What should I be learning for web site?

  Cabochon 19:39 11 Jul 2006

Hi Folks,

OK, I am about to set out on the `my first web site` journey, so I went looking for info/advice etc..

I have been buried by a torrent of info with no chance of taking it all in, and my brain has ground to a halt.

The first decision is on the web pages themselves.
Don`t use Frames, an FAQ on my ISP says `Because search engine spiders cannot crawl pages that use frames.`
`The noframes> tag enables you to create an alternate no-frame version of a framed Web page` it says. Why not just not use frames then? Is CSS an alternative, (ie can I make a CSS site without using frames?) Am I talking rubbish?

We`re talking a 20-page text site - no graphics or maybe just a few small ones here and there)
we`re also talking zeroish knowledge of HTML here currently, tho` that will change. Should I be learning XHTML etc instead? What SHOULD I be learning?

I would find it very helpful just finding a free simple frame-less template. Are there such things? I`ve seen sites with free templates but none mention if frames are used. I`m just looking for a plain banner site name across the top and 20 page links on the right (or left) with a 3-10 word explanation of the page with each link. Something like click here
Don`t suppose anyone has such a thing lying about in their scrap folders?


  ade.h 20:01 11 Jul 2006

You shouldn't be thinking about code standards at this early stage; learn the design principles with a wizzywig app such as Nvu.

A 20 page text site with no graphic? Are you sure? And you really do not need a template. They are very restrictive and don't teach you very much about designing websites.

  Forum Editor 20:14 11 Jul 2006

in our WebDesign forum, and I'll transfer it now.

  Forum Editor 20:23 11 Jul 2006

so let me add mine right away:-

The site in your link was created with what is called a Content Management System (CMS), which is designed to enable authorised users to add content to a site without disturbing the layout and look of things. I don't advise you to get involved in that kind of thing at this early stage, and from what you've said I doubt that was your plan anyway.

My guess is that you would be best to use one of the better-known WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) applications, and an ideal first-timer's solution is NetObjects Fusion. It's very easy to get a site up and running with NOF, it has dozens of 'site-styles' that are ready to use, and can be applied to a site design with a simple mouse click. This means that you can experiment with lots of different looks without disturbing any of your content.

I doubt that a graphics-free site (whatever its subject matter) is going to look very appealing, and I advise you to reconsider that aspect of your plan.

Get hold of a copy of NOF - there was a free one on a recent PCA coverdisk, and someone might still have one they could send you if you ask nicely - and have a go. You'll get stuck, but that's why we're here. There are plenty of NOF users in this forum, and all of them are ready and willing to help - just ask as you go along, and you'll have a site online in no time at all.

  Cabochon 14:51 29 Jul 2006

Thanks guys

  Air_Man 14:21 04 Dec 2006


I was in a similar postion a few years ago - I wanted to get a website setup for our wedding, where I could put announcements, info, guestbook etc. Basic but practical, and also with some visual appeal.

I came across this - click here

By working through the primers I learnt a hell of a lot - and it was fun. There are some great tools out there now but no matter which I use for most of the work, a grounding in HTML and Javascript has proved invaluable.

I've spent a lot of time helping a friend who is college trained in Dreamweaver to pick through the code to find why it does some weird things sometimes.

So, what should you be learning... IMHO the basics of HTML, a little javascript, bit about simple CGI scripts (for things like guest books etc - your ISP should provide basic CGIs for this purpose), and FTP. When you no-doubt progress to WYSIWYG tools, you'll be surprised how often you need to poke around in the code to explain something that isn't quite right.

Just my thoughts based on my experience...

  PurplePenny 14:44 04 Dec 2006

They are also a no-no as far as accessibility is concerned (i.e. how users of assistive technology view your site).

But I won't bombard you with lots of stuff on accessibility now; but come back once you've sorted out how/with what you will build your site and I'll tell you a couple of things that are worth knowing from the outset so you don't have to go back and change them later.

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