There was a time long, long ago in technological advancement years when website design was out of the reach of all but the relative few who could write the hyper text markup language better known by its acronym 'html' from start to finish. Website design, then as now, was in high demand for those with the tools and ability to help a client target an audience, develop a world wide web presence, and populate it with fast loading (at 28.8 Kbps) web pages. Of course those early days saw sprites rendered in 256 colors as opposed to today's true color programming (eats up lots and lots of resources) , and those historic basic colors ruled in a tile-based world and we thought they were something. Specificity of product, of course, especially if images were to be employed, became the real challenge as they could be inordinately cumbersome and slow to load.
The result being one of three options, to wit: (1) wait and wait and wait - maybe while you mow the lawn, (2) become exasperated with the tedious task of internet speed - actually modem speed - to the point of "clicking off" the website, or (3) losing your treasured internet connection. In 2008, companies such as AOL, Net Zero, and many other Internet Service Providers (ISP) offering cheap internet connections assures that there remains enough people using dial-up to connect to the internet that one doing website design must be ever cognizant of loading speeds. The standard for this measurement remains 28.
8K for the Computer Man Website Design Team although no one in the United States can expect to efficiently, if at all, cruise the internet at that speed. The difference being that almost anyone can design and build some measure of a website in the 21st century with little or no help. Many companies that offer internet hosting also offer basic website design and promotional tools. One can sign up for a sub domain, build a nice web site, add an avatar and promote it to a few search engines in an hour or less. Missing in this scenario are the tags a website needs and any special requirements of the entrepreneurial enterprise.
If the site is personal for family and friends such an under taking may be more than sufficient. All that is left to do, is an e-mail to your contacts to let them know where they can find your postings, photos, etc and you only need to change the web site when the spirit moves you. If, however, you hope to use the site to generate revenue either as a hobby or primary source of income you could be way off base.
Let's be clear. There is no problem with a sub domain per se or as pertains to search engines. The search engines treat a sub domain as the separate website that it is. Perhaps we can cover this complicated subject in a separate article. No. The problem is with the flexibility of the primary domain's shared website design templates.
These are templates set up specifically for sharing as little bandwidth (space) as possible with sub domains. When you compare the features and space allocated to you with that of the host, you will quickly see many of the limitations of the majority of these hosts and arrangements. Best practices, even if using a free sub domain, is to create your website the way you want it with a third party program and upload it to your new sub domain. This can be done relatively easily with such programs as Alley Code, Evrsoft, Coffee Cup, Page Breeze or other free html editors.
You can also use free WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get - maybe) website creators such as Nvu or Sea Monkey. For a Free online store creator one might try the free version of "easy store creator". of course. What else would it be? For more complicated and user friendly websites most will still need to retain a professional website design team. However you go about designing your website, make sure you understand and comply with the pre-requisites of the host or you will find that all of your work was in vain as your site will be rejected one way or another for one reason or another - too numerous to cover here.
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