Creating Standard-Format Web Pages using Cascading Style Sheets

I use Macromedia HomeSite to create new and to edit complex pages. Even though the product has a WYSIWYG option, I prefer to edit in the standard text mode, using the preview mode to check the layout of my code. I specifically encourage novice designers to refrain from using Microsoft FrontPage and other solely WYSIWYG design applications, as each of them inserts extraneous code into the page that is not in keeping with the W3 HTML standard. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3) is the standards body for Web content development.

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I may have missed comments regarding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), in other DQ responses; however, I thought that I would introduce the topic because CSS is now the standard for controlling the design elements of HTML Web Pages. CSS can be used to control type attributes, paragraph layout, columns, headers, and footers. Literally, all of the page design functionality of a Web page is managed by the CSS code.

A Web site may contain a few or thousands of individual Web documents (Web pages). To ensure that all pages have the same appearance a unique CSS file may be referenced by each of the pages. To change the site’s appearance, only the single CSS document needs to be changed.

You may look at three of my blogs to see how CSS is applied.

These two blogs use similarly-constructed CSS files:

This blog uses a different-format CSS file:

Since the first two blogs that I mentioned use the CSS files of the same content, the blogs appear visually similar. The third blog, my personal site, suggested by my children after they were tired of hearing me complain about poor service in restaurants, has a CSS file that specifies a different page layout and color theme.

In all three cases, the blog’s content is generated by MySQL with identical database structures…only the content of the articles varies.


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