1. View HTML development in the context of a total process of Web development. Just "coding HTML" has about as much to do with creating meaning on the Web as changing a typewriter ribbon has to do with writing a novel. HTML is just syntax: the hardest work is Web content development--the endless process of figuring out what you want to do on the Web and for whom, and then shaping your message to effectively meet the needs of this audience.

  2. Learn from other developers. Just about every browser has a selection that you can use to view the HTML source of a document. In Netscape, this is the View / Document Source selection. When the Netscape browser displays the HTML source, it also places the HTML elements, attributes, and attribute values in different font colors. This makes it easy to pick out the content from the HTML structure of the document. You can cruise the Web, look for documents that you like, and see how the developers implemented them.

  3. Make some templates and scripts for yourself. There's no sense in always having to re-enter the basic parts of an HTML document into every file that you create. Moreover, when your web has a look and feel which requires a complicated structure, put that structure in a file and copy and modify it for each page. Note that this way of hand-crafting a common look and feel is usually only effective for smaller webs. Once your web gets larger, you'll want to consider automated means to generate the look and feel for your web.

  4. Seek professional help. If you're not a graphics designer, hire one to do a good job on your graphics rather than put out shoddy work. In particular, there are many techniques to work with graphics and other multimedia. If you really don't have the patience to learn HTML, you probably should hire someone to do the routine work of writing HTML for your web. The plethora of people who have taught themselves HTML means that you should be able to hire someone to write HTML for a fairly low wage. Implementation should be the least worry on your mind in creating excellent Web content.

  5. Don't be blinded by science. Just because the XYZ Browser Company comes up with the KOOLDUDE element that animates all the text on the page on a fuschia background automatically doesn't mean you have to use it. Don't use every new HTML element that comes along just to show you are "with it." Distinguish yourself instead by the character of your content.

  6. Don't use frames. They are awkward, ugly, slow, buggy, and unnecessary. Just don't do it.
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2022-02-10 · johndecember.com · Terms © December Communications, Inc.