HTML for the Terminally Impatient

Can’t wait around reading HTML books or waiting for FedEx to rescue your software from that island it washed up on? Well here’s a fast way to get to started. I’ve designed a simple, 2 column template that you can download and use to insert your own information and start learning about HTML. It includes an HTML 4.0-compliant style sheet, a fast loading header and navigation table, and a content table.

  1. You will need to save the page to your machine.At the command menu, click on File > Save As.Save the page in the “Source” or “HTML” format and name it whatever you like so long as the extension is “.html” (Okay, you could make it “.htm” if you really want).
  2. To start using the template, open it in a plain text editor.Your browser may have an option for editing HTML, such as:Netscape — File > Open > Page in ComposerIE — You need to open the page in Notepad or something similar. Opening in MS Word will result in the addition of new code and reformating by the program and is not recommended.
  3. Now search through the code for two percent signs (%%).Any where that you see two percent signs together (%%) should be some instructions in all caps for what replaces that text.For example, <title> %% THE TITLE OF YOUR WEB PAGE GOES HERE %% </title>Replace “%% THE TITLE OF YOUR WEB PAGE GOES HERE %%” with My Test Web Page so that it now looks like this: <title> My Test Web Page </title>

You’ll also find some comments and examples to help you along. In addition, check out the online resources listed below for additional help in your experiments. I recommend saving your test page with a new name as soon as you load the template into the text editor.

And if you somehow destroy the template beyond all repair, just come back and download another one.

You should be able to get by with just the following HTML code:

paragraph,

<p> – which produces a new paragraph

bold,

<b> – which produces bold text

italic,

<i> – which produces italic text

unordered list

<ul> – which produces a bulleted list of list items (<li>)

order list

<ol> – which produces a numbered list of list items (<li>)

definition list

<dl> – which produces a list like this one with a data term (<dt>) followed by the data definition (<dd>)

break

<br> – which can be used to force a break in a line or used to add extra spacing in a line like I do in my numbered list above

All of the tags need a matching closing tag which is </whatever-tag-letters>. For example, the code for a paragraph with bold and italic text would look like this:

<p>
This is a paragraph with <b>bold</b> and <i>italic</i> text.
</p>

And it would look like this in the browser:

This is a paragraph with bold and italic text.

Additional Online Resources

HTML code tutorials

http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/authoring/html_basics/

For my money, the best set of introductory HTML articles available. since you have a template, you can start with the “Teaching Tool” or the “HTML Cheat Sheet”.

http://www.2kweb.net/html-tutorial/

An impressive online tutorial with examples. Note that you really don’t need to do any fancy font coding because of the style sheet included in the template.

HTML color guides

http://www.webdesign.about.com/compute/webdesign/library/weekly/aa061598chart.htm

A flat page that displays the colors and their codes for quick reference. It will also allow you to see what the colors look like on your monitor — but remember, each monitor will see the colors a little differently.

http://www.visibone.com/

Home of the Visibone company which sells HTML-related reference cards and software. they’ve greatly expanded their offerings in recent years, so you may want to keep any eye on new products.

http://www.visibone.com/colorlab/

This is Visibone’s online interactive color chart. You can select colors from their hue-based color wheel and see how they work with each other, either side by side or as link or text colors on top of the other colors. Very handy way to find out that you really can’t use that bright blue you love with the dull red.

A Web Host That Will Rock Your Web Presence – A2Hosting

It is very easy to start a website nowadays. It has never been so easy as it is today. We have an abundance when it comes to web hosting companies and related resources – bandwidth, storage space, CPU power. We would think that this really makes the whole process of going online more simple but instead it has another effect – it is quite overwhelming to make a difference between the providers when of course all of them pay the nicest picture about themselves thus trying to persuade us that they are the one that we should deal with.

When I started my websites back in the day it was easy because I had someone near me who knew this field and helped me in everything but those who are newcomers I think they have a hard time picking the right web host. Today we will jumpstart this process by suggesting a great alternative – A2Hosting.

A+ Support

This provider is top-notch in all crucial areas. Let’s take support for example. I find it really annoying when I have to wait fifteen minutes to be able to contact a web host via live chat. It’s just not right, that’s not what I pay for. But when you host with A2Hosting, you won’t meet this phenomenon. On average, I wait one and half minutes after I contact them via live chat. I find this awesome compared to the fifteen minutes. And of course I should also mention that the support guys on the other end are not from Asia. Not that I have somehting against them, but I had occasions with other hosts when their English was not really there and we were having a hard time understanding eachother.

I could ramble about this provider all day, but instead I’ll give you the link to an A2Hosting review in which you will find all the details you might want to know.

The only issue

In the review that I pointed out above the only negative that they come up with is pricing. They say it’s too expensive. Yeah, we can say that generally they are a little bit more expensive compared to their competitors, but I don’t think that this is a negative.

We should not look at prices but value instead.

A good example are cars. Both the cheap and the expensive car will get us where we want to get, but one will provide us more security, speed and comfort. The same is true to web hosting. If we want to have a good nights sleep and not worry about whether my website will be hacked or whether it will be down for hours, we have to pay the price.

In reality there is no such thing as a free lunch, we get what we pay for.

Lightning Speed

The other great thing about A2Hosting is their dedication for speed. These guys really make it happen when it comes to fast websites. And when I say really, I mean really. First they started with Solid State Drives, which is available with all their plans, then added Turbo to their arsenal, which results up to 20X faster hosting experience. And these are real results.

If you want to find out more about A2Hosting make sure you chekc out the source that I gave you but if you have already made your decision just go to A2Hosting.com right away.

What is the Purpose of Creating a Website?

Let’s start at the very beginning of building a web page.

Why?

Why are you expending all of this time, energy and expense to build a web site and put it on the Internet? Obviously, you want other people to see these pages. You are attempting to communicate, through your web pages, a specific message to specific people. Ideally, you should be able to sum up the purpose in a succinct tag line. At “Elements of Web Style”, we want to convey “The Fundamentals of Professional Web Sites.”

Now write down what your message is and who the people are you’re addressing.

No, no, really, write it down. This isn’t an idle exercise or one of those warm, fuzzy, pop-psych, inspirational tricks. This is the purpose of your work. This determines everything else from format to content to navigation to promotion. Your web site is a tool to communicate your message to your target audience. And the purpose defines the tool; the tool does not define the purpose. True, anything can be a hammer, but the purpose of the tool — to hammer something — defines the object, whatever the original name and purpose of the object. I speak as someone who has turned numerous objects (Corning Corel cups, shoe heels, barbells, wrenches, and so forth) into hammers on occasion.

Philosophical meandering aside, defining the purpose, the goal if you wish, of the site and each page is essential to a successful professional site. What message are you trying to communicate and to whom? Don’t be distracted by how you’ll reach your audience or what you tools you’ll use to convey your message. Define the message and your audience correctly and the rest becomes easy.

Okay, easier.

An architect can’t design a building without knowing how it will be used and by whom. Once you clearly and succinctly know the purpose of your site, you can figure out what you need to build it. You can also determine the right tool for the job. Or a reasonable substitute, if the right tool isn’t available. And you can determine what tools can’t be substituted.