How I have made my own website
The road to my own web was not too easy. What is it like to start your own website from scratch? Without any knowledge of HTML and CSS? Could it be done self-help in short time? In addition without a CMS? I will show you round the first thinks about own website to its start. Maybe there will be some advices what not to do and what not to forget. :)
A little bit of history
Around 11 years old I had a stab at HTML for the first time, but I did not stick to it. I guess I stopped at a title, a link and a first line. I even did not get to a basic design template, how sad. CSS sounded to me as a dirty word and my relation to A6 manual was not made, despite my regret. I used to do blogging, very popular activity at that time. Tell me, does not easier to login to system, write a few words, click on Publish and have no worries any more? I did not have to concert myself with the code and leave my comfort zone. I changed the addresses and themes (dogs, animals, prose and poetry, public my graphics arts) of my blogs for many times. In 18 years I welcomed majority and also stopped with blogging. The reason was, besides other things, fast and noticable failure of my favorite blogging platform blog.cz. I did not like any other, unfortunately. Let us be honest – blog.cz used to have a very vast users base and good style of advertising each one of blogs.
Have my own web, or not to have: that is the question
I lived satisfied for 4 years without any website. From time to time it occurred to me that it might not be so bad to stop putting my graphics into folders in the computer, but I could come out to the light of the internet with it. Immediately an idea about difficult path to own web portfolio discouraged me. Would I like to pay for own domain? Maybe I would not stick at… I did not want to put money and time to uncertain result. I think the crucial reason of my fear was that I did not see anneed of having own web.
It is decided
At the beginning of the year 2019 I realized my first exhibition in my life at College of Polytechnics Jihlava, where I study. Then the pieces of graphics were sold at action at College ball and the proceeds went to help the oncological kids. The combination of feedback, knowledge that my work helped someone and made someone's day caused I started to think about my own website – serious this time. Shortly after that I successfully paied this domain. If you put your money into something, it is a dependable tool against laziness or fearness which could drive you back. Now there is no way back, there will be your own website and Bob's your uncle! I said to me. But… how?
Tutorials and videotutorials
My website lied fallow for several months, there were only my contact and info that full version of web will be done soon. After my examination period I started to work on that. What I needed for making my website, the opening page at first? Firstly opened PlainText renamed as index.html. Secondly opened website where I could learn basics of HTML. At first I visited well-known to me web called JakPsatWeb. I visited it in my 11s for the first time. Now it became a fount of wisdom of HTML and CSS I used to use for bacics or something more difficult. But I needed more sources. Some of videotutorials on YouTube and on foreign websites proved useful to me. I had my opening page and menu after the first day of working on.
Why is it not working, damn?!
Okey, let's move on. The opening page was just the beginning. I had to make all of subpages, gallery itself,… A lot of things to do were ahead of me and I set to this which was characterized by ten-hours sitting in front of display of the computer every day. Time for a snack? Less then time for finding out why the link was not blue as I had commanded. I badly needed to have the link blue! And why all of this has moved now? And why it has dissapeared if it was here a few moments ago?! Oh, semicolon. Aha, curly bracket. Hm and here a typing error. Finding erros in a code is higher level than finding a needle in a haystack. After a few days my template was done, it was only necessary to put contents itself (read as graphics). I almost rubbed my hands and smile but suddenly a memory of a few days later read text called to my mind: “...in these days each web should be responsive because...” Okey, just do it. Unfortunately it was not so easy as it looked like. I did not understand so many articles and when I started to have hopelesness I luckily came upon a great videotutorial. But why it does not work on my template? There was some mistake and I could not find it so I decided to very hard step: I decided to entrust all of caring of my web, its design and working to experts.
Of course not! :) Maybe it would be easier and it would save me a lot of effort but on the other hand I would learn nothing. And I would not so proud as I am now. So the hard step was start to make all over again. All over again! Get back to the first creating of opening page from index.html BUT with one huge difference – this time with responsive elements. My smile was getting bigger and bigger because it started to work. There were times full of hopelessness of course, but in the end it all was a success!
One thing I did not want to surrender was an idea of bilingual website. No all web in English, no some parts in English, some in Czech. I decided to have two versions of the web. One version in Czech and the second, absolutely identical, in English. Succeed! Great way to not stop developing in English if you do not have native speakers in your vicinity and travelling is not your cup of tea. :)
A few words to finish
In summary 12 days of working were enough. My website consisted of 5 categories in Menu, 10 graphics in Portfolio, 1 in Projects and 3 in Orders.
Creating your own web self-help from the first HTML tag is amazing thing. You have all over your control, which could be a little bit disheartening. :) (Especially if you found out after a few distant pressing the key Delete that you deleted all of your web except for the open page and css.) But you are able to get used to that soon and find required confidence in yourself and trust you deal with every problem it will come. (Even make actually whole web all over again.) I would not change it. (At any reate I have found out if I can remember something in programming.) I have never could imagine that I will create my website on my own. (And so many times over!) Understand the code? Come on! Well, sometimes it is enough to challenge yourself. :) Who wants, finds ways, who does not want, finds arguments.
Promised tips (some of them are not in the article)
If you have problems with something that should work, I will recommend you to sit, look at the code and check each character one by one. Is missing semicolon, bracket, quotation marks anywhere? Is there a typing error or is something duplicated? Even a little mistake can mess up all of your work.
Do not make same mistake like me and do not try to create responsiveness of your website as the last step. It is possible you would not have the same mistake as me, which prevented my web from working correct, but I recommend you the method I applied: create a basic template and immediately create its responsive version and then fill it with a content.
It is wise to create folders which you will place your articles and work into. Maybe you have nothing to public, but remember: after a few months or years all the stuff will accumulate. It will be difficult to make heads or tails of it if you will have all stuff at one place. It is necessary to allow for this in the beginning of creating your website. If you have all links in one place, where you have all stuff, and then classify it to folders, the donkey work will come: remake all links one by one, the more subpages, the more work. More about links shortly.
In the beginning I have to say one exception: .svg is applicable format for a picture without text. If there is any text, you are playing with fire. You are excepting the visitors of your web have the same fonts as you. But if they do not, the picture/text will not display in correct way and in most cases it will display badly. Because of it I recommend other formats, for example: .png.
Again about the famous links. As I said before it is necessary to keep it in your mind in the beginning of creating your web. There are folders, renameing files – the whole name or their extension. Plan it in advance not to have to go through all of it for many times as me. It will save you a lot of time.
It is very funny part of the process. If you have your website completed as you have liked, it will be necessary to test it all. If all links work, if all display in correct way, if the responsiveness work,… You undergo mini test stage in programming process several times, but this test stage is the biggest. :) I was successful in that before send it to the internet, but I guess if you remove the .html extension in your files, you will not be able to that before send it to the internet. But I do not except your web will become viral in the first day of its workings, so stay calm. ;)