When you are starting out creating your first web site, many things run through your mind...What tools should I use? How do I layout my pages? What content should appear here? How do I make it look professional? How do I get users to send me feedback? What web host should I use? What is blogging? How do I track my sites statistics?
All these questions and more are answered in this great book written by Ian Lloyd.
The book is geared towards beginners creating their first website and/or designers who already have a site on the internet but want to update it with current technologies like CSS and Web Standards.
The book starts out talking about the different tools you can use (Windows or Mac) starting from the basic text-editing tools to professional like Dreamweaver and Photoshop. But this book is created for people who want to learn how to create their site with proper XHTML and CSS, and does not focus on a particular tool. In my opinion is the best way because if you only know how to create a web page with a particular program (i.e. Dreamweaver), you must always use that tool no matter what and you never really learn how to do it yourself. That is what I also teach my students as well.
The next chapter focuses on basics XHTML structure and how to use each tag type (head section, headings, paragraphs, lists, hyperlinks, etc.) effectively and shows you how to define a proper home page. Lots of code snippets are included.
Chapters 3 - 5 are the mean and potatoes (150 pages) chapters in my opinion because it focuses heavily on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). The author first starts by explaining the different ways to use CSS (inline, embedding, and external) and the advantages of each. I like how the author takes an example and explain what each part does and how to best use it. He first goes through how to style text using different font styles, colors, sizes and weight (bold) and then shows some practical examples of each dissecting each part. Further example are shown using CSS to style paragraphs, links and headings as well as information on when to use DIV and SPAN in your markup. Then the author shows more advanced topics with CSS by explaining how the box model is used to separate your structure (HTML) with borders, padding and margins. These three items can start making your web site look very professional if done correctly. Finally the author reviews how CSS can style images on your web pages to have them appear exactly where you want using floats and other properties.
The remaining chapters focus on:
1. tables - to display column-like data and how to make it look professional;
2. forms - to allow your visitors to submit feedback or other information
3. getting your web site online - (great chapter) - how to use free FTP programs to transfer your web page files to your web host
4. blogging - how to use a blogger and also how to create a template that can be used within your website
5. free tools to monitor your site.
This is an all-in-one web design book that covers all the basics in creating, designing, publishing, and optimizing your web site.