View Full Version : Newbie help

01-24-2006, 02:42 PM
How about more (much more) info on setting up a webpage for first timers? I am not computer illiterate, but finding myself totally at a loss even though I am only trying to set up a fairly standard site using website creator templates and your built in applications. No where can I find info on what apps really I need. I find conflicting info on accessing webmail, I don't know how to set up the structure of my site so that I can sell products. I've fully explored website creator for more clues, to no avail. Forums are set up for people who know what they are doing already. I am willing to do a lot of research...but WestHost made it sound "simple to be up and running in minutes." Does anyone want to recommend a book or a site or a forum or SOMETHING??
My current effort is trying to get my catalog up. I would like to explore gallery, but am having trouble getting it installed, after an incomplete uninstall. Not sure if there will be enough pages to provide details on my items. I think I may uninstall OScommerce shopping cart, and just go with paypal's. Can't seem to make the OS Commerce cart look the way I want it to...and again, not enough basic info is available.
This really shouldn't be so hard. And I thought eventually I would be able to tweak the templates once I learn to code a little! HA! Am I just with the wrong host?

01-24-2006, 03:20 PM
Well any host you go with if you are just starting out there is going to be a learning curve involved. If you are picky (like I am) about the look of things and just don't like the results you get from automated programs and templates the the place to look is basic HTML. That is where I started back about 7 or so years ago. At the that time WestHost was recomended to me but I was warned that they where for someone who was willing to get thier hands dirty and learn the basics. Things have come a long way since then with WH and they have added many things that make it easier for the avarage user. What I like about them is they still let me get my hands dirty. :)

I have a lot of the fancy programs (like Dreamweaver) that do it all for you but to be honest most the time I don't use them. I end up reverting back to my text editor and basic HTML, javascript, php and CSS.

It could be that you could find another host that would let you get "up and running" faster with a less of a learning curve but it sounds to me like you are much like me and would ultimately not be happy with the templates and output you are limited to by them.

I will admit that the documentation on WH is lacking at times but almost all the Site Apps that they supply are opensource and if you check in thier manual there is a link to the site for that opensource application. That is where you will find most your answers and really learn how to manipulate the programs and thier look.

Your other resource is this forum here and the other users of WH. There are quite a few of us that hang out here on a regular basis and we really try to help folks along. It can be hard to find existing post sometimes and there are quite a few old links broken since the forum software was switched but if you ask and one of use remembers something and where it is we can point you to it. Keep your eye open for jalala's post. In his sig there is a link to his site that has some advanced infromation that may come in handy down the line for you. It is more for when you want to get your "hands dirty" but keep in mind.

01-24-2006, 05:37 PM
I'll second that. I had experience in web design before coming to WH. I was amazed at how much I did not know. I thought that probably I had a tiger by the tail, and almost cancelled and went elsewhere.

Fortunately, I did not. I forced myself to learn what was required and now wonder how someone can call themselves a webmaster without the skills I now have.

It should also be mentioned that a number of folks around here do web design for a living. Look under Classifieds for them.

I wish you luck, and I agree that you may be better off in the long run if you learn to code. Now, what do you do right now to get your website going? Be persistent in your searches.

If the search function of this board doesn't give you what you want, do a G-search. Try site:members.westhost.com (search term) or site:forums.westhost.com (search term), where (search term) is the thing you are looking for.

I second the thought that you will also find solutions at the open source websites. Good luck and stick with it.