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Monthly Archives

February 2016

Creating a website from scratch

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There is an increasing interest in web development lately, and we know you are curious about it. Taking advantage of this interest, this week we are giving you some pointers on building a website.

The first thing you need to do when creating a website from scratch is getting a domain name. In order to do that you need to pay an annual fee for the right to use that name.

Also, getting a web host, which is basically a service that provides space on the internet for your site’s files. After you have your domain and your hosting plan, we move to the difficult part, building the website.

Before you start going crazy about how you can build your website without using WordPress or without looking at free website services take a deep breath because it’s not as hard as it seems, at least the basic stuff.

Let’s begin by deciding what language  we are going to use to build our website. You are probably asking yourself, language? Yes, language! There are different options but for beginners we recommend to start with the basics,  HTML and CSS.

Let’s go ahead and create a basic HTML page.

The first thing you need is to dedicate a folder on your computer to the project. This folder will hold all files we create. Our page in this case will have two files. Once showing the page data and the other defining the styles.

Let’s write some HTML… We would need to  use either Notepad or TextEdit (Mac). Open either one of those and insert the following code to get started.

 

<html>

<head>Search Engine Title Goes Here<title>

</title>

</head>

<body>

<p>

This is the body of your website.

</p>

</body>

</html>

Now make sure you Save As inside the folder we created for the project. Click  on All Files and save it with an .HTML extension so it looks like index.html which is going to be your homepage. So that’s great we are one step closer to building something from scratch!

Let’s continue… open the file with any web browser and you should see a clean white page which is your homepage. It’s done! Believe it or not that’s all you need to build a website, of course it will look plain and boring but you get the idea right?

Now to make your website a little more interesting and colorful, let’s use CSS.

What CSS does is make sure you use consistent styles throughout your website and it helps updating fonts, colors,etc. in every page at once. Now that you more or less understand what CSS does let’s continue coding. Open another text file and name it style.css and remember to always save.

 

Now add a line before the </head> in your HTML page and add the following:

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”style.css”>

So your code will look similar to  this:

 

<html>

<head>

<title>Search Engine Title Goes Here</title>

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”style.css”>

</head>

<body>

<p>

This is the body of your website.

</p>

</body>

</html>

This tells the browser to look for the stylesheet when loading the website and therefore applies the styles defined on that sheet accordingly..

There you go, you now have a simple website. Just add text to the body and keep testing it in order to understand how HTML works.

When you have finished created pages and customizing styles, and you are ready to upload the site and put it live, you will need to access your hosting account. We will explain this in our next article.
There are great resources to get your interest in HTML.  Site like CodeAcademy or Lynda are of great help to get started. Take advantage of these, coding is always a great resource that can save you time and money!

HTML 3 vs. HTMLS 5

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More and more people are learning to use HTML now, and while the previous versions offered great resources to web masters, they were asking for new and improved abilities and tags. in order to enhance the looks of their sites. HTML documents are Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) documents with generic semantics appropriate for representing information from a wide range of applications.

For this post we want you to understand the differences in HTML3 and HTML5 and understand the meaning of each of them and how they improve your website.

HTML3.0 builds up on HTML2.0. It’s new abilities promised to be more powerful for web designers so they can have the ability to further enhance their websites. HTML3.0 is a RISC OS only macro inserter for creating web pages and instead of giving you full editing facilities, it allows you to use text editor and types all the commands you need into the keyboard for you.

HTML3 can help you do different things for your website; you can create headers, including all the meta tags you’ll need to get it seen on search engines, a graphical document color picker so you can see how the colors work together, footers, text effects with 16 color palette editor, links with JavaScript rollover and description functions and many other stuff.

The way HTML3 was created was to allow to be used in a variety of ways. It is simple enough to type it by hand, authored using WYSIWYG editors for HTML or it can be generated via export filters.

On the other hand, HTML5 strives to be something very different. It aims to be more of an application development platform which not only includes laying out text and images, but it also includes playing video and audio, interactive 2D and 3D graphics, storing data in the application, dealing with online and offline access to data and real-time networking protocols. The aim of this latest version is to improve the language support of latest multimedia while keeping it user friendly, easily readable and understood by computers. These new features allow for developers to write more sophisticated and descriptive client-side code. If you want to understand a little bit more about HTML5 you can take a look at Booklock, an app developed by us using HTML5 compiled for iOS.

It is perfectly acceptable to keep using HTML3 even though a new and improved version already exists. The problem is that the sophisticated code used in HTML5 becomes the standard one so eventually previous versions become outdated for new versions of browsers, new computers, smartphones…etc.

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