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How To Get Started On Your Wedding Website....

Couple Designing Website
You should start on your wedding website as soon after you get engaged as possible. Why? The sooner your site is online, the more it can help you in planning your wedding. At the very least, be sure to start on your website before you order your invitations. You will need to include your website address (URL) with your invitations so guests can access it. It also takes a little time to put together your information and photos before you’re ready to go online, and you should have your site ready before you invite guests to visit it. Here’s a game plan to help you get going.

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Step 1. Decide what pages and features you want to include in your wedding website.

•Decide what elements are important to you before selecting a website company. This way you can be sure to choose a company that offers the features you want.

Step 2. Shop around and select the wedding website company that best fits your style, your needs, and your budget.

•If you interested in a free or template-based service, and you plan to add custom pages, be sure the service you select will allow you to create your own custom pages that are not a part of their "menu."
•If you opt for a custom design, choose a designer who will respect your religious beliefs and creative ideas, and not just give you what they want.
•If you are interested in having a website that matches your invitations, you can often save time and money by purchasing these together from the same designer.

Step 3. Organize your website content.

•Write your biographies, your love story, and content for all the pages you have selected.
•Choose the photographs you will feature.
•Depending on the service, you may be able to include a photo or more per page, plus additional photos in a gallery or photo album.
•Remember to include your gift registry information—and remember to actually register before you announce your site to guests.

Step 4: Prepare your content for the web.

•Although the fill-in-the-blank style automated websites allow you to type your text right in on your browser, you should write your text first in a word processing program so you can use the spell-check feature
•Remember that you should also proofread your writing, as you will find errors that are not seen by the spell-checking software.
•When your content is correct, you can copy-and-paste into the browser form for template-based sites, or e-mail the text to your designer for custom sites.
•If using a custom designer, check to see what text format he or she prefers.
•If you do find a mistake or have a change of plans, you can usually edit your site later. Before you select a service, check for editing capabilities.

Step 5: Prepare your photos for the web.

•If you choose a free or template-based service, you will need to provide all your photos digitally.
•If you don’t have access to a scanner or a digital camera, most photo labs will provide you with a disk of digital photos along with your film for a small fee.
•You can also ask your photographer about providing digital images. (Note that many professional photographers retain the copyrights to photos they have taken and you must obtain permission before posting such a photo on your website.)
•Select good quality photos. Don’t choose photos that have poor lighting, are over-exposed, or have dark shadows. They will not look good on screen.
•If you are manipulating your own photos, be sure they have a resolution of 72 dpi at the full size you plan to use them, or they will not look good on screen. JPG files are the preferred format for photos on the web.
•Check to see if photos will be automatically scaled when uploaded, as this will often distort your images. (You may want to manually resize or crop your images to prevent distortion.)
•If you select a custom design firm to create your website, they will often scan, crop and retouch your images for a small fee.

Need more tips and ideas on how to personalize your wedding website?

You are now ready to post your information to your new wedding website.

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