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Creating a Website

A high level over view.

An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
-- Robert A. Humphrey

Many people want to have a website of their own. The first thing to do is to decide on the reason why you want a website. Set a goal for the site, and look for the shortest path to meet that goal.

The next step is to make the site. Remember: keep it simple.

Free Solutions

The easiest option is to use a free hosted solution like `google sites `_, blogger, wordpress, facebook, myspace, livejournal, twitter, etc. These solutions are *very* user friendly and easy to get started. If you don't have much experience creating web sites, I encourage you to start here. These solutions will help you get familiar with some of the concepts of creating a website.

Even if you want your site to do more eventually, this is a great place to start. Having something in place lets gives you a frame of reference to help you define what else you need. At the very least, you'll start organizing the content you'll need for other solutions. At the very best, this option might do everything you wanted it to. Great!

More information about creating a site with Google Sites is in `google_sites `_

Your Own Domain Name

The next step up on the road of website development is to register your own domain name. If you have your own domain name, you can point it to one of the free hosted solutions already mentioned. With your own domain name, you can always change where it goes. This gives you complete control over what is displayed and how it is displayed. If you change your mind on the system you want to use for the site, you can change it without having to tell people the new address. (Some links to specific content may be broken in this scenario.)

Static Sites

The next easiest thing to do for more control over the content is create your website with static content. You will need a way to create the [static content] and a way to host it on a publicly available web server (web host).

If you need a recommendation for a good affordable host, or domain registrar, try Dreamhost:
If you wouldn't mind saying that I referred you, just use that link, or when asked for an email, use admin [at] charlesbrandt [dot] com (formatted as a real email address)

Details about creating a static site are in `static websites `_

Dynamic Sites

Middle ground... template based static site generation. (some programming, still static results). python/templates.txt

If you find that you are changing your static content frequently, but have difficulty keeping the navigational elements of your site up to date with the changes, it may be time to investigate a dynamically generated site. These require software or programming to automatically generate the dynamic parts of your site. These solutions may also require a different hosting solution. General solutions fall in the realm of content management systems (CMSes) and custom solutions involve using web frameworks to create web applications, or just starting from scratch with custom code to interact with a database or other storage mechanism. Get ready to do a lot of research, or call in your local programmer at this point!


Documentation specific sites should investigate documentation generation tools like epydocs and sphinx.

Remember: Don't get lost in the infinite ways of presenting your content! Start simple.