PDA

View Full Version : Making Website's



3dfx
10th March 2003, 04:40
Ok.
I want to start getting into websites, atm I can make basic one's but what are the best programs to use ?? for adding flash etc ;)

Gurm
10th March 2003, 04:42
See, this is a loaded question.

Many of us feel that "adding flash" is not really the same as "making websites". ;)

- Gurm

3dfx
10th March 2003, 04:49
I suppose, my question doesn't really go into a lot of detail, what I should have said was how do I make good websites fullstop :D as I said I can make basic one's, I'am just overwhlemed by all the different posibilities :confused:

I think Flash is a nice feature in some websites, I'd like to familiarise myself more with Java in website's.

thx for quick reply Gurm :p

breezer
10th March 2003, 05:23
cut and paste:)

download apache
checkout php/perl and other scripting languages

find a good help site eg http://www.help4web.net/menu.html

flash is an ass, walk before you can run.

breezer

3dfx
10th March 2003, 05:50
thanks for putting things into perspective breezer :)

Liquid_Memory
10th March 2003, 06:41
There are many alternatives, ActiveX, Java, CGI, Perl, ASP, ASPX, Visual Interdev, and many more. It depends on what you want to accomplish.

ActiveX is nice, but people have to agree to download the module in order for them to see it.
http://www.microsoft.com/com/tech/activex.asp

Java is also nice, but if you have done any programming in the past, you are gonna have a real tough road ahead.
http://java.sun.com

CGI is mostly used for scripting and the like and really can't build a good website, but its nice to know if you want to send mail or an online order through a form.
There is no real link for CGI, you have to search the internet in order to find anything on CGI.

Perl is a language that was developed to totally confuse the online programming community, its like starting to write you programs in binary, you have to declare everything and by the time you have done that, you have a 10,000 page program that does nothing.
http://www.perl.com

ASP and ASPX are 2 of the new programming languages for internet out there. They are getting good revues, but its too early to decide whether they are going to take off full bore.
http://www.asp.net

Flash I won't even talk about, it is the worst programming language out there.

All in all if you are going to create web pages with a little more pizzazz than the average table and frame subset, you have to pick one and stay with it. I program in all the above mentioned, but my favorite is ActiveX, although people have to download the control in order for it to work right, it is the most flexible, and if you have programmed in Visual Basic, its the easiest.

Hope the links help ya 3Dfx.

GNEP
10th March 2003, 06:44
No. Forget all that. First you should be good at slicing up photoshop mockups for the pictures, and hand-coding an HTML/CSS template using notepad.

Only when you have complete mastery of the above making it display properly in all browsers from Lynx through IE 3-->6 and Netscape 4.x + Moz + opera can you be ready for "real" website building... :D

Learn the basics well first, by pretending it is still 1998...

Liquid_Memory
10th March 2003, 06:49
GNEP, those are the basics, and being able to program a website that actually fits across all those platforms is absolutely impossible. Unless your HTML source only contains:

HTML
Hello World
/HTML

GNEP
10th March 2003, 06:55
No. It's possible. Just really awkward. It won't look identical on all platforms (obviously - Lynx is in there), but you can make it look "right" for each and function properly with nothing broken and all navigation etc present.

But honestly it's not worth the effort these days. Code cleanly for xhtml/css and you won't have any problems. But you should learn how to hand-code pages - kind of like learning how to use a hand-saw when you have power-tools available. Just one of those done-things.

Liquid_Memory
10th March 2003, 08:25
Your right on the last part, if you are going to program webpages, do it in a text editor.

GNEP
10th March 2003, 08:30
Not necessarily "do it in a text editor". More like "know how to do it in a text editor" and then use whatever method you're most comfortable with.

KvHagedorn
10th March 2003, 09:35
When making your website, try to remember that an apostrophe only goes before the "s" in the case of a possessive or a contraction, never a plural. :D

GNEP
10th March 2003, 09:41
LOL

Gurm
10th March 2003, 10:04
And that it's spelt "mastUrbate", not "mastErbate".

And it's "vagina", not "virgina".

- Gurm

agallag
10th March 2003, 13:12
And it's spelled "spelled" :p

edit: yeah, I know it's generally considered an acceptable american variant (ie. color, nite, etc.), but really, spelt is a "hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe for livestock feed"

Pace|Work
10th March 2003, 14:33
3dfx: What can you do? Then we can possibly suggest what your next steps should be.

Can you code up basic designs in notepad? Frontpage Express? Frontpage? Dreamweaver?

Remember, a website should never rely on Flash - you must make a general page for everyone to access, unless you're making a Flash portfolio for that Web Design job you're applying for ;)

SitFlyer
10th March 2003, 17:38
Here is a good informational site for you

http://www.imswebtips.com/index.htm :)

Fat Tone
11th March 2003, 00:32
The hand-tool / power-tool thing is a bad analogy. There isn't necessarily a natural progression between the two. The skills required to operate e.g. a router are not an extension of those required to operate a rebate plane and chisel.

There are some parallels of course...:devious:


;) T.

GNEP
11th March 2003, 02:14
Sorry Tone - just tried to think of an analogy in 2 seconds and the only one that came out of this thick skull was a rubbish one... :)

I'll let someone else provide a better one...

Perhaps it's like learning to drive a proper car with a gear stick even if you are only ever going to (or so you think...) drive automatics. ;)

3dfx
11th March 2003, 02:57
Thanks for the reply guys, I will be honest with you my knowledge of website building at this time is rather limited :( but when I say basic I could get a basic layout to a site etc. Oh thanks for the links guys as these have helped, I'am trying to get into Dreamweaver. Would you say Dreamweaver is a good route to take ?

thx
Andy

Fat Tone
11th March 2003, 03:07
@GNEP - LOL. You are forgiven :)

T.

GNEP
11th March 2003, 03:48
Thanks :)

Sasq
11th March 2003, 05:57
Dreamweaver is good, but it still leaves a lot of excess junk in the file - and doesn't always do things the way you want them.

I use it for checking certain things here, but you do really need to know how to 'fix' the html files in a text editor.

Dan

Pace
11th March 2003, 06:01
Originally posted by Sasq
Dreamweaver is good, but it still leaves a lot of excess junk in the file - and doesn't always do things the way you want them.

I use it for checking certain things here, but you do really need to know how to 'fix' the html files in a text editor.Very true - note how everyone has said you should hand code stuff at some point :)

HTML isn't a drawing tool - it's a language. A lot of the markup can be automated, but at some point you'll need to do it by hand. Dreamweaver has yet to create HTML that I couldn't create by hand.
Nor has it managed to create HTML that I didn't have to 'fix' :)

Fat Tone
11th March 2003, 06:11
Lets not forget that oh-so-wonderful Dreamweaver tool for removing Word-HTML. A god-send for those of us who regularly get sent material created in Word.

Dreamweaver, however, is a complete dog of a system-hog. It completely blows my profile allocation (fortunately I've now got a bigger one as part of a test), and is rather slow to load. FP on the other hand is ok for a lot of simple stuff and is lightweight. DW 6.1 improves on 6.0, but still has quite a few bugs in it.

T.

Sethos
11th March 2003, 07:40
This may be a bit of a long shot, but if you look up web logs, several of the people will post a tutorial section with links to sites or home made tutorials of how they created their own site. Though done by amatures, they are usually pretty good and even advanced depending on the person. This is where I found out a lot of info on how to do things for my site...

~Sethos

Gurm
11th March 2003, 09:45
I have both DW and Frontpage installed.

I haven't had time to test FP2003 extensively, but it seems better than XP was.

DW is... huge. Bulky. Ugly. I don't know if Macromedia knows how to make lightweight code. Honestly.

But DW does get the job done. Frontpage understands more CSS but makes it harder to work with. DW lets you work with CSS, but doesn't display it correctly.

If you know how to exploit DW's flaws, you can get the job done with it.

- Gurm

Pace
11th March 2003, 17:08
Originally posted by Liquid_Memory
There are many alternatives, ActiveX, Java, CGI, Perl, ASP, ASPX, Visual Interdev, and many more. It depends on what you want to accomplish.

ActiveX is nice, but people have to agree to download the module in order for them to see it.
http://www.microsoft.com/com/tech/activex.asp

Java is also nice, but if you have done any programming in the past, you are gonna have a real tough road ahead.
http://java.sun.com

CGI is mostly used for scripting and the like and really can't build a good website, but its nice to know if you want to send mail or an online order through a form.
There is no real link for CGI, you have to search the internet in order to find anything on CGI.

Perl is a language that was developed to totally confuse the online programming community, its like starting to write you programs in binary, you have to declare everything and by the time you have done that, you have a 10,000 page program that does nothing.
http://www.perl.com

ASP and ASPX are 2 of the new programming languages for internet out there. They are getting good revues, but its too early to decide whether they are going to take off full bore.
http://www.asp.net

Flash I won't even talk about, it is the worst programming language out there.

All in all if you are going to create web pages with a little more pizzazz than the average table and frame subset, you have to pick one and stay with it. I program in all the above mentioned, but my favorite is ActiveX, although people have to download the control in order for it to work right, it is the most flexible, and if you have programmed in Visual Basic, its the easiest.

Hope the links help ya 3Dfx.Some notes on the above:

PHP was notably missed out.

ASP has already 'taken off full bore' - basically all dynamic webpages run off Microsoft servers use ASP, which is based on server-side VisualBasic scripting.

Java is not used extensively on the server side (i.e. servlets, Java Server Pages), but could be an easy server side option if you have done regular Java programming.

Flash is not a programming language, although you can use ActionScript to make it more dynamic. Flash should be a last resort, when you've realised that HTML really can't do what you're asking.

Also, try creating page layouts without tables and frames as noted above - using CSS is the way forward for layout. With a well structured HTML page it will be accessible to blind users and Netscape 2.0 users, whilst also looking very swish on IE6.

Just post if you want any information on the above - I've not went too indepth into server-side programming, as you did specifically state you were wanting to create layouts, not dynamic database-driven sites :)

P.

Edit: Forgot about client-side JavaScript...this is used for image rollovers, some popup menus and of course many annoyances - window popups, right click "disabling" and removing scrollbars/toolbars from launched windows. Get some more advanced layouts created first, and use Dreamweaver's built-in JavaScripts to create effects possibly. As we already know, you'll constantly be in there editing it by hand anyway, so you'll get used to JS syntax :) A JS reference would be useful though, if you plan on taking it seriously.

What is client-side/server-side? Thought I would point out the applications for both: Server-side stuff (CGI, Perl, JSP, ASL, PHP, JavaServlets) are specially coded and only send you the stuff you requested - when you view it you'll see a standard page made in HTML without much knowledge of how it was generated. Server-side stuff therefore needs special webservers - most free providers will not allow you to use server-side stuff.

Client-side: JS is sent to the end-user, and his browser will try and deal with it (or ignore it in the case of older browsers). This puts some processing load on their end, but also negates the need for any special requirements from your webhost. Flash is also rendered client-side (duh), so slow computers will struggle with complex flash.

For real dynamic content there must be stuff done at the server, but some neat touches can only be done by JS. Note: A JS filled site does not a good site make - Pace invites Guru to post his TeamDGC site for an example ;)

P.

az
18th March 2003, 15:07
If you only knew german, I'd say live, eat, breathe SelfHTML (selfhtml.teamone.de). Get to know the basics (like was said before), and know that you can rely on it whenever you're stuck.

Older versions are available in french, spanish, and japanese. I don't think there's anything like it in english.

AZ

Jessterw
18th March 2003, 19:26
If you truly want to get into good web design, may I recommend the following links...

A List Apart (http://www.alistapart.com/)
The Daily Report (http://www.zeldman.com/)
Web Standards Project (http://www.webstandards.org/)
Netscape DevEdge (http://devedge.netscape.com/)
The Noodle Incident (http://www.thenoodleincident.com/)
W3C (http://www.w3c.org/)
Notestips.com - Web Colours By Hue and Name (http://www.notestips.com/80256B3A007F2692/1/MGOG58QVAW)
Accessify.com (http://www.accessify.com/)
Tantek.com (http://www.tantek.com/map.html)
Boxes and Arrows (http://www.boxesandarrows.com/)
Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/)
css-discuss.org (http://www.css-discuss.org/)
iStockPhoto.com (http://www.istockphoto.com/)
BlueRobot: The Layout Reservoir (http://www.bluerobot.com/web/layouts/)
css/edge (http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/css/edge/)

There are a vast number of links on these pages that will direct you to other resources. Edit: I should mention that you might want to get the basics down before venturing unto some of these sites as they deal with things even seasoned web designers can't seem to understand (why is beyond me). Most are dealing with XHTML and CSS, and A List Apart is probably a good starting point as they offer some really good articles on web design in general.

As far as a good tool to get started with, I would have to reoommend a text editor of one sort or another. Most think this is only for advanced designers/developers, yet I've found that if you learn this way that you will have a far better understanding of what you are doing. Indeed it often comes in handy to be able to get down to the "nitty gritty" when the big boys' toys fail to live up to expectations.

az
18th March 2003, 23:30
OK. Most of us seem to have forgotten you're a total beginner. I'm also a beginner (though not totally clueless anymore).

First of all, ignore all those fancy server- and client side languages. It is good to know that there is something like that, and what can be done with it (this forum, for example, is coded in PHP.), but you should know proper HTML before even starting to think about using server side stuff, or unneccessary (in most cases) JavaScript.

NOTE: I really think, as do most others, you should learn from the ground up, else you will not really understand what's happening. If you only want to create beautiful layouts fast, and don't care about HTML, you need not read on. But learning HTML first, knowing that you can create a web site with any text editor, or even write it all on paper, is very satisfying.

The proper way to learn to "make websites" is to learn the basics first, i.e., as was pointed out often, learn to code HTML in a standard text editor. It's quite easy, actually. If you know how to post URLs and Images here on the board, you'll see that HTML is basically the same.

Then you should learn CSS, for formatting your text. A lot of this can be done in HTML, and I've learnt the HTML way first, and then had to learn CSS later, but this is impractical for several reasons:
- HTML text formatting shouldn't be used anymore, says the W3C (www.w3.org)
- CSS can do every formatting HTML can do, and much more!
- CSS requires you to make your HTML code structured. This might seem annoying and pointless at first, but I've only now started to realize it's a good thing!


Note that you will not be able to create anything visually appealing this way until you know CSS. But I've learnt doing fancy colorful stuff in HTML first, and it's not easy for me now to force myself to use CSS.

OK.

Here's a little example of basic HTML.



<html>
<head>
<title>3DFX learns HTML</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>This is a headline</h1>
<p>Wow, your first paragraph in HTML! Yay!</p>
<p>And here's the second one.</p>
</body>
</html>


See? It's quite easy. You can cut and paste this into notepad and save it as a *.html file. You can then view it in your browser.

AZ

Gurm
19th March 2003, 04:35
Gurm braces himself and prepares for JW to point out that there are a few missing meta tags, and that it would look a LOT better if you linked a style sheet and defined exactly what you mean by <p> and <h1>.

Edit: Since when are HTML tags actually interpreted in messages???

- Gurm

Jessterw
19th March 2003, 05:08
Actually... Az has perfectly valid HTML there. Which is what needs to be learned here, the basic structure of and syntax of a proper HTML document. The meta tags and such can be added later when they are needed. I will say that the first additional tag you will want to add is the doctype.

This is important as it instructs the browser in how to read in and render your HTML.

If you're going to be starting off, you might as well start off with XHTML (easier than learning HTML and then transitioning as some things become invalid), since it's just HTML with some less flexible rules.

However, Az has some good points, and starting off with just plain (X)HTML is the best way to go. Some of the links I posted previously have information even for begginers, Nevertheless, good luck!

az
19th March 2003, 05:59
Gurm, it would be a lot easier to read what you mean if you used & lt; and & gt; instead of < and > - I made the same mistake, that's why I had to edit my post :)

I thought about adding comments but decided that would make it harder to read, and unneccessary complex.

AZ

az
19th March 2003, 06:01
Oh, and JW, I think your stuff is way ahead of basics. Let's not confuse him, or he will be scared away for life ;)

AZ

Gurm
19th March 2003, 06:39
I've had to start over entirely. I was actually a pretty accomplished hand at laying out web pages, but I soon discovered that doing modern web design is a far cry from what we called "HateMail" when it first came out.

- Gurm

Pace|Work
19th March 2003, 06:48
Yes, but JW has pointed the way. If you use those beginners tutorials, and then progress through to the more advanced ones you will be an even better web guru :)

If you learn HTML then head down the wrong path...you will be bad! :p

az
19th March 2003, 06:51
Yeah - I did my first, VERY dilitantic (sp?) website in '98, which isn't so long ago, but it was still very different from when i now try and make dilitantic websites. I have to say that this is just kind of a hobby for me (which I don't pursue very actively, so I'm still a major n00b and I think I thus understand a newbie's needs), I've learnt it all thru selfHTML, and never ever used anything other than notepad or textpad (www.textpad.com).

Oh, and I actually like that we can now use HTML here. Someone shoulda told us, though ;)

AZ

az
19th March 2003, 07:11
Pace, what do you think would be the right and the wrong way(s)?

AZ

Pace|Work
19th March 2003, 08:35
Whether you choose to make accessible websites which don't rely on plugins, and those that require Flash and other plugins, that use JavaScript largely to annoy the end user...and other crap like that :)

Jessterw
19th March 2003, 09:31
I really don't think learning XHTML and CSS are beyond the basics per se, as they are the foundation of emerging web design trends (and should have been all along, albeit with HTML). Yes, learning advanced CSS is troubling for even seasoned designers (with some of the "hacks" IE requires it can be a major pain), however by learning the XHTML syntax (just as easy as basic HTML) and some basic CSS, someone would be well along their way.

There is really no reason not to learn these from the start. Though I will say that learning pure XHTML is essential, so it should be mastered, at least somewhat, before progressing to CSS. The only problem here is the fact that most people will want to make "pretty" pages, and thus resort to presentational elements inside the (X)HTML, when they could have done so using CSS (the proper way).

Additionally, Flash and Javascript can be effective web design tools, but only when used sparingly and for a specific purpose.

Pace|Work
19th March 2003, 10:18
Intros! :D

3dfx
19th March 2003, 10:24
Guys,
I just want to say thanks guys as this has really helped me on my way to making websites :) ..hehe

I'm so excited :p

Jessterw
19th March 2003, 10:35
Glad we could help. Remember, simple is key to start with. As someone mentioned earlier, taking a look at some of the weblogs to get ideas is a good start.

If you want to see what not to do when designing a web page (from the code standpoint), look no further than Microsoft.com ;)

Have fun.