Community Newsletter: Q&A forum: 11/04/05 Newbie needs recommendations for Web design

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) November 2, 2005 4:42 PM PST

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11/04/05 Newbie needs recommendations for Web design

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 11/2/05 4:42 PM

Question:

The time has come for me to finally create my own Web site. I have Cox cable as my ISP, and they gave me 70MB of Web space. This will be a first-time thing for me, so I was wondering, what is the recommended software for creating Web sites? The tech guy at Cox recommended Microsoft FrontPage, but I prefer not to use Microsoft products if possible. I'm also interested in learning some code, such as HTML. Where can I learn about that? Are there any places where I can go to learn about Web page creation?

Submitted by: Bruce R.


Answer:



Welcome to the Net, Bruce! Im glad that you want to start learning how to create your own Web space. Everyone ought to learn in their own way how to create the best Web site they can with little difficulty in doing it. It all depends on how well you can learn in the time that you want to devote to it. Although Ive learned how to use HTML code at school, it isnt all that hard to learn, depending on whether youd rather type in all those codes yourself or have some program do it for you, or even use a Web site that can do it automatically.

Your Cox provider suggested that you use Microsofts Front Page because its one of Microsofts Office 2003 Ed. Package deals (which you seem to have since you mentioned it) and it is an easy program to use for creating web pages. It auto programs the HTML code for you into the web site you want. Personally though, I have used and would rather use an HTML program called Text Pad. Download a trial issue on http://www.textpad.com. Youd have to buy this product after the trial period ends, but it is a very useful tool for those who know how to use HTML codes.

For the not-so-knowledgeable user, you can get/copy codes or learn the codes from web sites such as: http://www.2createawebsite.com ( a free HTML Code Tutorial); http://www.how-to-build-websites.com (a beginners tutorial on how to create web sites); http://www.html-html.com (HTML Codes, Tags and tutorial help); and so on by typing in the words HTML codes, how to in the Search window of your browser, take your pick.

The only reason I picked Text Pad as my program for creating a web page is because it has the capability of working on or offline. After creating the 1st few lines of text entries you can click on an icon to view it as web page and see how it turns out before you send it on to a web site. It has all the tools of a regular word processing program (file, edit, search, view, tools, Window, and a help menu) with a little extra tool for Configure and Macros (if you know how to use that tool).

Once you get all the correct HTML codes entered into it, save it to your hard drive or floppy or CD. Then youll have to use an Upload program tool to get it to the web site you want. There are some Upload program tools you can either get for free or pay for from the Internet, or use COXs upload program from their site. Many web sites that offer web spaces (i.e., COX, MSN, Yahoo, etc.) have their own uploading program built right in their web site for users to upload their web pages, so buying an Upload program is wasteful, as far as Im concerned, since web sites offer their own uploading program. Why not? Its a freebie!

You might want to try Microsofts Front Page, just as a start, and see what it would look like first, since youre just learning how to make a web page. Learning the HTML code way may take you some time in learning and then having to type in all the codes that go before and after the actual text part may make your fingers tired or your brain because just one tiny flaw in your coding can make your web page a mess. If you forget to close your tags, for example, your code will then be displayed in your text lines because the computer doesnt know what you mean by <p> How to use HTML </p . The tag here is the left and right arrow keys < > located on your keyboards shift key of the comma (,) and period (.) See where I didnt use the right arrow > after I used the code for closing a paragraph </p> ? If that part gets uploaded to the web site, the </p will display on the web site and look a little odd after my sentence How to use HTML, right? So, every tag < > must be closed off with the left and right arrow keys - < > - or your computer and the upload program wont know what to do. Remember, Garbage in Garbage Out? We call it GIGO in computer language. In addition, if you put a wrong tag code in a line where you might want your text to show either bigger or bolder is another matter, too, so youd have to know what those codes are to make your text the way you want it to show on the web site.

There is a book you can buy at a book store - or try your local library - called Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 21 days[Prof. Reference Ed.] by Laura Lemay and published by Sams. I had to buy it when I went to school for my computer science degree. Its a rather thick piece of knowledgeable work for someone who wants to learn the HTML code way, and I recommend it for anyone. The pages are simple to read, its easy to look up what you want to know, and all the codes are there to view at any time and accessible to you more than searching for them on the Internet.

Have fun.learn.knowfor the more you know the better you are for yourself.

Take care,

Submitted by: Carlene

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