Although designing your own website is not the most difficult thing you will ever do, it is fairly time consuming. However, when you have finished with the design, you will have a great feeling about yourself - that you actually created something yourself, something that you can be proud of, something that will hopefully make you a lot of money in the long term.

Since you already have your template sketched out and your color palette chosen, the only prep work that you need before you get started on your site’s design is to download the necessary tools that will help you along the way.

You will need an image editor for creating the pictures for the site, a “What You See Is What You Get” site editor to design the website, and a text editor to modify the code as you see fit. If you’ve got the money, purchase a copy of the Adobe CS3 Web Design package which contains Photoshop, Dreamweaver and a bunch of other useful program.

Otherwise, for image editing, consider using the GIMP or Paint.NET on Linux or Windows, respectively, or Pixelmator on Mac OS X. Use KompoZer as a free WYSIWYG editor on Linux or Windows. Finally, consider using a text editor like Notepad ++ for Windows or TextMate for Mac OS X. Also, download an FTP client like FileZilla so that you can easily upload your site to a server when everything is completed.

Even though the tools will help you quite a bit on your quest to code your own business website, they will not be able to do all of the work for you. You still have to put in quite a bit of input, and it helps if you have some kind of reference material to guide you.

So, your best bet is to look up as much information online as you possibly can. Read tutorials and guides that can help you learn XHTML for coding the site’s framework, CSS for giving the site some style, PHP for some of the site’s functions, and JavaScript for the site’s inner workings and other various functions.

It may take a week, it may take a month, but when your website is finally finished, you should use your FTP client to upload it to a server and make sure that it works perfectly well.

Also, at this time, it is of the utmost importance that you check your website in a variety of web browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer (6 and 7), and Safari. All web browsers display pages differently, so you want to be sure that your site looks just as good in IE as it does in Firefox and Safari.

To Your Success

Tony Markx

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