Create Your Own Christian Website!
by David J. Stewart
"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding..." —Proverb 18:1,2
Photo to Right: The wrong reason to start a Christian website!
Christian friend, have you ever thought about creating your own website? The Devil's crowd has an overwhelming surplus of website's promoting every form of godless filth and wickedness imaginable. Did you know that 12% of all websites are now porn sites?1 It is evil. I beseech you in the name of Christ to consider joining us on the firing line as we fight the good fight of faith for the Lord Jesus Christ.
If it weren't for the love of money, Hugh Hefner never would have been able to publish his filthy pornographic smut in America since 1954. The fueling evil behind pornography is the love of money. It's all about money. Internet porn has become an epidemic problem. Europe is the biggest spender on porn, due to both its appetite for smut and the relatively high-priced nature of adult content.
It is my earnest prayer and desire that more born-again Christians would get upset over the wickedness of our time and build websites to take a stand for righteousness, preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and defend the precious King James Bible. The world is filled with fat-cat charities and greedy ministries. It is my prayer that God will touch the heart of hundreds of people to start free websites that aren't out to make a buck.
I am a nobody, but Jesus is Somebody. John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Every believer should feel that way. I don't want people to go away saying, “That's a great website”; but rather, “Jesus is a great Savior!” HEAR YE HIM! Doesn't anyone else get mad over all the wickedness in the world today? There ought to be thousands of websites like this proclaiming the truth of God's Word with zeal, contending for the faith, boldly standing against the evil agendas of our time!!!
Choose and purchase a domain name (i.e., the name of your website)
Purchase a webhosting plan (i.e., an agreement with a company which allows you to upload and store your website onto their hardrive, for others to access via your domain name). The webhosting company's computer is commonly called a “server.” Some Christian ministries offer free webhosting to other ministries, or you can get a ton of resources from Netfirms (amongst other companies) for only $60 a year, which is all you'll likely ever need. I have been with Netfirms since 2002 and am very pleased.
Purchase a web-design software program. The only program I use is Microsoft FrontPage. I started with an older version, and then upgraded to 2003. Microsoft has since renamed FrontPage to “Expression Web 4” (I have the Professional version that this link introduces you to). Expression Web 4 has all the same functions and more. So you can use Expression Web 4 to make all your webpages, just like FrontPage. I have both, but I'm still using FrontPage since it works fine for what I do.
Note: I don't use the popular CSS (Styles Cascading Sheets), but Expression Web 4 has everything you need if you want to. CSS simply gives you pre-made webpages, which is what you see on many websites which offer free blogs. The different layouts with a variety of themes, colors and pictures are all made with CSS. There are some videos available online, but my experience is that most of them are confusing and useless because they assume that you know what they're talking about. I need things explained slow and from the beginning. I make my webpages from scratch, because I understand what is going on. CSS does it all for you, which I find confusing.
I am not familiar with the following websites, but what they offer looks simple and legitimate...
A great tool that I have found is the “Print Screen” button. You can capture ANY photo from your favorite YouTube video (or anything that appears on your computer screen) by simply pressing the “Print Screen SysRq” button on your computer keyboard's keypad. Pressing the button once copies your screen. “SysRq” simply means that you need a supporting software program where you can paste the captured photo. The standard Microsoft Paint program that comes with windows works just fine. Just paste the photo into the paint program by pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard. These are called “hot keys.” Ctrl + C is used to copy something, and Ctrl + V to paste.
Get a free HIT COUNTER HERE. This free code will allow you to track either the number of webpage hits or unique visitors to a particular webpage. Unique means that if a visitor clicks 10 times on the webpage, it will only register once. There are many nice looking counter styles. Just choose your preferred style and the number that you want your counter to start off with (I always choose 10,000 or something), then just copy and paste to your webpage and upload it using a file-transfer program like the free program FileZilla (which is what I use).
I create my webpages using Microsoft FrontPage, but you can use any one of a number of programs. I publish the website to my desktop, and then use FileZilla to transfer the files from my desktop to the server at Netfirms.
You'd be surprise at how easy and inexpensive it is to design and publish your own site. Don't believe those online ministries who beg for money because of the “high costs” associated with operating a website. They're lying to you. A domain name will cost you about $10 per year, if that. Netfirms offers a nice webhosting package for just $4.95 per month, which includes 10 GB of server space and 500 GB of monthly bandwidth. That's their smallest package, for only $60 per year. Not too bad at all.
A word on domain names...
Once you've purchased your domain, it cannot be changed. You would need to start another website, so choose carefully something that sounds good to you, that you think would be easy for other people to remember. Although I used the dash symbol in my domain name, I wouldn't repeat that choice. I recommend that you choose a name that only uses alphanumeric characters.
Also, although the “.com” extension sounds “internety” (I think I just made up a new word), I prefer the “.org” or “.info” extensions. Using “.org” sounds like a big organization, which you don't need to have of course. The type of extension you use is a matter of pure preference. To my knowledge there is no other difference. I chose www.soulwinning.info because it is an information website. I like that domain name.
Then again, Netfirms doesn't offer (at least not at the writing of this article) privacy options for any domains other than .com or .net (meaning that .info and .org domains cannot be hidden from the public). I like my privacy, so I ended up moving my .info and .org websites to a different company (although I still choose Netfirms to host the websites). The domain name of a website is completely separate from the hosting plan. As I mentioned, I use two different companies (one where my domain is registered, and the other which hosts my website). I was not aware that Netfirms didn't offer privacy for .info and .org domains until after I signed up; but still, they are a great company. So seriously, I think I would just make everything easy and go with a .com domain (although I like the sound of a .org or .info better). I hope that makes sense. Netfirms may have changed their policy since then, so please double-check if you really want a .org, .info, .biz (or other domain suffixes besides .com).
Also, please note that for $9.95 per month, Netfirms allows you have 2 free domains for the same price; meaning that you can choose 2 additional domains names and have 3 different websites, all under the same account at Netfirms. I have been with them for 9-years and overall they've been good to me.
Also, I'd recommend avoiding loooong domain names that are a nuisance to type in all the time, and it will be for your visitors as well. Most webhosting companies will allow you to create different sub-domain names (that can be changed) which are then redirected back to the primary domain name (which can never be changed). Netfirms offers unlimited sub-domain names. Howbeit, I don't use this feature for my website to avoid confusion. It's best to choose a shorter, easy to remember, domain name with an extension that you feel best suits your type of website.
All you need is "Microsoft FrontPage." FrontPage even has the built in FTP feature which enables you to upload your files directly to your website's URL (i.e., your internet address). If you have "Microsoft Office Professional", "FrontPage" may be included with it (depending on the version).
It will be a bit frustrating at first until you learn how to work FrontPage; however, the program will allow you to create a very nice website fairly quickly. FrontPage is designed specifically for creating websites. You can learn how to use Front Page by reading the "help" articles included with the program. Also, there are many articles online. You do NOT need to know HTML to use "FrontPage," but a very basic knowledge of HTML would be a plus.
Learn more on how to use FrontPage HERE
If you'd like to learn HTML, click HERE—25 page HTML basics. You really don't need to learn all this, but it wouldn't hurt to learn as much about the basics as you can (it let's you be more creative in designing). You'll learn as you go.
To learn how web pages work, click HERE
You can evencreate and upload a website using just "notepad"; however, this is the very hard way of doing it.
Go buy a web design program! I recommend Microsoft FrontPage. I used FrontPage 4.0 (an older version) and then upgraded to version 5.0; FrontPage 5.0 is basically the same as version 4.0 with a few added features. Either version is fine to use. I haven't upgraded to version 6 because I'm happy with version 5.0, it does what I need.
There are tons of free resources available online to help you create your own website—use them!
If you would like a FREE Website; but with audio limitations, Netfirms offers it. However, for just $4.95 a month, you can have a fully hosted website. I highly recommend a paid website so you can use MP3 sounds and such, and get rid of any advertisements. I like to choose my own companies that I advertise.
Having said that, I like to promote the Netfirms company, who've been good to me over the years since 2002. Overall I rate them as an excellent company. Here are some banners to copy/paste if you'd like to have these...
Netfirms — I believe you can have MIDI audio; but no mp3's or WAV files for the FREE hosting. Again, it's best to pay for the minimum package in my opinion. If you don't mind paying $60 a year, you can also use mp3 and WAV sounds. Also for the small amount of money you eliminate those pesky banner ads. It's an incredible deal for $60 with UNLIMITED disk space and bandwidth.
Building a website couldn't be easier nowadays.
Once you get your basic website going, here are some sites to really enhance everything:
FREE graphics for your web
After you've mastered the basics, you'll love the FREE goodies at the site below:
Free Logo Designs (real nice banners you can make for free). Here's one I made...
Adding Sound (MIDI's are best to use because they are small files and play quickly. MP3's are the best sound quality but can take 10-15 seconds to load. Note: mp3's will only work if you purchase a premium package for about $60-80 a year. Freebie offers won't allow you to upload any files larger than 3 MB... most mp3's are around 4-5 MB.) A MIDI file is around 20-50KB.
To add sounds with FrontPage, simple right mouse-click on the webpage you're working on, and select "Page Properties." Then look for "Background Sound" and browse for the sound file you want to use. Click ok. It's that simple. Please note that MP3 sounds don't appear, as this is a problem with FrontPage. You can type the MP3 file location in manually, or copy/paste the file from your folder list to the left (i.e., from within the FrontPage program).
Also, here's a nifty list of FrontPage keyboard shortcuts, some of which I use often. SHIFT + ENTER is a favorite of mine in FrontPage, as it allows me to go to the next line without having a space between the lines.
You can build a basic website in as little as an hour. Of course, it takes time to build a larger website. What takes the MOST time is deciding what to build, as website building is an art. The hardest part about anything is taking the first baby steps to get going, then it gets easier as you go. Building a website is fun, challenging, and a rewarding if it's done in Jesus' name to reach lost sinners with the Gospel.
You don't need all the latest and greatest tools and technologies to build a website. In fact, I prefer keeping it simple. That is, you don't need Flash Presentations and a degree in HTML coding to build a website. I have neither and look what the Lord has done through my humble efforts. If you want to make a website, just start somewhere, and then ask questions as you go. There's several forums online that you can join to ask questions about web building. I won't sugarcoat it too much though, you're going to have to work at it and have enough DESIRE to be patient. I was determined, and stuck with it, and learned as I built. The nice thing is that you can start with a homepage, and then build from there, a little at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day.
My website has become like the haunted mansion in the movie, Rose Red, it grows on it's own. I'm just kidding of course.
I'll give you some really helpful tips on Using FrontPage
You don't need any templates. I don't like them and never use them. They are confusing indeed. Here are some instructions to make a new web. I'm using the 2003 version:
- In FrontPage, go up to "File" and then select "New."
- In the right menu on your screen, select "One page Web site"
- Under the "General" tab, select "One page Web site."
- Your new website is now created. You need to go to the location where it was stored, which is likely at... C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\My Webs\myweb2
- You want to rename your new website from "myweb2" (or "myweb1") to whatever you'd like to call it. I renamed mine "JIS." It's just easier to recognize by renaming it, and I think a good idea. Also, one thing that I do, but you don't have to, is to relocate the new website folder directly into the C: directory. I just don't like my web buried in a bunch of subfolders. To move your web, simply copy the folder and paste it into the C: directory.
- That's it, you've got a new web.
Very Helpful Tricks I've Learned When Making Webpages
- COPY things you like on other people's websites and then PASTE the contents into a text file (Right mouse click on DESKTOP> NEW> TEXT DOCUMENT to create a new .TXT file) to lose the formatting and hyperlinks, then Copy and Paste the non-formatted text into your article instead. This is a great tool which drops all the spying, garbage, formatting, hyperlinks, cookies, et cetera. One of the most frustrating things is when you go to COPY and then PASTE something from another person's website to your own, and they try to change your webpage's format, sabotaging your webpage, taking it over (literally), telling people where you copied it from, monitoring your webpage for traffic and spying where you go on the internet, place advertisement's on your page, et cetera.
Very unpleasant things! This happens when you highlight and then copy a section of text or an article that you want to quote from (especially from the greedy mainstream newsmedia websites fighting to stay at the top of the search engines). They're like street dogs fighting over a piece of roadkill. It is shameful the way software companies, online music vendors, and the biggest websites exploit and cutthroat everybody to make a buck. That's how they got so popular, killing each other all the way to the top (at the expense of making the internet a pleasant experience). It's ruining the internet, really. I hate the way Windows, Real, WIN AMP and I-Tunes constantly fight over who gets to hog your computer's files and play sounds and videos. Every company thinks that the world centers around their product, but it doesn't. So sadly, they've got our world going in circles!!! That's why I only add one player and disable the rest if I have them (or uninstall them).
Website designers have become much smarter these days and figure if you're going to quote them, then their going to make it worth their while. They think they have a right to exploit you, but they don't. Under FAIR USE COPYRIGHT LAWS, you can quote anybody or anything for non-profit educational works.
- To avoid someone claiming copyright infringement, only quote their work as a part of your work. For example: Let's say you find an awesome article called "THE GREAT THING ABOUT CATS." The worst thing you can do is title your article with the same title and copy the work as is. You've basically just mirrored (cloned) the article on the internet. Most people don't like this at all. Besides, search engines will likely block out more than one of the articles anyway. So what you do is make your article UNIQUE in title and in related content. Instead, name your article, WHY I THINK CATS ARE AMAZING, and then quote a couple other websites in there as well. Write a few brief paragraphs on why you like cats, add a few of your own pictures of your cats. Maybe add some funny quotes or jokes about cats. Maybe even a good cat stew recipe... JUST KIDDING (or not)!!!
But do you see what you've accomplished here? Now you have a very unique article that is guaranteed to go to the number one place in the search engines. No one can accuse you of copyright infringement, because you only quoted their work as part of your own work.
- A great tool that I have found is the “Print Screen” button. You can capture ANY photo from your favorite YouTube video (or anything that appears on your computer screen) by simply pressing the “Print Screen SysRq” button on your computer keyboard's keypad. Pressing the button once copies your screen. “SysRq” simply means that you need a supporting software program where you can paste the captured photo. The standard Microsoft Paint program that comes with windows works just fine. Just paste the photo into the paint program by pressing Ctrl + V on your keyboard. These are called “hot keys.” Ctrl + C is used to copy something, and Ctrl + V to paste.
Expanding your web...
- Your new website should be opened in FrontPage. On the left of the screen you should see a "Folder List." You can place your mouse over the wall separating the two screens and slightly drag the wall to the right, so you can see the files in your folder list. If you don't see the folder list, go up to "View" and click on "Folder List."
- In your folder list you will see a page called "Index." This is, and always be, your main webpage. NEVER name this anything else. The search engines recognize your "index" page as your home page. Also, you only want ONE "index" page. You can name other files anything you want.
- To expand your website, the sky's the limit. You can create additional webpages simply by going up to "File," and then selecting "New." This time, select "Blank Page." A blank page will appear and you can design it any way your heart desires. Then simply save it into the C:/yourwebsitename directory. Once you save the first time, FrontPage will remember this location.
- Over time you're going to have many files, and I wouldn't recommend saving them all into your root directory. You want to create some new folders. Your root directory in simply your websites main folder, i.e., the C: yourwebsitename folder. Your index file is in the main root folder. In the folder list to your left, you'll see two folders. One is called "private" which you never need to touch. It is used by FrontPage, so just ignore it. The other folder is "Images" which is empty for now, but this is where you should store all your photos. You don't have to put your pictures here, but trust me, being organized from the start will save you a lot of frustration later on. I say... A place for everything, and everything in it's place. I would recommend creating several folders in your root directory other than just the "Images" folder. To do this, simply right-mouse-click on the main folder at the top of your Folder List to the left. Select "New," then "Folder. This is where you'll store things.
Also, don't make the same mistake I did years ago by naming everything real long. For example: When I started my web, I named a folder "Books_Tracks_and_Preaching." Big mistake. The problem is that when you go to copy/paste the internet link in any e-mail to someone, the link is cut into half and often won't work. I cannot rename the folder now, because all my articles in the search engines will show up dead. So I am stuck with my mistake. Uggh! I recently created a new folder, for all additional books, sermons, and preaching... I simply named the file... BTP. That is so much simpler. SO KEEP IT SHORT! I would name a soulwinning file just "soul." Or an Evils In America page, "eia." You get the idea.
Another bit of advice, name files and photos in lowercase lettering, as some files, like photos, may not show up if they're in UPPERCASE, Now, it's ok to name Folders in upper or lowercase, but not the files stored in the folders. I learned this all the hard way.
If you right-mouse-click on the page you're working on, a menu will appear. Select "Page Properties." You'll see "Background sounds." This is where you add sound, as you mentioned you are able to do. However, here's what you don't know, and I learned the hard way. MP3 sounds won't appear here. It's a bug in FrontPage. To add Mp3 sounds, you need to find the sound file located in your folder list, copy/paste it into the "Background sounds" box. I store all my sounds in a folder I created called "sounds." I have another folder called "videos."
NEVER rename a folder or file once it's been stored into the search engines, or else people will find a dead webpage. I never rename or delete webpages once their stored in the search engines. Another reason for this is because many people link to my webpages, and I don't want their links to refer to a dead page. I never rename anything, so I try to get it right from the start, because I can't change it later.
Content content, content. Your website will not be popular unless you have a lot to offer. It's just like a store. If you want more customers, you've got to give them what they want. You are welcome to use anything from my web to speed along your website. Please keep in mind that I only had a couple thousand visitors my first year. My second year I only had 64,000. My third 117,000 (and so forth). It takes time to get your web popular. Please don't fall for the gimmicks, like allowing Google to advertise on your web in exchange for a hot spot on their web. They promote Catholicism, false doctrine, a prosperity gospel, and all sorts of ecumenical garbage. I've built my site from the ground up, no gimmicks.
Although I do have my site listed in the Fundamental 500, and I think this is certainly appropriate. You should do that. There's the Baptist 1000, and some others. Also, I hate pop-ups, as I feel like taken advantage of when I go to someone's web and they bombard me with pop-ups. My site is plain and simple. No pop-ups. No credit card ads. I will never use my ministry to make a penny. No Google garbage. I think it's unethical for Christians to be willing to promote heresy for the sake of getting higher ratings.
These are just a few helpful suggestions. You'll be using your Folder List quite often, and it is a big help. Here you can see all your folders and files at a glance.
I create all my hyperlinks from scratch. Simply type your phrase, highlight it, and then choose your "Hyperlink." Also, here's a big tip... you cannot copy/paste into the hyperlink bar using copy/paste; BUT, you can using CTRL + C (to copy), and CTRL + V (to paste).
And here's another awesome tip. You'll get frustrated at times because there's too much of a gap between lines. The solution is to simply press, SHIFT + ENTER
There are other keyboard shortcuts online, and some FrontPage forums where you can get tones of helpful information.
Well, this ought to be enough information to make you dangerous...lol. Here's the latest Microsoft software program for designing and uploading your own website (this replaces the old Front Page program)...
Expression Web 4
The Need is Great for Christian Websites
Why not glorify Jesus Christ with your own website? Start with the Gospel of John and a couple of articles. You can publish the whole New Testament with less than 1 MB of space! You can get many ideas from my website, and from hundreds of others. There's nothing worse than a webpage that's hard to read, or annoyingly bright, with weird colors and lots of advertisements. I hate pop-up messages and don't recommend them.
The fastest honest way to get your website noticed is to add tons of content! I mean thousands of articles! Have your family and friends all write a hundred articles on all sorts of subjects, or a particular subject. Gives the articles different names and make them each unique. People love anything about the future, occult, satanism, illuminati, prophecy, 2012, the devil, demons, hell, religions, Bohemian Grove... you get the picture. The subjects I've just mentioned have thousands of related things that you can write about.
You're welcome to copy/paste anything from my website. You are welcome to use my articles. No credit needs to be given. God keeps track of what I have done. I just want the truth to get out to people. I do ask that you not exploit my labors in the Lord to make money. The webhosting company for girls-gone-wild wanted to promote my website in exchange for promoting their filth on my website with banner ads. That's how evil this world has become.
Feel free to use anything on My website, including your web-servant's writings.
Fair Use Copyright Law
Don't Be Greedy
A woman once told me how wonderful I was and my work. Then she said she owned her own webhosting company and wanted to host my ministry online for free. I told her that Netfirms had stood by me, and I'm standing by them. She wanted to exploit my site's popularity and promote her own company to make a buck. She never talked to me again after that.
Some people are so greedy these days. So beware of this as your site grows. It takes years to build a popular website, it won't happen overnight. I only had 2,745 visitors my first 8-months back in 2002. Now I get 12,000 people per day, thanks to the Lord and a lot of hard work. There's ways to cheat, like promoting Google ads on your web in exchange for them promoting your web, but Google promotes tons of false religions, New Age doctrines, sensual advertising, Christian Rock, et cetera.
You have no control over the content of the ads. I've never have and never will compromise my beliefs to get ahead. I'm not kidding, the webhosting company for girls-gone-wild wanted to promote my ministry in exchange for allowing them to promote that Satanic filth on my website. Can you imagine? We are living in sick, greedy and evil times.
I'm just an amateur web designer. I taught myself as I went along. As you know, nothing is a picnic in life, except maybe a picnic itself...lol. I had desire, which saw me through the times of frustration and motivated me not to give up. My purpose was to influence people, even if just a small handful. To this day, I think about reaching the individual with my ministry. If there's one person listening, I'm happy.
The best way to increase ratings is to continually add more content to one's website, which will appear in the search engines. Make sure you submit your website's URL (web address) to the search engines. Another way to increase web traffic is to publish articles which interest the public. I thought my 12,000 hits a day was great until I heard that mugglenet.com, a Harry Potter website, gets 40,000,000 hits per month...
Content is everything. I really don't care about numbers, only that I reach as many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as possible. I am so glad that I have never made a penny from my ministry and never will. I do it to help others in the Lord. If I want to make money I'll go start a hotdog stand.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not giving anyone advice. I am not a web-designer, nor claim to know what I am doing. I'm just a Christian who loves God and has something to say, and I discovered a way to speak my mind via the internet. It's been a joy and a privilege to see God change people's lives through my humble labors in the Lord.
“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1st John 5:19).
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