by: Richard Lowe, Jr.
In my humble opinion, everyone should create a homepage. Wait, let's back up a minute. What's a homepage? Well, there are really two definitions. First, a homepage is the first page of a web site, usually named index, default or home. Second, a homepage is a web site with one or more pages which is personal. It's the second definition which we are using in this article.
Okay, so why would anyone want to create a homepage? It's simple really. The internet is all about communication. A homepage is a method whereby you can communicate about yourself, your family, hobbies, pets, likes, dislikes, religion or anything else that you desire. Oh, there are limits to what you can put on your web site
you must stay within the contractual terms of the company which is hosting it. You also should not violate any laws
but besides that, post away.
You say you have nothing to communicate that anyone would want to know? Hmmm. You're alive, aren't you? You have a family, a job, a pet, a hobby, anything? Let's see what kind of topics you can choose.
Make a fan site for your favorite television show (Star Trek, Wonder Woman, Dallas, whatever)
Create a personal diary.
Post a photo album.
Put up pictures of all of the trash cans in Disneyland (someone already did it).
Write about and include drawings and photos of your cat, dog, fish, armadillo or snake.
Tell everyone about your job.
People are always interested in religion - talk about yours.
You like your car? Create a web site all about that.
What about your travels around the world? A diary and/or photos is a good thing to put on a homepage.
Did some school papers of which you are proud? Post them.
If you are an artist or photographer, display your work.
Figure something out? Tell us all about it.
Had an out-of-body experience, been kidnapped by aliens or remember your past lives? Well, we'd all like to know.
That's just a sample, there are an infinite number of subjects that you can write about.
All right, so now you want to create a home page. How do you go about it? Find a company (a provider) to host it, choose a web editing package (optional), and get to work. If you want to include photos or other graphics you will need to get a graphics editor and possibly a scanner. Don't worry, just start small and work your way through it. The providers usually make it pretty easy to get started.
Visit some of the sites listed in the article on freehosts (http://www.internet-tips.net/Homepages/freehosts.htm). Read their information and FAQs (frequently asked questions) until you find one that you like.
Virtually all of these hosts have very easy-to-use utilities to create very nice home pages. They let you edit right from your web browser, add pictures, even include nice things like guestbooks and counters. These utilities are a great place to start.
My advice is to just pick a provider and jump right in. Get your feet wet. Yeah, your first efforts may not be perfect, but you've got to start somewhere. Enjoy yourself and have fun.
If you find after a while that the provider that you chose doesn't meet your needs, switch and start over with another one. Until you find a provider that you are happy with (fast, easy-to-use, up most of the time) keep you homepage small. Once you find one you are happy with, go to town.
Now spend some time working on it. Do a little every day if you can, or at least a few days a week. Just keep working on it. When you get a version of the site that's "done" (all pages finishes, no under construction signs, links working, etc) submit it to the search engines (http://www.internet-tips.net/Advertising/searchengines.htm) so other people can enjoy your work. Remember that the search engines take a few weeks or months to list your site, so don't expect visitors overnight. Then practice using some of the other promotion techniques discussed in "advertising" (http://www.internet-tips.net/Advertising/Advertising.htm).
Now just keep working on your home page. Get as fancy as you like. You'll learn about graphics, HTML, and many other things. You've begun an adventure which has more rewards than you can imagine.
At some point you will begin to push the limits of the free host/web based homepage editing technology. You will start to get frustrated because something you want to do is difficult or cannot be done at all.
Now is the time to begin to learn about new things. Now you will want to learn HTML, perhaps buy a nice HTML editor and go to town. Most likely, by this time you will want to re-create your site anyway, so pick an editor and go for it. If you don't want to do the whole thing over, there are techniques to get your site down to your own hard drive (learn about FTP). Perhaps you will need to find a new host
there are hundreds and hundreds of them.
There is an added benefit to doing all of this
you are learning skills which will be of use throughout the rest of your life. This will be useful in many jobs, and if you become good enough, perhaps you will have found yourself a possible new career. At the very least, you may make some new friends and have a great adventure.
It's better than sitting at home watching television, isn't it?
About The Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.
Web Site Address: http://www.internet-tips.net
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Claudia Arevalo-Lowe is the webmistress of Internet Tips And Secrets and Surviving Asthma. Visit her site at http://survivingasthma.com