Learn Web Design

Learn Web Design

Learn Web Design for free using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS). Welcome to our video series on Learning Web Design. Learn web design technology and techniques with step by step video tutorials showing to how to choose a domain name, set up a server,create a database, upload files, and build a website.

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Learn Web Design Part 1 Getting Started

This section will show you the free desktop applications that are required to begin to learn how to create your own website. It is important to keep your local machine virus free to prevent uploading anything destructive to your server.

SEO Quake

SEO Quake is a very useful addon for Firefox,providing a multitude of website parameters including Google page rank,indexed pages, Alexa, keyword density, website backlinks, presence of irobots text, sitemap and much more. Follow the video tutorials on their website to see its uses.

Install SEO Quake

Learn Web Design Part 2 Choose A Domain Name

Choosing a domain is a necessary first step online in website creation. Google has changed the keyword analysis tool interface, but the essential method to obtain search volumes for keywords remains the same. Exact match domains still sometimes work, but in general have fallen out of favour due to efforts to manipulate the search engines. Having the main keyword contained within the domain is still considered to be good practice, as these domains have good click through rates.

Guidelines for Choosing a Domain Name

Some of these rules are more important than others and a lot will depend on whether your domain name is being purchased for business use or personal use but generally speaking these are domain buying rules to follow in almost every scenario.

1. Stick with “.com” – The .com TLD (top-level domain) is by far the most widely accepted extension for a domain name. If you are looking for a domain name for a business then it is even more important to choose a .com for your domain name because of the credibility boost that a .com domain name brings. Yes, there are still some very successful businesses that have domain names ending in .net or .org but just think, as a new business do you really want to chance having a lot of your customers forget that your domain name ends in .net and instead type in your domain name + .com when they go to find your website? There are some exceptions to this rule of course. If you run a business that is based in a country outside of the United States then it can be smart to use a local TLD (.IE as in the case for Ireland). To protect your brand, it might require registering several domains (.COM, .NET, .ORG, and the extension of the country you will do business in.

If you wish to register a .IE domain,you will need to show your association with the name you wish to register.If you already have registered a Company,then its quite easy to register a domain using that companys’ name. To register a .IE domain visit Letshost

2. One Possible Spelling – Try to find a domain name that only has one possible spelling. Most people cannot spell so make it easy for your website visitors to remember by choosing a domain name without a confusing spelling. Try to choose a domain that you can be spoken and easily understood without the need to spell the name.

3. Shorter is Better – The shorter your domain name is then the easier it is for your visitors to remember, the easier it is for your visitors to type, and the easier it is for your visitors to tell others about your domain name. All of these are good things.

4. Commercial Appeal – A quick way to test if your domain has commercial appeal or marketability is if you think that the domain name will look good up on a billboard or in a commercial. This is especially important if you are looking for a business domain name but it is of course important for personal domain names as well.

5. No Hyphens – If at all possible then avoid using a hyphenated domain name. Sure, many businesses will use a domain name with a hyphen or even two or three but the two main problems with hyphenated domain names is that people forget where the hyphens go (or forget them altogether) and hyphenated domain names can lose traffic to similar domain names that do not have hyphens (i.e. a visitor wants to return to your domain name which is www.nolan-heating.ie but instead types in www.nolanheating.ie and inadvertently ends up on a competitor’s website). A hyphenated domain name can often seem like a cheap substitute for the same domain name without the hyphen in the eyes of many visitors. You don’t want to send the message to your website visitors that you are settling for second best and could only register www.nolan-heating.ie and not the better domain choice of www.nolanheating.ie.

6. Other Extensions – If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com then it usually makes sense to try and grab as many of the other common extensions that are available as well and then redirect those other extensions to your domain name that ends in .com. For example, if you are able to purchase the domain name sallysmusicblog.com and you definitely have long term plans for the website then it is probably a smart thing to go ahead and register sallysmusicblog.net, sallysmusicblog.org, sallysmusicblog.ie, etc. as well and then just redirect all of the non .com domains to your .com domain name. This has two benefits: when people type in sallysmusicblog.net then they will automatically be redirect to sallysmusicblog.com and also it will prevent other people from purchasing a domain name that is the same as yours but just with a different extension and potentially stealing traffic away from your website.

7. Singular vs. Plural – Make sure that you set up a website on the domain name that makes the most sense when choosing between the singular and plural of the words in your domain name. One thing that you definitely should do is purchase both the singular and plural variation of your domain name if applicable and then redirect the not as good sounding domain to the best sounding domain. Keep in mind that for some domain names the singular will sound better than the plural while with others the plural will sound better than the singular. For example, if you have a site that is devoted to health insurance plans then healthinsuranceplans.com sounds better than healthinsuranceplan.com but to avoid confusion and keep the singular domain away from your competitors then it would be best to buy both of the domain names and then redirect healthinsuranceplan.com to healthinsuranceplans.com.

8. Price – To register a brand new domain name you will pay between €10 to €25 a year. To purchase domain name at an auction from someone looking to sell one of their existing domain names then you could pay anywhere from €5 to hundreds of thousands of Euros or even more plus the annual registration fees.

9. Keyword Rich – Choose a domain name that contains the main keywords that are related to your website. If your site sells carpets then try and choose a domain name that contains the word “carpets” in the domain name.

10. Avoid Numeral Substitutions – Numerals in a domain can work ok but avoid substituting common words with numerals as they can often be confusing and hard to remember. For example, try not to use the numeral “4″ instead of “for”, “2″ instead of “to”, etc.

11. Avoid Slang – Stay away from slang spellings of words for the same reasons that you should stay away from numeral substitutions. It is one thing to think up a great brandable name that is easy to remember and quite another to buy a domain name with “u” instead of “you”.

12. Watch Out for the Numeral “0″ – The numeral “0″ is often mistaken for the letter “O” and vice versa. Make sure that there is no confusion between the 2 in your domain name.

13. Brandable – 15 years ago know one knew who or what a “Google” was but now Google.com is an extremely valuable and very brandable domain name. Don’t get too carried away with being clever but a brandable domain name can go a long way in making your site successful.

14. Easy to Type – The easier the domain is to type then the better the domain will be.

15. Easily Understood – When someone reads or hears your domain name for the first time then they should be able to easily understand what your website is all about. Of course, there is often a give and take between trying to find a domain that is easily understood and one that is brandable as well.

16. Copyright Issues – Steer clear of domain names that are infringing on an existing copyright. You can use the online search function of the US Copyright Office if you have doubts about copyright issues for a particular domain name.

17. Unique – The more unique a domain name is then the easier it is to remember. Stay within the constraints of the other rules when searching for a unique domain name but if you can be clever and pull it off then finding a unique domain name can pay off handsomely for years to come.

18. Use a Thesaurus – If you feel stuck when trying to choose your domain name then bring up 2 different tabs: open up Thesaurus.com in one tab and then our instant domain search tool in another tab. Plug in the word or words that most closely describe your website into the thesaurus and then as your find good synonyms then start entering the word combinations into our domain search tool to instantly check the availability of the domains.

19. Memorable – If you can easily remember a domain name after hearing it just once then there is a good chance that you have found a memorable domain name.

20. Domain Auctions – Domain auctions can be great sources for finding bargain domain names.Irish domains cannot be transferred without the registrars permission.

21. Industry Jargon – While it is important to make sure that your domain name is easily understood by everyone who reads it, at the same time a good strategy can be to use industry jargon specific to your website niche for your domain name. Using industry jargon can increase the credibility of your website in the eyes of your website visitors who are familiar with jargon in your websites niche.

22. Brainstorm – If you have a business partner or a friend then use them to bounce some ideas around. Start by thinking of your ideal domain name and then throw out as many words and combinations of words related to that ideal domain name as possible. Sooner or later you are bound to have a flash of genius and find a great domain name. To rapidly search for available domain names then use our instant domain search tool.

Learn Web Design Part 3 Server Setup

Why Choose cPanel Web Hosting

The various types of web hosting supposedly created to make it easier for consumers to get customized solutions for their needs make it extremely difficult for a newbie to web hosting choose a plan. If you have no experience with web hosting and need to choose a package to get your site online you should consider cPanel web hosting. cPanel is quite popular among resellers and the majority of webmasters online for the simple fact that it makes management of everything related to your website simple and straightforward. Outlined below are some benefits of cPanel hosting.

All In One Site Maintenance

With cPanel you will be able to get your site’s backup files when you need them, observe disk space usage, create and customize error pages, manage web directories and install shopping carts and other applications with ease. cPanel is one of the most flexible and easy options for maintaining and management of a website.

Backup Facility in Cpanel Web Hosting

It is easy to overlook the need to backup your site when you get caught up with the everyday operation of running a busy site. Thankfully cpanel can make backups a breeze so that you can easily create and store backups of your data files, images, videos, emails and other types of content. If your website crashes for some reason you can easily recover your data and restore your sites with a few clicks.

Lots Of Useful Features

One of the primary reasons so many webmasters choose cPanel is due to the fact that it is extremely stable. Other features include the ability to setup and manage emails, add or remove domains, view web stats, monitor bandwidth usage and much more. No other control panel comes close to the flexibility that is offered by cPanel.

Web Stats

You need to carefully monitor your site visitors, where the traffic is coming from and the amount of traffic that you are getting if you want to run a successful business. Failure to find ways to increase your traffic and the quality of your leads will affect the success of your online business. This is the reason why web stats are so important. With cPanel you can view your web site and get the information that you need to make improvements and grow your business.

Email Management

Email management and spam protection are also great features of cPanel. Multiple email accounts can be difficult to manage but with cPanel you can easily assign your domains to your email accounts and even create an autoresponder for each email. You can also set the spam filter to a level that you need in order to decrease the amount of incoming spam.

Fantastico & Softaculous

A very convenient advantage of cPanel web hosting is Fantastico and the recent Softaculous that you can use to administer your domain over a simple interface. It makes the installation of popular scripts and applications such as WordPress, Joomla, and many others possible with one click. This removes the need for technical assistance that would usually have been needed to install these programs.

Learn Web Design Part 4 WordPress Install

In this video we will use WordPress as our Content Management System and install the files and create a database on our server.

WordPress as a blog

WordPress started as a blogging platform and has become one of the most widely used blogging systems in the world. WordPress combines ease of use with nearly unlimited customization. Creating posts, approving comments, and customizing your look and feel are all easy with WordPress. The customization opportunities are endless and the huge number of available plugins and themes make it easy to achieve the look and function you want.

WordPress as a website

WordPress can do more than just blogging. With the built in Pages feature you can create standalone pages for your website in addition to your blog posts. Again the ability to customize themes makes your design possibilities limitless. Many websites you visit on a daily basis are powered by WordPress. The content management features built into WordPress make it easy to create pages and child pages, embed video, manage your media assets, and more.

WordPress as a blog and website

The best of both worlds. Out of the box WordPress lets users create website pages, and posts. It is extremely commonplace now to have a corporate blog running besides a corporate website. Multiple permission levels and the easy nature of publishing make WordPress ideal for any manner of websites.

Learn Web Design Part 5 Install A Custom Theme

In this video we will add a custom theme to extend the look and functionality of WordPress by adding a custom theme.

Learn Web Design Part 6 Create Content Areas

In this video we will create various pages and posts on our WordPress site.

Learn Web Design Part 7 WordPress Plugins

In this video we will look at adding additional features to WP using third party plugins which integrate into the WordPress environment.

What Is Metadata?

In terms of search engine optimization, metadata refers to the information that helps search engines recognize data on web pages, which in turn, helps them get sorted and cataloged correctly. Commonly referred to as data about data, metadata is hidden inside of websites so that search engines can access the information.

Metadata is important to businesses because it aids potential customers in finding your company’s website. Although no longer relevant in search engine ranking, metadata allows the webmaster to create an appealing ad regarding their website content, and this is often used by search engines. There are many different components of metadata but the main parts are title, description, and keywords.

Meta Title

The title is the most important part of metadata, and probably the most important part of your web page in general. The title is where you tell the world what the actual webpage is about. Think about your job title, for example. It’s a way of letting people know what it is that you do. The same goes for web page titles; they let the world know what it is that the webpage does or can do for them. Besides helping individuals understand your web page, the metadata title also aids search engines in deciphering what your web page is about. It’s kind of like a book title, for example, that gives you insight as to what the topic of the book is going to be.

Meta Description

The metadata description is basically a summary of your web page. You should use important words and key phrases that you would want people to know about your company, like what your company does, for example, and where you are located. You can, again, think of the description that is written on the back cover of a book. The author writes a summary of what they want people to know about their book, in hopes that they will be interested in it. You should be doing the same with your web page descriptions.

Meta Keywords

Lastly, metadata keywords are simply a list of key terms that tells people what a particular page is about. Keywords are similar to metadata descriptions, however instead of explaining to people what the web page is about, keywords instead tell search engines. While descriptions are written in complete sentences, keywords are simply key words describing the content on the page so that search engines can accurately show people the results of what they are searching for. It has been said that some search engines ignore the keyword meta field, but we still recommend continuing to use them.

To sum this all up, metadata helps people find what they are looking for by giving search engines the correct information about a particular web page. Search engines can then organize and interpret the data to turn it into meaningful information so that individuals, like you and I, can find exactly what we are looking for.

Learn Web Design Part 8 Add Content

In this video we will begin to add content to  pages and posts within WordPress.

Learn Web Design Part 9 Embed Media Into WordPress

Learn Web Design Part 10 Adding Code Snippets

In this video we will add code snippets from the demo site to format our content areas.

Learn Web Design Part 11 Styling And Theme Options

In this video we will begin to style our content areas using the theme options.

LearnWeb Design Part 12 Website Maintenance

In this video we will create a backup of all files and databases, update core WordPress files, plugins and theme.