How to Build a Web Page

Building a Web page doesn't require the skills of a trained and experienced Web master. Install tools to your PC or access them online to construct a Web page with a few mouse clicks, some typing and no knowledge of the Web programming language known as HTML. Technical proficiency in the nuts and bolts of Web page construction is less important than crafting an effective message that impacts your audience.

Girls with computer
Consider your target audience when designing a Web page.
credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Planning Your Web Page

Thorough planning is essential to building a functional, professional Web page. First, consider the audience for whom you are building your Web page. Your page should meet the needs and expectations of the age, gender, income level, education, nationality and professional status of your target audience. For instance, Web pages catering to teenage girls have a different look and focus than a page intended for retired seniors.

Collecting Web Page Content

No matter how attractive a Web page is, if the content on the page is lacking or inaccessible to visitors to your site, you are wasting your time and theirs. Carefully select the photos, logos, banners and clip art you want to put on the page. If you intend to provide audio or video files, choose file formats that the majority of your target audience can play. For instance, if you want to reach people with iPads and smartphones, avoid Flash audio and video since their devices may not support it. In addition, make sure that the Web page text is not riddled with spelling and grammatical errors that detract from the message you want to convey.

Finalize Web Page Layout

Once you know your audience, you need to find a way to package your message to them. Do a Web search for websites with the same audience you are seeking and a similar message. Use successful websites as a model for what may or may not work on your Web page. Basic Web designs have a head section that contains a banner or logo; a body section with text, images and multimedia files; and a footer section that could contain contact information or links to other Web pages.

Some WYSIWYG Web design tools include templates you can use as frameworks to which you add your content. Alternatively, you can choose from many free or commercial templates that will provide a ready-made, professionally designed and tested Web page layout.

Adding Page Content

Consider the Web design tools you have access to and experience with. If you are new to Web page design, consider using a WYSIWYG or “What You See Is What You Get” Web editor like Microsoft Expressions, Dreamweaver or BlueGriffin. WYSIWYG Web editors have a design mode that works like a word processor. You can type or paste text into the page as well as insert images and media. You can also change font styling and see the results immediately. In addition, WYSIWYG Web editors often have a preview mode that will display your work in your computer's default Web browser.

Name Your Web Page

If you are creating a one-page website or you intend the page to be the home page for a larger website, you need to use a file name that Web servers recognize as the default page to load. Most Web servers expect home page file names like index.html, index.htm, default.html, default.htm, home.html or home.htm. If the page you are building is not the home page, you can use any name you like as long as the file extension is ".html" or ".htm" and you use this same name for all links and navigational menus pointing to that page.