Html, CSS, SSI and other scary acronyms

I learned to set up web pages using html. This was way back in the 90’s. At the time text based editors were all that were available, at least for free. Sure if you had a few hundred bucks to spare you could get Frontpage.

I think that was a good thing. The prevalence of WYSIWYG editors these days, along with wizards that do everything for you, has led to some pretty awful websites. Not saying those sites set up with text editors were all that great back there either, but at least the code was decent.

I have never claimed to be creative when it comes to design, colors, etc. I know it is far from being one of my strengths. But I do know the basics on setting up a website.

I believe anyone serious about their online business needs to know the basics of html. It is just too important to be able to make quick and easy changes when you need to.

I converted quite a few years ago over to Dreamweaver, and now would never want to lose it. The absolutely TOP feature though is the ability to split screen the view, and see the code and wysiwyg. I do alot in wysiwyg, but confirm the code after that.

Anyway, one thing I wanted to mention is that the ‘new thing’ is CSS. Well, not really new – I actually started using CSS for layout about 2-3 years ago. Did up a few sites – thought it was the next ‘Great’ thing at the time. Unfortunately too many browsers did not support the features and it did not display correctly across all platforms. Therefore went back to basic html, using tables again.

But now, CSS is coming on strong. All the new browsers can display the way a CSS page is laid out. Although there still is some peculiarities, most do it very consistently.

So I spent last night converting a site I had over to CSS. While I was at it, I also converted it out of DW templates into using SSI – server side includes. Now this is great – you can have your footer, header, links, etc as includes. Therefore when you change them, you don’t have to change the whole site. Great for big sites – saves on all the loading.

The biggest take-a-way from this is that you should not be scared of acronyms. None of it is that hard. It is just a new name, and a slightly different way to do things. Anyone who is serious about their web business should know the basic html. After that, the rest is easy.

So jump in, learn it, do it, ask for help if you need it.

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