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Chapter 1. Pulling Together Tools and Ma... > Matching the Tools to Your Needs

Matching the Tools to Your Needs

Before you get to the business of building Web sites, make sure you have the hardware and software and other tools that you need. Start out by assessing your needs so that you can make informed decisions about whether you need to buy additional equipment or software.

You have many choices when you're setting up your Web production environment. At the bare minimum, you need the following:

  • Computer, monitor, and other hardware: If you're planning on having a hands‐on part in designing and building the site, you'll need to make sure you have a computer to use. This can be your current computer, as long as the computer's specifications meet the needs of the software you decide to use.

  • Workspace: At first, you might get by with a workstation set up in the guest bedroom (or your own). Eventually, though, as you take on more projects and get more clients and have more work to do (good for you), you will need more space (and plenty of it) dedicated to Web design.

  • Web design and other software: You might need to buy additional software in order to build Web sites. As with the hardware, the decision of what to buy is based on your particular needs. If you're in an environment that requires you to use a specific piece of software, make sure you have that software. If you don't have any required programs, you'll need to decide what software you'll buy, based on what you're going to do yourself and what sorts of elements the sites you're building will have.

  • Equipment for the whole team: Remember, it's common to have multiple people working on a site. If you have a team working on the site, make sure everyone has the hardware and software needed to do the work. Adding special features to your site, like multimedia or video, also means that you'll have to get equipment and software to support those features.


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