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After making a Website mock up, what should I do?


HELEN
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Well, all you really need to make a working website layout is HTML and CSS - HTML for the document structure and content, and CSS for the presentation and styling. That and a few images to make it look purty, of course. ;)

You can make a working template with nothing more than Paint, Notepad, and a web browser, but if you're going to be writing the markup by hand, I'd suggest some form of syntax-highlighting text editor. I use Notepad++, but there are loads choices - many of them free - such as Notepad2, Crimson Editor, PSPad, Programmer's Notepad, et cetera. I've tried all of the aforementioned editors and settled on Notepad++ as my favorite because of its speed and intuitive feature set, but I also left PSPad installed because it had some interesting integrated file management tools that I thought I might want to test out eventually.

If you don't plan to write the markup by hand, there are a few free WYSIWYGs out there, such as Nvu, or hybrid editors like HTML Kit which work with textual markup but organize it into snippets you can add into your page via buttons on toolbars or drag-'n-drop.

If you just want to mess around, you can open the HTML files you save straight from your computer, but if you want other people to see your web pages, you'll need a web server to host the stuff. There are a few free ones available, but I've never really had much experience with them, so I really can't recommend one over the other. I know I used Freewebs.com back in '02 when I started hosting my sites online, but it's really not that good - it was passable back then, but it's really clunky these days with forced ads in a huge banner bar across the bottom of your pages that doesn't account for the fact that you might not have 122px of margin at the bottom of your pages. :evil:

Sorry. Got a little rant-y there. <_<

Other than that, it's basically just cutting up the template you design in the image editor of your choice and writing the HTML/CSS to make it work. There can be somewhat of an art to cutting up templates in the best and most optimized manner, but it depends heavily on the design as to where you can use repeating backgrounds and where you have to use larger layout images.

If you need assistance, I do do this kind of thing for a living, and I'd be happy to give advice where I can, but without a more specific area on which to focus, I'm just kinda scatter-shotting a few top-level points here.

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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Thank you so much for answering. I did two websites from scratch, one was hosted by dreamhost and the monthly payment was paid by the person I did it for and the other was just geocities I used for college projects. I want to use these mock websites so I can put on my resume and maybe even try freelancing. Who knows. But I will have questions and I hope you won't mind a PM. Thanks.

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