Sunday 1 July 2012

Mission one complete & my new found love of CSS !

"Well I finally find myself at a point (bar a few tweaks here & there) where I have pretty much completed everything I wanted to do to get my site - up and running !"

"Being brutally honest I have alway been taught that uploading a site whilst still under construction is not good web practice, however I was kind of hoping to get away with it, seems its a bit of a learning excercise n all :)

So what exactly have I been up to?

  • Well First thing's first and I needed an idea of what to make my website about.  It's a bit hard if you dont already have a business or something you want to sell perhaps as you want people to visit your site for a reason and not make a load of rubbish that no-one ever looks at becouse let's face it, it's a bit of a waste of time.

  • Second on the Iist was I needed a Web Domain and Host, so found myself a good little deal on "hostroute" for around £15 for a year that gives me a reasonable amount of space to host one website with the added bonus of having my own email adress  - bargain!  I found I had to be a bit flexible with my Domain Name seems most of the ones I would have liked had already been used, but hey I quite like my name and think it get's the message across, I also get to design cute logo's of eggs so cant be bad.

  • Third on the list was to put some text together for my welcome page using notepad and saved it as a .txt file (you should only ever use pure text for websites) and then put a logo together using photoshop with a little help from my graphic design friend!

  • Fourth on the list I "marked up" my text in a HTML file I created in Dreamweaver, adding HTML tags for the heading and paragraps and inserted my image/logo.  I hand coded all of my HMTL tags in "code view" rather than using design view and letting my WYSIWIG (What you see is what you get) editor do all the work for me!  Althought there is a time and a place for using the features of this type of design software, a true web desinger should always use, know and unsertand the code behind it.


At this point I briefly just want to note that I have been lucky enough to have access to the likes of Adobe Dreamweaver at no cost (this a a pricy bit of software) , however there are some really good free versions you can dowload from the web like "Kompozer".  You of course dont have to use a WYSIWIG editor at all - a .txt file saved as a .htm file is just fine if you know a bit of HTML.

As far as it goes with the Photoshop, again I am lucky to have access to this "Graphic Software" for my image needs for no cost.  However a "Web Designer" is about designing websites and understanding and writing the code.   A "Graphic Designer" is about creating the images.  You do need to know a bit about image file sizes and positioning images fundamentaly, when it comes to web design.  however it does also help to have some graphic skills if you are into the front end web development stuff or want to create your own site and need a good logo like me.  "Picassa" on my pc is a great tool for editing images and is free, you can also download image editors on the web for litle or no cost but I wouldnt focus too much on images just yet - designing websites really isnt about's about the code.

  • Ok so then number Five on the list has been the biggest hurdle for me and also my new found love - welcome to my life "CSS" (cascading style sheets).  This is the bit where I got both very excited and completely stressed out!


A "Style Sheet" or .css file is something that you can attach to your HTML file to effectively "Style" your page content, or more amazingly your whole website from one single file!  You can style backgrounds, images & text to sit wherever you want it to go on your page and display it in whatever format you like.  You really need to know some HTML to get to grips with CSS code as effectively that's what your styling.  You can also, to be honest, do the same kind of things using just HTML by creating tables as layouts etc, however the more I have read up on CSS and the more I have had a play around with it, I realise why using CSS is currently the favoured way for web deigners to style a website.  I really am quite AMAZED at what you can do with CSS syntax!

  • Number Six on the list is probably the most important one - "Upload" your site/web files to your web host/server and "TEST IT IN MULTIPLE BROWSERS". 

This is where I was dumbfounded for day's.  I got my content uploaded via Dreamwever (you need to dowload an FTP or "file transfer protocol" to upload files otherwise), and my page looked lovely on my Laptop, Firefox & IE where playing ball (bar some bolded text) but when it came to viewing it on my blackberry phone I could only see half of the page and to be honest looked totally rubbish!

This is where I was thrown into the realms of the unknown of CSS and to be honest is another story....The lesson really was, learn a bit about "Screen Resolutions"...and "Dont  just use "Fixed Positions" if you want to view your site on small screens. i.e. a "MOBILE PHONE"."

So that's it...It's simple really! ;)

Next I am going to delve deeper  into the realms of CSS and attempt to make a template to style the layout for the rest of my site, and also concentrate on getting some text and images together for my next page (wish me luck).

In a bit,

Simple Egg