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Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

moreofthesame
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎13-11-2009

Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

I have the home/broadband £15/month package at plusnet and want to create/write a webpage for a new startup home based business - nothing special, more of a "see how it goes" so I don't need anything too fancy.
What are the current tools for this? I currently write HTML manually, I would like to add a FORM but that usually needs scripts on the server ( I'm just wanting to avoid putting my email addy online for scammers to harvest) - are basic scripts like this available to my level of service?
I'm not a novice but have been away from the internet for some time and lost touch with the latest ways of doing things.
thanks in advance
David
15 REPLIES 15
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,154
Thanks: 9
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

@moreofthesame, have a look at: Help & Support For Beginners
Word_Warrior
Grafter
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

While there is plenty of software out there to create a site you cant beat a good grounding in HTML a great book to help give you an understanding of what you are doing and will help you avoid bad code is the visual quickstart guide to HTML from peachpit press. Read that and you'll understand why certain things are done, before long you'll be diving in and changing code to tailor it to your needs. Use it alongside the help and support for beginners.
Above all have fun with it.
I've now graduated onto php/mysql content management which uses free software from Joomla.org but you need to learn the ropes first and that sort of server space isn't available on your broadband package as far as I know.
Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: ‎13-06-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

I also write everything by hand, it takes a bit more learning but is worth it. The current prevailing philosophy in web design is to separate content and style, e.g by using XHTML and CSS, and only using tables for tabular data rather than for formatting everything. Learn to use divs and spans etc properly, and use the W2C validator to make sure what you do is valid.
It's also worth learning something like jQuery, and to avoid Flash etc, unless it's essential.
Word_Warrior
Grafter
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

Don't know about writing everything by hand. The size of some sites these days it would take forever.  Crazy However, I think it's essential you know what's going on 'under the hood'. A simple analogy, why tighten up nuts and bolts with your fingers when there are plenty of suitable spanners in the box. Cheesy
Top end spanner is of course Dreamweaver™ but there are plenty of good cheap 'spanners' around and some are free. Don't use Word HTML though, it's a mess. Grin
This is supposed to be pretty good for starters if you are running Windows http://www.coffeecup.com/free-editor/ but there's loads to choose from if you look around.
Gabe
Community Veteran
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎29-10-2008

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

Can't add much to Ben's spot-on summary.
With regard to the specific problem of concealing an email address. I don't think there's a perfect solution; even things like captcha get cracked. One way to cut down on the risk of harvesting is to use an encrypted email address with a bit of Javascript to decode it. There are online resources that will generate the code for you, including <a href="http://hivelogic.com/enkoder/form">this enkoder</a>.
I'm assuming you have access to homepages. Plusnet homepages includes a <a href="http://www.plus.net/support/webspace/cgi_php/cgi_scripts.shtml">simple email form script</a>. You can encrypt the line

<INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="recipient" VALUE="e-mail address" />

in a similar way (e.g. using the advanced enkoder form, just replace the line with the generated script).
Incidentally, the line

<INPUT TYPE="TEXT" SIZE="XX" MAXLENGTH="XX" NAME+"form field name" />

should read NAME=
Getting slightly more complicated, you could read up on excluding bad bots and scrapers using an htaccess file.
Gabe
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

this site is hand written, cant find any thing wrong with it  http://peterchild.co.uk/info1/about.htm#about  look down page for info on the HTML
mal0z
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: ‎02-10-2008

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

Totally agree with Ben  - learn the tools of the trade - html/css/php/mySQL etc etc.
Dreamweaver although it can write code - some of it is rather poor. but it is a great web site management tool - i.e if you change a file name, it updates all other occurrences on the site etc. and much more
And avoid MS Word, Excel, Publisher, etc - they produce horrendous and unmaintainable code.

mal0z
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: ‎02-10-2008

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

Quote from: pierre_pierre
this site is hand written, cant find any thing wrong with it  http://peterchild.co.uk/info1/about.htm#about  look down page for info on the HTML

Some basic mistakes with html there - <P><h2>some text</h2>more text</P>
rather than:
<h2>heading text</h2>
<p> block text</p>
and poor use of  <P ALIGN="CENTER"> rather than use css to control it
Midnight_Caller
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Posts: 4,154
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Registered: ‎15-04-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

Persanaly I do not like CSS, I here you say why? have a look at what happens wen you try viewing a web page with old Browser like: Netscape® 4.75 or if you are Browsing the web with a old screen reader, not all Disabled can afford the latest screen reader.
See Screen Shot.
csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

I have to say, if you're still using Netscape 4.75, you really need to look to upgrading...
Gary: CSS if done properly, should have absolutely 0 effect on a scren reader, as it should read the content not the presentation layer.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,154
Thanks: 9
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎15-04-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

I only use Netscape 4.75 & Bobby v3.2 for testing sites with, I use Netscape Composer 4.75 plus Notepad & Microsoft FrontPage to build web sites with!  I mainly only use Netscape Composer & Notepad, Notepad to clean up with, that is the code on the page.
But to brows the web I use Internet Explorer v6 & Firefox v3.5.2 Running in Sandboxed see screen shot above.
I find that a lot of sites that use CSS make the site for jo blogs, not for people who have a Disability like me, so yes if CSS is done properly Screen Readers can Read the text on the page, but a lot don't do sites properly including PlusNet, try using a Text Reader on PlusNet's Home Page or PlusNet's Accessibility Page, you can Download Help Read from my archive here for Free.
The new Address for the Big Archive is: http://www.bigarchive.co.uk
[Edit]
Help Read is for Windos only.
[Edit]
From Bobby
Quote
All images should contain a short alternative text description that represents the function of the graphic. This includes images used as image maps, spacers, bullets in lists, graphical buttons, links, and images used to present math equations.
When creating alternative text, aim for a functional label based on the context in which it is used rather than a visual description. A good test to determine if alternative text is useful is to imagine reading the document aloud over the telephone. What would you say upon encountering this image to make the page comprehensible to the listener?

My Bold, images should be avoided were possible.
csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

Quote from: Midnight
From Bobby
Quote
All images should contain a short alternative text description that represents the function of the graphic. This includes images used as image maps, spacers, bullets in lists, graphical buttons, links, and images used to present math equations.
When creating alternative text, aim for a functional label based on the context in which it is used rather than a visual description. A good test to determine if alternative text is useful is to imagine reading the document aloud over the telephone. What would you say upon encountering this image to make the page comprehensible to the listener?

My Bold, images should be avoided were possible.

I fail to see how images should be avoided?
The quote above which I presume is where you draw your justification from states that you should provide alternative text, which helps the user who can not see the image understand what the image is, not that you shouldn't use images at all...
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,154
Thanks: 9
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Registered: ‎15-04-2007

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought

I said "images should be avoided were possible" I did not say don't use images.
mal0z
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: ‎02-10-2008

Re: Basic website building and latest ways to do things advice sought


Use the following code to load css stylesheets ?
<link href="/inc/tables.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="aural" />
<link href="/inc/nextservice.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="braille" />