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Before You Create Your First Web Page

Creating HTML documents differs from creating word processor documents using an application such as Microsoft Word. The difference comes from having to use two applications with HTML document creation:

  • Your text or HTML editor, where you create the web pages

  • Your web browser, where you view the results

Even though many HTML editors, such as Dreamweaver and HTML-Kit, provide a browser preview, it’s still important to preview your web pages inside actual web browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) so you can see them as your end users do.

Editing inside one program and then switching to another to look at your work might feel odd, but you’ll be switching between the editor and the browser like a pro in no time.

Because not all web browsers are created equal (or identical), web pages may look different depending on the browser you use. Get in the habit and regular practice of previewing web pages in multiple browsers so that you see what your end users see when they open that page.

To get started on your first web page, you need two types of software:

  • The latest version of Aptana Studio: Go to the Aptana website to get your copy. Aptana Studio is a web project tool that works on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux PCs.

  • A web browser: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are the most popular web browsers, so make sure to test your pages in each of them if possible.

The free web Aptana Studio development toolkit is highly recommended, and here’s why:

  • Working with markup: Although an advanced HTML editor, such as Expression Web or Dreamweaver, often hides your HTML from you, Aptana lets you interact directly with the markup. For your first page, you want to see your HTML in all of its (limited) glory.

    When you become familiar with XHTML and CSS markup, syntax, and structure, you can really start to make Aptana Studio sing. It’s a good tool and provides great HTML5 and web page template support, handles CSS3 nicely, and offers good PHP, Ruby, and Rails support.

  • Keeping the code clean: Word processors decked out with bells and whistles (such as Microsoft Word) often insert extra information behind the scenes (for example, formatting instructions to display or print files). You can’t see or change that information while you’re editing, but it messes with your HTML. With Aptana, you don’t have to worry about those bells and whistles making noise in the background.

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