If you are reading this, no doubt you are new to website design. Thats ok, I applaud your bravery ;)
Joking aside, I am honored to be an ambassador to a trade that has allowed me to work as an independent individual without punching the clock at a certain time and being docked 15 minutes when I am 30 seconds late. I find website design immensely rewarding as I am able to make my own hours, work from home, and am consistently being challenged. Now I am even more pleased to be sharing what I know!
Ok, lets get started.
Website Design is a multi-faceted discipline and while much of it can be done point and click, you are going to find yourself delving deeper and deeper into the abyss so lets get our oxygen tanks on.
To make a website, one needs the following:
A website hosting server
A website hosting server is a computer that is connected to the internet serving your web pages to the masses. If you wanted to you could server web pages from your personal computer but this is very impractical primarily because the only time your website would be viewable to the public is when your computer is on and connected. If you were running a business could you imagine having to make sure your computer was always on and connected to the internet? Most times private or even commercial internet connections are not suitable for this kind of connectivity. This is one thing that I can say without a doubt is essential to out source. See the Web Hosting section for more.
A means of creating your website
There is software out there that lets you point and click your way through building a website without knowing what HTML is, however in my nearly 15 years of experience professional results are not really attainable. My advise is to get some software that is made for web authoring that deals with the code because like building a home, modular homes will never offer the flexibility of stick built! To do this right you'll want a full featured code editor. My personal recommendation is Adobe Dreamweaver. It is a bit expensive but if you are in it for the long haul - this is a very good investment.
A good free alternative is NotePad++ it doesn't have quite all of the features as Dreamweaver but it is a close second, and who can complain about free?
One of the most used phrases in this business is "Content is King" and it cannot be understated. Your content is your text, image, audio and video that you wish to share with your website viewers. It can be helpful to gather and organize this before you get started.
Knowledge & Motivation
Seeing as how you clicked on whatever link brought you here, I'll assume you haven't a ton of this yet. Don't worry, all of the information you will ever need regarding website design is found right here on the internet. (surprise surprise!).
Now to plant the seeds of your web design knowledge tree - please proceed to our glossary of website design terminology.