Tools of the Trade
Written by Amanda Kern
What do I need to get started?
If you have never created a web page before it's important that we get you aclimated to the Tools of the Trade. Here are a few recommendations to help you get started.
- Graphics Applications. Generally most web designers spend a reasonable amount of time "designing" before they make progress on making a web site function. Programs such as Photoshop, fireworks, and/or illustrator are commonly used in the industry. Photoshop works great with imageready in optimizing graphics to a smaller size for use on the web.
- Text Editor. There are plenty of free text editors that come standards with computers. If you work on a PC you have notepad. Mac users can use text edit, however, a better text editor that is completely free to download is text wrangler. Text wrangler makes it a bit easier to program with it's color coding capabilites.
- WYSIWYG. That alphabet soup would be pronounced "wiz-E-wig", in other words "what you see is what you get". Dreamweaver is the most commonly used WYSIWYG which also enables ou to FTP sites. It's a great tool in speeding up your productivity, however, you should be cautioned: without a good fundamental understanding of html and css you will likely stumble around quite a bit. WYSIWYG's will not be used this semester.
- FTP. FTP meaning "File Transfer Protocol", that's right this is how we transfer our files to a web site. For macintosh you might find Fetch the easiest to use FTP program, with it's drag and drop capabilites. For PC there is SmartFTP and WS_FTP. Because this is an introductory course there will be no FTP'ing, however, it's an important part of creating a web site - without it we wouldn't have a way to get the site's we create online!
- Browsers. Once we start creating html web pages we'll need an internet browser to view our site. According to W3Schools over 60% of internet users are using Internet Explorer 5 or higher. Many macintosh users rely on Safari which comes standard with the purchase of a mac. The latest crazy has been Firefox, a free customizable standards compliant web browser. One of the most known browsers, Netscape, has dwindled down in it's use to less than 1% of internet browsers.