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This is where the doctype comes in. The doctype's job is to specify which version of HTML the browser should expect to see. The browser uses this information to decide how it should render items on the screen. Got all that? Okay: jargon break! There are too many abbreviations for this paragraph! It's what some admittedly more geeky people refer to when they talk about a web site's address. URL is definitely a useful term to learn, though, because it's becoming more and more common.

W3C : W3C is an abbreviation of the name World Wide Web Consortium, a group of smart people spread across the globe who, collectively, come up with proposals for the ways in which computing and markup languages that are used on the Web should be written. The W3C defines the rules, suggests usage, then publishes the agreed documentation for reference by interested parties, be they web site creators like your good self once you're done with this book, that is , or software developers who are building the programs that need to understand these languages such as browsers or authoring software.

The W3C documents are the starting point, and indeed everything in this book is based on the original documents. But, trust me: you don't want to look at any W3C documents for a long time yet. They're just plain scary for us mere mortals without Computer Science degrees.

Delmar Cengage Learning Companions - HTML, XHTML, and CSS For The Absolute Beginner

Just stick with this book for time being -- I'll guide you through! What comes next? Some HTML! Remember, elements are the bricks that create the structures that hold a web page together. But what exactly is an element? What does an element look like, and what is its purpose? Let's take a look at the first element in the page: the html element. Figure 2. Below it, we see the closing tag, which marks its end and occurs right at the end of the document :. HTML elements can have a range of different attributes; the available attributes vary depending on which element you're dealing with.

Some attributes are optional, while others are compulsory, but together they give the browser important information that the element wouldn't offer otherwise. For example, the image element which we'll learn about soon has a compulsory 'image source' attribute, the value of which gives the filename of the image. Attributes appear in the opening tag of any given element. We'll see more attributes crop up as we work our way through this project, and, at least initially, I'll be making sure to point them out, so that you're familiar with them.

Back to the purpose of the html element. This is the outermost "container" of our web page; everything else is kept within that outer container -- there are no exceptions! Let's peel off that outer layer and take a peek at the contents inside. There are two major sections inside the html element: the head and the body. It's not going to be difficult to remember the order in which those items should appear, unless you happen to enjoy doing headstands. The head element contains information about the page, but no information that will be displayed on the page itself.

For example, it contains the title element, which tells the browser what to display in its title bar:. That's how closing tags work: they have forward slashes just after the angle bracket.

The "Untitled Document" title is typical of what HTML authoring software provides as a starting point when you choose to create a new web page; it's up to you to change those words. However, if you're creating a web page from scratch in a text editor like Notepad , you will, I hope, remember to type something a little more useful. But just what is this title?

Time for a screenshot: check out Figure 2. It really would pay dividends to put something useful in there, and not just for the sake of those people who visit our web page. The content of the title element is also used for a number of other purposes:. Inside the head element in our simple example, we can see a meta element, which is shown in bold below:.

Some are used to provide additional information that's not displayed on-screen to the browser or to search engines; for instance, the name of the page's author, or a copyright notice, might be included in meta elements. In the example above, the meta tag tells the browser which character set to use specifically, UTF-8, which includes the characters needed for web pages in just about any language. There are many different uses for meta elements, but most of them will make no discernible difference to the way your page looks, and as such, won't be of much interest to you.

The meta element is an example of a self-closing element or an empty element. Unlike title, the meta element needn't contain anything, so we could write it as follows:. So our meta example becomes:. If you're thinking that the doctype and meta elements are difficult to remember, and you're wondering how on earth people commit them to memory, don't worry: most people don't! Even the most hardened and world-weary coders would have difficulty remembering these elements exactly, so most do the same thing -- they copy from a source they know to be correct most likely from their last project or piece of work.

You'll probably do the same as you work with project files for this book. Fully-fledged web development programs, such as Dreamweaver, will normally take care of these difficult parts of coding. Other items, such as CSS markup and JavaScript [21] code, can appear in the headelement, but we'll discuss these as we need them. Finally, we get to the place where it all happens! The body element of the page contains almost everything that you see on the screen, including headings, paragraphs, images, any navigation that's required, and footers that sit at the bottom of the web page.

Actually, that heading's a bit of a misnomer: we've already showed you the most basic page the one without any content. However, to start to appreciate how everything fits together, you really need to see a simple page with some actual content on it. Let's have a go at it, shall we? Open your text editor and type the following into a new, empty document or grab the file from the code archive if you don't feel like typing it out -- I understand completely! Example 2. Hopefully you will get to see how the markup that drives the page relates to the end result that you can see on screen.

Just to show how it works. Enter the filename as index. Find the Sites folder, enter index. TextEdit will warn you that you're saving a plain text file with an extension other than. We want to save this file with an. If you neglect to select UTF-8 when saving your files, it's likely that you won't notice much of a difference. However, when someone else comes along to view your web site say, a Korean friend of yours , they'll probably end up with a screen of garbage. Because their computer is set up to read Korean text, and yours is set up to create English text. UTF-8 can handle just about any language there is including some quite obscure ones!

Next, using Windows Explorer or Finder, locate the file that you just saved, and double-click to open it in your browser. Displaying a basic page. Do you see how the markup you've typed out relates to what you can see in the browser? In the same way, the p elements contain the text in the two paragraphs.

There's another point to note: the tags are all lowercase. All of our attribute names will be in lowercase, too. In the example above, we use an h1 element to show a major heading. If we wanted to include a subheading beneath this heading, we would use the h2 element. There are no prizes for guessing that a subheading under an h2 would use an h3 element, and so on, until we get to h6. The lower the heading level, the lesser its importance and, as a rule, the smaller or less prominent the font.

With headings, an important and commonsense practice is to ensure that they do not jump out of sequence. In other words, you should start from level one, and work your way down through the levels in numerical order. You can jump back up from a lower-level heading to a higher one, provided that the content under the higher-level heading to which you've jumped does not refer to concepts that are addressed under the lower-level heading.

It may be useful to visualize your headings as a list:. Of course, no one wants to read a document that contains only headings -- you need to put some text in there. The element we use to deal with blocks of text is the p element. It's not difficult to remember: p is for paragraph! That's just as well, because you'll almost certainly find yourself using this element more than any other.

And that's the beauty of XHTML: most elements that you use frequently are either very obvious, or easy to remember once you're introduced to them. Let's imagine that you want a list on your web page. To include an ordered list of items, we use the ol element.

An unordered list -- called 'bullet points' by the average person -- makes use of the ul element.


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In both types of list, individual points or list items are specified using the li element. So we use ol for an ordered list, ul for an unordered list, and li for a list item. To see this markup in action, type the following into a new text document, save it as lists. A lovely, concise little paragraph. How does it look to you? Did you type it all out? Remember, if it seems like a lot of hassle to type out the examples, you can find all the markup in the code archive, as I explained in the preface.

However, bear in mind that simply copying and pasting markup, then saving and running it, doesn't really give you a feel for what's happening -- it really will pay to learn by doing. Even if you make mistakes, it's still a better way to learn you'll be happy when you can spot your own errors and fix them for yourself.

When displayed in a browser, the above markup should look like the page shown in Figure 2. There are many, many different elements that you can use on your web page, and we'll meet more of them as our web site development progresses. Then, this book is the right book for you. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to learn web designing. It skips all those long and boring explanations and shows you how it works. By Todd Stauffer.

It is a hands-on tutorial book that teaches you the fundamentals of designing web pages, as well as advanced techniques like chat, message areas, and e-commerce options that makes your page look like it was created by a pro. By Steve Krug. This book should probably be the very first book any aspiring website designer should read.

It is a very old book which was first published in and even after almost 20 years, the concepts in the book are still relevant, in fact, more relevant than ever before. It teaches you design techniques keeping the users at the center of it. In this book, you will learn everything you need to know to start creating user-friendly websites and stay ahead of your game as a website designer.

1. What is CSS?

A common saying which I strongly agree with is that to be successful, you have to learn from those that have succeeded. So, here are a few of the most successful web designers you can follow up and learn from them. Your email address will not be published. Top 10 Beginners Friendly Web Designing Books As web designing has now become a big niche, so many authors have written different books on website designs, some focusing on the advanced concept, others targeted towards the intermediate web designers.

Web design for dummies : This is a great beginner book written by Lisa Lopuck. Creating a website: the missing manual : This is a book by Matthew McDonald. Let's delve a little deeper. This is known as the doctype short for Document Type Declaration. It must absolutely be the first item on a web page, appearing even before any spacing or carriage returns. Have you ever taken a document you wrote in Microsoft Word on one computer, and tried to open it on another computer that ran Word 97?

Must-Read Resources for CSS Beginners

Frustratingly, without some pre-emptive massaging when the file is saved in the first place, this just doesn't work. It fails because Word includes features that Bill Gates and his team hadn't even dreamed of in , and Microsoft needed to create a new version of its file format to cater to these new features. Mercifully, the different versions of HTML have been designed so that this language doesn't suffer the same incompatibility gremlins as Word, but it's still important to identify the version of HTML that you're using.

This is where the doctype comes in. The doctype's job is to specify which version of HTML the browser should expect to see. The browser uses this information to decide how it should render items on the screen. Got all that? Okay: jargon break! There are too many abbreviations for this paragraph! It's what some admittedly more geeky people refer to when they talk about a web site's address. URL is definitely a useful term to learn, though, because it's becoming more and more common.

W3C : W3C is an abbreviation of the name World Wide Web Consortium, a group of smart people spread across the globe who, collectively, come up with proposals for the ways in which computing and markup languages that are used on the Web should be written. The W3C defines the rules, suggests usage, then publishes the agreed documentation for reference by interested parties, be they web site creators like your good self once you're done with this book, that is , or software developers who are building the programs that need to understand these languages such as browsers or authoring software.

The W3C documents are the starting point, and indeed everything in this book is based on the original documents. But, trust me: you don't want to look at any W3C documents for a long time yet. They're just plain scary for us mere mortals without Computer Science degrees. Just stick with this book for time being -- I'll guide you through!

What comes next? Some HTML! Remember, elements are the bricks that create the structures that hold a web page together. But what exactly is an element? What does an element look like, and what is its purpose? Let's take a look at the first element in the page: the html element.

Figure 2. Below it, we see the closing tag, which marks its end and occurs right at the end of the document :. HTML elements can have a range of different attributes; the available attributes vary depending on which element you're dealing with. Some attributes are optional, while others are compulsory, but together they give the browser important information that the element wouldn't offer otherwise.

For example, the image element which we'll learn about soon has a compulsory 'image source' attribute, the value of which gives the filename of the image. Attributes appear in the opening tag of any given element. We'll see more attributes crop up as we work our way through this project, and, at least initially, I'll be making sure to point them out, so that you're familiar with them. Back to the purpose of the html element. This is the outermost "container" of our web page; everything else is kept within that outer container -- there are no exceptions!

Let's peel off that outer layer and take a peek at the contents inside. There are two major sections inside the html element: the head and the body. It's not going to be difficult to remember the order in which those items should appear, unless you happen to enjoy doing headstands. The head element contains information about the page, but no information that will be displayed on the page itself. For example, it contains the title element, which tells the browser what to display in its title bar:.

That's how closing tags work: they have forward slashes just after the angle bracket. The "Untitled Document" title is typical of what HTML authoring software provides as a starting point when you choose to create a new web page; it's up to you to change those words. However, if you're creating a web page from scratch in a text editor like Notepad , you will, I hope, remember to type something a little more useful. But just what is this title? Time for a screenshot: check out Figure 2. It really would pay dividends to put something useful in there, and not just for the sake of those people who visit our web page.

The content of the title element is also used for a number of other purposes:. Inside the head element in our simple example, we can see a meta element, which is shown in bold below:. Some are used to provide additional information that's not displayed on-screen to the browser or to search engines; for instance, the name of the page's author, or a copyright notice, might be included in meta elements. In the example above, the meta tag tells the browser which character set to use specifically, UTF-8, which includes the characters needed for web pages in just about any language.

There are many different uses for meta elements, but most of them will make no discernible difference to the way your page looks, and as such, won't be of much interest to you. The meta element is an example of a self-closing element or an empty element. Unlike title, the meta element needn't contain anything, so we could write it as follows:. So our meta example becomes:. If you're thinking that the doctype and meta elements are difficult to remember, and you're wondering how on earth people commit them to memory, don't worry: most people don't!

Even the most hardened and world-weary coders would have difficulty remembering these elements exactly, so most do the same thing -- they copy from a source they know to be correct most likely from their last project or piece of work. You'll probably do the same as you work with project files for this book. Fully-fledged web development programs, such as Dreamweaver, will normally take care of these difficult parts of coding. Other items, such as CSS markup and JavaScript [21] code, can appear in the headelement, but we'll discuss these as we need them.

Finally, we get to the place where it all happens! The body element of the page contains almost everything that you see on the screen, including headings, paragraphs, images, any navigation that's required, and footers that sit at the bottom of the web page. Actually, that heading's a bit of a misnomer: we've already showed you the most basic page the one without any content. However, to start to appreciate how everything fits together, you really need to see a simple page with some actual content on it. Let's have a go at it, shall we? Open your text editor and type the following into a new, empty document or grab the file from the code archive if you don't feel like typing it out -- I understand completely!

Example 2. Hopefully you will get to see how the markup that drives the page relates to the end result that you can see on screen. Just to show how it works. Enter the filename as index. Find the Sites folder, enter index. TextEdit will warn you that you're saving a plain text file with an extension other than. We want to save this file with an. If you neglect to select UTF-8 when saving your files, it's likely that you won't notice much of a difference.

However, when someone else comes along to view your web site say, a Korean friend of yours , they'll probably end up with a screen of garbage. Because their computer is set up to read Korean text, and yours is set up to create English text. UTF-8 can handle just about any language there is including some quite obscure ones!

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

Next, using Windows Explorer or Finder, locate the file that you just saved, and double-click to open it in your browser. Displaying a basic page. Do you see how the markup you've typed out relates to what you can see in the browser? In the same way, the p elements contain the text in the two paragraphs.

There's another point to note: the tags are all lowercase. All of our attribute names will be in lowercase, too. In the example above, we use an h1 element to show a major heading.


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If we wanted to include a subheading beneath this heading, we would use the h2 element. There are no prizes for guessing that a subheading under an h2 would use an h3 element, and so on, until we get to h6. The lower the heading level, the lesser its importance and, as a rule, the smaller or less prominent the font.

With headings, an important and commonsense practice is to ensure that they do not jump out of sequence. In other words, you should start from level one, and work your way down through the levels in numerical order. You can jump back up from a lower-level heading to a higher one, provided that the content under the higher-level heading to which you've jumped does not refer to concepts that are addressed under the lower-level heading. It may be useful to visualize your headings as a list:.

Of course, no one wants to read a document that contains only headings -- you need to put some text in there. The element we use to deal with blocks of text is the p element. It's not difficult to remember: p is for paragraph! That's just as well, because you'll almost certainly find yourself using this element more than any other. And that's the beauty of XHTML: most elements that you use frequently are either very obvious, or easy to remember once you're introduced to them.

Let's imagine that you want a list on your web page. To include an ordered list of items, we use the ol element. An unordered list -- called 'bullet points' by the average person -- makes use of the ul element. In both types of list, individual points or list items are specified using the li element. So we use ol for an ordered list, ul for an unordered list, and li for a list item. To see this markup in action, type the following into a new text document, save it as lists. A lovely, concise little paragraph.