I am not a Linux geek. I am not a programmer. I am not even a person who have a background in computer. When I got my laptop 3 years ago, I could not help but learning a lot of new things from the internet. It was not until 6 months back when I decided to go online. And, to go online, you have to have your own website.
I started to look for a suitable piece of software that could generate a professional looking website with only a fraction of a cost. As I live in Malaysia, pirated copies of Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive and Microsoft Frontpage is easily available from any ‘pasar malam’ (night market) around KK. I bought it for only RM5 per cd. I installed in my Acer laptop without any problem. However, when I tried to use it – I felt it was very, very difficult. I don’t know about you, but it only make me quite dissappointed. I went to bookshops around KK, with the intention to get some books on ‘howto for idiot like me’, but I notice that the book is more expensive than the pirated cd!
I did some Googling again, and found few pieces of ‘website generator’, ‘website maker’, ‘HTML Generator’, ‘website creator’ and ‘webpage maker’. I found that most of the software have limitations – its either shareware (that means you have to pay for the licence, and you are in a trial period for few days) or the software is not as ‘what you expected’.
During my search, I notice a word WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML generator. It was showed on few of the software – including Nvu. I search more. I was delighted to know that it is an open source software (OSS), multi-OS compatible – it can run in Windows, Linux and Mac, it’s FREE and will not draining my laptop source because of the size. I downloaded it. For Windows it comes with binary .exe package and for my Xandros I installed it from Xandros network. I never look back since then.Oh, I realize that I have a pirated copy of Dreamweaver in my HD. As I am going to be a good Malaysian, I uninstalled it. It’s illegal. Don’t do like me. Find open source software for your software solution. You might like it.
It was not a rosy walk with Nvu initially. The installation is easy, but when I run it, I could only see a blank page. Tried with the help – but it did not help me much. I did some googling again. I finally found Chris’s website on howto for Nvu beginners. What a relieve. I followed his five days course on creating my first website. It was really easy. My initail website did not look like a website at all. I did not have a theme for it. I tried to create a website for Sabah Clinic (my clinic), but it looks really ugly. I did found some templates for Nvu, but it’s full with red dotted line (I realize that it’s only a guideline for tables on my site – later). I was happy, but still not satisfied.
I found SBI! shortly after that. With some determination in my heart, I downloaded it. After reading it for two weeks, and some ideas on what should be put in a monetizing website, I turn back to Nvu and implemented what I’ve learn from SBI!. It is a lot easier. It took me another two weeks for me to be nearly satisfied with the result. I google again. I found out another help website for Nvu from WebBriefcase. And suddenly my website is nearly complete.
CSS! I realize that I need CSS. CSS is a short form for cascading stylesheet. It means that the design of the site and the content of the site is written separately. It was then read by the web browser, and you can see the result of the website with css. When I made the website, I only use the good old tables. By using tables, the design and the content of the site is written together.
I did tried to learn CSS, but the resources and information about CSS was not as good as Nvu itself. Very difficult to understand. It took my precious time concentrating on my website content. Sadly, I have to withold CSS and continue with tables. It might be primitive for some web designer, but as long as it works and it works fine, I am quite happy with it.Back to Nvu. 1 month after I create my first ever website with Nvu and SBI!, I choose Exabytes for my webhost. Why not I choose SBI! to host it? Simply because it was expensive and my Malaysian credit card could not do the transaction to Canada (where SBI! is). I nearly spend RM1250 for my website if I choose SBI!. But, with Exabytes, I only pay RM300 per year. I did save money, but I need to work hard on building my website alone as Exabytes did not give support for building a website, compared to SBI!, where they have a good support and help on building a website.
Two months after having the site, I applied for Google Adsense. The application was approved in exactly 3 days. Knowing that I use table in Nvu for my website, it was very easy for me to blend the ads inside the content. The final result – a website dedicated for Mount Kinabalu climbers, full with info that you will not get anywhere from the internet. And the rest was history…