In learning web design, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is something you must know, WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) HTML editor is something you must have and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) is some big treasure to you which deserves burying yourself into it deeper and deeper. Below I’ll explain why and will also talk about some learning tips.

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HTML is a common language for building and designing website. It tells the Internet browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox how to display web content on the screen via HTML tags. In fact, everything you see on the web is under the control of HTML. What is HTML editor? It is a software like Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage which helps you to create websites even though you know nothing about HTML. WOW! Does it mean by using HTML editor, you need not learn HTML yourself?? NOT necessarily.

As I told you earlier, everything you see on the web is under the instructions written in HTML. Therefore, HTML editors also create webpages using HTML. The difference is that when you use HTML editor, you just have to click the buttons to “draw” webpages as you see on screen (What-You-See) and then HTML editor writes the HTML tags for you to display the webpages on web browser in exactly the same form (What-You-Get). However, it always happens that HTML editors write clumsy HTML tags, especially when you amend the webpage layout again and again during your website designing process, which may possibly deter search engines from reading your web page and in turn poorly affect your search engine ranking. What’s worse, your website cannot even be listed in search engines at all! The clumsy HTML codings will also increase your file size and hence the loading time, encouraging visitors to leave your website soon.

Therefore, you should understand HTML to unable yourself to modify the HTML codes produced by WYSIWYG HTML editors. Besides, in the designing perspective, there are also some design limitations and restrictions using HTML editors when compared to free writing of HTML codes. If you would like some special design or custom look to your webpages, you are recommended to have some knowledge on HTML yourself. In more advanced level, if you are to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your web page, you should know how to make use of meta tags like title, content, alt, header, etc. in order to attain better keyword positions in search engines. If you just happen to own a website designed by others, you should learn HTML in order to edit the context of your website without the need to depend on someone else in this simple but routine updating task. Or you have no website yet but you like to write articles to be displayed in others’ websites, you also should learn HTML in order to create appropriate links in your articles for others’ easy reference.

Learning Tips:
– If you have already got some basic knowledge on HTML, you may study “Getting Started With HTML” which is the most popular free HTML tutorials online provided by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which develops interoperable technologies including specifications, guidelines, software and tools to lead the Web to its full potential.

– If you still find the above tutorials too difficult or boring to start with or your time being too limited, “One Hour HTML” is highly recommended for you. It is a practical program to take you step by step in learning HTML from the very beginning and it offers you hands-on HTML encoding experience instead of merely teaching you theories so that you could have already experienced creating webpage using HTML as early as in the first hour of learning.

WYSIWYG HTML Editor

Indeed, despite my understanding on HTML, like many other web designers, I like to use WYSIWYG HTML editor such as Dreamweaver a lot and in fact, I can’t even think of living without it once I encountered it as it saves me so much time in writing the complex HTML codes and the best advantage is that i can immediately visualize the effect in the splitted WYSIWYG designing screen whenever I change the HTML codings above in the HTML encoding screen! I am not contradicting myself. In fact, the key to make use WYSIWYG HTML editor software is that you have to learn the software well and to use its buttons for quick and easy HTML editing yet you don’t let the software generated HTML codes to take the control but it is you who know how to master all HTML tags and to make any necessary changes to the HTML tags in order to bring the best visual and seo benefits to your website.

Among all HTML editors in the market, Dreamweaver and Frontpage are the most popular ones. Dreamweaver is very popular among professional web designers while Frontpage is popular for small enterprise users. Dreamweaver has more user-friendly features than Frontpage which include its seamless integration with Flash, its automatic generation of closing tags once you enter the opening tags, the fact that it would not automatically re-write your codings like Frontpage does when you save an external HTML page not created by Frontpage, etc. Despite less user-friendly features, Frontpage is a Microsoft Office’s tool which many of you will be familiar with and it is fine enough for creating or editing websites for small projects.

Learning Tips:

– If you have never encountered HTML editors before, you may download the free trial provided by Macromedia.

– There are a few good Dreamweaver tutorials in the market. Among those, “Tutorials-4-You” and “Dreamweaver Made Simple” are two more popular ones due to the interactive nature of their video tutorials, giving Dreamweaver beginners hands on experience in using Dreamweaver from the very beginning of the tutorials. For “Tutorials-4-You”, a free demo is offered for you to experience the tutorials yourself and you can choose the version of Dreamweaver in meeting your practical needs. For “Dreamweaver Made Simple”, you are offered free download of a few chapters of the videos plus the ebook. Why not giving a try? It’s free and for sure you’ll have a lot of fun!

By yanam49

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