Sams Teach Yourself to Create Web Pages in 24 Hoursby Ned Snell
In just 24 lessons of one hour or less, you will pick up all the skills you need to easily create great-looking Web pages. Using a straightforward, step-by-step approach, each lesson builds upon the previous one, allowing you to quickly learn the essentials of Web authoring from the ground up.
Read an Excerpt
Hour 1: Understanding Web AuthoringI can hear your motor running, so I know you're ready to dive in and start creating Web pages. But before building that first page, you need to acquire a rudimentary understanding of how Web pages are born and do some planning about what you want your page to be.
In this hour, you'll get a quick tour of what Web pages and Web sites are made of. At the end of the hour, you will be able to answer the following questions:
- What are Web pages made of, and how do they work?
- What's HTML, and why should I care?
- How does multimedia-pictures, sound, video, and animationbecome part of a page?
- What are extensions, and why do they matter?
- How should I approach the organizing of multiple pages into a complete Web site?
Anatomy of a Web PageMost Web pages contain, in addition to other optional parts, many of the elements described in this section. You should know what these parts are because the principal task in Web authoring is deciding what content to use for each standard part; a principal challenge is dealing with the different ways each browser treats the different parts. (More on that later in this hour.)
Parts You SeeThe following Web page elements are typically visible to visitors through a browser (see Figure 1.1):
- A title, which graphical browsers (most Windows, Macintosh, and X Windows browsers) typically display in the title bar of the window in which the page appears.
The real title of a Web page does not appear within the page itself, but rather as the title of the browser window in which the page is displayed.
However, most pages have another title of sorts-text or a graphic that is on the screen doing the job you typically associate with a title in books or mag azines: sitting boldly and proudly near the top of the page to give it a name.
- Headings, which browsers typically display in large, bold, or otherwise emphasized type. A Web page can have many headings, and headings can be nested up to six levels deep; the page can have subheadings, sub-subheadings, and so on.
- Normal text, which makes up the basic, general-purpose text of the page. Traditionally, Web authors refer to lines or blocks of normal text as paragraphs. But in the parlance of the Netscape Editor, any discrete block of words on the page is a paragraph-whether the block is a heading, normal text, or something else determined by properties assigned to that paragraph.
- A signature, typically displayed at the bottom of the page. A signature usually identifies the page's author and often includes the author's (or Webmaster's) email address so that visitors can send comments or questions about the page. The email address is sometimes formatted as a mailto link so that visitors can click it to open their email program with a message preaddressed to the author.
- Horizontal lines, which dress up the page and separate it into logical sections.
- Inline images, which are pictures incorporated into the layout of the page to jazz it up or make it more informative.
- Background color or pattern, which is a solid color or an inline image that, unlike regular images, covers the entire background of the page so that text and other images can be seen on top of it.
- Animations, which can be text or pictures that appear within the layout of the Web page but move in some way. Pictures can flash on and off or cycle through simple animations, and text can flash or scroll across the screen.
- Hyperlinks (or simply links) to many different things: other Web pages, multimedia files (external images, animation, sound, or video), document files, email addresses, and files or programs on other types of servers (such as Telnet, FTP, and Gopher). Links can also lead to specific spots within the current page.
- Imagemaps, which are inline images in which different areas of the image have different links beneath them.
- Lists, which can be bulleted (like this one), numbered, and otherwise.
- Forms, which are areas in which visitors can fill in the blanks to respond to an online questionnaire, order goods and services, and more.
Parts You Don't SeeIn addition to the stuff you see in a Web page, the page-or, rather, the set of files making up the pagehas a number of other elements that can be included. These elements aren't usually visible to the visitor, but here are their effects:
- Identification-Web page files can include a variety of identification information, including the name (or email address) of the author and special coding that helps search engines determine the topic and content of the page.
- Comments-Comments are text the author wants to be seen when the HTML code of the page is read directly, not when the page is displayed in a browser. Comments generally include notes about the structure or organization of the HTML file.
- HTML, short for Hyper Text Markup Language, is the computer file format in which Web pages are stored. An HTML file is really just a text file with special codes in it that tells a browser how to display the file-the size to use for each block of text, where to put the pictures, and so on.
- Java applets-In separate files, Java program modules can enhance interaction between the visitor, the browser, and the server. Java is very popular for writing interactive games that can be played on the Web, for example.
- Imagemap and forms processing code-Program code used to process imagemaps and interactive forms....
Meet the Author
Ned Snell, an author, journalist, and trainer, is known in the publishing industry for his clear, friendly writing style and the ability to turn complex topics into understandable subjects. Through multiple books, including Sams Teach Yourself the Internet in 24 Hours, 2nd Edition, Easy Web Pages, his advice on the Internet, Windows and Microsoft Office has reached thousands of readers.
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