Dear LA Teacher,
I noticed that the curriculum for my English class next fall includes developing a web page. Would you explain how that is done?
Nervous LA Junior
Dear Nervous LA Junior,
When assigned to create a web page, think about its purpose. Are you creating it for personal reasons, business intentions, or for an educational goal?
A website for personal reasons would highlight pictures you want to share with friends or relatives. Perhaps you’re a budding poet and would like to see how well your poetry is received. Make sure you include a place for your readers to make their comments.
A business website needs to be cutting edge and professional looking. Is your product line from a reliable source and your business practices are beyond reproach? This will help guarantee success.
An educational website should focus on an area of education you’d like to highlight. The featured picture, Rainbow Nursery, is a website showing a successful pre-school. Perhaps you’d like to provide advice for parents, games for kids, or videos on science or history. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s colorful, organized, and kid/parent friendly.
Whatever you decide is the purpose of your website, first you’ll need to plan it out meticulously.
Prior to building the author website, Books by Michael Thal, a plan needed to be put into place. Since the website is a business site promoting the books of a specific author, the website builder planned for six separate pages. The first page introduces the author, three pages promote his books, while another page announces events like a guest slot on a talk radio show, a book launch party, and an appearance at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival. Finally, one page is set aside for a blog where he writes about educational issues and parenting. On the pages promoting his books, the author includes the book covers of each of his YA novels, a blurb about the books, a book trailer, and reviews.
Once your website is planned, register a domain name. Research in any search engine, like Google or Yahoo, which will provide domain name registration sites. Register.com and GoDaddy.com are two recommended sites.
Next, make sure the domain name matches the idea you have for your web page. For example, if you’re developing an educational website showing the disadvantages of corporal punishment, create a domain name like nocorporalpunishment.com or dontsmackyourkids.edu. If the domain name is available, you’ll be told immediately by the registration website. If it is taken, create a new one.
If you go to a website builder like Web.com you will be charged a minimum of $1.95 per month. On GoDaddy.com, they are running a special for a new .com for $2.99 for the first year. Shop around until you find what you’re looking for.
Most web hosting companies will also make sure you obtain the domain name. These companies manage the server on which your web page is located. Some possible companies include GoDaddy.com, Web.com, and Networksolutions.com. There are also a few free services like Weebly.com, AwardSpace.com, and 888webhost.com.
Once you have decided on a host company, return to the outline you originally developed. Flesh it out and save on a word or text document. When all your pages are ready, go back to the host server, select a suitable template that serves your purposes, then cut, paste, and publish.
You don’t need an engineering degree in computer science to develop a web page. All you need is a willingness to learn and a platform to show off your ideas. If you have the patience and devote the time needed to make your website as professional as possible, you are ready to show the world a bit of your talent.