So, you want to make a
by Joe Barta
PROFESSIONAL WEB DESIGN
Also available: Table Tutor, Forms Tutor & Frames Tutor.
This tutorial is one in a series of WebTutor tutorials.
|*WebTutor is Donationware*|
Hello. My name is Joe and I'm going to give you a few simple lessons on how to make a Web Page. I must warn you though, this is for "all wet behinda ears" Newbies. If you're at all experienced at this sort of thing, you'll probably find this tutorial a bit of a yawner.
You'll be happy to learn that it's really pretty simple. The basic idea is this... A web page is nothing more than a file, a HTML file to be exact. It's called HTML because web page documents have the file extension .html or .htm. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. (If you are unclear about this file extension stuff, then you really are newbie!! Take a quick detour for a few ramblings on the subject).
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much I enjoyed your tutorials. After reading your tutorials, I bailed on my old web site which was done with * and started my own from scratch with notepad. It was like crawling out of a 5 gallon bucket. I now can do exactly what I want.
Let's get started. First, if you have any of them fancy HTML editors and have an inkling to break em in now... forget it. The worst way to learn is to use one of those things. (Although there are a few that you will find helpful, they'll only help you once you learn the basics, so don't even worry about it now.) What's the best way to learn HTML?? Notepad**. I know, I know, you got this 9 megabyte Wunder Wizzard that says it's gonna make putting up a web page as easy as scratching your head. Just trust me on this one. K? K.
Another tool you'll need is a browser to view your web pages. Netscape Navigator is what I use. If you're using some flavor of Windows, then Internet Explorer (also a browser) should be on your system somewhere.
If you're using an online service such as America Online, MSN etc, you can still make a web page. However, I'm not familiar with the browser they give you, so if you want to use their stuff you're on your own. Also, just because you're using AOL (or some other online service), that doesn't mean you have to use their tools... you are welcome to use whatever you want. WebTV'ers - I don't know anything about WebTV, but I do know that people have been able to make web pages with it. You might want to look for some WebTV specific sites to learn how they do it. Then you can come back here and go through these lessons.
* I thought it was only fair to omit the name of the specific "Wunder Wizzard" that Mike was refering to.
** FAQ: What the heck is Notepad and where do I get it?
A: Notepad is the default Windows text editor. On most Win9X systems, click your Start button and choose Programs then Accessories. It should be a little blue notebook. For our purposes, ANY text editor will do nicely. You can go to most any shareware/freeware site and pick yourself up a zippy new text editor, many of them being free. For the time being though, Notepad will do quite nicely.
Right from the outset, you will be doing yourself a very big favor if you toddle on over to www.notetab.com and pick yourself up a free copy of NoteTab Light (Win95/98). It can be used as a simple Notepad replacement, or with a little fiddling, can be one of the most powerful text manipulation tools in the world. I give this wonderful free editor my personal "two-thumbs-up" and wholeheartedly encourage you to try it out and and learn how to use it. I've tried quite a few editors and this is what I use every day.
One thing you should avoid though is to use a word processor for authoring your HTML docs. For one, these are not very well suited for HTML authoring and two, unless you know what you're doing, your file won't save as a plain text html file, it will probably save in the word processor format and won't render in a browser.
And one more thing (again) at least while you're learning... put away Composer, put away Front Page, put away Sooper Dooper Web Page Cruncher. Just follow along with Notepad. Trust me. Would I lie? ;-)
With that out of the way I can say with confidence that you are less than 5 minutes away from making your first web page! So... off to Lesson 1.
I got a big old smile on my face when I found out that this humble tutorial earned the coveted 5 star rating from the ZDnet Software Library.