Some Final Remarks

If you have worked your way through these tutorials and experimented with your own web pages, you should now have a pretty good grasp of HTML and be capable of producing a really smart looking web site. Of course there are many topics which we have not covered but I think I have included everything that is used on the main Shotover web pages.

Of course you may have some "techie" friends who scoff that this is all very old-fashioned stuff and tell you that these days you should be using "cascading style sheets", "dynamic HTML", "frames", "Java Script" and the like. Smile quietly to yourself and say nothing. You know that people will be enjoying reading your pages, whilst they are still waiting for your techie friends' pages to load!

Not that I have anything against the newer techniques. Style sheets in particular are a very sensible and logical approach to page style. Unfortunately there are still browsers, including "up-to-date" ones that do not support them. (For example Pocket Internet Explorer the browser for the Windows CE operating system still has no support for styles.)

In time you will want to play with some of these techniques and you will find plenty about them in magazines, books and on the web itself, but always remember that "Keep it Simple" is the best motto in web page design, as in most other things.

You may also decide that you want to play with the WYSIWYG web editors that abound. In general in terms of the HTML they produce, these vary from indifferent to downright bad. HTML was never intended to be a WYSIWYG language. Attempting to make it so, gives cumbersome pages that often only look acceptable on a particular screen size and particular make of browser. By all means try these editors, but you should expect to still have to fine-tweak the resulting HTML and you may find, as I do, that it takes you longer to weed out the rubbish, than it would to have hand-coded the page in the first place.

Some of the better editors do not try to do too much for you, they just give you a quick, single-key way of entering the commonly used tags. This can be helpful, particularly if you are not a fast typist.

The Reference Guide that follows, is a listing of all the tags and their attributes we have covered. You may find it useful to print this out and keep a copy by you whilst composing your pages.

I hope you have found these topics useful and enjoyable. If you have, or if you have any suggestions for improvements, please send an email to the Shotover website's webmaster. (That's me!)

Which reminds me of a final point. A slight variant of the anchor tag can be used to allow the viewer to send you an email. It works by automatically launching the viewers email program, with a New Email opened which is already pre-addressed to your email address. This relies on the viewer's browser being linked to a suitable email program, so you should include a readable version of your email address for those viewers whose browser is not linked in this way. For example the code for a mail link might look like:-

send an email to <A href=""></A>
There is however a snag with this. The link can not only be read by the visitors to your site, whom you want to contact you. It can also be read automatically by the senders of unsolicited email or "spam" who harvest email addresses from web sites and whom you almost certainly don't want to contact you! (Which is why the above example uses a fictitious email address, not my real one.) The amount of spam generated by a single mail link is likely to be fairly small and you might decide that this level of nuisance is acceptable for the convenience of your visitors. However it would certainly no longer be a good idea to put a mail link on every page, as I did in the halcyon, pre-spam days when I first created the Shotover web site.

If you want to completely avoid using a harvestable link, you could display the web address as an image, rather than text, and invite the user to enter it by hand into their email. You will find this used for the webmaster email address on the main part of the Shotover web site.

And finally, if only to see what a colour called "Orchid", on a "Papayawhip" background with a "Peru" coloured surround, looks like on your browser!

Enjoy Building Your Web Site!

Copyright © Alan Simpson 2000 Back to index. Forward to next page. Last Updated 2000-11-28