What You Need to Make Your Own Web Page

So you’re planning on writing a web page now. Before you go jumping into anything, you should know it isn’t as easy as you’d first think.

Your browser, whether it be Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, or any others, use a special language to show you the page as it appears when you click a link or visit your favorite website. Though you might not have thought so, people who write these websites have to jumble and weed through special programming languages just to show you a word, a picture, or really anything that isn’t a blank page.

Most web pages run almost entirely on HTML code. At least, that’s what creates the page in the first place. XHTML or XML is like the new and improved HTML. There are other languages used, though. CSS, which is like HTML’s cousin, is used to decorate and make the page look good. You can also use javascript to do all sorts of stuff on your page. If it’s hard to gather, think of HTML/XHTML as the basis, the CSS to decorate, and cool gadgets as javascript.

It’s pretty standard that if you’re making a site, you need to know a little about these languages. Incidentally, more and more products these days try and leave that rule, making websites by visual representation rather than the underlying code that makes it work. This way, you can place the objects, such as text fields, pictures, and links, by clicking a button and putting it where you want it to be. It sounds pretty cool, I have to admit, but it is severely flawed. These programs try to organize the code the same way a web developer would, but the second you try to delete something the code gets jumbled up and may not show the way you want it to. Without knowing how to use code, you pretty much have to resort to your last save or simply start over. Knowing these languages is pretty mandatory.

Everyone seems to want to have the fancy site with custom fonts and seizure-inducing colors. The only problem with this is that custom fonts don’t work over the web, at least not yet. When you send your page to someone trying to view it, you tell their computer what font you want them to use, this way it puts more strain on the client(the person viewing it) and not the server(the one sending it(you!)), since the server probably has enough going on. In the near future, though, browsers will incorporate fonts into web pages, taking the burden off both client and server. For now, though, it would probably be best to stick to basic fonts like Arial, Times, and Georgia. As for the seizure-inducing colors, they can be annoying and you don’t want to risk actually causing seizures.

So, if you’re thinking of building your own web page you should definitely look into HTML/XHTML, CSS, and javascript. There are other things you’ll need to learn to make a really snazzy web page, like how to tie it to a database, as well as how to make your own art. Have fun becoming a web designer!

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