HTML – Getting Started

So, just getting into the game huh? Well let me leave the scolding for later. Let’s pretend that your mother’s dog doesn’t have its own blog and personal myspace page. Let’s pretend that your grandpa didn’t make a facebook account last week. Let’s pretend that every small business out there hasn’t realized that having a website is always an improvement over the yellow pages… Oh wait, they haven’t gotten to that point yet…

At least you’ve caught on. Getting into web design is no easy task, but it isn’t all that difficult either. I am about 98% self taught in everything I know about web design and coding. So here are a few tricks you can use that will help you learn:

1. The best way to learn is by doing. Try making your own site. Open up a good old text file, and start writing. If you save the text file as .html instead of .txt, then any web browser will read it (assuming you wrote it correctly)!

2. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If you see something you like on another website, then be inquisitive! See how they did it. If you go to your browser’s menu screen, click on View, and then View Source. This is the code that the browser reads to display the website.

3. Use the resources that have been provided to you. There are tons of great websites out there that can help you. What are you struggling with? Code? Try w3schools, the place that helped me learn most of what I know. They have a tutorial for every web language you could imagine. Start with HTML and CSS. Difficulty with design? Find other sites that you like the look of. Try the CSS Zen Garden which shows the power of CSS or CSS Beauty which shows… the beauty of CSS. There is a ton out there, just google it!

4. I guess you could take a class, but that didn’t do crap for me.

5. When in doubt, Google it! If there is ever anything I’m not sure how to do, or something that is broken that I can’t seem to fix, I Google it. Someone has written about it somewhere. You can always try asking someone that does it for a living… cough cough… and hopefully they might have the answer!

6. Get the greatest tool EVER! If you don’t have firefox as your default browser, fix that problem first. Then, download the add on entitled “Web Developer”. It has the best tools for web developers including tools to outline your divs and tables, resizing your window, viewing source, and even editing the CSS for other people’s websites! That’s right, you can edit the CSS for facebook or google or cnn. I know right?!

7. Still not sure how to get started? Well stay tuned, I’ll be writing more about HTML and CSS basics. I will interject with other topics like special CSS tricks as well, so you’ll have to bare with me…

Thanks for reading. Questions? Just ask!

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