Cover image for Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual

Book description

Think you have to be a technical wizard to build a great web site?Think again. For anyone who wants to create an engaging website--for either personal or business purposes--Creating WebSites: The Missing Manual demystifies the process and providestools, techniques, and expert guidance for developing aprofessional and reliable web presence.

Like every Missing Manual, you can count on Creating WebSites: The Missing Manual to be entertaining and insightful andcomplete with all the vital information, clear-headed advice, anddetailed instructions you need to master the task at hand. AuthorMatthew MacDonald teaches you the fundamentals of creating,maintaining, and updating an effective, attractive, andvisitor-friendly web site--from scratch or from an existing sitethat's a little too simple or flat for your liking.

Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual doesn't only coverhow to create a well-designed, appealing, smart web site that isthoroughly up to date and brimming with the latest features. Italso covers why it's worth the effort by explaining the rationalefor creating a site in the first place and discussing what makes agiven web site particularly aesthetic, dynamic, and powerful. Itfurther helps you determine your needs and goals and make wellinformed design and content decisions.

Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual includes a basicprimer on HTML, working with JavaScript, and incorporating serviceslike Paypal's shopping cart, Amazon's associate program, and GoogleAdSense and AdWords. It delivers advanced tricks for formatting,graphics, audio and video, as well as Flash animation and dynamiccontent. And you'll learn how to identify and connect with yoursite's audience through forms, forums, meta tags, and searchengines.

This isn't just another dry, uninspired book on how to create aweb site. Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual is a wittyand intelligent guide for all of you who are ready to make yourideas and vision a web reality.

Table of Contents

  1. Special Upgrade Offer
  2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
  3. Copyright
  4. The Missing Credits
    1. About the Author
    2. About the Creative Team
    3. Acknowledgements
    4. The Missing Manual Series
  5. Introduction
    1. What You Need to Get Started
    2. About This Book
    3. Macintosh and Windows
    4. About the Outline
    5. About
    6. Downloadable Examples
    7. About MissingManuals.com
    8. Safari® Enabled
  6. One. Welcome to the Web
    1. 1. Preparing for the Web
      1. 1.1. Introducing the World Wide Web
        1. 1.1.1. Browsers
          1. 1.1.1.1. Choosing your Web browser
        2. 1.1.2. Web Servers
      2. 1.2. Planning a Web Site
        1. 1.2.1. Types of Sites
        2. 1.2.2. Understanding Your Audience
        3. 1.2.3. The Lifespan of Your Site
        4. 1.2.4. Practice Good Design
      3. 1.3. The Ingredients of a Web Site
    2. 2. Creating Your First Page
      1. 2.1. The Anatomy of a Web Page
        1. 2.1.1. Cracking Open an HTML Document
        2. 2.1.2. Creating Your Own HTML Files
      2. 2.2. The HTML Tag
        1. 2.2.1. What’s in a Tag
        2. 2.2.2. Container Tags and Standalone Tags
        3. 2.2.3. Nesting Tags
      3. 2.3. The HTML Document
        1. 2.3.1. Adding a Title
        2. 2.3.2. Line Breaks and Text Flow
        3. 2.3.3. Where Are All the Pictures?
        4. 2.3.4. The 10 Most Important Tags (and a Few More)
        5. 2.3.5. Common Mistakes
          1. 2.3.5.1. Missing a closing tag
          2. 2.3.5.2. Endless tags
          3. 2.3.5.3. Handling special characters with caution
      4. 2.4. XHTML
        1. 2.4.1. Creating a Valid XHTML Page
          1. 2.4.1.1. The basics
          2. 2.4.1.2. The document type definition
          3. 2.4.1.3. A valid XHTML page
    3. 3. Putting Your Page on the Web
      1. 3.1. How Web Hosting Works
        1. 3.1.1. Understanding the URL
        2. 3.1.2. How Browsers Analyze the URL
      2. 3.2. Domain Names
        1. 3.2.1. Searching for a Name
        2. 3.2.2. Getting the Right Name
        3. 3.2.3. Registering Your Name
          1. 3.2.3.1. Domain parking
          2. 3.2.3.2. Domain forwarding
      3. 3.3. Getting Web Space
        1. 3.3.1. The Big Picture
        2. 3.3.2. Assessing Your Needs
          1. 3.3.2.1. A Web host checklist
        3. 3.3.3. Choosing Your Host
        4. 3.3.4. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider)
        5. 3.3.5. Web Hosting Companies
          1. 3.3.5.1. A Web host walkthrough (#1)
          2. 3.3.5.2. A Web host walkthrough (#2)
        6. 3.3.6. Free Web Hosts
      4. 3.4. Transferring Files
        1. 3.4.1. Browser-Based Uploading
        2. 3.4.2. FTP
    4. 4. Power Tools
      1. 4.1. Choosing Your Tools
        1. 4.1.1. Types of HTML Editors
        2. 4.1.2. Finding a Free HTML Editor
          1. 4.1.2.1. Nvu
          2. 4.1.2.2. HTML-Kit
          3. 4.1.2.3. CoffeeCup
        3. 4.1.3. Professional HTML Editors
      2. 4.2. Working with Your HTML Editor
        1. 4.2.1. Starting Out
        2. 4.2.2. Multiple Views
        3. 4.2.3. Creating a Web Page
        4. 4.2.4. Managing a Web Site
          1. 4.2.4.1. Defining a site in FrontPage
          2. 4.2.4.2. Uploading a site in FrontPage
          3. 4.2.4.3. Defining a site in Dreamweaver
          4. 4.2.4.4. Uploading a site in Dreamweaver
  7. Two. Building Better Web Pages
    1. 5. HTML Text Tags
      1. 5.1. Understanding Text and the Web
        1. 5.1.1. The Problem of Layout
        2. 5.1.2. Logical Structure vs. Physical Formatting
        3. 5.1.3. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
      2. 5.2. Basic Text Tags
        1. 5.2.1. Paragraphs
        2. 5.2.2. Line Breaks
        3. 5.2.3. Headings
        4. 5.2.4. Horizontal Lines
        5. 5.2.5. Preformatted
        6. 5.2.6. Quotes
        7. 5.2.7. Divisions
      3. 5.3. HTML Tags for Lists
        1. 5.3.1. Ordered Lists
        2. 5.3.2. Unordered Lists
        3. 5.3.3. Definition Lists
        4. 5.3.4. Nesting Lists
      4. 5.4. Inline Formatting
        1. 5.4.1. Italics, Bold, and Underline
        2. 5.4.2. Emphasis and Strong
        3. 5.4.3. Subscript, Superscript, and Strikethrough
        4. 5.4.4. Teletype
        5. 5.4.5. Special Characters
    2. 6. Style Sheets
      1. 6.1. Style Sheet Basics
        1. 6.1.1. The Three Types of Styles
        2. 6.1.2. Browser Support for CSS
        3. 6.1.3. The Anatomy of a Rule
        4. 6.1.4. Applying a Style Sheet
          1. 6.1.4.1. Internal style sheets
          2. 6.1.4.2. Inline styles
        5. 6.1.5. The Cascade
        6. 6.1.6. Inheritance
      2. 6.2. Colors
        1. 6.2.1. Specifying a Color
          1. 6.2.1.1. Hexadecimal color values
          2. 6.2.1.2. RGB color values
        2. 6.2.2. Finding the Right Color
      3. 6.3. Fonts
        1. 6.3.1. Specifying a Font
        2. 6.3.2. Finding the Right Font
        3. 6.3.3. Font Sizes
          1. 6.3.3.1. Absolute sizes (keywords and percentages)
          2. 6.3.3.2. Relative sizes
          3. 6.3.3.3. Exact sizes (pixels)
      4. 6.4. Text Alignment and Spacing
        1. 6.4.1. Alignment
        2. 6.4.2. Spacing
      5. 6.5. Borders
        1. 6.5.1. Basic Borders
        2. 6.5.2. Making Better Borders
        3. 6.5.3. Using Borders to Separate Sections
      6. 6.6. Class Selectors
        1. 6.6.1. Creating Class Rules
        2. 6.6.2. Saving Work with the <div> Tag
        3. 6.6.3. More Generic Class Rules
        4. 6.6.4. Creating a Style Sheet for Your Entire Web Site
    3. 7. Adding Graphics
      1. 7.1. Understanding Images
        1. 7.1.1. The <img> Tag
        2. 7.1.2. The alt Attribute
        3. 7.1.3. Picture Size
        4. 7.1.4. File Formats for Graphics
          1. 7.1.4.1. Compression
          2. 7.1.4.2. Choosing the right image format
        5. 7.1.5. Putting Pictures on Colored Backgrounds
      2. 7.2. Images and Styles
        1. 7.2.1. Inline Images in Text
        2. 7.2.2. Borders
        3. 7.2.3. Wrapping Text Around an Image
        4. 7.2.4. Adding Captions
        5. 7.2.5. Background Images
          1. 7.2.5.1. Background “watermarks”
      3. 7.3. Techniques with Graphics
        1. 7.3.1. Graphical Text
        2. 7.3.2. Backgrounds on Other Elements
        3. 7.3.3. Graphical Bullets in a List
      4. 7.4. Finding Free Art
        1. 7.4.1. Finding Photos
        2. 7.4.2. Finding Clip Art
    4. 8. Linking Pages
      1. 8.1. Understanding the Anchor
        1. 8.1.1. Internal and External Links
        2. 8.1.2. Relative Links and Folders
          1. 8.1.2.1. Moving down into a subfolder
          2. 8.1.2.2. Moving up into a parent folder
          3. 8.1.2.3. Moving into the root folder
        3. 8.1.3. Linking to Other Types of Content
      2. 8.2. Image Links and Image Maps
      3. 8.3. Adding Bookmarks
      4. 8.4. When Good Links Go Bad
        1. 8.4.1. Site Management
      5. 8.5. Link Checkers
        1. 8.5.1. Using Redirects
    5. 9. Page Layout Tools:Tables and Styles
      1. 9.1. HTML Tables
        1. 9.1.1. The Anatomy of an HTML Table
        2. 9.1.2. Formatting Table Borders
        3. 9.1.3. Cell Spans
        4. 9.1.4. Sizing and Aligning Tables
          1. 9.1.4.1. Sizing the table
          2. 9.1.4.2. Sizing a column
          3. 9.1.4.3. Sizing a row
        5. 9.1.5. Organizing a Page with Tables
      2. 9.2. Style-Based Layout
        1. 9.2.1. The <div> Tag
        2. 9.2.2. Even Better Selectors
          1. 9.2.2.1. Contextual selectors
          2. 9.2.2.2. id selectors
        3. 9.2.3. Floating Boxes
        4. 9.2.4. Absolute Positioning
        5. 9.2.5. Layering
    6. 10. Frames
      1. 10.1. The Problem with Repeating Content
      2. 10.2. Frame Basics
        1. 10.2.1. Defining the Frameset
        2. 10.2.2. Putting Documents in a Frameset
        3. 10.2.3. Targeting Frames
      3. 10.3. Building Better Frames Pages
        1. 10.3.1. Frame Borders and Resizing
        2. 10.3.2. Scrolling
        3. 10.3.3. Handling Browsers That Don’t Support Frames
        4. 10.3.4. Better URLs for Framesets
        5. 10.3.5. Nested Framesets
        6. 10.3.6. Another Way to Nest Frames
  8. Three. Connecting with Your Audience
    1. 11. Attracting Visitors
      1. 11.1. Your Web Site Promotion Plan
      2. 11.2. Spreading the Word
        1. 11.2.1. Reciprocal Links
        2. 11.2.2. Web Rings
        3. 11.2.3. Shameless Self-Promotion
        4. 11.2.4. Return Visitors
      3. 11.3. Adding Meta Tags
        1. 11.3.1. The Description Meta Tag
        2. 11.3.2. The Keyword Meta Tag
      4. 11.4. Directories and Search Engines
        1. 11.4.1. Directories
          1. 11.4.1.1. The Open Directory Project
          2. 11.4.1.2. Other directories
        2. 11.4.2. Search Engines
          1. 11.4.2.1. Rising up in the rankings
          2. 11.4.2.2. Google AdWords
          3. 11.4.2.3. Hiding from search engines
      5. 11.5. Tracking Visitors
        1. 11.5.1. Web Server Logs
        2. 11.5.2. Hit Counters
    2. 12. Letting Visitors Talk to You (and Each Other)
      1. 12.1. Transforming a Site into a Community
      2. 12.2. Helping Visitors Email You
        1. 12.2.1. Mail-To Links
        2. 12.2.2. HTML Forms
          1. 12.2.2.1. Form basics
          2. 12.2.2.2. Creating a feedback page with a form
      3. 12.3. Adding Forums and Groups to Your Site
        1. 12.3.1. About Google Groups
        2. 12.3.2. Creating a Group
        3. 12.3.3. Participating in a Group
        4. 12.3.4. Managing Your Group
    3. 13. Making Money with Your Site
      1. 13.1. Money Making the Web Way
      2. 13.2. Google AdSense
        1. 13.2.1. Signing Up for AdSense
        2. 13.2.2. Creating an Ad
        3. 13.2.3. Placing Ads in Your Web Pages
        4. 13.2.4. Google-Powered Searches
      3. 13.3. Amazon Associates
        1. 13.3.1. Signing Up as an Associate
        2. 13.3.2. Generating Associate Links
          1. 13.3.2.1. Product links
          2. 13.3.2.2. Advanced links
      4. 13.4. PayPal Merchant Tools
        1. 13.4.1. Singing Up with PayPal
        2. 13.4.2. Accepting Payments
        3. 13.4.3. Building a Shopping Cart
          1. 13.4.3.1. Creating a custom page style
          2. 13.4.3.2. Generating the shopping cart buttons
        4. 13.4.4. Withdrawing Your Money
  9. Four. Web Site Frills
    1. 14. JavaScript and DHTML: Adding Interactivity
      1. 14.1. Understanding JavaScript
        1. 14.1.1. Server-Side and Client-Side Programming
        2. 14.1.2. Scripting Languages
      2. 14.2. JavaScript 101
        1. 14.2.1. The <script> Tag
          1. 14.2.1.1. Scripts and really, really old browsers
        2. 14.2.2. Variables
          1. 14.2.2.1. Declaring variables
          2. 14.2.2.2. Modifying variables
          3. 14.2.2.3. An example with variables
        3. 14.2.3. Functions
          1. 14.2.3.1. Declaring a function
          2. 14.2.3.2. Calling a function
          3. 14.2.3.3. Functions that receive information
          4. 14.2.3.4. Functions that return information
        4. 14.2.4. External Script Files
      3. 14.3. Dynamic HTML
        1. 14.3.1. HTML Objects
          1. 14.3.1.1. Using HTML objects in a script
        2. 14.3.2. Events
        3. 14.3.3. Image Rollovers
        4. 14.3.4. Collapsible Text
        5. 14.3.5. An Interactive Form
      4. 14.4. Scripts on the Web
        1. 14.4.1. Finding a Cool Script
    2. 15. Fancy Buttons and Menus
      1. 15.1. Creating Fancy Buttons
        1. 15.1.1. Generating Button Pictures
        2. 15.1.2. Building a Rollover Button
          1. 15.1.2.1. Using image lists
          2. 15.1.2.2. Preloading images
        3. 15.1.3. Creating Rollover Buttons in Dreamweaver and FrontPage
      2. 15.2. Creating Fancy Menus
        1. 15.2.1. Do-It-Yourself Collapsible Menus
        2. 15.2.2. Third-Party Menus
          1. 15.2.2.1. Getting the script
          2. 15.2.2.2. Creating the menu
    3. 16. Audio and Video
      1. 16.1. Understanding Multimedia
        1. 16.1.1. Linking and Embedding
        2. 16.1.2. Types of Multimedia Files
      2. 16.2. Background Music
        1. 16.2.1. The <embed> Tag
        2. 16.2.2. Other Audio Formats
        3. 16.2.3. Sound Effects
      3. 16.3. Video Clips
        1. 16.3.1. Creating Your Own Movies
        2. 16.3.2. Streaming Media
      4. 16.4. Animations
        1. 16.4.1. Animated GIFs
        2. 16.4.2. Flash Animations
          1. 16.4.2.1. The good
          2. 16.4.2.2. The bad
          3. 16.4.2.3. Free Flash animations
  10. Five. Blogs
    1. 17. Blogs
      1. 17.1. Understanding Blogs
        1. 17.1.1. Syndication
        2. 17.1.2. Blog Hosting and Software
      2. 17.2. Getting Started with Blogger
        1. 17.2.1. Creating a Blog
        2. 17.2.2. Managing a Blog
          1. 17.2.2.1. Tweaking a few common settings
          2. 17.2.2.2. Configuring your user profile
        3. 17.2.3. Templates
          1. 17.2.3.1. Applying a new template
          2. 17.2.3.2. Customizing a template
        4. 17.2.4. Creating Formatted Posts
        5. 17.2.5. Hosting Your Blog on Your Web Site
        6. 17.2.6. BlogThis
        7. 17.2.7. Promoting Your Blog
  11. Six. Appendixes
    1. A. HTML Quick Reference
      1. A.1. HTML Tags
        1. A.1.1. <a> (Anchor Tag)
        2. A.1.2. <acronym>
        3. A.1.3. <address>
        4. A.1.4. <area> (Image Map)
        5. A.1.5. <b> (Bold Text)
        6. A.1.6. <base> (Base URL )
        7. A.1.7. <big> (Large Text)
        8. A.1.8. <blockquote> (Block Quotation)
        9. A.1.9. <body> (Document Body)
        10. A.1.10. <br> (Line Break)
        11. A.1.11. <button> (Button)
        12. A.1.12. <caption> (Table Caption)
        13. A.1.13. <cite> (Citation)
        14. A.1.14. <dd> (Dictionary Description)
        15. A.1.15. <del> (Deleted Text)
        16. A.1.16. <dfn> (Defined Term)
        17. A.1.17. <div> (Generic Block Container)
        18. A.1.18. <dl> (Dictionary List)
        19. A.1.19. <dt> (Dictionary Term)
        20. A.1.20. <em> (Emphasis)
        21. A.1.21. <form> (Interactive Form)
        22. A.1.22. <frame> (Frame)
        23. A.1.23. <frameset> (Frameset)
        24. A.1.24. <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6> (Headings)
        25. A.1.25. <head> (Document Head)
        26. A.1.26. <hr> (Horizontal Rule)
        27. A.1.27. <html> (Document)
        28. A.1.28. <i> (Italic Text)
        29. A.1.29. <iframe> (Inline Frame)
        30. A.1.30. <img> (Image)
        31. A.1.31. <input> (Input Control)
        32. A.1.32. <ins> (Inserted Text)
        33. A.1.33. <li> (List Item)
        34. A.1.34. <link> (Document Relationship)
        35. A.1.35. <map> (Image Map)
        36. A.1.36. <meta> (Metadata)
        37. A.1.37. <noframes> (Frames Alternate Content)
        38. A.1.38. <noscript> (Alternate Script Content)
        39. A.1.39. <object> (Embedded Object)
        40. A.1.40. <ol> (Ordered List)
        41. A.1.41. <option> (Menu Option)
        42. A.1.42. <p> (Paragraph)
        43. A.1.43. <param> (Object Parameter)
        44. A.1.44. <pre> (Preformatted Text)
        45. A.1.45. <q> (Short Quotation)
        46. A.1.46. <script> (Client-Side Script)
        47. A.1.47. <select> (Selectable List)
        48. A.1.48. <small> (Small Text)
        49. A.1.49. <span> (Generic Inline Container)
        50. A.1.50. <strong> (Strong Emphasis)
        51. A.1.51. <style> (Internal Style Sheet)
        52. A.1.52. <sub> (Subscript)
        53. A.1.53. <sup> (Superscript)
        54. A.1.54. <table> (Table)
        55. A.1.55. <td> (Table Data Cell)
        56. A.1.56. <textarea> (Multiline Text Input)
        57. A.1.57. <th> (Table Header Cell)
        58. A.1.58. <title> (Document Title)
        59. A.1.59. <tr> (Table Row)
        60. A.1.60. <tt> (Teletype Text)
        61. A.1.61. <u> (Underlined Text)
        62. A.1.62. <ul> (Unordered List)
      2. A.2. HTML Character Entities
      3. A.3. HTML Color Names
    2. B. Useful Web Sites
      1. B.1. Chapter Links
  12. About the Author
  13. Colophon
  14. Special Upgrade Offer
  15. Copyright