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Introduction - Pg. xi

xi Introduction Creating a web page sounds like tough stuff, doesn't it? I mean, have you ever seen the code that comprises a web page? It looks as though someone took a bunch of letters, numbers, and symbols, put them through some kind of linguistic blender, and then poured the result onto the web. It's ugly, it's messy, and it's downright intimidating. But it's also one more thing: It's easy. Yes, you read that right: Creating web pages is really quite easy. Actually, let me qualify that: Cre- ating web pages is easy if you approach it in the right way. What's the right way? Starting at the very beginning with the most basic structure of a page, and then slowly working step-by-step through the rest of it, tacking on bits and pieces as you go along. This way you slowly build your HTML knowledge until, before you know it, you have your very own web page for all to see. The good news is that this step-by-step, piece-by-piece method is exactly the approach I use in this book. To that end, this book doesn't assume you have any previous experience with web page production. All the information is presented in short, easy-to-digest chunks that make building a page fun and easy on the brain. Sounds great! But why are you calling me an idiot? Well, when it comes to producing content for the World Wide Web, a "complete idiot" is someone who, despite having the normal complement of gray matter, wouldn't know HTML from H. G. Wells. This is, of course, perfectly normal and, despite what many so-called Internet gurus may tell you, it does not imply any sort of character defect on your part. So I might as well get one thing straight right off the bat: The fact that you're reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Web Page, Fifth Edition (my, that is a mouthful, isn't it?) does not make you an idiot. On the contrary, it shows that ... · You don't take yourself--or any of this web page malarkey--too seriously, so you're willing to have a little irreverent fun as we go along. · You're determined to learn this HTML thing, but you don't want to be bothered with a lot of boring, technical details. · You realize it doesn't make sense to learn absolutely everything about HTML. You just need to know enough to get your web page up and running. · You're smart enough not to spend your days reading five bazillion pages of arcane (and mostly useless) information. You do, after all, have a life to lead. How This Book Is Set Up I'm assuming you have a life away from your computer screen, so The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Web Page, is set up so you don't have to read it from cover to cover. If you want to know how to add a picture to your web page, for example, just turn to the chapter that covers working with images. (Although, having said that, beginners will want to read at least Chapter 2, "Laying the Foundation: The Basic Structure of a Web Page" before moving on to more esoteric topics.) To make things easier to find, I've organized the book into half a dozen more or less sensible sections: