Prepare to start a website
Before you start
Before you chose any of the three paths I mentioned on the previous page, there are some preparations you need to do before you get to the actual building of your website. I will use some of my experience on this website, Temp3.net as an example, but the same applies to any website. Let's name this step the prepare stage. This is where you will sit down and brainstorm everything you want your website to do and everything you want to accomplish with it. My personal recommendation is that you do this step with a pen and pencil or a whiteboard. This is not a must, but I found these two as great tools for brain storming.
Understand the target
Perhaps this is one of the most vital piece of information to get early on. You have to have a goal in mind. It doesn't have to be much. It can be as simple as I want my photos to be online to share with my family, or I want a blog to help me quit smoking. It can also be as complex as I need to generate more orders for my flower shop. Whatever the reason might be, you need to have this in mind and write it down. Having a main goal from the start will help you along the process to have a successful website. Also, understanding your market target will help you gear your website to the appropriate market. Many websites fail simply just because they are geared toward the wrong market share. We will come back to this later on when I cover the design of a website.
The anatomy of a website
This is a complex issue and might require more than just a paragraph or two, but I will try. In a nutshell, a website is a collection of html documented linked together via links. Your website will start with a home page, this is a landing page and the frontier of your website. From the home page your visitors will be guided to other pages and perhaps also subpages and subpages on. This is a tree like structure, from the root (the home page) to the direct pages liked from it and so own. The next page will describe how to plan a website before you even start thinking of any technical aspects.