Newbie to web design, needs help

  dave_the_red 14:34 15 Sep 04
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Hi I am completely new to web design, and want to design a web page but have not got a clue to what it involves.
Which software needs to be used? what do i need to learn first? etc.

Does anybody know of any beginners tutorials or good software for a beginner?
Thanks for your time

Dave

  Baledor 16:39 15 Sep 04

Such an open question - where to start? Well firstly web design falls into 2 categories, those who advocate WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) designers, basically these allow you to drag and drop HTML elements onto the web page and require very little HTML knowledge.

The second kind are your standard format coding programs, where you type your HTML code into a development environment and then usually you select a button to preview your web page in a browser.

I (personally) prefer the latter as you will learn the code as you go along and develop your knowledge, but it all depends on what you wish to do, if you are looking to put a few pictures of you, your missus and the cat then WYSIWYG will see you fine.

Many programs are available free from place like ZDnet, CNet, Tucows (search for these using Google), when I was first starting out I used to use 1stPage 2000 from EVRSoft (click here) I particularly liked the way it allowed you to have the development environment as complex or as simple as you like.

Another stop on your trawl round the internet should be the W3C website, they recommend the standards for HTML and web development, they have loads of literature on their website to guide you away from creating a disaster.

Lastly when you are ready to start, have a search on the net for tutorials, there are loads out there, which will set you off on the right path.

On a very final note, I notice from the original post you placed on 'Speakers Corner' you are keen to start a PC help forum, if you want people to interact with your website (much in the way we are interacting with this one) you will need to sort out interactive hosting for you web, there are several out there like ASP or Coldfusion, however these are a long way off and you have much to do, young grasshopper, hope everything goes well and you stick with it.

Also it would do no harm to pick up a book from your local Waterstones or whatever.

ATB,

Baledor

  dave_the_red 16:50 15 Sep 04

Thanks a lot for that, so much information and so much to learn. I am hoping to stick with it, so I think i will take your advice and get a good book on the subject.

Thanks again.

Dave

  mbp 09:49 16 Sep 04

I have been so busy with my new adventures in Web Albums etc that I realize that if I could get a web site, it would greatly expand my cause. But I have not had the time to delve into this aspect of my computer. I have downloaded several programs to get me there but not used it properly as yet. Just have not found the time!

An inexpensive and simple way to do web publishing is I believe using Serif's many FREE and some rather inexpensive programs that are so easily available. I think that Page Plus 5 is a free program from Serif. Use it! It makes life a lot easier because the Wizards guide you through the program and their excellent Companion accompaniments clarify all the mysteries of web publishing. Try the free programs and when you feel that you have it under control then go for the more spphisticated updates,(for a small price) that are usually on special offer at much reduced prices. Serif programs are great to cut you teeth upon. Try it and you will be surprised how easy it is!

  dave_the_red 10:15 16 Sep 04

Another option for me to try. Thanks MBP

Dave

  Mr A! 10:49 27 Sep 04

web design software on download.com.

  blackheart 09:38 03 Oct 04

I heartily recommend "A simple guide to HTML" by Brian Salter and Naomi Langford-Wood. I bought it at PC World and it was only £8.99 it covers all the basics of how the browsers are different and leads you from writing your own homepage to complex things like JavaScript and Forms.

Oh, the ISBN # is 0-130-08843-9

  Tycho 10:05 03 Oct 04

I have used Easywebeditor for these two sites: click here and click here and have found it excellent. You will not learn any HTML but this software alllowed me to do everything that I needed on theses sites: frames, clickable maps etc. and it was not too expensive.

HTH

  dave_the_red 12:39 08 Oct 04

Thanks alot everybody, my learning is going to be put on hold for a while as I have moved house and got a lot to do but should I need help again I will repost so I will tick this one for now.

Thanks again

  Shaun T 02:04 09 Oct 04

Hi,
Do not forget to do some planning first. Front page layout. Links from it and then folder structure. Keep images in a separate folder. Any code can also go in separate folder.

Front page: planning this out with good old coloured paper and sissors. Not too many different coloured fonts. Remember most internet surfers are most inclined to scan a page; rather thn read it, so small sections of text usually work best. If yours is an inforamtion based site: history, computer help etc break up the text. Use things, probably graphics, that add to the inforamtion. Be consistent with link colouring. View major sites and see what link colours they are using that way when people visit your site navigation will be seemless. Do not assume people will enter your site from the front page - if they have arrived via a search engine they could land on any page; always provide easy links back to your home page.
Finally, consider having a consistant design theme for your web site - templates are made for this; just tweak as necessary pages that have very different purposes.

All the best

Shaun

Downloading Netscape for free gives you netscape composer, which is a great piece of software to start out with (design the page as you want then copy html code from another tab)

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