Design and Build the Coolest Website in Cyberspace

web design guidance manual – from start to finish

There are dozens and dozens of web design manuals on the market, so what makes this one any different than all the rest? Nick Nettleton has gone for a visually attractive layout. Every page in this guide is composed of densely layered graphics; every section is colour-coded; and every page is laid out in a very appealing manner. He takes web site design right from the simplest beginning – what equipment and software you need, how to get on line, and how to create your first pages.

He assumes you are going to use an HTML editor such as Dreamweaver or GoLive, so there’s no detail about tags and coding. Some may see this as a good thing, others a weakness – especially since in his first site project he uses heavily nested tables. However he covers all the basics – fonts, screen colours, and graphics. Then its on to the special effects you can create by adding colour, outlines, shadows, gradients, and textures.

There’s plenty on the manipulation of graphics – enhancing images, creating thumbnails, buttons, and icons. Then there are more advanced issues such as using templates and library items, when and when not to use frames.

When it comes to animation, there’s a lot of sound advice on Macromedia Flash – with other programs mentioned but trailing in terms of features. The same is true for sound and video, though there are a larger variety of formats to choose from.

He also covers style sheets and making your site interactive using DHTML, ASP, or PHP. It’s likely that you’ll need other guidance manuals if you want to pursue any of these advanced features in any detail, but the good thing about his approach is that it gives you an overview of web design with plenty of jumping off points offering the addresses of further resources.

He even goes as far as showing you how you could make money from your site once it’s up and running. And once again the approach is simple. Here is a list of possibilities and site details. Here is some advice plus the pros and cons of these approaches – with screenshots. Now go and do it.

© Roy Johnson 2004

Nick Nettleton, How to Design and Build the Coolest Website in Cyberspace, Cambridge: Ilex, 2003, pp.224, ISBN 1904705065

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