You too can have a site like www.zyra.org.uk
(Link back to guided tour of site HERE)
How did I create this site? I learnt about HTML, which is the stuff these sites are made of, by examining pieces of HTML from various sources, and by reading books. HTML looks a bit funny to start with, but it makes sense if you think about it.
One of the important things to learn about HTML is that no-one really knows ALL of it, and that anyone can learn some of it straight away and be able to do NET STUFF to the amazement of (a) their friends, and (b) themselves if they'd seen themselves ten minutes ago.
I looked at existing websites and I also tested WEB AUTHORING programs to see what sort of HTML they produced. Learning HTML is an ongoing gradual learning process.
Incidentally, if you already know all this, don't be bored while I explain how it's done. You might have more fun looking at what I've got to say about LINUX!
To see some HTML, you can either edit any .HTM file, or on Windows type systems you can click on VIEW and then select HTML or SOURCE. The fact is that those big flashy websites out there on the Internet have an exterior like the showroom finish on a car but when you look at the mechanical engineering under the bonnet/hood by selecting VIEW / source/html you find the same kind of nuts & bolts, and this stuff is not some kind of hidden art like that of the conjurer but is something you can actually get at.
To find out how a website has been made, you can look inside the works by looking at the HTML. When looking at a site on-line it's possible to SAVE it for looking at off-line when it's not costing money for the phone call. On Windows type systems, select FILE and then SAVE AS and a copy of the web-page (which inherently includes the HTML source) will be stored on your disc.
Don't take my word for it, TRY IT. Try to VIEW the source/html source code of this page, and try to SAVE AS for viewing off-line.
Also, there is a lot of free software available, and a good starting point is FreeNetName.co.uk, available on-line and on UK free phone number 0800 376 6920.
When creating your own HTML, make sure it is viewable properly on all browsers. If you do, that's great. There are a lot of well-respected companies who fail to get that right, often making crass assumptions about the machines being used for looking at their sites. There are also examples of good, easy-to-understand HTML, one of which worth examining is www.xyroth-enterprises.co.uk.
You can also create a site without having to understand HTML. An example of a site initially created using a Web Tool is www.speedi.org.uk, the software for which is available FREE on the CD from FreeNetName.
It's important to get the idea in the mind that the material of websites is made up of a lot of separate pages which are pointed to each-other by LINKS. The pages exist as files with .HTM on the end, and a website exists off-line as a set of these files in a directory or folder. The front page is always called index.htm (always lower-case) and the others are called whatever you like .HTM and should all be linked together. Links, (hyperlinks), look like <a href="fred.htm">click this here or something</a> in HTML source code, and in a website creation tool are called "create and edit hyperlinks" and that kind of thing.
Having got the creation of the underlying HTML into the process of learning, it's worth considering what makes good website design at an aesthetic level. How are the links connected up? What do the colours look like? How long does it take to load? There is one fundamental principle which is catch-all in this, and it is to ROAD-TEST the site. You watch other people browse the site (on-line and off-line), and you browse the site yourself and imagine you are looking at it for the first time. Are there any traps? Is anything confusing? Is is clearly readable? Visible? Are there any links that go nowhere?
Whatever you do, do something. As far as is known to science, there have been no recorded births of people with an already inbuilt knowledge of how to do HTML. Everyone who knows any of it has had to start learning it from scratch at some point.
Also see How to Get Your Own Website
This tutorial is under test, and if you can suggest ways of improving it, or if you find some of it mystifying, please e-mail me by this page and I'll adjust it. Meanwhile, to find out more about HTML, have a look at the HTML page
(Link back to guided tour of site HERE)
This is obviously a very old page. Much has happened since the time of the writing of this page. Meanwhile, if you're lost, see the front page