Since WebWise Design & Marketing was born in 1995 and added two employees in late 1996, and launched our first ecommerce website in February of 1997, we know what it was like to create websites in 1997.
In rural, southwest Wisconsin, the first challenge was connecting to the Internet. There were no local ISPs, so it was a long distance call from Fennimore to Madison, Wisconsin to connect via modem
The three of us at WebWise Design & Marketing each had a modem, though they all connected to the same telephone line, so only one of us could be online at a time. In 1996, we were using 28,000 "baud" modems even though a 56k modem had been invented. By June of 1997, we were overjoyed to have one computer with a 56.K modem through which we did all our file uploads.
Using that high-speed connection, we launched of first ecommerce website which you may view on the WayBackMachine.
Enough of that! Here is an excellent post about building a website in 1997 by Jay Hoffman on his History of the Web website.