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Help me build a website

Posted on 2004-09-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-07
Hi
I would like to build a website from scratch . I dont know how. Some say use front page some say dream weaver. which should i go for and why. I would like to make the site more interactive too any ideas
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Question by:yavooza
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COBOLdinosaur earned 25 total points
ID: 12070080
Start here:

http://www.w3schools.com/

Learn the basics of HTMl, CSS, and Javascript.  Don't even think about using development tools like Front page or Dreamweaver, until you can build a site using just a text editor, unless you want to build defective sites, and never understand why they don't work as well as professional sites.  There are no shortcuts that take you anywhere worthwhile.

Cd&
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by:dij8
dij8 earned 25 total points
ID: 12070497
Further to what cd& says, you can use helpful text editors if using the likes of notepad is too hard.  A free editor I have never used but often heard recommended is 1st Page 2000 by evrsoft.  http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage2.shtml

cd& did get one thing wrong though.  Don't even think about using FrontPage EVER.  Even when you know how to build a website using a text editor.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 12074978
>>> Don't even think about using FrontPage EVER.

Most come that on their own once they know what correct code looks like. :^)

Nice to see you back dij8; gonna stay a while?

Cd&
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by:mrdilliard
ID: 12077302
I've used evrsoft's 1stPage, and it was pretty good, especially for being a free editor. Obviously I use DW now, but back in the day when I couldn't afford it...1stPage all the way.
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by:liseperu
liseperu earned 25 total points
ID: 12080876
hi
i must say i disagree with the comment above i having been developing websites for just over 18 months
i didnt even know how to make a hyperlink before that!
i started on frontpage
generating simple html pages
text and images
then i progressed onto adding simple javascripts and other free bits i could grab of the net
finally i made the move on dreamweaver and never looked back
i definately recommend dreamweaver over frontpage
i just used frontpage as it was there in my microsoft office package
but i would go straight for dreamweaver if i was starting over again

the thing that i have realised is that practise makes perfect
the more you design the easier it becomes

and dreamweaver has great easy to use feature such as rollover images
and flash buttons to jazz up your site really easily and quickly

and when you want to go further and use a database
dreamweaver makes it so simple that you cant really go wrong
when you start with dreamweaver/database website you literally can just drag and drop recordsets and auto generate insert forms to add new data to the database

as for knowing what you are doing and understanding the hows and whys of html, asp, php  or whatever you are doing, this comes all with practice

18 months later i know that i can design in pure html in a text editor if i wanted to but i definately find it easier to do it wysiwyg style enviroment with all the code colour-coded for easy going than a black n white text editor

i hope that helps
lis





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by:mrdilliard
mrdilliard earned 25 total points
ID: 12081090
I've been developing sites for about 6 years. FrontPage sucks, or at least it used to...I couldn't say what it's like today. But liseperu is right...it's not so much the program you use, as long as you understand the concepts behind everything and practice.

I remember back when I started, my aunt bought me this gigantic HTML book/reference, and it's what really got me hooked and going.

What definitely helped me was when I started doing other people's sites, and having to get something to look right, but not knowing how to make it work. Such is the life of a web developer, i suppose.

You mentioned interactivity in your site.

1. Don't even think about putting an animated GIF into your page.
2. No Flash (yet)

Animated GIFs are just annoying, and Flash can be too, if it's not done well. You'll find some good Flash sites at www.favouritewebsiteawards.com

Just make sure you have fun and learn something new all the time...that's the most important part, or else you'll get tired of it quickly.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 12091746
LOL.... 18 months is barely an apprentice.  If all you have to do is web sites, I guess it does not matter if you uses toys... no money in it anyway.  You will find out how much you missed out if you start doing the far more profitable intranet apps that require some more precision and detail than simple web pages.

I have no doubt you worked hard to learn the skills you have acquired, but unfortunately you are only familar with the upper layers of abstraction.  You don't reall understand what the technology is doing at the primitive level, and you will reach a point where you have to master that or quit progressing.  Having started with these layers between you and the code makes the transition to advanced web app development much more difficult because you have trained your brain to look for a tool or widget instead developing a set of primitive tools that do not have the contraints and limitations common found in abstract layers.

I have trained several thousand developers; from a multitude of backgrounds.  There is nothing as valuable to carreer building than learning to work at the primitive code level first.

Cd&
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by:dij8
ID: 12097668
People will always have different ideas on what you should use to build a website.  Personally I avoid wysiwyg editors.  The text editor I use does have colour coding though.

The big difference between wysiwyg and text editing is the ability to see and learn from the code.  While you can see the code in most wysiwyg editors, most people don't because they just want the page to work.  A bit of dragging and dropping and all is done for you.  No learning curve except for how to use your choice of wysiwyg editor.  If you want to build one page and never touch web development again, use whatever you like.  If you want to learn web development then get into the code.  You will learn so much more and have a great deal more control.

As for where you learn, cd& has already suggested www.w3schools.com.  I also suggest www.blooberry.com for learning what all the HTML tags do and how they work.  If you want the bells and whistles (although you'll learn to not want them eventually) try www.dynamicdrive.com.  If you can spare the money and can cope with it, a good book is never a bad choice.  I find the Sams Teach Yourself in 24 Hours series pretty good.  Although some of these are that great.  I haven't read the HTML one so can't comment on that one specifically but I have read more good ones than not so good.

And cd&, I might not be here often but I have returned. :-)
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 12097763
>>>I have returned.

:^)
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by:Shattuc
Shattuc earned 25 total points
ID: 12168230
For Learning HTML, there is a Really neat guy out there Named Joe...
http://www.pagetutor.com/pagetutor/makapage/  This is the link to his tutorials...
Currently only the first lesson looks like it is free.
This may be the only resource on the web I will ever endorse paying for.
This guy Joe Barta, makes Learning HTML alot of fun. you will retain much more of the material because of the way he approaches it.

Most of the tutorials I've seen, well, if you are having trouble sleeping....

But not with Joe Barta, It really is alot of fun, and if you want to learn some really cool tricks, and fun things to do with small graphics, Definately take a look at his tutorials.

as for programs to use, Start with Note Tab Light, as Joe Barta Recommends, found here http://www.fookes.com
Once you have good grasp of the code you can try some of the more complicated editors out there.

If you choose to move on from Note Tab, I Recommend 1st Page 2000

I have used 1st Page 2000, almost exclusively for about 3 years.
I have used Front Page, (and if you don't like being annoyed, don't try it) the layout is kinda messed up, it is supposed to be a WYSIWYG editor, but in reality it is, (WYWYNG) What You Want You'll Never Get.  and just drop the Editor part.
I have heard good things about Dream Weaver, however, Since I started my HTML learning on the Basics, and began my coding with Notepad, I see no reason to purchase a program, when a very nice freeware program will do everything I want it to.

The convienence of 1st Page 2000, is the ability to switch between the HTML code, and a browser preview within the program. You can also adjust the view settings of your page to check for resolution compatibility.
 
It has an Extensive HTML tag guide built in, alot of reference material for coding, and Tag usage.
the newest version comes with loads of preinstalled Java scripts, select the one you want from the dropdown menu, and it will insert it at the cursor position.

It also has four different starting modes, so you can show as much or as little of the interface as you are comfortable with. and if nothing else, all it will cost you is the time of the download. if you don't like it, it uninstalls clean.

One note, if you have AV installed, it might pop a flag up when you install 1st Page 2000, only because of a certain Jscript you can insert that will kill the browser window it is running in. From what I understand, it is harmless, and will do no damage to your system if you tell your AV to ignore it.

Thats it, hope it helps.
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