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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Building a web page!

    <img src=/S/smash.gif border=0 alt=smash width=30 height=26> I am going to try and build a simple website that will display information only about a small company. Since i have no idea where to start can someone give me suggestions on a website the might help me get started or a tool that i can buy to build this site. I do want to be able to expand the site to include and inquiry type transaction for those using the site.

    thanks very much!

  2. #2
    KTYorke
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    Re: Building a web page!

    I originally started to learn web design from a site called HTMLGoodies.com.
    Joe Burns makes it easy and fun to learn the basics of HTML. Even my brother liked it (he's severely all around computer illiterate but wanted to try his hand at a web page).
    HTMLGoodies has a section on the navigation bar called Primers. The HTML primers teach you step by step how to build a simple page and what all those weird looking tags mean (it even explains what tags are...). The last HTML primer goes over how to upload your site up to the internet for all to see.
    The greatest asset I've found from going through the simple primers was that when I did start doing things with a program like Front Page I could go into the HTML code with confidence and tweak it or strip it down to show what I wanted.
    Hope that's helpful.
    have fun

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Building a web page!

    If you're looking for a tool to purchase, I strongly recommend avoiding Frontpage. It's got too many little quirks and the output looks great in Internet Explorer, but doesn't look so great elsewhere. Go figure. My tool of choice has become DreamWeaver MX (and MarkJ should be along any minute now to tout its features too <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>).

    Frontpage is OK, don't get me wrong. I got along with it just fine until I started demanding compatibility with Apache webservers and clean code - Frontpage is notorious for bulky, gobbledy-gook code that you wouldn't take home and show mother. All WYSIWYG editors suffer from this to varying degrees but FP is the worst offender by far.

    A helpful tip for you is to right-click on interesting pages and view the source of the page. You can learn a lot that way, and you'd be amazed at how few sites on the web (my own not included in the smaller number) are actually well-coded and nice to look at.
    -Mark

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Building a web page!

    >> MarkJ should be along any minute now to tout [Dreamweaver's] features too

    ...and Mark was quite right! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    As Mark pointed out, I'm a BIG fan of Dreamweaver (and the other members of Macromedia's Studio MX, for that matter). I will definitely agree with Mark that the typical results of FrontPage websites are quite less from desirable. However, if you already own FrontPage, there's no reason not to use it as a starting point.

    You mentioned wanting to include "inquiry type transaction for those using the site" - that sounds like you'll need some kind of Data-driven feature. This is a whole different ballpark from static HTML web design. There are a number of ways to connect your web pages to a database: ASP, Cold Fusion, PHP, etc... (like Alphabet soup).

    So far, the bulk of my web application development has been done in ASP. I have a bit of VBA/Access background, so the transition was fairly easy. You will find a lot of great tutorials for ASP and a number of other Microsoft technologies at http://www.w3schools.com. I've also started to work with ASP.NET recently. It is quite different, but overall more logical and efficient than classic ASP.

    As for which software to use for Dynamic websites, Dreamweaver is sill my top choice. It offers a number of interface tools that make building data-driven sites very easy, in ANY supported server environment (back to alphabet soup - ASP/PHP/.NET/Cold Fusion)! Although, I usually do that kind of development work with MS Visual Studio 7. I would HIGHLY recommend staying away from FrontPage for any data-driven pages. It has a tendency to mess things up by rewriting your code for you...

    One last thought... Sometimes it's more cost effective in the long run to hire a professional designer or developer to help set up parts or all of your website. By the time you purchase software and spend the time learning how to use it well, you'll find that it's quicker and cheaper to have someone else do it for you. However, if you are looking to learn how to do things yourself, you'll find that it's very fun and rewarding to dig in and figure things out!

    Hope this helps!

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Building a web page!

    Craze - here's a completely different viewpoint ~

    The FASTEST and EASIEST way to get the site up is Frontpage. It resembles Word, and you can edit text in your webpages at about the level of WordPad, and make it "good enough" to get the thing going. You can do the basic site in one day. Frontpage 2002 will automatically provide everything you need to connect to a database and display table(s). You can probably do the whole thing without even buying a book.

    NOW, after you've got the site up, you can start learning HTML, ASP, ADO, XML, VBScript, JScript, etc etc, buy more software, etc etc.

    Unless of course you are a masochist , i misinterpreted your question, and you actually WANT <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Building a web page!

    I use FrontPage and Dreamweaver as well (though I'm not attaching databases to my sites ... yet). I think FrontPage is perfectly adequate tool for a beginner and with some care and attention can serve a mid level user as well. FP and Dreamweaver were designed with different audiences in mind and for that reason the split of opinion you see here is a common one.
    No matter what you use, I strongly recommending learning HTML. It takes about 4 hours to get the basics down after that - go nuts!

    Cheers
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Building a web page!

    One other thing to consider is how the site will be hosted. You can more or less lock yourself into certain hosting requirements based on your choice of tools. For example, if you use the special features of FrontPage, your host must run FrontPage Server Extensions. Hosts that do so don't tend to cost any more, but if the company's already got free web space from its ISP and doesn't want to spend another $10-20-30-40-50 per month for yet another service contract, you might take a look at what technologies the ISP supports. Who knows? You might be back here asking about PHP. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  8. #8
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Building a web page!

    I agree with Catherine, Frontpage served me well (and still does for general page layout). Stick to the basics though and dont get involved with the extras that the Extensions provide. Otherwise I use a Syntax Colouring Text editor and Visual Interdev, with ASP and PHP code thrown in for good measure. I think Dreamweaver could be too complicated for a learner.

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Building a web page!

    Well i went to the HTMLGOODIES.COM website and will try and start from there. I will first attempt FrontPage and see how that works but i think learning some HTML and then re-using other code i might get the website i want. I do want to gain the experience so i might be bakc with more specific questions later. Thanks to all who replied, i really appreciate it.

    mike <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Re: Building a web page!

    Another option to look at is what I use for a personal website, but others have used it for small business sites, too.

    http://www.fullxml.com/

    - eric

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