Creating An Adult Web Site, Part 2
Putting together an adult site can be a daunting task. If you take it one step at a time however, you should be able to accomplish wonders. Today I'm going to discuss preparing your domain for use, and we'll get started on designing a free site!
Ok, so you've got yourself a good domain name, you've found a good hosting company, you have a few sponsors lined up, and your ready to go. There are a few things we need to discuss first before getting started.
You want to make the most of your domain. Although we are starting off with a Free adult site, you may down the road decide to go with an AVS or Pay site. Now you could buy a new domain name for every type of site you decide to do, or you can make the most of the domain you have now. By utilizing a single domain for many purposes, you save money, and can make better use of traffic and resources.
Prepping the Domain
All right, lets get the domain setup. The first thing I like to do is create some directories off of the root, this way we will be a bit more organized, and won't have a million files sitting at the root level. Since we are going to be creating a free site, I'm going to create a folder called free. This is where all of our files for the free site will go. I also want to create a folder called errors. This will be used to house our 404 pages. Your directory structure should look like this:
Speaking of 404 pages, it is very important to initially setup a 404 redirect page. If you're not familiar with it, a 404 error is what happens when a surfer tries to access a page on your site that doesn't exist. Most folks will just use the default 404 page that comes up, but this is a great opportunity to make some money.
First you need to create a page that the users will go to when a 404 error occurs. I've created a very simple one here. Be careful, there is an exit console attached to it. The idea here is to create a page that sends the surfer to one of your sponsors if they can't find the page they were looking for (or if they are poking around on your site!). Just create an HTML page with some ads on it, name it 404.html and upload it to the /errors directory on your server.
Now in order for this to work, you are going to have to tell you site to use this web page for 404 errors. That is handled by the .htaccess file.
An .htaccess file is a simple text file that contains commands describing how your site should do certain things. It is used for protecting areas of your site, handling errors, and several other things. A good site that describes the .htaccess file is Bruce Hamilton's .htaccess primer page. You'll need an editor that will allow you to save files as plain text, I use Homesite, but you can just use notepad if you like. Open a new file and add the line:
ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html
Save the file as .htaccess. Now upload the file to the root of your domain. Be sure that it is uploaded in ASCII not binary. Now to test, open a browser and type in the following URL: www.yourdomain.com/somecrazyfile.html replacing "yourdomain" with the name of your domain. Assuming that you have not created a web page called "somecrazyfile.html," you should see your 404.html page instead of the default file not found error.
Now that the site is prepped and ready to go, I am going to discuss how to start our free site!
In order to maximize the use of the site, and actually earn a profit, you will need to build many free sites. The more free sites you build, the better your potential for income, and the more traffic you will have to your domain. This is very important when making money with free sites. It is what I like to call the trolling theory. When boats go out to sea to catch fish, the ones that come back with the most fish usually use the biggest nets. Your sites are like a net trapping surfers. The more sites you have, the bigger the catch. It is important to be organized when designing these sites. To get started on the right foot we are going to use a site design known as The Hub.
The Hub is a simple concept, but it has enormous potential for free site design. The Hub is a page that sits at the center of your site like the hub on a wheel; all of your other sites are connected to this page to form the spokes:
There are many good reasons to use this design:
1. You can create several sites utilizing various niches.
2. You have complete control over your traffic.
3. It is simple to start and easy to maintain
4. It works!
The purpose of the hub page itself is to have a page you can use in anyway you like. If you want to advertise all of you sponsors at once, put them on there. Maybe you have another site you want to advertise, put it on there. Maybe you want to funnel traffic to a top list, put it on there! You call the shots with this one, there are no TGP, link list, or Search engine rules to follow.
Here is the HUB page I created for my site. You'll notice it is just a huge categorized listing of all my sponsors. As I get new sponsors I will add them to this page at the top of the appropriate category. Once we create some free sites, they will get placed on here as well. When I start creating my free sites, they will all send their traffic to this page.
I like to design the hub as a full-fledged site. I create a warning page, a full page ad, and then the hub page. Of course you will also want to load the page with exit and entrance consoles, but I'll discuss them next time.
I've created a resources page that lists many of the links I have in this article, and in my next article, I'll discuss creating your free sites!