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Paying someone to design you a basic site is now almost completely unnecessary. Say for example you own a small business or would like an online bio or website to showcase you or your talents. The best way to do it without creating another generic blog is to build your own individual website from scratch.
Many people are put off by this because HTML is a mystery and the prospect of ‘designing’ sends shivers down their spines. However, designing a cool website that is useful and pleasing to the eye need not be such as hard task.
BlueVoda is a free website builder, so easy to use that anyone who has enough computing skills to make a FaceBook page and use MS Paint, can use it for creating your own website for free. All it is, is resizing boxes, entering text, choosing colors and putting in some pictures and fancy buttons – simple stuff.
First, you’ll obviously have to get the software. It’s 100% free and is available for download right here. When you go to this page you will be asked for your name and e-mail. Once you have entered in all of this information about yourself you can begin the download by checking your e-mail and following the link provided.
An activation key will be e-mailed to you, which you will need to use the software. When the download has finished open the program for the first time. You will be prompted to enter in the activation key that BlueVoda e-mailed to you. Once you have done this the program should start up and ask you whether you want to open an existing or new page. Click “˜new‘.
Along the top and down the left hand side you’ll see tons of icons which can be daunting at first. It’s best to break these up to better understand them.
On top, we have all of our basic web editing tools. Text entry, insert image, change font, create buttons and PayPal links (such as Donate, Buy etc). All of these are resizable and can be placed anywhere on the page.
So for example if I click the text entry icon a small box will appear on the page. I can move this around by clicking and holding on it and moving the mouse. I can resize it by dragging one of the blue boxes around its edge just as you would in MS Paint, right? This technique can be applied to every feature you put on the page be it a picture, game, button, video or banner.
Down along the left hand side you’ll see the more flashy stuff such as Windows Media Player, Quicktime, Flash Player, your RSS feed button and advertisement banners. Place one of them on the page and resize as needed. Then, to put content in it (eg. a video) double click the box and press the ‘Browse‘ button to locate the file on your PC.
So you know exactly how big all of these features are going to be, there are two measurement scales along the side with moving markers in sync with your mouse. To get a real feel for how things will look later, you can preview your site in your browser. Simply click “˜File‘ and then “˜Preview in Browser‘. This will launch your default browser with your site displayed as it would be on the web.
Chances are your site will have more than one page and to make it easier to edit and cross-check, you can have multiple tabs open at once. You can also create a basic page with only the headings and menu bar to use as a template for every page of the website. To do this, create the basic look of the site and click ‘File‘. Then click ‘Save as Template‘.
To change the basic properties of your page, right click on the background and click “˜Page Properties‘. From here a window will open with tabs such as “˜Background‘ and “˜Scroll Bars‘. You can change colors, add a picture as the background and make fancy scroll bars and page transitions.
The options and features in this program are all really well laid out. When you have finished your website, there are two things you have to do to get it live on the net.
- Go to your webhost and upload all the images, videos and other files you used without changing their file name (this is important otherwise the site won’t know how to find them).
- Then, click “˜View‘ in BlueVoda and select “˜Page HTML‘. When the HTML code is up on your screen, copy all of it and then paste it into your host’s HTML editor. This page will now be online.
Repeat this process for all the pages of the website.
TIP: For the best compatibility with BlueVoda you can use VodaHost (this is where they make their money), but it works just as well with free hosting companies such as FreeWebs so long as you choose the “˜Advanced‘ website editor (this will allow you to upload the HTML).
The site below took me ten minutes to build:
Imagine what you could do in a few hours or days.