• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL



Books that aim to teach beginners how to create a Web page almost always start out the same way: They tell you what a Web page is and why you might want one of your own.

I figure that if you've picked up this book, you've already been online (at least a little), you've seen a Web page, and you know why you want one. So I won't waste even one of our 24 hours together on that stuff. Instead, I'll get you creating your own Web pages as quickly and simply as possible.

In fact, before your first three hours are up, you'll already know your way around the easy-but-powerful Web page creation program (Netscape Composer) included on the CD-ROM that comes with this book, and you will already have created your first Web page. How's that for cutting to the chase?

Before proceeding with the lessons in this book, you should go to Appendix A, “Setting Up the Programs on the CD-ROM,” learn about the programs on the CD-ROM, and set them up on your PC. You'll begin using them in Hour 2, “Starting Out with a Web Authoring Program,” so when you get to Hour 2 I'll remind you to set up the programs in case you have not already done so.

Who I Wrote This Thing For

To understand this book without even breaking a mental sweat, you do not need to be any kind of Internet expert or computer guru.

If you can operate basic programs (such as a word processor) in Microsoft Windows, and if you can surf from page to page on the Internet, you already know everything you need to know to get started with this book.

By the end of this book, you'll know not only how to create cool-looking Web pages for yourself or your business, but also how to publish them on the Web for all to see.

Why Do You Need the Programs on the CD-ROM?

Well, you don't need them, exactly. Technically, you can create a Web page using a simple text-editing program or word processing program—and here you'll learn a thing or two about how to do it that way.

But for nearly everybody, Web page creation is quickest and easiest when you use a top-notch Web page editor. That's why this book includes a complete copy of Netscape Composer, plus a set of other valuable tools for bringing your Web pages to life.

In fact, the CD-ROM at the back of this book contains the whole Netscape Communicator suite (see Figure I.1), which includes not only Composer, but also the Netscape Web browser, the email and newsgroup program Messenger, and more—everything you need to create Web pages and enjoy the Internet. (Although the Internet surfing stuff in Netscape is terrific, you don't have to use it. You can do your Web page authoring in Composer and still use another Web browser, such as Internet Explorer, for other Internet stuff, if you prefer.)

Because I know that you have Composer, I demonstrate many Web page creation techniques in that program to help you get started. By the end of this book, you'll know how to do just about anything in Composer.

But this book is not limited to Composer, and neither are you. Along the way, you'll explore important Web authoring concepts that will enable you to quickly learn and use just about any other Web authoring program. You'll also discover a number of powerful techniques that don't even involve Composer. And in the final hour of this tutorial, I'll introduce you to a variety of other popular Web page creation tools so that you can decide where to go if you outgrow Composer.

Figure I.1. Included with this book, the Netscape suite includes the Composer Web page editor, a Web browser, and other Internet tools.

How to Use This Book

This book is divided into six parts, each four hours long:

Part I, “First Steps, First Web Pages,” kicks off with an easy primer on the technology behind a Web page and a Web page's basic anatomy. After that, you'll learn your way around in Composer and even create your very first Web pages.

Part II, “Titles, Text, and Tables,” moves ahead to the nitty-gritty of Web authoring, getting your text into the page and making it look exactly the way you want it to look.

Part III, “Linking to Stuff,” lays out for you the wonderful world of links. You'll find out not only how to add links to your Web pages, but also how to link to stuff other than Web pages, such as newsgroup messages or email addresses.

Part IV, “Adding Pizzazz with Multimedia,” shows how to add audiovisual content to your page, including pictures, backgrounds, sound, video, and animation.

Part V, “Fine-Tuning Your Page,” shows how to create those nifty fill-in-the-blanks forms and then takes you beyond Composer, showing how to use other tools on the CD-ROM to create frames, put multiple links in one picture, and add other advanced (but not too tough) Web page features.

Part VI, “Getting It Online”, takes you step-by-step through publishing your pages on the Internet and shows you how to test, update, and publicize your pages. It also shows you how to expand your skills to new tools and techniques.

As you can see, the parts move logically from easy stuff to not-so-easy stuff—so it's generally best to read the hours in order. But here and there, I'll tip you to stuff you can skip if you're not immediately interested in a particular activity or technique.

After Hour 24, you'll discover two valuable appendixes:

Appendix A, “Setting Up the Programs on the CD-ROM,” describes the programs on the free CD-ROM and shows how to set them up on your computer.

Appendix B, “Online Resources for Web Authors,” contains a directory of Web pages you can visit to learn more about Web authoring, pick up great new Web authoring programs, or gather picture files, animations, and other fun stuff to spice up your own creations.

Finally, the book has a glossary, although I must point out that I use very, very little technical terminology, and I explain it to you whenever I do. So you'll probably never need the glossary. But just in case you want one, you've got one. I aim to please.

Things You Would Probably Figure Out By Yourself

As you go along, you'll run into a variety of different tip boxes and other special elements. When you do, you'll immediately recognize what each element offers—none of them really requires any explanation. But just for the record, you'll see the following:

”To Do's,” New Terms, and Special Element Boxes

Here and there, I use step-by-step instructions, called “To Do's,” to show you exactly how to do something. I generally explain how to do that thing in the text that precedes the steps, so feel free to skip 'em when you want to. However, whenever you feel like you don't completely understand something, do the steps and you'll probably get the picture before you're done. Sometimes, we learn only by doing.

I call attention to important new terms by tagging them with a New Term icon. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it helps you remember the terms that will help you learn to create Web pages.

You'll also see three kinds of special element boxes:

A Tip box points out a faster, easier way to do something or another way to save time and effort. These boxes are completely optional.

A Note box pops out an important consideration or interesting tidbit related to the topic at hand. These boxes are optional, too, but always worth reading (otherwise, I wouldn't interrupt).

A Caution box alerts you to actions and situations where something bad could happen, like accidentally deleting an important file. Because you can do very little in Web authoring that's in any way dangerous, you'll see very few Cautions. But when you do see one, take it seriously.

Q&A Session

At the end of every hour, you'll find a few quick questions and answers explaining interesting stuff that wasn't included in the hour because it didn't directly contribute to teaching yourself how to create Web pages (even though it's interesting).

One More Thing

Actually, no more things. If you have not already done so, skip to Appendix A and follow the steps to set up the programs on the CD-ROM. Then start the clock and hit Hour 1. Twenty-four working hours from now, you'll know Web page authoring inside-out.

Thanks for spending a day with me.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint