House Hunting in Cyberia:
Webpages are created using Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), that requires
you to be aware of certain formatting guidelines. When the Internet was
just introduced, many people who knew the basics of HTML made a killing
in the webpage development market, extorting exorbitant amounts of money
for creating a few basic webpages. The scene is very different today -
anyone can design a webpage and be the proud owner of a mini-website. All
it needs is a little time and the inclination.
The simplest way to create a plain vanilla page without any knowledge
whatsoever of HTML is to go to a site like Tripod
(more about that one later) and use their free homepage builder to create
your homepage. They take you step-by-step through the process of choosing
the background for your homepage and the pictures and icons you'd like
there. Based on the content you want to put up on your homepage, the builder
creates a very basic page for you!
Another way to create webpages is by using templates. There are books
that are accompanied by CDs that allow you to take your pick from a wide
variety of differently styled pages, and then, a few simple cut-and-paste
steps later, your homepage is ready. No HTML required once again, as they
explicitly mention what is to be pasted where!
An increasingly popular way to create webpages is to use converter programs
to convert ordinary text into an HTML page. Word '97 for instance has a
"Save as html" option that converts any Word file into a webpage.
Those who prefer the tried and tested Word '95 need to download a plug-in
called "Internet Assistant for Word" that will then equip Word '95 with
the conversion feature.
But if you'd rather have control over the webpages you create, giving
you artistic flexibility in designing your pages, you'll need to learn
a few basic formatting tags of HTML. Don't looked scared - it's not too
difficult a job. While I learnt HTML by reading the webpage source code of pages
I fancied on the Web (choose the `View Page Source' option in Netscape or Internet
Explorer), those who would rather follow the traditional route could pick
up a book on HTML, and learn webpage creation in a step-by-step structured
manner. You'd also need a homepage builder to help you in creating, designing
and maintaining your webpages. An excellent program is HomeSite - a
program available for free download off the Internet.
Another way of learning HTML is to learn it online. See the `Related Links' in