Last modified on 12 June 2012, at 18:50

Authoring Webpages

Foreword

The web is a hypertext medium. It is a means of communication using inter-linked pages of text called webpages. A coherent group of such pages is called a website; all pages together are called the World Wide Web.

This short course will attempt to provide a hands-on approach to teach you how to make high-quality webpages; how to express yourself in the hypertext medium that is the web. After a short introduction, you will be thrown in at the deep end and start making webpages yourself.

Table of contents

  1. Requirements
  2. Introduction: the World Wide Web
  3. Creating a simple page
  4. How to write for the web
  5. Adapting a webpage for visual browsers
  6. HTML, XHTML and DOCTYPEs
  7. Collecting pages in a website
  8. Promote your website
  9. Scalable websites (Advanced topic)
  10. Avoiding pitfalls
  11. Preventing link rot
  12. Conclusion
  13. Answers

Rationale

Many textbooks approach the creation of webpages and websites as a computing task. Many others approach it as a graphical design challenge. Both approaches are rooted in treating the web as if it were a computational or graphical medium. Rooting the web in a understandable metaphor may be comforting, it is also misleading.

The web is a new medium, that requires a completely new approach to building parts of it. Although students will often pick up some of the right concepts while studying the 'programming' and 'designing' books, it is often better to start with the right concepts, and deal with the computational and graphical aspects of the web later.

What this textbook therefore tries to accomplish, is providing the student with a strong basis for learning more about building webpages. This book will try and do this in a practical, hands-on way. Almost from the get-go, students will start authoring their own webpages.

For teachers

For further reading

  • Web Design References - A huge mega-reference (nearly 3,000 links) of information and articles about web design and development. It is dedicated to disseminating news and information about web design and development with emphasis on elements of the user experience, accessibility, web standards, CSS, JavaScript and much more.
  • Web Design Update - broken link - A a plain text email digest newsletter. It typically goes out once a week. All web designers and developers are invited to join.
  • - Books -List includes Accessibility, Color, CSS, Dreamweaver, Information Architecture, Evaluation, JavaScript, Navigation, PHP, Project Management, Typography, Usability, Web Standards, Writing, (X)HTML.
  • Webpage design flaws: Mistakes to avoid by Bill Beaty