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Blastfrog

Trying to build a website

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I've Googled "how to build a website", but have seen nothing but results of how to use one of those crappy non-html "easy site building" softwares. I'd rather just learn how to set up a website the proper way, using a directory, and HTML and CSS.

Not necessarily looking for how to code CSS or HTML, but rather how to put it all together into a functional site. Care to point me in the right direction?

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Sodaholic said:

Not necessarily looking for how to code CSS or HTML, but rather how to put it all together into a functional site. Care to point me in the right direction?

How it's put together is in the code. The directory or folder structure can be any way round you want it. Basically the first page of your site is either index.html or index.php (or whatever format you're using), and from there you can link to other pages and folders.

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Create a folder. Create a file in that folder. Name it index.html. Write some dumb HTML code in it:

<html>
<head>
  <title>Baby's First Website! :D</title>
</head>
<body>
  <h1>Hello world!</h1>
  <p>This is a site, lol</p>
</body>
</html>
Save. Upload the folder's content on your webspace. Go to your webspace. Victory.

From there, you can read some HTML books to learn how to make internal links, and start having several pages. Then you can also make things properly, in standard compliant HTML, with the boring DOCTYPE declaration and stuff. Look into CSS on how to spice it up. Then you can look into browser-compatibility issues when you start to be ambitious as far as layout goes.

The next step is to become really annoyed at how tedious updating your site is, so you install some CMS software to do it for yourself, like Wordpress, Joomla, SPIP or whatever. Heck, maybe even just a wiki.

The final step is to have your CMS stop working for some reason and then you have to learn PHP and MySQL to fix it.

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Sodaholic said:

Not necessarily looking for how to code CSS or HTML, but rather how to put it all together into a functional site. Care to point me in the right direction?

Seriously, at the very least learn html. It's very simple and knowing it will do you a world of good.

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I make my designs in Photoshop and do all the coding in Dreamweaver.

In the end you need to know HTML & CSS coding, which really isn't that hard.

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You can learn both HTML and CSS in more or less a week. Once you know the basics it's pretty easy.

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K!r4 said:

You can learn both HTML and CSS in more or less a week. Once you know the basics it's pretty easy.


Only if you can handle the disappointment of learning that with just HTML (even if with CSS) you can't go much beyond the level of a 1996 geocities page. That's when all the fugliness such as table layouts, WYSIWYG editors, script copypasta kick in, plus the anxiety of keeping up with the latest and shiniest. Flash plugins? Gotta have 'em! AJAX apps? Gotta have em too. Twatter/Faceshit buttons? Absolutely!

And that's even before you consider "Gee, wouldn't it be cool if I had my own server/database/whatever?". Goodnight...

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Maes said:

Only if you can handle the disappointment of learning that with just HTML (even if with CSS) you can't go much beyond the level of a 1996 geocities page. That's when all the fugliness such as table layouts, WYSIWYG editors, script copypasta kick in

Ur doin it wrong.

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DooMAD said:

Ur doin it wrong.


yeah <div> is all the rage last time I heard.

In any case, I always considered building websites manually (and keeping them updated) beyond a very basic level to be a tedious chore usually not worth the effort. It's more like something you do when you're like 18-19 and don't mind all-nighters and mish-mashing everything you can find. Pure flash websites are another story though, and that's where it may still pay to do it the "old" way (well...old in the sense that you don't use CMS).

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You can make a nice 2.0 styled website with just HTML and CSS. If you know photoshop, layout is a snap. Also, there is no shame in downloading a CSS template and modifying it to your liking.

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Maes said:

In any case, I always considered building websites manually (and keeping them updated) beyond a very basic level to be a tedious chore usually not worth the effort. It's more like something you do when you're like 18-19 and don't mind all-nighters and mish-mashing everything you can find.

That's true enough. Unless you have a natural talent for designing layouts quickly, then it can be pretty time consuming to start from scratch. Much easier to recycle bits from existing layouts or templates.

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Last time I made a personal web page it was with a (scripting language) template system and makefile. I hardly used any raw html tags, except for a few special cases. It worked fine and didn't need any database. The source (templates) just got saved in CVS and the makefile built static html pages from those, and then uploaded any modified files to the server.

But I won't bother with any of that fancy stuff next time. Heck, I'll probably just slap some files in a directory tree and point a gopher daemon at the root. Tags? I don't need no stinkin' tags! This is more like it:
http://phlogosphere.org/

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Thanks for the advice, guys. The reason I mentioned not wanting input about HTML or CSS was because I can already easily learn it on my own, and was more concerned with any sort of needed setup outside of those things.

That w3schools thing looks like it will be very helpful.

How difficult would it be to implement a wiki at some point? Obviously, I want to get the main site out of the way first, and the wiki is low priority, but I do want to have one at one point.

Also, don't bother asking what this site's going to be about, that will be revealed in time.

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Wikis require both PHP and MySQL, so you'll need to check to see if your server supports it.

Knowing how to code in PHP would also help.

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I usually recommend people stick with a wordpress.com account these days. Not that few simple HTML pages are hard.

That said, I run various wordpress blogs with custom themes/code. I love tinkering with PHP/MySQL and usually enjoy troubleshooting my dodgy ass code. Notepad/Nano is my preferred editors.

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Whoo said:

Wikis require both PHP and MySQL, so you'll need to check to see if your server supports it.

Wikis require both a server-side scripting language and some sort of storage. PHP and mySQL aren't required; you could write one in COBOL and use flat files for storage.

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Then again, there's always the danger of being suckered into something like this...where building websites meets "walled garden" marketing and get-rich-quick schemes!

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Maes said:

Then again, there's always the danger of being suckered into something like this...where building websites meets "walled garden" marketing and get-rich-quick schemes!

BEST SITE EVER

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Bloodshedder said:

Wikis require both a server-side scripting language and some sort of storage. PHP and mySQL aren't required; you could write one in COBOL and use flat files for storage.

Perhaps using COBOL ON COGS.

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Badass! I'm not sure I can handle all the javascript though. Well my browser can't, hell it doesn't even do CSS. :D

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My Internet experience is pretty much like these screenshots:
http://links.twibright.com/features.php

Some sites look a bit strange due to the lack of CSS, but that mostly manifests itself in the form of positioning bugs (like a graphical menu doesn't end up in the exact spot the site designers planned it to be).

The only real trouble is when a site requires javascript, and then it just means I have to decide whether it's worth it for me to startup the pig (firefox). In most cases, I just don't bother.

And TBH, when it comes to forums, I much prefer a pure text interface like Usenet and dialup or telnet BBS's. Although NNTP isn't necessarily pure text, because you can encode & attach stuff to the messages. The other nice thing is it gives you a lot more power to thread messages how you want, save messages or threads, manage killfile, etc. Plus it's decentralized so less prone to outages or government interference.

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hex11 said:

The only real trouble is when a site requires javascript, and then it just means I have to decide whether it's worth it for me to startup the pig (firefox). In most cases, I just don't bother.


Hmm...but that means that practically 99.99% of modern websites (or even all those made in the last 15 years) will not work at all or malfunction in some way. OK, so "good practice" dictates that there should be a pure HTML fallback and that AJAX should not be relied upon to complete the rendering client-side...but who complies with that? People have grown too accustomed to their dynamic pages and "rich internet applications" that there's no going back.

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I really have no idea what percentage of sites are functional without javascript, but for the most part the ones I visit are okay. The only ones that give me any trouble are online banks, some online stores, and some file sharing sites. I don't "shop" very much, so it's not a big deal.

The other thing about javascript is that it adds complexity, thus potential security risks and other bugs. I'm guessing that a decent number of designers have figured out it's much easier to troubleshoot their site without all that overhead, so it makes sense to at least ensure it functions in pure HTML mode. Heck, if nothing else it's easier to setup automated tests and do QA that way.

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My Internet experience is pretty much like these screenshots:


Wow. That is atrocious. And this isn't me railing against "text only" either, I'm fine with black text on white background and absolutely nothing else ; but this? I can't understand why would someone willfully suffer this. Only the middle screenshot (this one) looks readable.

Edit: I meant readable as in enjoyable to read, able to be read easily (easily being the keyword).

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I don't have any problems reading those screenshots. Well, except for the fact that I don't read greek or russian. :D But I can make out the glyphs very well. Maybe your screen is different or something. Mine is a 4/3 aspect ratio 14-inch LCD that I run at 800x600 (except for fullscreen mode games). Anyway, the fonts and colors of the browser are configurable, so it's no big deal.

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As a curiosity, how does DW look to you? Can you post a screen grab?

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