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So I was looking at the details of my Charter internet account and it said that part of the package was the I have been given 20MB to use for my own personal website.

I thought this would be cool. But I have some obstacles.

1) I have no idea how much 20MB will hold. Are we talking a few pictures or something big enough for the TMF website?

2) I don't know HTML.

3) I know there are programs out there that people who don't know HTML can use, but I don't know which ones are any good.

4) I'm on a budget. My wife will allow me to spend exactly ZERO dollars in this little project. No more, no less.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
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1) I have no idea how much 20MB will hold. Are we talking a few pictures or something big enough for the TMF website?

It's small but enough for most personal websites as long as you don't upload too many images and video clips. A typical web page might be 50 to 100 KB plus the images/audio/video. But a lot of space can be used up by email, by people sending you gigantic mega files. My small business plan has 200 MB.

2) I don't know HTML.

One can learn. There are plenty of free resources on the web:

School: http://www.w3schools.com/default.asp
Forum: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/

You can use Google to search for tutorials, they are hundreds of them on the web.

3) I know there are programs out there that people who don't know HTML can use, but I don't know which ones are any good.

I roll my own so I can't help you there.

4) I'm on a budget. My wife will allow me to spend exactly ZERO dollars in this little project. No more, no less.

Get a new wife? (Sorry, could not resist!) As I said above, there are lots of free resources on the web including shareware for managing websites.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.

Start really small, like just a very simple home page. Then you'll find your pace.

Denny Schlesinger
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It's small but enough for most personal websites as long as you don't upload too many images and video clips. A typical web page might be 50 to 100 KB plus the images/audio/video. But a lot of space can be used up by email, by people sending you gigantic mega files. My small business plan has 200 MB.

E-mail shouldn't be an issue. It sounds like this 20MB is provided by their ISP specifically for a web site -- their e-mail should be separate.

(Even most web hosts I've used give you separate allocations for hosting space and for e-mail)

dsbrady
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Let me add to Denny's excellent suggestions.

Go here to start learning HTML: http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
Understand that HTML is not a programming language; it has no IF, THEN, ELSE or GOTO logic. Rather, it is a markup language that allows you to describe the layout and content of the web page.

Even if you plan to use a HTML coding tool, it is good to know a little about HTML.

Here's another excellent HTML tutorial: http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/tut/
With that tutorial you'll create a simple multipage web site with graphics, etc.

Tizag also has excellent tutorials: http://www.tizag.com/

You'll need a text editor. I strongly recommend the Crimson Editor:
http://www.crimsoneditor.com/
This editor is simple and supports HTML. Also has spell check.

Once you have a little HTML under your belt, First Page is a free HTML editor that can do a lot of the work for you:
http://www.evrsoft.com/

Another free editor is nvu:
http://net2.com/nvu/

However, "Though these programs will let you create pages quickly, you will soon learn there are many advantages to knowing how to code HTML. Spicing up or polishing up HTML effects can only be done manually." That quote is from the Tizag beginner tutorial and it is very true.

After you write and test your HTML, you'll need to transfer it to a hosting server (AOL). I'd suggest you contact AOL about the best way to do this.

FWIW, Filezilla is a free file transfer program from the same folks that develop the Firefox browser. Link:
http://filezilla-project.org/
You'll see the mnemonic FTP used. That just means File Transfer Protocol. The way files get transferred from one place (your PC) to another (a hosting server).

I have found that looking at HTML written by others is another good way to learn it. You can look at the HTML source code for any web page. In Firefox, select View and then Page Source. In IE, select View and then Source.

Learning and writing HTML is really fun and you can do it at no cost.

Charlie Brown
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Charlie, excellent reply. But... where did you get AOL from the OP?

I read that his site would be hosted at Charter.
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where did you get AOL from the OP?

That's an excellent question. My answer is that I have no idea :-) Wow, what a screwup.

ramsfanray, please substitute Charter for AOL in my response.

Thanks for finding my error clairence.

Charlie Brown
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Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.

Last year I did what you want to do. I used a 10MB Web space at Earthlink.

I did not know HTML, but after a HTML for Dummies book, reading some of the source code, and visiting w3schools.com and other web sites, I got up and going.

I have used the nvu editor and Notepad++. Thing I like about Notepad++ is that will let you change the text in all the files you have open. This sure saves a lot of time when you make changes.

Will check out the other editors that were mentioned. They might have something that I will like.

A couple of things I learned that were helpful.

1. Create a WWW folder on your computer and create a browser bookmark to your website file. You will want to test many times, and no sense uploading to your site every time.

2. Make multiple copies of your files. There were times when I made changes that really did not work, and then it was a real problem undoing exactly what I had done to get back to a working version. I kept saving working versions so I could start over with a fresh one that I knew worked for me.

ISP hosted websites have strange addresses. Mine looks like this.

http://home.earthlink.net/~your user name here

Larry
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