Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How HTML Tutorials Help

I don't know jack about html. I can be up-front about that. But I do know that I can't get by on the Internet without being able to at least manipulate the basics. Those of you who are not familiar with the bizarre world of tags and img and href and those other abbreviations and codes, despair not! There are ways to learn and ways to cheat.

Most blogging and publishing sites have templates for people who can’t (or can’t be bothered to) parse their own html. To impress folks, you can go to sites like Widgetbox. There is a widget for just about any feed you can think of, including things like a Word of the Day and celebrity gossip.

Sometimes, though, the pre-set options just don’t give you the look you want. A section may be too wide or narrow, a color too yellow or blue. To adjust those things, you’ll need to learn how to manipulate the settings directly. Once you know the basics, you can fiddle with things in increments and check the results as you go. I’m a big advocate of learning by experience. And seeing how one tag or setting affects the finished product really helps you to learn what those codes mean.

But where do you start? With a good tutorial, of course. The one that I use is at Tizag, where they have a pile of other tutorials as well. If you don’t know what you’re doing, start with the first page and learn the terminology. If you have a basic understanding of the concepts, you can pick a particular subject and learn about the specifics. I know that there are plenty of others out there, but this one has been so helpful that I haven’t found the need to look for another. And no, they aren’t paying me anything nor do they know I’m posting about their site.