bandwidth connection to the Internet, and routine server maintenance and backup. While and development. Visit it providers generally charge a monthly fee, the savings in server and connection maintenance today and look for: is usually well worth it. • Adobe Photoshop 7 You can find a great deal of information on different hosting options at www.thelist.com. This basics site will also help you compare provider features and find a local provider if you prefer. • Advanced Adobe What to look for in a hosting provider Photoshop applications • Building your first Web As you evaluate hosting providers, be sure to consider all of the following: page • Digital photography for • Features: Be sure the ISP you choose offers the specific Web site hosting features you your business need both now and in the future. How much storage space does the hosting package • Graphic design for provide, and how much does it cost to expand that space? Does the provider offer direct non-designers e-mail access? Does the provider support e-commerce technology you can use either • How to build your first now or in the future? Web site • Introduction to • Cost: You should feel the total price is fair for the features and support you receive. Macromedia However, beware of choosing a provider on price alone as some very low-priced Dreamweaver providers don't offer the full set of features and support you need to maintain a business • Introduction to Web site. graphics • Support: Chances are you'll need some technical information or help from your • Scanning basics provider. How robust is their support system? Do they have a 24-hour toll-free phone number? What about an online help desk? • Stability: Will the provider still exist in a year? It's often best to choose a provider that has been around for at least a year, or comes from a major technology company. • Reporting and metrics: Tracking your Web site metrics is an important part of keeping your site up-to-date and improving it. Does the ISP offer services that keep track of your Web site metrics? How easy is it to use the interface that reports on these metrics? Register your domain Your domain name is your Web site's unique address on the World Wide Web and should convey your Web site's theme or mission. Once you've brainstormed on some good candidates for your domain name, visit Network Solutions to see if your names have been taken. If so, it might take some research to find an effective name that is still available. Once you've decided on the name, you must register it. Hosting providers usually offer this service and it's generally best to go through their process since they can automatically send the needed technical information. If you don't have a hosting provider yet you can register your name with Network Solutions and transfer it to your provider once you have one. Upload your site Most hosting providers allow you to upload your Web site files via FTP, a fast and efficient method of transfer. Your provider will tell you where to upload your files so they will show up 1 of 3 5/30/2006 2:12 PM
  8. 8. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi at your domain name. Promoting your site An excellent Web site is only as effective as the traffic it receives. Promoting your Web site is a key factor in ensuring it fulfills its objectives. Reaching your existing and potential customer base is crucial to a successful Web site. Search engines Search engines offer the highest potential for generating traffic to your site. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 people surfing the Web use search engines to find what they're looking for. Registering your site with the top search engines like Altavista, Yahoo, Google, and MSN is vital to reaching potential customers. Banner ads Banner advertising provides a relatively inexpensive vehicle for promoting your site and your products and services. Your banners on other Web sites build brand identity and lead potential customers to your Web site. You can also sponsor other company's banners on your own site to generate extra revenue. Don't simply blanket high-traffic sites with your banners, however, as this will most likely be costly. Research where your target audience tends to visit most often. Make sure you understand those sites' advertising price structures and standards before you place your ad. E-mail marketing E-mail provides a fast, cost-effective way to reach customers. Moreover, you can use it as a vehicle for sending marketing messages to existing or potential customers. Several companies sell mailing lists that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. A search on any major search engine for "mailing lists" will point you towards several list providers. Electronic newsletters consist of e-mails, often formatted with HTML that provide informational articles in addition to your promotions. You can manage your electronic newsletter with your own software and your own list, or you can work with an e-marketing company to manage your newsletters for you. E-marketing companies can provide you with purchased lists and manage your mail, track results, and take care of the rest of your newsletter needs. The Marketing Association offers a great deal of information about e-marketing and provides information about e-marketing vendors. Tip: As your Web site evolves and your site traffic grows, you'll still need to actively promote it to your customers and potential customers. These promotional methods can expand to encompass the growth of your Web site. With a little planning and attention to detail you can create a compelling and effective Web site that helps your organization stake its claim in cyberspace. Remember that the entire process begins by carefully identifying your site's audience and culminates with effectively driving them to your site. » Buy it Rate this information Was this information useful? Your feedback is important to us. j l m k n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n Not at all(1) Neutral(3) Definitely(5) Submit » Comments (optional): 2 of 3 5/30/2006 2:12 PM
  9. 9. How To Guides - Build a Web Site - HP Small & Medium Business http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/sbso/printable_oov.cgi Solutions - how-to guides » Return to original page Build a Web site » Overview » Understand it » Plan it » Do it Buy it » Use it » Buy it » HP Photosmart M527 Digital Camera » Download a pdf version of this how-to guide Take photos at 6 MP resolution (212KB, PDF) that make beautiful 4x6-inch » Tell a friend prints and enlargements up to poster size. Remove red-eye, Related courses using HP Real Life technologies. The HP Learning Center Frame and view photos on a offers a variety of courses large, 2-inch image display that's related to Web site design bright enough to see indoors and and development. Visit it out. Plus, zoom in using 21x total today and look for: zoom – 3x optical, 7x digital. Record video clips with sound. • Adobe Photoshop 7 Add a dock to recharge basics in-camera batteries and email, • Advanced Adobe save and print photos. Photoshop applications • Building your first Web » Product information page • Digital photography for » HP scanners your business • Graphic design for • Easy to use non-designers • One-touch buttons for easy • How to build your first usage Web site • Introduction to • 1200 to 4800 dpi Macromedia • Optional automatic document Dreamweaver feeders for hands-free scanning • Introduction to Web graphics » Product information • Scanning basics » Business desktop PCs • Long lifecycle stability and common image • Choice of operating systems • Highly serviceable and expandable chassis • Configuration flexibility offering a wide choice of form factors and components » Product information » Return to the build a Web site overview Rate this information Was this information useful? Your feedback is important to us. j l m k n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n j k m l n Not at all(1) Neutral(3) Definitely(5) Submit » 1 of 2 5/30/2006 2:13 PM

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