Building Your Own Website: 3 Things to Know
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Building Your Own Website: 3 Things to Know

Learn how to get started building your own free website with these three simple steps.

When I started my exodus into the world of internet programming I was admittedly confused about where to start, even as I was going to college to learn how to program. I didn’t know how all the computer classes I was taking correlated with each other. It would have been helpful to have someone to sit down with me and explain how all the information worked together. In this article I am not going to teach you programming languages, quite frankly it is unrealistic to expect to read one page to become an instant internet programmer. Instead, I will tell you what information you will need to seek out, and where to look to find that information. This is the best way to enter into the world of internet programming.

There are three main things you will either need, or need to know.

1. The basic foundation of how your site is laid out. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). HTML structures the positioning of text, pictures, videos, and anything else that may be in your website. All of the HTML tags are enclosed in < > brackets.

2. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). CSS styles your HTML. On a website, all of the borders, colors, text, backgrounds, etc. are accomplished with CSS. There are three different ways to put CSS in your pages, external, internal, and inline styles. Having three different ways to style site pages comes in very handy. CSS code is bracketed in { } which I like to call the curly brackets. This makes your CSS code stand out from your HTML. The web is a great place to find tutorials on these subjects. There are literally hundreds of websites dedicated to teaching HTML, CSS, and many other useful things. The best alternate way to learn is to go to your local library and check out books on these subjects, which is the most useful way if you lack a home internet connection.

3. The website making software you will use to assist you with the development of your site. There are a lot of solid software programs on the market today. My favorites are Microsoft Expression Web, Microsoft Visual Studio, and Adobe Dreamweaver. You have the option of “code view” or “design view” in these programs. A novice developer can put together a site in design view by dragging and dropping all the elements of your site onto the screen. I wouldn’t recommend this though, because your website never looks like you want it to in the browser window after using this building method, thus being the important reason to learn how to code in the two languages. As you get better at reading and writing the coding languages you will be able to see how your site is laid out just by looking at the code, which is very helpful. You can skim through, pick out, and correct layout and style mistakes without even clicking into design view! I still use design view for a certain amount of tasks (because it saves time) and you can decide for yourself how it is most useful to you. This is just the tip of the iceberg in internet programming, but its enough to get yourself started, enjoy!

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