5 Avenues For Learning HTML & Building Websites

5 Avenues For Learning HTML & Building Websites | June's Journal

Recently two friends asked me for information on how to build a website. ¬†One friend wants to specifically learn HTML. ¬†(Shout out to Charrisa¬†and Stacey.) ¬† I’ve learned to blog my answer when asked questions like this one. ¬†That way I can help more than the person(s) who asked. ¬†It also gives me an easy way to help future persons who ask the same thing. ¬†I can just send them the link to this page. ¬†Cool, eh?

First, I must tell you a secret. ¬†And it’s the truth. ¬†These days anyone can be a fabulous webmaster. ¬†With free tools out like¬†Wix, WordPress, and many other¬†free tools to build websites,¬†you can build a great-looking and functioning website with little to no technical or creative skills, at no cost!

At first I was even going to say that you don’t need to know a lick of HTML either. ¬†Which is true. ¬†However, I admit that it comes in handy. ¬†A lot. To tweak things here and there. ¬†To go where no WYSIWYG editor has gone before. ¬†Or to go where an HTML editor seems to have a problem going. ¬†Particularly tables & CSS.

Since 2007, I exclusively use WordPress¬†for building sites. ¬†Which does most of the programming and coding for me. ¬†And my sites are setup in a fashion that’s super-duper easy for my clients (or me) to update. ¬†(To learn more about WordPress, click here.)

People are sometimes amazed to see the diversity of the websites that can be created using WordPress as a platform.  And some pretty major players use WordPress: CNN, NY Times, Forbes, Martha Stewart, Pepsi, SamSung, The Wall Street Journal, and plenty of others.

WordPress is actually one of the top three content management system (CMS) solutions in the industry. ¬†Joomla and Drupal being the other two. ¬†And due to WordPress being open source, there’s hundreds of templates & plug-ins available to¬†achieve¬†any look or functionality possible. ¬†But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. ¬†I’ll start off with the basics in this post. ¬†And I aspire to create future posts with more intermediate and advanced resources. ¬†Deal?

5 Avenues or “Resource Groupings” for Learning HTML & Building Websites

Below are my Top 5 suggestions for persons getting started on the journey of web building or learning HTML.

1. ¬†Books.¬†¬†First, buy some books on HTML. ¬†If you have an e-Reader, here are some¬†free e-books you can download. ¬†Just download the free Kindle App. ¬†From the Android or Apple store. ¬†To read those e-books on your phone or tablet. ¬†Or you can read them online using Amazon’s Cloud Reader. ¬†As stated, knowing basic HTML coding comes in handy big time. ¬†You can tweak things behind the scenes as needed. ¬†I do this all the time. ¬†I first learned HTML in 1997, a year after graduating college. ¬†I wanted to create a website. ¬†So I went to Wal-mart and bought a book on HTML 101. ¬† Yes, Wal-mart. ¬†I can’t recall the book’s title but was similar to the HTML for Dummies books that are out now. ¬†HTML Editors are great (I was praising God when BBEdit first came out, one of the “first”), but I assure you that knowing coding is invaluable benefit.

2. ¬†YouTube Videos. ¬†There is a truck load of videos you can watch on YouTube that will literally show you just about anything you desire to know about web building. ¬†Some even show you how to create a website from start to finish. So YouTube is a great resource for learning. ¬†I did a YouTube search just now on “How to create a website.” ¬†Here’s my results. ¬†I even found a YouTube Playlist featuring a HTML Tutorial ¬†for Beginners. ¬†That’ll keep you busy! ¬†Of course, you gotta sort through the rift raft. ¬†Some of¬†the¬†videos look scary. But some look spectacular! ¬†Keep in mind too that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. ¬†Or in this case, to build a website. ¬†In fact, there’s no one “right” way to do it. There’s so many variables and methods involved.¬†Gravitate towards the videos that you find easy to understand and help you learn the most.

Here’s a short playlist of ¬†web & HTML training videos from YouTube I put together:

3. ¬†Training Sites.¬† ¬†There’s a galore of training sites online to teach you HTML & web building too. Every now and then I’ve considered producing training videos, but just haven’t gotten to it over the years. ¬†Life is pretty busy with a full-time job, being a wife and mother, etc. And with a¬†plethora¬†of great videos already online, I’m not prone to “reinvent¬†the wheel.” ¬†But maybe one day! ¬†Below are some training sites I recommend. ¬†I’m either familiar¬†with the webmaster or company. ¬†Or I came across them in a search and it passed my “this is good” test (smile). ¬†You can find more by doing a Google search.

¬†‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://www.mlwebco.com
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://www.2createawebsite.com/¬†(this sista has a banging YouTube channel too)
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†How to Make a WordPress Website – Step by Step
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://teamtreehouse.com/
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://websitesetupguide.com/
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://www.wp101.com/
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://wpapprentice.com/
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://diywithty.com/
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†http://www.lynda.com/Web-training-tutorials/88-0.html

4. ¬†Cheat Sheets.¬† HTML/web cheat sheets can come in handy. ¬†My suggestion is that you can print them out and stick them inside of sheet protectors to put into a binder. ¬†This way you can create a homemade reference guide or training binder that’s in easy reach as needed. ¬†Alternatively, since they’re all PDFs, you can save them to your local computer or to your free DropBox account that you can access from any computer (I’m a big fan of cloud computing).

¬†‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†25 Handy HTML Cheat Sheets
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†HTML 5 Cheat Sheet (PDF)
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†Cheat Sheets for Front-end Web Developers
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†HTML – HyperText Markup Language Cheat Sheets
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†WhatIs.com’s Favorite Cheat Sheets
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†30 Web Developer Cheat Sheets
‚ÄĘ ¬† ¬†All The Cheat Sheets An Up To Date Web Designer Needs

5. ¬†Practice.¬† Practice makes perfect the saying goes. ¬†Don’t be timid about jumping in and getting both feet wet. ¬†Get a web server;¬†I recommend Bluehost (that’s my affiliate link). ¬†And you can install as many websites on your account as you want. ¬†At no extra cost. ¬†You can even start a web business. ¬†Install WordPress into different directories. ¬†Do a Google search for free WordPress templates (there are hundreds; my business website uses a free WordPress template. I did that intentionally to demonstrate that you can do a lot with free templates). ¬†But you can use a free one just to practice downloading and installing one. ¬†Or use one of the many that come pre-installed to pick from. ¬†And practice installing plugins. Thousands of plugins are available for free. ¬†Practice HTML coding and the things you’ve learned from the resources above. ¬†Before you know it, you’ll be a wiz! ¬†(NOTE: ¬†When I mention WordPress, I’m referring to the self-hosted kind; not the kind at wordpress.com.)

So now you’re equipped with enough resources to get started. ¬†Or to continue your journey in learning. ¬†My goal is to blog on these topics regularly. ¬†Maybe I’ll even create videos. ¬†Uh, oh. ¬†Watch out, world wide web! ¬†Here I come. ¬†If you know of ¬†other resources that may help beginners, please share in the comments section below or click here.

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