Creating teh Internetz

February 25, 2008

Who would have predicted years ago that creating a website accessible to anyone in the world would be as easy as *click-click-click*? WordPress.com, along with other blogging sites such as xanga.com, allows users to create their very own “web log” or blog. These types of sites are incredibly easy to set up; most just require you have an email address. And as long as you have content to feed your newly birthed site, everything just comes together so simply. People who might stumble upon your site would probably want to know more about you, so creating an About page is important. Simply click on your “My Profile” link and fill in any info boxes you deem fit! As this is a database driven site, you must click on certain buttons and then input the information and click “save” or “publish.” You must have access to this sort of site before you can publish or edit material, whereas with handcode, you simply need a text editing program and an internet browser to view your work.

With HTML hand coding, your site takes a little, ok a LOT more work to get it to look as good. Everything requires tags, such as <body> and <i>, with the content of your written in between them. These require closing tags as well with a forward slash, like this: </body></i>. The current wordpress webpage you are viewing uses this same HTML, as does everything found on the great interwebs. This is what makes the Internet a great thing, allowing anyone anywhere to see the same content with a connection.

With hand coding comes many abbreviations and acronyms, and this next one is a doozy. WYSIWYG is short for “What You See Is What You Get” or “whizzy wig” and an example of it can be seen with a program such as Dreamweaver. It is basically a word processor with integrated web features to allow creating a site that looks exactly like you want. Again, this creates HTML without you realizing it. Since this program does all the hard work for you, it has a tendency to include erroneous code that may mess things up for you down the road. This little nuisance can easily be remedied, just click on the “Code” tab and delete anything unnecessary.

Each of these methods of creating sites have their benefits. Hand coding HTML requires the user to know the tags ahead of time, while the other two do all the heavy lifting for you. Database driven sites sort of limit the look of your site, letting you customize to a point but not really having total control over everything like hand coding and WYSIWYG allows. In order for someone to make a good site, they should have basic knowledge of all three of these different methods. Database driven sites open the door to the beginners, WYSIWYG expands that knowledge, while HTML provides refining.

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