“ Website Design „
Have you ever thought of starting up your own website.??? Webs.com is a website which provides its users with the option of creating their own website absolutely free. I have set up two websites using this site and being a bit of a computer novice I have found this website designer service straightforward and easy to use.
THE LOOK OF THE SITE
The site itself looks good and professional and gives you an idea of what you could possibly create. Clean and crisp with lots of white all very stylish and providing a classy look.
Navigation on this site is relatively straight forward although there have been a few times in the past months where I have struggled to locate certain applications. The problems I have had seem to stem from certain buttons only being visible when you are on the correct sub page of the site. This is no major problem as you soon get used to the Webs system. If you have any problems finding an application the support centre link can be seen all pages and they are usually quick to respond.
HOW DO YOU GET STARTED ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB
First thing first you need to register. This is a simple process which involve filling in your basic information into a form which generates an email which is sent to your specified email address.
You have to choose a domain name at this point and this will be in the form of http://www.yourname.webs.com/. You are asked to confirm this email address to verify your account and then you are good to go.
SITE BUILDER TOOL
Once you have confirmed your email you can visit the Site Builder Tool on the Website and choose a template. This can subsequently be changed at any time you feel it necessary or just when you have a change of artistic opinion. The range of templates is limited at the beginning although there is still a good selection. More templates are available if you choose to go for the paid for services. After you have chosen your template you can personalise it by making alterations such as changing the colour, the background, the fonts, the positioning of the headers and footers, the logos etc.
When you first set up your site you will be asked what type of site it is (blog, ecommerce etc) Your choice here will generate a number of pages typically contained on a website of this type. But don't worry these can be altered, with pages added and deleted later. Typical pages which can be added include member pages, galleries, contact us pages, blogs, forums, and just regular pages where you create the content (e.g. About Us, Introduction).
When you create your site it will automatically be given a navigation bar. This is either shown down the side or along the bottom of the header dependant on your template choice. This will originally show every page you create but later you get to choose which the pages are shown in this bar.
Other editing options are to add a side bar which can be used to display whatever information you want. Your latest blog entries, Membership signups, latest items on sale.
Once you have basic bones of your site you can start to upload content. This again is a very simple process. The Upload system is a lot like that on eBay (for those of you have used eBay) and once you have uploaded a picture. Once you have uploaded a picture it is stored on your site and it can be accessed easily whenever you require it. To each photo you can assign a title and a caption.
The WEBS.COM system allows you to add application pages. The option of these can be seen from the application store. You can upload videos, add You Tube video links. Create your very own blog, discussion forums, shop.
If you upload photographs there is a tool which allows some basic editing of these i.e. cropping, resize and rotating etc.
The site is in partnership with Clicky a tool which allows you to monitor your visitors statistics This allows you to assess where visitors have come from by providing geographical info as well as how they found your site.
There is a tool which allows you to set up your own online store and links with Paypal and Google check out for easy payments. The main reason I set up my first site was to sell second hand games I had as a kid. This E-Store tool was therefore incredibly useful to me.
There is the opportunity to add a link page collecting all your links from throughout your website and providing them to you site viewers
Arcade games can also be added to your side at no extra charge.
ADVANCED PAID FOR FEATURES
When you start you will automatically have the free basic package which contains the Webs advertising as standard. In order to unlock additional features you are required to change from the free version of this and subscribe to another package.
The paid options remove the advertising and offer increased bandwidth, a domain name, email addresses and the ability to sell from your site. There are 3 levels of premium site, at US$49.95, $99.95 and $249.95 per year.
When I first looked to set up a website I looked at the numerous packages available and then struggle to use them. The Webs site made everything a lot easier and set it all out in laymen's terms so I could understand them. I now have two websites one which sell second-hand games and one which discusses ways to make money on the internet.
If you want to set up a website and know very little about HTML this is the site for you. It is all layed out in step by step terms. You will have a site up and running in a matter of minutes.
Create a site with your own individual style and make your mark on the world wide web.
The basic version is free and the sites are easy to set up with advice all the way through the process. If you a prepared to pay a little for your business website you will get a domain an email address and no webs advertising banners. Take the plunge today and start your own website.
Webs.com is a free website provider. I have set up one of these for some of my photography, and have found it easy to use and effective to view.
The site is clearly laid out, with a fairly intuitive navigation system which is on several levels - for example, certain buttons only appear when you are in the appropriate part of the site to need them, such as page editing buttons, site editing buttons, etc. There is plenty of white space, so that it doesn't look too crowded. There is also a clear link to the support centre - useful if you get stuck!
Getting started on Webs is easy. There is a simple registration process, after which you get a welcome email asking you to confirm your email address. Once you have done this, you are taken to the site builder, and you can get started.
Your first job is to pick a template, although if you change your mind, you can always pick a different one later without losing your existing content. There is a pretty good range of templates - the site offers more than 300, although it has to be said that this is made up of a core of base templates, plus variations, such as the same layout with a different colour background or different header picture.
Next, you decide what pages you want. These can include galleries, a blog, a forum, and a number of ordinary pages which can be used for introduction, about me, etc. You can choose whether the pages are shown in the navigation menu, and can shift the order easily so that they are listed in the order you want.
All the pages are set up for the type of content you want, with bars for subheadings, side bars and navigation. On my site, I have added a photo gallery, blog, about me, and a links page. The links page can be separated into categories: for example, I have one category for photography-related links and one for general ones.
This is where Webs really shines for me. When you upload photos, the site automatically creates a thumbnail for each. You can also add a title and a caption for each one. Adding photos is easy with their uploader, and once you have uploaded all the ones you want, you are taken to a page where you can add these details.
**What else does it offer?**
You can also upload videos and, as mentioned, add a forum and a blog. Photos can be sorted into albums according to subject, and basic editing of the photos can be done - you can crop, recolour, resize and rotate your pictures.
The site also offers visitor statistics, which are clear and easy to follow. You can add sidebars - I have one showing the latest photo updates and one showing the latest blog entries. There is a user forum, where members can show off their sites, ask for advice and help, or just generally chat.
**Who would this site suit?**
Apart from sharing photos and videos, this would make a good collaborative or family site, as you can give permission for other people to upload to it, and you can also make part or all of your site private by password-protecting pages.
The free version is supported by advertising - a banner at the top and a link to get your own site at the bottom. You get a web address in the form of http://yourname.webs.com. It is also possible to buy a top level domain name, eg www.yourname.com, but I can't seem to find how much this costs.
There are also 3 levels of premium site, at US$49.95, $99.95 and $249.95 per year. These offer extras such as more bandwidth, a domain name, email addresses and the ability to sell from your site.
**Ease of use**
First of all, I will admit that I can (and do) build sites in authoring packages such as Dreamweaver. However, a complete beginner could easily build a site on here, as the whole thing works with a 'wizard', and many parts of it are simply drag and drop. I found that I could get a working site up very quickly - I had mine up and running in a couple of hours. There are handy little hint boxes on the page, and a clear toolbox on the side.
**The finished site**
My site has a rather annoying flashing banner at the top, as I'm too much of a skinflint to pay for an upgrade, but other than that, it looks very professional. Because it is for photography, I have chosen a black background to the actual site part, with charcoal grey surround and very light grey text. The thumbnail pictures are fairly big - around 150 pixels, and click through to good sized pictures with a comments box below each. If you are interested in having your own site, PM me and I'll give you the link to mine so you can see what you get. I don't know if I'm allowed to put it here, although I'm not selling anything on the site.
It's very easy to set up your site
It accepts a variety of media such as text, video and photos
The templates are not very customisable, although you can change the text size and colour throughout
That flashing banner (on the free version only) is bl**dy annoying!
If you want a site that is quick and easy to set up, don't need a lot of bandwidth, and don't want to spend a lot of time editing photos for size, making thumbnails, etc, this is for you. If you want it for your business, I'd go for the middle or top paid version, as a top-level domain always looks more businesslike, and you get the email address and no banner.
Make your own free website.