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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tag Cloud Generator

The online tagcloud generator with which also provide HTML code to integrate in your web site

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beginners' Guide to Build a Website

Beginners' Guide to Build a Website

I want a website. But how do I go about it? Whom do I contact? Will it cost a lot of money? These are only some of the questions that would be raised in your mind if you are thinking of building your own website. Here, I'm going to answer these and several other queries which would be raised when one wants to build a website.

Did you know?

Did you know Muchhad Paanwalla has a website too? Who is Mucchaad paanwalla? He is the famous paanwalla who sits at Kemps Corner. He is very well known for his meetha (sweet) paan a.k.a Ladies paan. It's my favourite too!

Please note that I'm not going into a heavy HTML tutorial on website building and would rather focus on the pre-process of building a website. Yes. The "Pre-process". Many erroneously think that building a website is simply slapping on a few webpages together. Well it isn't that simple and is much more than that! The information here is not complete, but is helpful enough to set creative as well as analytical juices flowing towards building a website.

Why a website? Asking the right questions
Why is it that you want a website? Just because the guy next door does or is it that your competitors do and therefore you want it too? This is like a kid telling his mom "If Vishal can have it, why can't I?" It would help more if you think constructively rather than reactively. Ask the right questions and you'll get the right answers.

1. What is it that you are trying to achieve through a website?
This will help you understand your goals and in effect the websites goals much better.

2. Is it business related or pleasure/hobby? What is your business/hobby all about?
This will help you angle the website in a particular way. If it's a business website, it will have a more serious flavour to it as compared with a hobby website, which would perhaps have brighter colours and/or have funky designs.

3. Is your website going to just inform the audience or are you going to sell something on it too?
There are two types of informational websites - one where the content is pretty much fixed and to change it you require the developers help, the other which uses a content management system that enables you to change content yourself such as blogs. If you are going to sell, the simplest way is to let people contact you or have an online shopping cart.

4. Who is your target audience?
This question will help you decide whom you are talking to and how. It will also help you to figure out what language to use and which style would suit your content better. Also, you can decide the kind of images/photos would appeal to the audience.

5. Who are your competitors? In case of a hobby website, who are the other fellow hobbyists?
This will help not only in your website creation but business in general. Knowing what the competition/other guy has up for offer will help you know your place in the business world/hobby world and determine how important you are to your audience.

6. What are the websites that you've referred? What are the websites that you like?
Before you try to decide what your website will look like, look at what other websites look like. Also, see how easy or difficult it is to get what you want on the website. Refer not just competitor websites but take a cue from those you like in general.

What's in the name?
Since you've finally decided to build a website, the first thing you need to do is think of a name or rather several alternatives of a name. For a business website, you will obviously want the name of your business; for a hobbyist you'd probably want a name of your hobby attached, such as coin collector. There are several things that you may want to think about before deciding on a name.

1. If your hobby is coin collection as of now, it may not be wise to get a name such as because after a few years, if you want to expand your hobby, will not fit in. It would thus be smarter to go for a generic name or your own very name as a website address. If you are a business, you have far less of a chance of change in a name. For example, if you are called Shree Riddhi Siddhi Computers, it would probably be easy to get the same name, but be ready for a slight alteration if you don't.

2. Getting/deciding on a name can get to be difficult. Understand that Internet has no boundaries and therefore every English dictionary name you think of is probably already taken such as Also, having a .com address, which is long, can get difficult and frustrating to type in. Like missing out a "d" in Riddhi Siddhi will give an error and most novice users will probably not understand the problem.

3. If you cannot get a name in a .com form, don't fret as not all addresses end in .com. You can look at several alternatives such as .org, .net, .in,, etc. The cost of each of these may vary.

Want to make your basics stronger?
If you are really technologically-challenged you need to read this. My completely technologically-challenged uncle asked me certain questions I never even thought about. He couldn't understand what the internet was or what a website really is. So, here are some of the questions and answers that I came across.

What is the Internet?
As per Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) , "The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers, enabling users to share information along multiple channels." Basically, for something like an Internet, you need several people who have computers hooked up to each other through wires to send and receive data.

This is what the internet would look like when visualized with colour codes. Original higher size is available at Wikipedia Internet Map.
It is pretty much like a club called the Internet and several people joining in (logging in) to send other club members some information. In order to facilitate faster communication and exchange of services, certain members are rich enough to have big information centres (called servers) that can share info for certain exchange of information from you. This is, of course, a very simplistic explanation and I'm sure many of you are already raising your eyebrows. I cannot discuss this in detail here, do hop on to Wikipedia entry on Internet for better information. If you are interested in actually seeing a better visual representation of how Internet network looks, see World Wide Web Around Wikipedia.

What is URL/Internet address? I already have an office address.
URL/address is being referred to as a location where your website is or will be. You cannot just say "Go to the Internet and see what we are offering." It's like saying "Go to Andheri and you'll find the Techtree office." You need to specify where you need to go exactly and there cannot be landmarks for websites either, you cannot say it's next to the Wikipedia website. The URL address is something like, which is equivalent to giving exact address to someone to reach your office.

What is a website?
Just as you've an office site/space where you sit, your internet office sits where your website is.

I don't want my competitor to see my website
In business, you can avoid to show your competitor your offerings, but you cannot so that on a website as you do not have control over who comes to see your website. Internet has no boundaries -- anyone, anywhere can come see your offerings and probably copy or offer something better. You can limit your website to a closed set of people with a password protection. However, this defeats the purpose of a website, plus you need to have a real solid offering for someone to really want to get included in such an elitist club.

Designing a Website
Before you skip this, I'm not getting into the technical details here. I will just take you through the thought process that you need undertake when you want to build your own website. Yes, even if you hire a web designer and it's his job to do this, it will help and reduce a lot of heartache if you streamline your thought before you go to explain him what you want.

1. Design for easy reading across webpages. Nothing should interfere with the readability of the webpage, that's the only way you can communicate with your audience. You may like red colour, but, please don't paste it across the entire webpage as it makes readability difficult; use white instead as it's the most readable and professional to look at.

2. Don't try any stupid cheap tricks to fool the search engines. In the past, web designers have developed nefarious methods in an attempt to get higher rankings in the search engines such as repeating several words in the same page, putting invisible text, etc. Gone are those days. Trying to fool Google (the king of search engines) will get your website banned.

3. Forget silly under construction pages. If you don't have anything there, just don't put anything there at all. No one wants to go to an under-construction page. It's like announcing a new road and then saying, "Oh it's under construction come later".

A domain identifies a computer or computers on the Internet. The name appears as a Web site URL, e.g. A domain needs to be registered on domain name registrars such as the popular three mentioned earlier.

In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain. For example, "" or "" are subdomains of the "" domain, which in turn is a subdomain of the ".com" top-level domain (TLD).
Source -

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, headquartered in Marina Del Rey, California, U.S., ICANN is a non-profit corporation that was created on Sept. 18, 1998. ICANN is responsible for managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses.
Find out more here.

A top-level domain (TLD), sometimes referred to as a top-level domain name, is the last part of an Internet domain name, i.e.; the group of letters that follow the final dot of any domain name. For example, in the domain name, the top-level domain is .com. Read more here.

Cyber Squatting
Cyber Squatting is the registration of a well-known brand or company name as an Internet domain name in the hope of selling it at a later date for an exorbitant amount. This is considered an offence and is a crime.
Read more about it here.

Apache Tomcat in Windows XP

Java, Tomcat, and Eclipse for Web Development - Part I

1. The MVC Architecture and Web Three-Tier Architecture

The Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture originated from Smalltalk as a method for separating user interfaces from application data. MVC modulizes software applications into presentation components (user interface), the View, data components, the Model, and input processing component, the Controller based on software engineering principles. The essence of MVC is to separate concerns into different modules. The View is responsible for presenting data to the user, the Model is the data needed by the application, and the Controller is responsible for input processing.

2. What Will Be Installed?

Through this tutorial, you will first install J2SE 5.0's JDK 1.5 , which will be the foundation for all the other installations. JDK 1.5's Java compiler will be used by Eclipse to compile Java programs and Java servlets. The next component to be installed is Apache's Tomcat (version 5.5.7) as the Web server. JDK 1.5's JRE will be used by Tomcat to execute Java servlet classes. Next component is the open source integrated developemnt environment by IBM, Eclipse. Eclipse will be used to organize all components, including needed jar files, imported libraries, source code packages, and it is also used to build deployment-ready Web applications. Eclipse by its default installation is not ready for Web applications development with Tomcat yet. Next step is to make Eclipse ready for Tomcat projects by installing the tomcat-plugin designed for Eclipse. With tomcat-plugin installed, Eclipse is able to create Tomcat projects, which include creating a basic standard directory structure, including packages commonly needed for Web applications.

Next component is called Ant. Although Ant is installed by default as part of Eclipse, it deserves attention since it is the tool you will use to compile, build and deploy Web applications to the Tomcat Web server. Another tool is Junit, which helps us in testing Web applications. Large software systems are often developed by a team of programmers rather than a single individual. Although each programmer is often responsible for implementing certain modules, he/she must share some modules that are needed by all the programmers. CVS, Concurrent Version System, is a version control system with functions for team members to share common code. CVS will be installed, normally by the system adminstrator, on a separate machine which is accessible to all members of the team through Internet. Eclipse has a rich set of functions for a developer to commit changes made on the loca copy to a CVS repository, check out updated version of modules from the respository, and synchronize the local copy with the copy at the CVS respository.

Install J2SE 5.0 on Windows XP

1. Download Java J2SE 5.0's JDK 1.5
Click the following link to download JDK 1.5.

2. Install JDK 1.5
Double click the downloaded file and take the default installation location to have it installed at c:\program files\java\jdk1.5.0_01\ .

3. Configure JDK 1.5
Go to Window's Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced ->Environment Variables -> System Variables . Add to the global environment variable PATH: c:\program files\java\jdk1.5.0_01\binand add a new environment variable: JAVA_HOME with value c:\program files\java\jdk1.5.0_01. The installation of Tomcat and Eclipse will use those variables to find Java compiler and JRE (Java run-time environment).

4. A Note
It is not necessary to install J2SE 5.0's JDK 1.5 if you have J2SE 1.4 installed. However, Tomcat 5.5.x is configured to work with J2SE version 5.0 or later. If you decide to use J2SE 1.4, I suggest that you installed an earlier version of Tomcat, for example, 5.0.

Whichever J2SE version you choose, you may want to adjust PATH and JAVA_HOME accordingly since they will make your later installations much easier.

Install Apache Tomcat on Windows XP

Apache Tomcat is a Web server that supports Java as the server-side programming language. Java uses a set of classes called Servlets to interact with Web clients. Tomcat is often called Java Servlets container. Tomcat can be installed as a package to an Apache Web server. When the Apache Web server receives a request for Java Servlets, it will ask the Tomcat package to handle it. Apache Tomcat can also be installed as a stand-alone Web server. This tutorial assumes a stand-alone Web server.

1. Download Apache Tomcat
Click the following link to download the latest version (as of Feb. 17, 2005) of Apache Tomcat;

This only downloads the binary version of Tomcat 5.5.7. You can get the source, compile it, and then install it yourself. But for a normal installation on Windows XP, the binary version is good enough and it is the simplest way to do it.

2. Install Apache Tomcat
Double click the downloaded file to start installation. After clicking through Welcome and License Agreement windows, the following Choose Components window displays, you want to select Examples and Webapps components, which are necessary for testing your Tomcat installation as a later step of this tutorial.

Tomcat components selection

Click Next.

You may just take the default installation location, which is under c:\Program Files\ .

Port #: In the installation process you are asked to enter a port number for clients to connect to your Tomcat. The default port number is 8080, but I suggest you change it to 8081. The reason is that the University of Scranton blocks communications to ports 80 and 8080 of all machines on campus except designated school web servers, such as and Using port 8081, your Tomcat can be accessed on and off campus in case you need to test your project with your team members who are from outside the University's network.

Admin: You are asked to enter a password for user admin. This admin is for Tomcat only, it has nothing to do with the Administrator account of your Windows XP. This user id (admin ) and its password are necessary for you to deploy Web applications to this Tomcat Web server.

JRE: The next thing you need to configure is where JRE is located. If you have specified the JAVA_HOME environment variable, the value displayed on the screen is normally correct. It would not hurt if you just double check. If not correct, find the location and enter the correct path.

Startup: It will ask you whether you want to start Tomcat Web server after installation. Just choose yes. Now you should find the Tomcat monitor "icon" displayed at the right bottom corner of your Windows desktop.

Congratulations! You have completed the installation of Tomcat.

3. Test Your Tomcat
To test your Tomcat, start a Web browser, IE, Netscape, etc, and then enter:


The following screen should display:

tomcat startup screen

Click the Tomcat Manager link on the left side, them enter admin and the password you entered earlier. After successfully loging in, Choose jsp_examples in the left column of the displayed table. Then select the execute link for Book Example under the section of SimpleTag Handlers and JSP Fragments, Now the following screen should display.

tomcat jsp example

Congratulations! Your Tomcat installation is successfully completed.

4. How Tomcat Works
coming soon!