Setting Up a Website: Next Steps

And they asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Matt 11:3-6

I'm a teacher by vocation and gifting; I love to teach. By corollary, I love to learn. I'm curious about everything and I have a blast learning about almost anything. Over the years, I've picked up quite a bit of information through the Internet. This website is my simple attempt to pay back; to contribute to the community and try to make the interwebs a better place.

As such, I don't require registration. I don't want your personal information. I don't set cookies. I won't put up advertisements. If I mention a product or service, it's because I use it, benefit from it, and I think others would too. I don't need, or want, your money. I simply want to offer some information to other curious characters.

I'm writing this site as an experiment. It's all written in a text editor. I make my own graphics, write my own JavaScript, CSS, PHP, and HTML from scratch because I'm trying to learn more about how all these pieces fit together. I use TextWrangler because I think it's a great text editor and it does everything I want in a very simple and efficient way.

If you want to contact me, try FaceBook or Twitter.

February 21, 2012

You've set up a web server, so you're ready to experiment. If not, you might want to go back and read Setting up a Website. Now you need an editor to edit your pages and a little knowledge.

Text Editors:

You could use any of a number of programs available for web creation, but I prefer to maintain control over my site. Editing your site by hand will take more effort and time, but will be more rewarding. So, instead of a program like Dreamweaver -- which I've heard much about, but never used -- I use a text editor called TextWrangler.

TextWrangler is a OS X program for which, unfortunately, there is no Windows version. It has several features that I find very useful. The document drawer makes it easy to switch between files. Not only do I have quick access to these files, but I can move them around on my drive and TW keeps up with the changes. I don't need to close the files or save as... It also color codes key words in your code depending on the language you set. It can parse several different languages including: html, php, css, and about 25 others. It has many more features, but this isn't an advertisement or review, so check it out on the Bare Bones web site. The bottom line is that it has a lot of great features, it's easy to use, and it's free.

A Little Knowledge:

To write web pages you will minimally need to learn HTML and CSS. HTML is for organizing and giving structure to your document, while CSS is for formatting. I suggest that if you are just getting started with html, you might as well learn HTML5. There are a couple of really nice beginner tutorials available for free. The three that I used to get started are:

HTML.net - CSS tutorial: I started here because I already knew a little HTML, but my knowledge was fairly limited. About halfway through this tutorial I started the HTML tutorial and went through them in parallel.

HTML.net - HTML tutorial: I found this to be a very easy place to increase my knowledge of HTML. I went through the entire tutorial in about an hour. They move very quickly to a basic competence and you will find that you can write a basic page in a very short time. The consequence of their approach is that they leave out a lot of detail that you will need to fill in elsewhere.

W3Schools.com - HTML tutorial: I suggest this as a second stop after going through the html.net tutorials. They have a different approach and answered some of those "detail" questions that I had after going through the html.net tutorial.

I recommend these sites to any beginner. After finishing these tutorials you should have enough knowledge to build some simple pages.


All content and graphics copyright (c) 2012-2017 Brian Dentler - all rights reserved.