Building A Website

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This wiki is a broad overview of how to build a website. Links to pages with more details can be found in each section.

How do I make my web pages?

The process

A web page is a text file, usually written in HTML.

This HTML file is then uploaded to your web server via FTP.

There are basically two choices when it comes to creating your web page:

WYSIWYG environments-
Help you create pages quickly, without learning HTML. One of the most popular editors is Dreamweaver.
On the down side, not understanding the basics of HTML code makes it more difficult to troubleshoot your site when things go wrong.
Learning to hand code HTML-
A fun and easy to build a website, and there are a lot of online tools to help you along your way. Chances are, you can pick up enough to make a basic site in less time than it would take to figure out how to do the same thing in an authoring tool. Another advantage of hand-coding is that you, the author, are empowered to troubleshoot and customize your site at will. You will know exactly how it is put together, and how to change and update things as needed.

A few notes on design

Remember that you're designing a page for people to read.

Goodd desine and speling doez mattur (see what we mean?).

Read up on good web style; your site's visitors will thank you for it. A good book to start with is "Creating Killer Web Sites", by Dave Siegel. It will show you what works and what doesn't when targeting the web community. You can visit the companion web site at Killer Sites.

The rule to follow is that experimentation leads to knowledge.

Outside resources

Here are a few other good resources for you to use in learning the basics of web design:

How do I get my website on the web?

To set up your website, you must do the following:

  • Secure webspace by signing up for a web hosting plan and either registering a new domain or transferring your existing domain to DreamHost.
  • Build your html web pages.
  • Send your html web pages to our servers via FTP (your main page should be called index.html).

Glossary of terms

Domain Registration
means that you have paid for and are registered as owning a specific domain name, such as
Domain Hosting
means that you have paid a company, such as DreamHost, to store your html files on their server.
Transferring a domain
means changing the registration information (nameservers) to indicate where you would like your website hosted.

To host a domain with DreamHost your nameservers must be set to:


After signing up and being approved, you'll receive an email with your username and the name of the server you should connect to so you can upload your website via FTP.

If you have a domain registered through another host, make sure to point its Nameservers to us. Once your domain is registered (or transferred to DreamHost), and you’ve uploaded your content to your server via FTP, your site will be live on the Internet to anyone in the world who visits it!

Using One-Click Installs

Another way to build a website at DreamHost is to use a one-click install. View the following article for further details: