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The Honest Way Forum • View topic - Re: Building Your Own Website

Re: Building Your Own Website

Discuss webmaster issues, website development and resources. Ask questions about website building, coding, SEP/SEO etc here. NO ADS!

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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby Scooter » Thu May 21, 2009 10:46 am

May I first express my gratitude to TEL for your series on building a website! It surely must have taken a great deal of your time to compose all of that information, and for someone who has very little knowledge of the mechanics of HTML and CSS, I can say that I now have a basic understanding. Again, THANK YOU. But as anyone knows, in the process of learning, questions arrise, and so here's some questions I have, and that I hope may benefit others as well?

I have two sites through HostGator, and being the novice that I am I simply chose a webpage design/format provided through their hosting service. But its BORING! And it does not comport with the elements that I would like to contain within each page, i.e., "wrappers" or boxes... Anyhow... Now that I have a basic understanding of how to add elements, etc., I am considering adding some page elements -- if it will let me?

Now I believe that I can do this through the cPanel by accessing the file manager file which has 4 choices:

Home Directory
Web Root (public_html/www)
Public FTP Root (public_ftp), and
Document Root.

By default the "Web Root" option is chosen. Is the the correct file to choose?

Second, once I access and edit the html elements of my page(s), will this affect any other element of my site other than the html -- as long as I do not alter the title, description, etc.?

Finally, and I guess this may be directed at TEL re: his tutorial mentioned above. You teach to break the page elements down into seperate, linked pages and/or stylesheets for the ease of changes being applied to all pages by only editing one single page. I believe that HostGator applies this methodology, but if it does not, can I alter it, and if I do will there be any adverse affects?

I really appreciate any and all responses to this post, and thank you all in advance for helping me learn.

Thanks.

~Scooter
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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby Tel » Fri May 22, 2009 7:40 am

Scott, to work on an existing website you created using a third party package, you should get hold of an FTP program (there's plenty around for free - filezilla is my favourite). Then you need to download all the files in the public_html folder to your PC, because these are the files that makeup your website.

Then to make changes, you'll need to edit the individual files on your PC, such as index.php (or index.html) style.css etc. Use either Notepad or a more advanced text editor such as PSPad (also free - google it) to make your changes, then upload the files back to public_html. Keep a running check on your changes in your browser (use both Firefox and IE for comparison) and only make minor changes each time, then upload to see what effect it has. That way if you make a mistake, it is easily fixed.

Note, if the files are suffixed .htm or .html, you won't be able to use php includes, which is how I keep certain repetitive data in a single page. To do this, all data files must have .php suffix (except style.css which is always as is)
Terry

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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby Scooter » Fri May 22, 2009 9:07 am

Thank you very much Terry.
I have only made it just through part 5 of your "build your own website" series, and because of the uniqueness of my questions pertaining to altering an [e]xisting site I do not believe that it was covered in your information, respectively.
I would have never known to download the files to my PC to make the changes, so I am glad that I asked. Moreover, I would have never known that I also need an FTP program as well...
I am happy to report that all files are php, and I have download the PSPad text editor as you suggested in your series. As for the FTP program, I am not certain as to whether HostGator already provides one or not? This is where I can easily get lost...

Now an important question I have pertains to the changes affecting my site, and I will only make small changes as you suggested; just in case... However, will actual changes to the form of my site have any substantial affect as to how search engines view it? I certainly have no inclination to alter the substance, just the form of the layout, etc. In your experience do you know of any reason why or how altering the html code -- while leaving all text alone -- may affect SEO?

Thanks again Terry

~Scooter
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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby Paperquest » Fri May 22, 2009 1:44 pm

Could someone post the link to Terry's "build your own website series?
thanks

Mack
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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby ejcross » Fri May 22, 2009 3:26 pm

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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby ejcross » Fri May 22, 2009 3:30 pm

Scooter,

The changes you make to your site could potentially affect your SEO. However, Google and the other search engines generally look at just a few things. The don't care about div's or classes, etc. when it comes to CSS or html files.

Your header tags (H1, H2, etc.) are important, along with your meta descriptions and meta keywords for your site. These are the primary things that the search engines look at when determining what your site is about and what ads to serve with Adsense.

As for the layout, CSS and html issues, what I usually do if I have an existing site that I am working on, or reworking the design of is to copy it into a new folder under the existing site. Create a new folder, call it "test" or something, upload the files into it and then you can rework the design without affecting the current site. I prefer to use Notepad++ for my editing and you can also install a program called XAMPP on your computer which creates a mini-webserver right on your computer that you can then use to create and edit sites without them being "live" on the internet.

Let me know if I can help you out with anything.

Elliott
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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby ejcross » Fri May 22, 2009 3:40 pm

Here are some good links as a start to learning and understanding CSS:

http://www.cssbasics.com/

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/01 ... e-without/

http://www.free-css-templates.com/

I used the free css templates to download templates to be able to study them and play around with the CSS to see what happens when you make changes.
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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby gabbyjay268 » Fri May 22, 2009 4:46 pm

Firebug has been a huge help for me learning CSS and how making tweaks will affect the layout of sites. You can download it for FireFox here:



There is a similar thing on IE, but I have never used it:

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Re: Building Your Own Website

Postby Scooter » Sat May 23, 2009 3:16 am

WOW!

Thank you everyone for your input and resources. I truly appreciate it!

@ ejcross: Thank you for the info on structure of the site -- I kind of figured that formatting and the such would not have any bearing on SEO, but presuming anything could result in a major set back in these types of circumstances.

@ gabbyjay268: That firebug addon is really something else! The only word that comes to mind is AWESOME!

Thanks,

~Scooter
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