Property Rights Foundation of America®

from the Fifth Annual New York State Conference on Private Property Rights
October 21, 2000, Albany, New York

Reaching out on the Web — Unlimited Outreach
How to Basics for a Website on the Fly

The 5-minute Website —as easy as 1-2-3
by Lee Ann Gerhart — Anchorage, Alaska

You may create an easy to navigate website in 5 minutes or less and have it cost you NOTHING!


1. http://www.nbci.com/ (as well as others) provides FREE Unlimited webspace and the software to create a fancy custom-designed site online.

2. You may also create webpages using other methods (described below) and upload (transfer to the internet) them onto your website, using FTP (file transfer protocol) software. At nbci, a choice of FTP freeware (free software) may be downloaded (transferred to your computer from the Internet). (WS_FTP is what we use).

I signed up to be a new member, used their software (unfamiliar to me) to create a one-page website, customized every button, and used the FTP software to upload a little morale booster. I did all of that in less than 15 minutes. I did not have to talk to anyone, the instructions were clear and easy to follow. The colors and styles are totally customizable. I chose to be a bit garish, but it is only an example.

Visit the Sample site: http://members.nbci.com/leeanng

Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) may already provide you with free webspace. This may be much faster for your users than a free site. Speed is dependent on how far the provider is from the user, user volume, and data traffic patterns. Compare the sample site above to its clone that I loaded onto the space provided by our ISP (in Anchorage): www.kreig.com/nbci, and again on the American Land Rights webspace (in Hawaii) at: http://www.landrights.org/OCS/nbci/. In Alaska, using our own local ISP in Alaska was lightning fast while nbci's free site was sometimes very slow. It will be interesting to see if that is still the case when we try this in New York!
Here are some other ways to make webpages that are already at your disposal. You need buy NOTHING!

1) With MSWord or WordPerfect, you can make any document a webpage by using "Save as a WebPage." This converts your documents into HTML, the language of the web. In the same way, MSExcel may also be used in creating tables and graphs for the internet.

2) If you are really in the dark ages and do not have modern word processing software that will save to HTML, you may make any document a webpage by using the following simple HTML codes. HTML works like left and right parenthesis. You need a code to open a clause and need a code to close it. Here is all you need to know to create webpages using a simple text editor:


<HTML>

<HEAD>

<TITLE>put the title text here</TITLE>

</HEAD>

<BODY>

enter the text you want to display

</BODY>

</HTML>

Save the file as text with the extension .htm and you have a webpage.

To create a hotlink, use this form of code:
<a href="http://www.hyperlink.com">hotlink words to display</a>

If you want to get fancier, (such as bold face, italicize, change background colors, etc.), you only need to know a tiny bit more HTML, but you don't even need to buy a book. There are wonderful tutorials and references online, such as: http://www.w3-tech.com/crash/.

3) Copying is not only the highest form of flattery, it is an excellent way to build code quickly and to learn from others. If you like the color and look of a website you see in your websurfing, copy it and modify it to suite your needs. To do so, right click on a webpage. Choose the option "View Source." The window that pops up is in HTML. Just copy and paste the code into your text editor and you have a webpage. If you are looking for ideas, my sample website has hotlinks to the sites of over 100 Private Property Rights Friends and Allies.

4) The software that you use to view the internet is called a browser. The two most popular browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape. Some versions have a webpage composer for creating webpages with ease.

TIP: Before you FTP, you can view your homemade webpages as they will appear on the web by opening them with your web browser.

TIP: A variety of commercial software for creating a website is available. We use Microsoft FrontPage, available at http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/ for $149 (or $6.95 for a 45 trial offer) and have found it to be extremely cost effective for managing a more complicated website and maintaining a uniform appearance.
Other helpful freebies on the net:


1) Add a local website Search Engine — a must! This will help your users find material on your website by typing in a word or two.

It's free and easy at: http://www.freefind.com/

Tip: Read freefind's FAQ — how it works, how to prevent indexing a portion of a page, etc.

2) Add a counter . . . and more! Find out how many users have visited your site. A counter service will also provide user statistics such as how many are new to your site, the type of browsers used, what search engine if any brought them to your site, etc. You may make the counter invisible to your users or visible, but the user statistics are available only to you and can help you cater your website to your visitors. One such free counter service is: http://www.thecounter.com/

A little more advanced, but not required are graphics (pictures). A word on graphics — they can really slow down your website to the point that no one will visit it OR they can make it lively and interesting. Doesn't the photo of park rangers dragging Lizzie Jenkins, 5 months pregnant, off her land in the middle of winter make you want to read more! (see Past Abuses on my sample website)

If you are going to use graphics, I highly recommend trying out the evaluation copy of PaintShopPro which may be downloaded from http://www.jasc.com. Use this software to crop the photo or digital image to its essence. Then reduce the size to the height & width you plan to display and reduce the number of colors used. Reduce reduce reduce until it degrades too much and then undo your last step. Then save it in .gif format. Your users will appreciate the effort you have made!

You are now a webmeister!

[These notes are posted on my sample website (or clones). Use the website to experience the advantage of hyperlinks to all referenced sites.]

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