A couple of my friends run a business and they asked me to build them a public website. It will only be used for static information about the company with some pictures. No transactions will be involved.

Right now I work for a company where I build internal and external websites; and do a lot of back end programming in C#. I understand HTML, CSS, and jQuery so I feel like I am completely capable of building a website for them.

However, I do not know all the basic knowledge to building one. For example, where should we host the files? What type of security issues do I need to be aware of? What's the best software to use for developing websites? (I use visual studio at work.) Where can I find some design techniques?

closed as not a real question by John Conde Oct 7 '11 at 11:47

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 6 '11 at 15:08

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  • It would probably be better if you broke this into a couple of specific questions that can actually have a correct answer. "Building a website" isn't a question, and it's too broad a topic to be covered by a single answer (this entire website is dedicated to that topic). – Lèse majesté Jan 14 '11 at 2:29
  • @Lese Obviously "building a website" is not a question. But if you read the entire post, there are about 3-infinite number of questions. I am looking for advice. The first place I almost always go to for technical information is SO. They migrated my question to this SE site. I don't think I have ever been voted down asking for advice. Clearly, if this question gets a good answer that covers ALOT of my concerns, it will be extremely useful for other beginner web designers. Look at it as a begginer's guide to building a website, no? Perhaps a change to the name of the topic will suffice? – Ant Jan 14 '11 at 15:13
  • 1
    I didn't vote you down because you're asking for advice. I voted you down because the area of advice isn't clearly defined. It's the "-infinite" part that is the issue. I just don't think this fits the intended question structure for this site, even for a community wiki. At the minimum, I think it should be split into "web design guidelines" and "web development guidelines" and "web host guidelines" (I think there's already a question like this last one). – Lèse majesté Jan 14 '11 at 16:11

Given the tech knowledge you have, I'd definitely recommend you take a look at Umbraco CMS. It's a free CMS built on .net C#. Very extensible with a lot of modules out there. It will also let your friends easily control the content post-deployment. You'll get security etc all out of the box. Save yourself heaps of time. :)


I would recommend you use Visual Studio Express since you are already familiar with Visual Studio. Find a host whose prices and services appeal to you. GoDaddy, DiscountASP are a couple I've used in the past. If I recall Visual Studio Express also has recommended providers as well.

Build your page just like you would at work, on your local machine, then when you are ready, right click the project and choose "Publish Web Site" -- Visual Studio will require you to enter some publishing information (all of which your provider will have given you) then publish the site for you.

I've found that the providers have excellent support pages, FAQs and support staff. When you run into a problem, and you likely will, send in a support request and they'll get back to you quickly.

Visual Studio Express comes with a number of templates that you can use to get started.


For your HTML, CSS, JS and other coding, I highly recommend Notepad++. notepad-plus-plus.org/

For your SFTP client, give FileZilla a whirl. filezilla-project.org/

Host? Well, there are countless MILLIONS of them, or so it seems. I've always had good luck with Site5. www.site5.com/ Or if you choose somewhere else, make SURE they offer 24/7 emergency contact: community forums are always a plus, and LiveChat is handy for those immediate situations. Also do make certain they offer some data backup service. Daily would be ideal.

Registrar? I stopped using GoDaddy years ago. They make the most trivial and simplest tasks a nightmare. So I started using NameCheap. www.namecheap.com/

During your adventures in web design/development, you'll come across many debates for/against HTML/CSS FRAMEWORKS. I won't share my opinions here. Instead I'll let you decide which works best for YOU, your routine, your skill-set, etc. While I've used them extensively, I find them to be overly bloated. skytechgeek.com/2011/09/12-html5-css-frameworks-for-easy-webdevelopment/

I use a CSS minimizer to get rid of all the whitespace, returns, comments, etc. (www.cssdrive.com/index.php/main/csscompressor)

Or (for the sake of better understanding and learning, I recommend you analyze each line.

Here are some more handy resources that I quite enjoy. themeforest.net/ codecanyon.net/ marketplace.tutsplus.com/ www.smashingmagazine.com/ www.noupe.com/ css-tricks.com/

Don't worry about semantics. Right or wrong. The best way, nor the shortcuts. It's a trial an error learning experience


Standard HTML, ASP, or PHP files with images, styles, and JavaScript (if necessary) is what you should use if you don't need any transactions or dynamic content. You can create some dynamic material with includes if you want some quick management of pages.

Standard FTP hosting will be enough, and a secure FTP password will be the only need for such sites.


I've had a great experience building on Google App Engine. Free hosting, great integration with GoDaddy (for custom domains), a great one-stop shop for simple sites. Granted, you have to use Python or Java, but it's fairly easy to walk through the tutorial and get a good grasp of the platform (especially with Python).

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