So my job enrolled me to create and design a website for them. The only problem is that I have no idea where to start. The only thing I really know is that I have to buy a domain name. After that I'm lost... Can anyone help me understand what it will take to build and maintain a website, or at least point me to some good places to go to find out.
Get a new job.
LOL, okay but seriously, get a new job. This is not an easy task by any means. But if you want to take stab at it, keep reading...
You have to buy a domain name yes (something http://www.mynewwebsite.com). Once you have that, you need to find a company to host your website. I suggest Globat.com, or you can search google for others who provide the same service. But basically, you pay a company like Globat money each month to hold your website on their computer, so the rest of the world can stop by and view it.
Then you have to build the website. I posted this basic process about a week ago, but here goes again:
The basic (and this is very basic) breakdown of how a website is made is this:
1. Create a design in Photoshop or some other imaging software.
2. Export (this is where photoshop comes in handy) your design with "slices". Photoshop even creates an HTML document for you.
3. Import your HTML file into a web creation application (such as Macromedia's Dreamweaver), and edit it to your liking.
4. Upload your HTML, image, movie, etc files to your web server and you're all set.
If you are trying to update a website, I would get your hands on Dreamweaver (or a similar program) and go from there. You can do quite a bit of "point and click" editing, and you don't have to know how to code. This will probably make all the real web guys on here cringe, because from what I gather Dreamweaver creates really ugly code. However, from a simplistic standpoint, it will get the job done for you and hopefully make you look like you know what you're doing ;-)
There are also a lot of books out there on this specific software, as well as others. You really have to have a good familiarity with computers to do this. If you run into problems it's good to know how computers work, so you might be able to fix them.
If all else fails, you can check this out: