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Creating websites for CAS

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I asked my CAS coordinator if it were possible to learn how to create web pages for creativity and she said it was fine.

So I started looking for websites where I could learn it or books so i could teach the basics myself. Does anyone know any good places for learning HTML and such? Just need the basic tools so i can create a website at the end for a small side project.

EDIT: Does anyone know Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours? Apparently it is quite good for beginners.

Edited by Beni
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To be honest it's the kind of thing you can just pick up by yourself, I don't think you need a book. There are loads of free websites that give you the basics just google learn HTML free or something. The best way to start is to try it out, in my opinion. It's probably the most straight-forward and simple website-generating code there is, so it's largely intuitive. e.g. <center> means put things in the centre... and so on.

I'd recommend finding some current HTML (and CSS) codes on sites or using generators etc. and then just messing with it. You get the hang of what's changing where extremely quickly - and it's all free :P

EDIT: Also I forgot to add, but you can see how people are doing things on websites by right-clicking your mouse and going "View Source" (or you can also do it in the top bar if right-click is blocked). Obviously many sites will use code too complex/not 100% HTML etc. so I recommend you find really simple plain sites, but it's a great way to take a peek at how people are doing things. Just try and make sure you're looking at really simple sites where people are mostly just using HTML already or it'll confuse the hell out of you! If you see something and want to know what it does, the best way is to just copy/paste and try it out for yourself. Experimentation is the way forward :P It's how I taught myself.

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I mostly agree with Sandwich, HTML is quite straightforward. You might need some help from books or other forms of consultation to get the ball rolling, but it is very easy to pick up. CSS, on the other hand, is probably more difficult to learn than HTML, but that's really not saying much. As with HTML, CSS is quite easy to pick up, and unless you're planning to do some very fancy graphic design, CSS tends to be quite simple and straightforward.

In personal experience, I would spend maybe 65-70% on the HTML, and the remainder on the CSS, but it might differ for others as I often find myself OCD-ing about tiny visual details that rely on CSS to achieve, thus extending the time I spend on CSS.

As for those two books, they seem fine, but I would recommend this site above them: www.w3schools.com, where they have professional tutorials for just about every web related language, including PHP, ASP, JavaScript, etc.

Here are some links:

http://www.w3schools...css/default.asp - CSS Tutorial

http://www.w3schools...tml/default.asp - HTML Tutorial

Edited by betaJay
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I made these websites for CAS! Check them out

www.jingscloud.com

www.jingscloud.com/ib

www.jingscloud.com/ibcloud2 :)

What tools did you use? Looks very nice!

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It does look very sleek! Awesome photos too. But it also looks like a Wordpress.com generated site :P Many of the blog-type sites provide you very quickly with select-what-you-want style layouts, you just pick from their range of options.

Doing the coding yourself to generate that kind of content would be pretty advanced. You'd need more than just HTML to make a dynamic site like that, most people couldn't do it (which is why the blog sites provide it for you).

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But it also looks like a Wordpress.com generated site :P Many of the blog-type sites provide you very quickly with select-what-you-want style layouts, you just pick from their range of options.

Doing the coding yourself to generate that kind of content would be pretty advanced. You'd need more than just HTML to make a dynamic site like that, most people couldn't do it (which is why the blog sites provide it for you).

I can see why you would think it's WordPress generated, but I don't think so. For starters, there's no "powered by WordPress" thing at the bottom of the page. I also took the liberty of looking at the source, and it was commented quite extensively. (Bravo, I hate commenting). Generated HTML rarely has comments to such a depth, so I'm leaning towards that it's a hand-written website.

It's also a very attractive website, congratulations on that, Jingcheng.

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But it also looks like a Wordpress.com generated site :P Many of the blog-type sites provide you very quickly with select-what-you-want style layouts, you just pick from their range of options.

Doing the coding yourself to generate that kind of content would be pretty advanced. You'd need more than just HTML to make a dynamic site like that, most people couldn't do it (which is why the blog sites provide it for you).

I can see why you would think it's WordPress generated, but I don't think so. For starters, there's no "powered by WordPress" thing at the bottom of the page. I also took the liberty of looking at the source, and it was commented quite extensively. (Bravo, I hate commenting). Generated HTML rarely has comments to such a depth, so I'm leaning towards that it's a hand-written website.

It's also a very attractive website, congratulations on that, Jingcheng.

<!-- An Orman Clark design (http://www.premiumpixels.com) - Proudly powered by WordPress (http://wordpress.org) -->

At the top of the view source. Editing out 'powered by wordpress' is more or less as easy as knowing which bit to edit. Also commenting is actually (in my opinion) more common for designers who are selling on their designs/licencing them because they need to make them editable by other people so tend to be more clear about what's what. But really I guess it could go either way!

I didn't mean to imply there was anything wrong with using websites like Wordpress to help you get a more professional look. I agree with you, it looks really good - and it's not possible to achieve that with just HTML. For most people who want to get a really snazzy looking site, they wouldn't be able to make it 100% themselves. People even sell Wordpress 'lessons' to help people use it so I guess it's a skill in itself to know how to use blog sites :P

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Woops, my bad. Didn't see that line, I thought it would be much more likely to be found at the very top, like first 5 lines, which is normally where you would do the header and stuff, but there was an <H5> tag there so I skipped to the bottom and checked there. Needless to say, I didn't find that line. My bad, I stand corrected.

Edited by betaJay

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I agree that building your website with a basic HTML editor is likely to be a more rewarding CAS experience than using packaged authoring software. The result may be less glitzy, but you will have full control of your website through having written every line of code.

An HTML editor such as PageSpinner makes the whole process very efficient, since you can readily see your web page in one window as you write and modify the code in another.

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Just a tip: If you want to learn HTML/CSS, learn it right from the beginning, following proper conventions. If you start out by being lazy and not following best practices, you're going to have to relearn it all anyway if you plan on actually getting serious about it.

So for this purpose, I highly recommend http://htmldog.com. This site will teach you from the ground up, following proper standards. Rather than learning how to "change the text colour" or "add a background image", you will actually learn HTML.

I would advise against following w3school's tutorials. I'll keep this post brief, but you can see many reasons why you should not use w3schools here: http://w3fools.com/

Does anyone know Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours? Apparently it is quite good for beginners.

I haven't read this book, but I would be skeptical of anything that says "Teach Yourself X in 24 Hours." Sure, in 24 hours you might be able to learn the basic syntax of HTML and how to do some basic things, but even though HTML is a fairly simple language, it takes significantly longer to get to really know the language as a whole. Peter Norvig summarizes this quite nicely. (He talks about programming, but really it applies to any discipline)

And even then, once you have a good enough understanding of HTML/CSS, I would recommend trying to focus on web design principles in general. Because what's the point of being able to modify a few examples and thrown in a few tags when you can't take a website design from start to finish?

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Agh, I didn't know this counted for CAS hours! I basically procrastinate by working on my website, haha.

Anyway, I first learned web design from lissaexplains.com It's probably outdated by now, and more for children. I also used something like HTML for Dummies :D which I found quite helpful. I like HTML Dog now, which I think someone posted the link to.

You can also go to the library. They usually have a lot of good books on web design, for beginners and those who are advanced. Making a website from scratch is quite a bit of work work, and frustrating at times, but once your site is up, it's really rewarding.

Like others mentioned, it might not be easy to learn how to do a flashy website from scratch in a few days, but I think you can still make a pretty nice website for a side project with some HTML and CSS and some photoshop. (CSS is great for things like menus).

I do recommend learning HTML in a more structured way, rather than learning bits and pieces/ using generators so that if you ever run across problems or accidentally mess up your code, you'll be able to figure out what's wrong, instead of guessing and checking your way through it!

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Haha although its true the base is based on Wordpress, I had to rewrite a lot of CSS to get it to do what I wanted. Also, the other two sites were completely written from scratch in notepad :) the main page was to show off my photography cas. If that makes sense.

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