I only developed my website (www.walkthelandscape.co.uk) in Microsoft Word because the people who were going to develop the site backed out and I was left to think of something else. It was really meant to be a prototype to send to a professional web designer but seemed to be adequate for my business when I’d done it.
Another good thing about having a go at this is that you realise that website design is not rocket science and it gives you confidence when talking to designers.
It was all created using Word 2007 and I don’t think some things (filtered webpages) can be done in earlier versions
I’ve lots of amateur experience of MS Word and I wrote my first very simple website the very hardest way (as HTML in Notepad) so with this background it took me less time than it would someone coming to it new.
The instructions are for a very basic website to provide a web presence when starting up or to produce a prototype with the look and feel you want for your business.
I’ve not added payments (for example through Paypal) yet though and it would be the next major step.
For Search Engine Optimisation I had to add the title and key words into the code as I found no other way. And it has to be done every time I recreate the page after updating it.
In these instructions the web pages are created and linked together on your PC. You will be able to view them on the PC as they would appear on the web (after being uploaded to a host).
1. Requirements Specification
List what information you want to include on the website and which pages you want them on. Say 4 pages for example, Home, Products, Contacts, Terms and Conditions.
2. Basic Design
Start by creating a new folder on your PC to work in.
Use WORD to create the generic look of the site – the headings, menus, borders etc.
Use tables to place information and pictures in the correct position and removed the cell borders on the final versions.
Just put the phrase for the links in and add them later.
Save the basic design as a Word document under the name “basic-design” for safekeeping
3. Page Design
Using the “basic design” as the template using MS Word design the home page with photos and text etc formatted in tables as you want it to look, i.e. as outlined in the Requirements Specification above.
The home page should be named “index” [which is the name the internet hosts like for the home page]
Create the other pages in MS Word as the requirements spec
So in the example there would be 4 pages, index.doc, products.doc, contacts.doc and terms-conditions.doc.
Notes: You need to have created the web pages before putting the links into the word documents.
People will say that formatting web pages using tables is bad practice and that Google does not see them – well Yes it is but it gets you going on the web and you are seen by Google – try searching for ‘Cotswold Walking Holidays’, I’m fairly high on the first page.
4. Web Pages
When I was happy with the page design I created web pages – you do this by saving to “web page, filtered” instead of “Word document”.
It’s important to choose “web page, filtered rather than the normal “web page” so you need MS Word 2007. Ignore the message about losing formatting in Word. [the normal webpage creates a long document with lots of extraneous info].
You will then have 4 web page (htm or html) files and a folder for each containing images and additional information.
At this point you can click on the web page files to see what they will look like.
5. Turn off the automatic hyperlink recognition feature in MS Word
If you don’t do this before starting to add links you will get broken links when you transfer to your web host.
1. Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Word Options.
2. Click Proofing.
3. Click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
4. Clear the Internet and network paths with hyperlinks check box.
This should then be the default for all pages.
Then go back to the Word documents and insert hyperlinks in each page to link to the other pages. Word Help gives instructions on how to do it.
If you want to link to headings in the document you will need to insert bookmarks before hyperlinks.
If you want to link to open a new page, e.g. for an external link like the Weather Forecast on my site, ensure the Target Frame (button in insert hyperlink box) is set to new window.
Save each page as a Word document. Then resave as a filtered webpage.
If all works well you will then have a set of linked web pages on your PC that look like a website. Try it by clicking on index and navigating through the links.
7. Title and Key Words
Although you can add a title in Word, under properties. The key words added there do not appear to be included in the webpage.
Keywords and descriptions need to be added manually into the header of the html code as these are key factors in search engine optimisation.
This is another lesson.
You also need to manage the key words correctly.
8. URL and Hosting
You also need to get a URL, find a host and upload the files onto the host.
9. Getting yourself seen
This is another ballgame …