14th November, 2012 | Articles |

A beginners guide to web design

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Whether you are looking to set up a web page or an entire site, it is important that you learn the basics of web design. There is a whole field and study dedicated to this area of expertise, so it would be impossible to get it all into one article, so here are some things that will help get you started.

You will first need to find a web hosting server where you can upload your web page or site. Finding a hosting server will take a little time since there are so many to choose from. Just take your time and choose the best one for your web site and budget. When creating your web site or page, you will need web design software (unless you know html). Web design software, such as Dreamweaver and Front Page (Microsoft Office application) can greatly help with your design for the web site. Unless you know html, or the new and improved version, xhtml, you are going to have issues with your web site being viewed properly.

The 'norm' way of designing a website has changed over the years from using frames, to using tables but CSS is the method of choice now used to lay out a website design on the page. CSS is similar to HTML as in its code that affects the way something is displayed on the screen.

Website design: The Tools

Front Page is a very easy web design tool to use. There are multiple templates to choose from, so no creating is needed. If you find something there that you already like, go with it and include your content with the easy "insert" tool. You can also modify the templates to cater to your desires.

Dreamweaver on the other hand, allows you to take more advanced steps for creating a web site. It also allows you to be much more creative, but with this software, you will need to learn the different tools to successfully create a web page. You will also need to group files together to upload later on to the server. Each file will need to be saved with the .html at the end of the file name. If you are using Front Page or simply notepad (if you know html, web site tags can be saved here), you will find the .html tag already on the list of options. Try to keep file sizes lower than 80k to avoid problems with uploading.

Publishing your website

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the easiest way to secure your files during the transfer from your computer to the internet. If you have downloaded MP3s from the internet, this also uses FTP, so you are already somewhat familiar with its use. FTP addresses begin with ftp:// instead of the usual HTTP:// prefix. An FTP site is like a large filing cabinet that stores all files loaded to the internet through that address. So when you are uploading the files from your computer to create your web site, they will enter through here. And when you are looking to update the site, this is where you will access the files to do so. A user ID and password will be needed to access the files to ensure that they are kept safe from hackers and aren't misused.

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