Lots of people are now getting free web space with their internet accounts and are not using it because they don't know how to make their own web page. Also people who have bought web space often pay people to create their web site for them, not because they don't have the creative ability but just because they don't know how to put their ideas into practice.
This is silly because there really is nothing easier than creating your own simple web page and once you have got the hang of that it really does not take much more effort to learn some more advanced features to make your site a bit fancy.
HTML is the programming language used to create web pages. In fact to call it a programming language is a bit over the top because all it is really just a set of simple commands that affect text and put in pictures. These commands take the form of tags like this one <B>. This means bold. So if you wanted to create a section of bold writing you would add this tag, then some writing and then you would end it by typing </B>. Like this:
<B>Some text in bold</B>
This would look like this:
Some text in bold
It really does not get much harder than that. There are however a lot of tags and they are hard to remember, once you have learnt html you can continue to use this web site as a reference to remind you of tags you have forgotten or to keep on learning new ones.
This is really one of the hardest things about making a web site. With all the good internet sites on the web there are a lot of bad ones. You may think this is one of them, but I tried my best. Once you know what the subject of your web site will be you need to start to think what you want it to look like. This takes a certain amount of graphical design skill, which doesn't come naturally. You might be best starting off by doing some research. Look around the internet and get ideas by looking at the sites of other people. Some of the best to look at might be official sites of big companies because they pay a lot of money for people to design their sites so they should be pretty good. Once you know what you want it to look like you need to have the technical ability to make your page, this isn't very hard and is what the rest of the guide is for.
One thing to bear in mind if your site gets quite large with lots of pages is how easy is it to find information. Many sites are like mazes and many people just give in before they find what they're looking for. This is one element where design is very important. You have to think about what information people will want to get from your site and then making it easy to find. It is very easy to avoid making maze like web pages with just a little thought.
One of the most annoying things about making a web site is that HTML keeps on improving and getting new features but these new features do not work on older browsers. So you find yourself in a conflict, you want to use the latest features because they're pretty cool but you know that not everyone will be able to see them. You have to make a compromise. You use some of the new features but you make it so that people who can't see them still have something half decent to look at. Most of the tags I will teach you are supported by the majority of browsers. Those that are not we will talk about last and I'll tell you about it.
That about wraps it up for the first chapter, you are now ready to go on to chapter 2 and create your first very simple web page.