Site Build It! Advisor

Uploading HTML

Once you've been using the block-by-block SiteBuilder for a while you may find you'd like a little more control over the page building process.

You may realize that some of the things you want to do with your site, especially from a design perspective, are hard to do with the page structure imposed by SiteBuilder.

Also you may have gotten pretty good with creating your own HTML so now your realize that you might as well just start building your pages with either a text editor or one of the available WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) page designers like Dreamweaver or FrontPage.

To be honest I don't know of any serious webmaster who is making money who doesn't know and use HTML. You don't have to be a geek but you definitely need to know the basics. If you want to promote affiliate programs and be able to control those links you'll need to know how to add those links to your site, usually into the HTML code.

Intro To HTML

Benefits of Uploading Your Own HTML

1. More Control

SiteBuilder is like riding a bike with training wheels. It's much easier to build pages but limits your ability to get into high gear and get that bike flying and doing tricks.

2. Your Entire Site Will Exist On Your Local Computer

With SiteBuilder your site resides on the SiteSell servers. Even though SiteSell has your site thoroughly backed up, it's nice to have your site on your own computer where you can manage it.

It also makes it much easier to move your site to a different host if you decide to do that someday.

3. You Can Do More Sophisticated Page Building and Design

Again, because you're building your site with training wheels anyone can build a page. But when you want to go to CSS, javascript, or Flash, SiteBuilder is a hindrance.

Plus building a site with something like Dreamweaver is a much faster process. You can work from templates and make global changes to your site much easier.

And you can also use more sophisticated monetization tools like shopping carts, autoresponders, and fancy affiliate coding.

4. You Can Globally Change Elements Of Your Site

Like I said, Dreamweaver offers ways to make global changes to your site and do simple "search and replace" on your whole site. Also when uploading your own HTML you can use "includes" which allow you to keep common elements like headers, navigation, and footers in separate HTML files that are easy to edit. Make changes to these files and they are automatically updated site-wide. This is great if you want to globally add or change affiliate code or AdSense or Google Analytics. This speed up the site-building and editing process.

5. You Can Take Advantage Of CSS

Cascading Style Sheets takes site design to another level. It takes the formating of a site (font look, images, positioning of elements, etc.) away from the HTML markup and puts it into an external file (CSS file) that offers much more control than even HTML offers. This means your HTML code is leaner and you can make global changes to your site's look and feel within minutes.

Take a look at CSS Zen Garden to see how the same HTML code can be made to look many different ways. Speaking as a 20 year graphic designer, CSS is really the best way to design websites if you want them to look good and let you have full control.

The Transition Process To Uploading Your Own HTML

SiteSell makes it pretty easy to make the transition to uploading your own HTML. You'll find tons of articles to help you move slowly into converting your SBI! site into your own HTML.

A great resource for getting started with HTML are all the articles you'll find in The Tips And Techniques HQ for uploading your own HTML. You'll find everything from the basics of HTML to how to use includes, to how to create a CSS driven site.

Another super resource for learning more sophisticated page-building techniques is the World Wide Web Consortium's Schools site. This site will help you learn everything from basic HTML to CSS to Javascript to PHP scripting, and much more. You'll be going back there for years as you grow your Webmaster skills.

The SBI! Transition Template

SiteSell even gives you a Transition Template that you can start with. This transition template contains the basic structure of your SiteBuilder pages and converts it to an HTML file that you can use in your text editor or WYSIWYG program.

This Transition Template contains a table-based design of your existing pages with "include" tags for calling up your existing Navigation Bar, Header and Table Of Contents. It's all pretty slick if you want to use your current Look and Feel but want to have more control.

Who Should Use The Transition Template?

Typically, the type of Webmaster who will use the Transition Template is someone who is just beginning more advanced page design and has outgrown SiteBuilder. It lets someone make that gradual, gentle next step in their growth as a Webmaster.

SiteSell has done a great job of helping to grow as a Webmaster and the Transition Template is a great place to start. It will show you exactly how your SBI! site is built and you can use that knowledge and understanding as a way to begin your journey to becoming a sophisticated Webmaster.

However I do admit that the "table-based" sites that SBI! creates are far from what's recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium. They recommend you build table-less sites with the styling (design) controlled by the CSS file.

So if you're really going to convert to uploading your own HTML you might want to consider a more modern template as your starting point. I offer a pretty good one for $25 that you might want to consider. Click here to take a look at it.

"But I'm Not A Beginner With HTML"

If your HTML and web design skills are more intermediate you may want to skip using the Transition Template. It still limits you to a table-based, 2-column site design and doesn't use CSS for styling the page.

If your goal is to build a 3-column page or a table-less design it's best to go directly to building your pages from scratch. You'll have much more of a range of design possibilities and if you already use something like Dreamweaver you're ready for much more anyways.

Don't Forget The Integration Guidelines

Uploading HTML to Site Build It! is a little different than uploading to a regular host. You need to do things in a particular way to make them work. Be sure to read the Integration Guidelines before you being to build your site.

Uploading Your Own HTML Is The Next Step

If you are, or plan to be, a truly professional online marketing Webmaster then sooner or later you'll need to learn HTML. There's no getting around it. The benefits are too great.

Of course you can always hire someone to do your HTML design for you and you can focus on the parts of the online marketing and site-building process that you are best at. If you need help please contact me.

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