The World Wide Web is populated by millions of web pages. It is possible for almost anyone to create and upload a web page in next to no time at all. But, as in all things, there is a world of difference between an ill-conceived amateur product and that created with professionalism, quality and usability in mind.
There is so much more to a good web site than markup quality. It must be easy to use and appealing in order to maintain an audience. Poor quality markup makes a site difficult to maintain and prone to exhibit problems as newer browsers are released. Poor interface makes a site unappealing to its audience. True quality is achieved when sensible standards-based markup is combined with an effective structure and design.
This guide endeavours to direct you through a process that will help you to produce quality results. There are three basic processes involved:
In all projects the planning phase is key. Without a well-considered plan the creation of your site will be fraught with difficulties and frustration and your end product risks being confused and inconsistent. Many questions must be asked and answered to establish the specific needs of each site you create.
Though it is tempting to leap in and construct your whole site in one go, it is more sensible to construct a single template page first. Once that page has been through the evaluation phase of the process you can return to construction and create the rest of your site, content in the knowledge that your foundation markup is sound.
Evaluation is a phase that you will repeat during the course of a project. Begin evaluation after you have created and validated. This phase will make sure that your site is usable and sensible. When your site is complete, evaluate it again to ensure that it works as a unit.
Your movement through these three phases is not strictly sequential. Planning is always your first port of call, but construction and evaluation are phases that you will alternate between during the course of a project.