Since I believe Web Design and Programming are my strongest areas in Computing, I thought I would start this topic to teach those of you who don't know about the process of designing, the basics of web design, and then move on to the more advanced stuff. We know the World Wide Web (WWW) is getting bigger and much more popular, yet a surprising amount of people are not considering to try to make a webpage themselves, mostly because they are scared of how difficult it might be or how difficult it will be to learn the code and everything. Truth is, the basics are all you need to get a webpage started, and the basics are easy. Here everything will be explained. I'll make a post every Saturday or Sunday and you can try and make your own webpages, maybe even post screenshots or links to them.
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Let's start with how a webpage works...
The term "Language" in computing means code that is translated into "Machine Code" (Binary). When the code of the "Language" is run, it is first translated into "Machine Code" which is all the computer can understand, then it is "Executed" (Run) and whatever you have programmed using whatever "Language", it will run that.
So what is "Machine Code"?
Computers can only understand Binary. Digital electrical signals. Electricity can either be flowing through a wire, or not flowing through a wire. If electricity is flowing through a wire, it is "ON" which in Binary is "1". If electricity is NOT flowing through a wire, it is "OFF" which in Binary is "0".
Because a computer runs on electricity, it uses these electrical signals, carefully but quickly pulsing on and off to tell it what to do. This might seem hard to get your head around, and I wouldn't be surprised. The way computers work is not as simple as this, they have MANY more mechanics such a logic gates, serial buses, and the unimaginable speed of processes per second a processor can handle. A 2GHz processor, one you would normally find in a standard home computer, like yours now, can do 2,000,000,000 (2 Billion) processes per second!
So how does this connect with Web Design?
Web design uses programming languages which display the webpage. The only difference is that instead of executing the data, it is sent when it is requested by your computer.
Click this link: https://www.google.com/
When you clicked that link, this is what happened:
- Your computer sent a request out into the internet for the webpage in what is known as a "data packet".
- Each website runs on what is known as a "Web Server". The "data packet" travels across the internet towards the "Web Server" that hosts the website.
- Eventually the data packet gets to the web server and the request is processed.
- The packet is then loaded with the webpage requested and sent back from the web server, back across the internet, and back into your computer.
- The packet is then processed by your computer, and the webpage is extracted from the packet.
- You computer reads the webpage, and then finally shows it in your "Web Browser" (for example, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome)
All of this happens very quickly, and a huge amount of people are unaware of this and get annoyed when a webpage isn't loading fast enough. Sometimes "data packets" don't make it to the web server so your computer then sends another packet, in another attempt to get it to the web server. When a "data packet" doesn't make it to the web server, it is called "Packet Loss". This is why a webpage can sometimes take longer to load than others.
So how do I get started making a webpage?
Well first of all, you need to know that there are literally hundreds of programming languages out there, many of them have a specific purpose. Some languages are for programming computer programs such as Skype for example. Some are for Anti-Virus such as Norton. Some are for games such as Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory. Some are even for controlling military equipment, even the launching of nuclear missiles.
We aren't interested in any of these languages right now, what we are interested in is Web Development languages, here is a list of common languages and what they do for a webpage:
- HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) - Handling the Content of a website.
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) - Handling the Styling of a website.
- PHP (Hypertext Pre Processor) - Handling the dynamics of a webpage.
The MOST BASIC language, and the language that is used on every single webpage ever made is HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). This language is pretty simple to learn, and we will be starting to learn this in the next post I make. Then we will really start to build our own webpages.
- The Basics
- Getting started with HTML
- Formatting text in HTML
- Some more important HTML stuff
- Beginning CSS
- More on CSS