How do I start? Books?

Hi everyone...

I'd like to get the big picture on how I can start developing web pages. I bought a small html book, and found it pretty straightforward. I guess I would need a tool like frontpage or similar...

How can I build and sell web pages to companies?

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HTML is the first thing you need to know to create web pages.

However, in order to do this "commercially", you will need such information as JavaScript, VBScript, perhaps a CGI language (Perl), and a host of information on user interface design, databases, etc.

Users (and, hence, commercial customers) are becoming used to highly interactive web pages, and it is no longer possible to create these types of pages without extensive additional capabilities.

Commercial customers will also need guidance about the information design of their sites.

Frequently, this is misunderstood by the customers themselves, so, if you intend to pursue this as a means of earning a living, you had better be as prepared as you can.

A good place to start.

Web Tutor

Teaches you to code in NotePad.  For commercial sites you won't use it, but it will teach you solid HTML which you will need to dbug the code  generated by a WYSIWYG editor like FrontPage or Dreamweaver.

1st Page 2000
A good starter HTML editor.  Has a fair library of scripts and features like rollovers, etc.  The site also has a discussion forum.

Another good ecitor with instant view of changes in the built-in browser,
Also free!

From here on, you need to build a lot of pages and sites to practice.  Put a site up on geocities, tripod, and other free web hosting sites.  Play with them and see what works and what doesn't.

After you are comfortable with building sites, check your local charities and service organizations and offer to build a site for free to learn how to interact with the customer and accomplih what they want.

Next, try and get a job building a site for a small local company that will pay you $200-$300 to do their site.

Oh yes, get a copy of WS_FTP or one of the equivalemts to speed the uploading process.

Learn how search engines work.

Have fun and enjopy the work.


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I suggest you also install a local webserver so that you can play around without having to upload your pages, and give demo's to the customer.

If you're not a graphical expert, try to find someone with a dab hand at pixelpainting to create your images. Building webpages and creating images are related but definitely not the same.

Imitation is not only the highest form of flattery, but also the best way to learn. Visit the big names on the web and try to duplicate their look&feel (try it without looking at the source first!). Optimal use of cellspacing, alignment tags, image spacers etc. is not something you learn overnight.

Pay attention to performance - quadruple nested tables really slows down a page.

chewymon's comment on starting locally to hunt for customers is excellent. However, browse the newsgroups for small jobs too.

Create a nice demo site with a collection of your prettiest _professional_ pages. Homegrown HTML will convince your customer you have the technical skills to create a webpage. Production-level pages will convince your customer you have what it takes to create a web site.


Eduardo1Author Commented:
Thanks guys!

All of it very valuable information that I'll be sure to keep in mind as I build this...

I liked chewymon's answer because it has specific things I can start with, including freeware. But all the other comments and thoughts are appreciated.

Take it easy... see you around.

Good choice.  Makes sense to me.

Best luck,

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