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Designing your first web site

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Sometimes, simplicity is good, especially when you're building your first Web page. Apart from being easier to design, a basic page loads quickly in any browser. Here we show you how to build a simple page.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the language of the Web, the code that governs every Web site. But while learning HTML is valuable for getting under the hood, using a basic WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor is a far easier way to create a simple Web site. You enter text just as you would with a word processor, drop in images, and add links--the software creates all the HTML automatically in the background.

Web editors are available in all levels of complexity, and they can be expensive. But a basic WYSIWYG editor like Microsoft FrontPage Express or Netscape Composer is all you need to get off the ground. And you may already have one on your PC. If you use Windows 98 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later, FrontPage Express may be preinstalled; Netscape users probably have a version of Composer.

In the example outlined here, we used just a few of FrontPage Express's features to create a custom page for our basic Step-by-Step Web site. The directions are quite similar for WYSIWYG editors like Composer. To learn more about HTML, just go to any search engine and enter HTML tutorial. Or invest in a book on page design fundamentals such as Learning Web Design by Jennifer Niederst (O'Reilly, 2001).

Once you've learned the basics, you can use a full-fledged Web design tool (such as FrontPage 2002 or one of its competitors) to jazz up your site.

Next Page: What You'll Need

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