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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Start of a New Website, Part 3

The Start of a New Website, Part 3

Time to write code!

I prefer to write my own HTML and CSS code from scratch. I've tried using online generators. I've tried using MS Word and OpenOffice to convert to webpages. They work, and they work fast, but they've all got two serious drawbacks.

First, any conversion software takes control away from the designer. Everything I type or enter must be converted into an HTML equivalent, and many, many times, the equivalent is not what I was expecting. Image positioning especially is difficult to generate. Using the online editors available for Wordpress or Blogger seems very confusing if I try to slightly change the positions or sizes. I've rarely been pleased by the results.

Second, if I do want to tweak the code after a program has converted or generated a webpage, the HTML coding is incredibly confusing and complicated. Line breaks and division tags are used indiscriminately. Every instance of deleting something in the original is coded several times with overriding tags. The entire file is bloated with unnecessary, tangled-up code.

So, I write my own code. My pages are simple, but clean - and most importantly, I understand every line of code. It hasn't taken a tremendous effort to learn basic HTML and CSS. I frequently search the internet for reminders of what tag does what, and how to code a specific routine. I'm careful to use the latest DTD declarations, and I try to make my code compliant and accessible.

But the greatest reward is the sense of accomplishment. With a minimum of code I can write something that is clear and useable. The ability to change simple text to a well-designed page is enjoyable!

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