Just a quick post for those of you grappling with coding a website

I have some basic HTML knowledge from one of my modules at university, for example I can start a new paragraph with p, I can make a font bold with strong, I can add different sized headings with h1, h2 etc, but I struggle if I want a hand coded page to look like anything other than it just came out of the mid 90′s.

Over the years this has really frustrated me but I have never done anything about it, until now. A couple of weeks ago I finally started to look for a guide to HTML for beginners and after reading a lot of good reviews for one in particular took the plunge with Build Your Own Website The Right Way Using HTML & CSS by Ian Lloyd.

If you are in the same boat as me or you are just starting out, I would definitely recommed you read this book and follow the excercises. It presumes no prior knowledge but also doesn’t treat you like an idiot and delves right in to teaching you HTML and using CSS

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4 Responses

  • Johash

    I can see where you are coming from, Matt. The way I got to grips with HTML was ages ago when Netscape produced a legendary browser, mail program and webpage editor – all in the one convenient package. There’s something similar now called SeaMonkey (http://www.seamonkey-project.org/).
    I was recently surprised that there’s not a great deal of basic help for beginners online, so I built my own site last month at http://www.webpage-editors.com.
    People starting out with HTML should find it useful. My main recommendation is for people to learn the basics by using a WYSIWYG editor and comparing what is created on screen with the code that’s generated in the background. You quickly get to see what the code does.
    HTML isn’t rocket science but can become addictive, so take care.

    April 15, 2008 at 7:27 pm
  • Matt

    Johash

    It has already started to take a grip! I find myself thinking about it during the day and I have just ordered a big HTML reference manual as well.

    Are there any WYSIWYG editors you would recommend?

    April 16, 2008 at 9:16 am
  • Johash

    Matt,
    I have a soft spot for SiteSpinner as it gives you the freedom to move elements around the page until you get the whole page looking just as you want it. The code generated also seems to be generally clean with no validation problems.
    However, it’s all a matter of taste and it’s worth trying out a few editors via a free download to see which one suits you best before paying for the full version.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm
  • Mrs Miggins

    I’m sure the book’s pointed out that you shouldn’t be using h1 and h2 just because you want “different sized headings” but because they semantically describe your top- and second-level headings :D

    re editor:
    When I was taught HTML in the almost-pre-CSS era we were made to hand code tables so that we’d actually learn to code and not rely on a WYSIWYG editor, which I’m grateful for. At a pinch you’ll be able to make a site out of nothing but notepad and an image editor … though I prefer UltraEdit to notepad, or at least one that does syntax highlighting.

    Hope you’re enjoying the books.

    March 5, 2009 at 3:47 am