January 6, 2010

What beginners need to know to start creating a website

Posted in Uncategorized, Web Development tagged , , , at 7:48 am by symphony21

It’s pretty easy to find out how to do just about anything with HTML, PHP, CSS, etc., online, but what about the non web guru who doesn’t have a clue what those are or where to begin? That’s exactly the situation I was in when I first started and it can be frustrating, not to mention time consuming, to sift through all the info out there and come up with something understandable. That’s why I’ve created this “web design for dummies” guide to get people started fast.

1. Getting the HTML going.

HTML is the language of the web. What you see when you visit a website is actually just a bunch of HTML code, often styled with CSS, and a few pictures. So how do you go about creating html? Easy!

  • Create a new document in notepad or another text editor
  • Insert html code
  • Save the file as .html instead of .txt
  • Double click the file and your browser will open it

There’s a lot you can do, but here’s a quick example. Just copy the code into your newly created .html file you made with notepad.

<html> <head> </head> <body> <p> My first web page! </p> </body> </html>

That should open up in your web browser and show a single line of text saying, “My first web page!” I don’t know about you, but when I actually saw my Internet Explorer display something I had created I was ecstatic. By the way, a great resource for learning pretty much everything about HTML can be found at w3schools.com’s HTML page.

2. What about CSS?

CSS is used to style HTML. For example, it would be used to make “My first web page!” show up in a certain font or size. It does a lot more than that, but let’s start with implementing it, it’s pretty straight forward.

  • Create a new document in notepad again
  • Insert CSS code
  • Save file as .css instead of .txt. I recommend calling it “mystyle.css”

You’re not done yet though. Because CSS styles things found in HTML documents, you’re going to need to reference your newly created file in the HTML document we just made. To do that, open up your HTML file with notepad add this between the <head> and </head> tags:

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”mystyle.css”>

If you named your CSS file something other than “mystyle.css” then just replace that name in the code above. After that it’s just a matter of opening your CSS file and adding some styling rules. Try this:

p { font-size:30px; font-weight:bold; color:green; }

When you open your HTML page your text should now be very large and very green. ;) Head over to  w3schools.com’s CSS page to get started.

3. And that’s it!

That’s all you need to begin your exciting journey of web page creation! I hope I’ve helped you avoid a few long hours of going “what the heck?!” at the very least!

January 5, 2010

Information overload!

Posted in Web Development tagged , , , , at 3:42 am by symphony21

I arose early this morning with the intention of starting my brand new website. Wow how I was wrong! For some reason I had misguidedly assumed that I could just dive right in with zero previous web development experience.

After much research I’ve come to a couple conclusions. First of all, I’m going to be spending quite awhile learning the ropes. On the other hand though, I’m really starting to enjoy this. I can really see myself getting into the whole blog/website scene and having a lot of fun while I’m at it!

But that’s a long ways off. At this point I’ve at least figured out what I need to learn. HTML and CSS. HTML looks pretty straight forward. <h1>’s, <h2>’s and <div>’s. Sure. No problem. CSS is another beast entirely. There’s about a billion things you can do to style your website using that stuff, and I haven’t got the faintest idea where to start. http://www.w3schools.com seems to be the dominant force in web dev education, as the site comes up as #1 when searching for “CSS” on Google and #2 for “HTML”, right behind Wikipedia.

Well, here’s to learning! I’m going to dive right in and see what w3schools is all about.

January 3, 2010

First post!

Posted in Web Development at 11:16 am by symphony21

This is my first post! A little about me and what this blog is going to be about.

As you can probably tell, my name is Fred. Hi. Nice to meet you. :) Just recently my friend started babbling about making money online. I didn’t believe him at first but after doing a bit of research it seems very possible, if you have what it takes.

So what does it take? From what I’ve read you’ve got to have three things if you want to be successful online.

1. Mad technical skillz

Well, not really, but you have to know how to use a computer and have the ability to learn pretty fast. I’m actually a computer science major so you’d think I’d be in pretty good shape. To be honest, though, I’m not exactly in love with programming. I like to do other stuff, you know, like go outside.

I’m one of those CS majors who thought, “Hey, I rock at Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.. let’s just say I made Gladiator. Twice. And Computer Science does have the word ‘computer’ in it. I can do this!” Esteem-crushing honesty aside, I do know my way around a computer — atleast more than the average Joe.

2. Writing ability

I think this may be my own personal strong point. I’m not saying I’m the best writer ever, but I’m not too shabby either. My main problem is that I lack experience, at least in a weblog write-down-how-I-feel sort of format. I guess that’s what I get for thinking diaries were for girls my whole life.

Nevertheless, I think this will be a great opportunity to sharpen up my writing skills and learn a whole lot about just about everything. I say that mainly because I plan to become pretty active in the blogosphere, which is a term so submerged in cheesy clicheness that it makes me cringe to think about. That aside, it should be pretty fun. One last skill:

3. Creativity!

I’ve got to say that I have a tough time being normal. I delight in being odd and quirky. I take pride in eccentricity and dabble in idiosyncrasy. You get the point. Now that I think of it, I don’t know if being an oddball has anything to do with being creative. I mean, I suppose it could. I’m sure creative people tend to be less normal, on average. Oh well, something to think about!

Now where was I? Ah yes, the big three traits. I think I could do this, I really do. I suspect my number one problem, which I have discovered is the main problem for everyone, is getting traffic. I know I can create some truly useful, unique content on a nice looking site. I just don’t know how I’m going to get traffic to it.

I suppose that’s a problem for another day, though. So without knowing where to even begin, I set out to discover how to create a website.

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