March 15, 2008

HTML and Web Design Help

It's not much known, since I don't really push it, but there's a subsection of the DianeV.com website of articles devoted to assisting others, appropriately entitled Web Design Help. Normally I wouldn't mention this here, but there are many web designers who really don't code, and for all I know, some read here.

Now, I'm a fan of programs that help you to work faster and smarter, and that include programs like Dreamweaver. But the bottom line is that you can't really control what you don't understand, and that very much includes HTML code. Fact is that, while Dreamweaver writes clean code, it's entirely possible to use it so that your code is not only not clean, but you've done something that mucked up what you're trying to do. And then, if you're unable to read the code and understand what it does and what it would take to make it do what you want it to do, you're kind of stuck. At the least, it'll take far longer to fix than if you understood the underlying code.

So, many years ago, after years in forums coaching people to improve their work (yes, I learned a fair bit, too), I wrote an e-book about HTML code and building websites. I'll say that one of the benefits of … well, a good memory … is that I included a lot of stuff that takes the novice from interest to being able to produce a working website — stuff like a basic orientation, what you need to get started, with lots of explanations (does anyone ever explain what "tags" mean?) and orientation so that the reader could grasp what was going on. In short, I just sort of walked the reader through it.

As an example, a woman who wanted a website called us; as it turned out, she couldn't afford our rates, so I talked her into buying the e-book. Hours later, she contacted me to say that she could understand it and that she could do it herself now. That's pretty good for an e-book, right?

At any rate, I decided to stop selling the e-book, but when I took a look at it, I realized just how much work had gone into it — it still looked pretty good to me, so I decided to just put it online where everyone could benefit from it.

It includes a section on tables, as that was what we were doing way back then, but … hey, if you're doing email newsletters, tables might be the way to go, and I've heard some designers recently say that they really don't understand tables. So, there you go.

At any rate, it's here: Learn Basic HTML and Web Page Construction.

5 Comments to "HTML and Web Design Help"

  1. Mont Tremblant Skier says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this free online. It will be definitely helpful for my work. :)

  2. Diane Vigil says:

    Excellent. Glad it may be of help to you.

  3. Damon says:

    My problem is with using a template for multiple pages. I cannot change the page title from page to page. I have read your entries about editable regions and have looked at my code from the template but the more I try and fix it, the more error messages I get. I have attached the upper part of the code where I believe the problem lies.

    TOP DOG LABS

    <!–
    function MM_swapImgRestore() { //v3.0
    var i,x,a=document.MM_sr; for(i=0;a&&i<a.length&&(x=a[i])&&x.oSrc;i++) x.src=x.oSrc;
    }
    function MM_preloadImages() { //v3.0
    var d=document; if(d.images){ if(!d.MM_p) d.MM_p=new Array();
    var i,j=d.MM_p.length,a=MM_preloadImages.arguments; for(i=0; i0&&parent.frames.length) {
    d=parent.frames[n.substring(p+1)].document; n=n.substring(0,p);}
    if(!(x=d[n])&&d.all) x=d.all[n]; for (i=0;!x&&i<d.forms.length;i++) x=d.forms[i][n];
    for(i=0;!x&&d.layers&&i<d.layers.length;i++) x=MM_findObj(n,d.layers[i].document);
    if(!x && d.getElementById) x=d.getElementById(n); return x;
    }

    function MM_swapImage() { //v3.0
    var i,j=0,x,a=MM_swapImage.arguments; document.MM_sr=new Array; for(i=0;i

    @import url("../Navbar/banner_navbar.css");
    body {
    background-image: url(../Backgrounds/wood123.gif);
    text-align: left;
    }

  4. Diane Vigil says:

    Hi Damon. You've copied a bunch of Javascript code, but that would not affect the title.

    Look for something in your template right after the <head> tag … there should be a <title> tag, and that's where the page title goes (and can be changed on a per-page basis). If you don't see it, then it's missing from your template.

    If you don't see it, then I suggest starting with a new template that has not been converted to a Dreamweaver Template, then make sure that the page structure (the HTML structure) is correct, and then save it as a DW Template. That should do it.

  5. Damon says:

    Here is the top of my template.

    TOP DOG LABS

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