View Full Version : Lost and Confused, where to start?

03-29-2009, 11:06 AM
Hi Guys,

I'm after some advice here, it's a bit of a long story though, any advice would be appreciated, so here goes...


I plan to code a website


I don't know what language to use, which one would be best, if a particular one is needed, or if one is needed at all (plain HTML?).

What I want the code to do:

I want the same result that "Microsoft Borders" creates in MS FrontPage, by that I mean have PAGE1 be made up of PAGE_A (Top Menu) / PAGE_B (Side Menu) and PAGE_C (Footer). No I do not use MS FrontPage and want to code this all from scratch by myself.


Can this be done with simple HTML? Should I use another language like PHP / ASP? Should I use CSS? Will any of these slow my page down more than the rest? What other things like CSS should be included? I didn't even know what CSS was 12 months ago, I'm still not 100% sure how it works although I am reading about it now. What else is there out there that is commonly used in web pages these days?


I've overloaded my head with a whole heap of terms, that half of which I don't even understand and I basically have no idea where to start my website, I am lost. A google search just seems to add to the pain. No I am not asking anyone to do the work for me but I am looking for a little guidance. Can someone please help me with the headache?

03-29-2009, 04:01 PM
its very simple , use
<!--#include file="pagea.htm"-->
<!--#include file="pageb.htm"-->
<!--#include file="pagec.htm"--> in the table of page main page

03-29-2009, 07:46 PM

Here's my recomendation....

You are correct that you should code by hand.
WYSIWYG web editors create a lot of outlandish code.
Some people use Dreamweaver, but only the editor portion (which is fine).

You need to find a free CSS template that you can download.
Download all of the files and upload to your website. You now have
a "sandbox" to play in. You can view their HTML and CSS and play around
with various things to see how they work. Swap-out their graphics for your
own, and actually create your own website from their template.

Pick a template from here, any one of them will do:

Download the files(s) or zipped file and upload all of their files to your webhost.
You can also do it offline, but doing it online will allow us to see if (if you have questions).

Use Google to answer questions about what various CSS things do ...
Example: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=CSS+float

That would show you what the CSS "float" does, and provide examples.

Ask us any questions about the layout and files.
If you want our help, give us the URL so we can see it.

03-31-2009, 02:01 PM
thanks guys for your help. I'm still a bit confused about a couple of thing though. Should I use CSS? When did browsers start supporting CSS? I just want as little and clean code as possible without double-ups of the same code. I just don't know if I should use CSS or not. Which is better? HTML or CSS/Html? A google search seemed to find a lot of fence sitters.

Also would it be wise to use .php as the extension as at some stage I plan to use php on the site. Also am I correct in thinking that you write php pages like HTML pages but use special php code in those pages or does php have it's own language completly, if you understand what I mean?

03-31-2009, 05:46 PM
Also would it be wise to use .php as the extension as at some stage I plan to use php on the site. Also am I correct in thinking that you write php pages like HTML pages but use special php code in those pages or does php have it's own language completly, if you understand what I mean?

You could but at these early learning stages you should just stick with just .html and you are correct PHP adds code that gets processed by the web server before it is sent to the client. You mix it into your HTML to build a dynamic page.

Before you start working with PHP or any other server side language, you should focus on getting a handle on HTML and CSS.

03-31-2009, 05:54 PM
Hi GG,

Yes, use CSS! How successful your use of CSS is directly related to how well you know HTML, though, so learn HTML first!

It's crucial to understand the distinction between the two languages and how they relate to one another. HTML designed to display your website's content, and CSS is used to present/layout/style that content. In other words, without HTML to style, CSS is useless. The other implication is that HTML is the foundation that CSS is built on; therefore, the better your HTML code, the easier it will be for the CSS to interact with it. So even though it's exciting to see CSS manipulate and embellish the elements on your page in fun and attractive ways, more time spent up front learning HTML will pay off handsomely.

Here's what to do:

- Download and install a free text editor. Notepad++, Bluefish and TextWrangler (Mac only) are some great options. Don't go near a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver that allows you to design a page graphically. It's a useful tool on a certain level but at this point you won't learn anything about how your code works and it will give you a false sense of accomplishment.
- Start at the beginning with HTML. If you prefer a book, I recommend HTML for Dummies (it's how I learned). w3schools.com (http://www.w3schools.com/) is great as websites go. Hand code everything. Type out all the examples. Do not cut and paste. Learn how to create a document in HTML before you start styling it will CSS. This means learning how to code semantically (http://www.boagworld.com/technology/semantic_code_what_why_how/) and not using a limited subset of HTML elements for everything on your page.
- Once that's done, dive into CSS. The w3schools tutorials (http://www.w3schools.com/) are great for that as well.
- Look into Server-Side Includes (http://www.w3schools.com/PHP/php_includes.asp) to perform the functions you mention in your first post. These can be done with PHP or ASP.