Hi, my names Ian Lloyd and I'm the author of Build Your Own Website the Right Way using HTML and CSS. And here is that book. Ta-da! Or is that it? Mmm, mysterious ... Well, the reason why I'm talking to you today is because this is the first edition of the book which I wrote two and a half years ago, and it's now had an update. So this is the second edition. Or at least this is what the second edition will look like any day now when I get my proper printed copy. But for the moment I've just had to mock a copy up for you for this video. But there it is, that's the new cover design. There we go, extreme close-up.
The reason I'm speaking to you today is to talk to you a little bit more about the second edition of the book, to tell you a little bit more about what's changed, what's new and what we *haven't* changed.
When SitePoint first got in touch with me and asked if I'd be interested in pitching for this book I have to say I was dubious at first. In my mind I thought "Does the world need another HTML book?". There are plenty of them out there and some good authors out there, so do we need another one? I started to put together a table of contents, a proposal for them and it was only after a shopping trip when I stepped into a local book shop. While my wife was looking at clothes I started leafing through some of the HTML beginners books and I was frankly quite shocked at what I saw.
Nearly every book that I looked at was recommending techniques that most professional web designers have long since abandoned and I'm talking about techniques like using tables for layout, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. With each new book that I picked up off the shelf, I expected and hoped to see something better. Every single book that I picked up seemed to just get worse and worse. And it was at that point that I realised that we had a really good opportunity here to create a book for the absolute beginner that didn't try and shortcut to try to get a result but actually taught exactly the right way to do things, to hide all these nasty little secrets and dirty habits that web designers had been using for years, do something right for a change - but make it simple. And, of course, enjoyable.
But before I got really stuck in to the writing, I needed to make a decision - who exactly am I writing this for? Sure, I know it's a beginner but it really, really helps if you have a persona, an idea of the person you are writing for in mind, and I knew exactly the person to think of: my sister, Karen.
So, Karen isn't the most technical of people, but what she is good at is following instructions. If the instructions are clear, she'll have a go at it and she'll usually get the result she's after. A good example of this is not so long ago when she had to increase the hard drive space on her laptop. Now, it's not something that most people would attempt to do but I provided some instructions for her, pointed her in the right direction, she had the tools - all she needed was a bit of time to sit down and work through it logically. And she did it, she replaced the hard drive, everything worked perfectly and she was really pleased with herself.
And that's pretty much what I was hoping to achieve with this book: something that I could give to someone knowing that they are an absolute beginner, that they could read in their own time with no pressure to buy any expensive software and come up with a result that they're really, really happy with and myself, as an author, is very happy with. That's to say that they've created a site that I know conforms to standards and ticks all the right boxes, as it should do. Unlike *those other books*.
For the most part, the changes in the second edition are cosmetic and that's things like browsers that are used in the book, so these are minor changes but they bring the book up-to-date and make sure that what the user is looking at is going to be the same as what they find on their home computer, which is obviously a very important thing for someone who's a beginner. Little things can trip people up quite easily. There is, of course, the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
So what's new with the book? Apart from the new cover, of course. A couple of the chapters have had fairly major rewrites though. the first one is the chapter on form handling which explains how you can get people's feedback captured and emailed to you in an easy and friendly format. Now, in the previous version the form-handling service that was being used had changed somewhat considerably from when the book was written, so it needed an update.That was the main reason for updating it. But with the new version, the service that is being covered is much better, it offers much more flexibility, so that's been a nice change that we've been able to make.
The other chapter that's had a facelift is one of the final chapters, chapter 10 - otherwise known as "Pimp my site - Cool stuff you can add for free!". And in this chapter, what I've updated, mainly, is the section regarding analytics, or statistics, whichever term you prefer. The chapter's been upgraded, if you like, with information on how you can use Google Analytics in your web site, which gives you a wonderful breadth of information. So - and again, as with everything else in the book - it's all free. Everything that you can use for free. So it explains all the steps as a complete beginner how you can add this analytics stuff to your web site. It may be graphs and it may be charts, but it doesn't have to be rocket science and it's not just for nerds. Anyone can add this stuff and I explain how.
But wait a minute.With all this talk of changes to the second edition, I think I've missed a bit here ...and that's what *hasn't* changed, what was good in the first edition and what's still good now in this version.
As I mentioned before, the book is very much for the absolute beginner. So even before you start on the first chapter, I'm explaining in the book how you can find everything that you've going to need. For example, where can you find the web browser, where can you find a text editor and where can you find other tools that you're likely to need through the course of the book and that are not going to cost you a single penny.
In the first chapter I explain how to build your first web page. It's a really, really simple web page which we then copy a few times to create, effectively, your first web site with all the pages linked together, that you can navigate through with different text and headings on each page. It looks quite simple, but it's the first rung on the ladder.
In the next chapter, I introduce the basics of CSS which allow you to start styling the page in a very, very simple way. For example, changing the font colour, changing background colours, changing the colour of links and applying borders to various elements on the page. In the following chapter I then start to explain how you can use Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, as I referred to it earlier, to do things like layout certain sections of the page. So, for example, you could have navigation down one side, a header along the top and the content in the right hand side of the page. A typical web page layout. This is all done using Cascading Style Sheets, which is the right way to do it, not using a table which is a bad way to do it, and don't let anyone tell you anything else!
The next chapter deals with images and answers the simple questions such as "When should I use a gif image? When should I use a Jpeg?" and even "what these type of images are?", to the more complicated questions regarding how you crop an image, how you resize an image. In this chapter I explain the very, very basics and also show how you can manipulate your images using freely available tools that you can either download for free or are already sitting right there on your computer. By the end of the chapter, you'll have all the tools at your disposal and all the knowledge to be able to put the images you need in your web site without having to spend a single penny, or a cent or a dime or whatever currency you choose to mention.
In this book I also teach you how to set up a blog which will make it very, very easy for you to update your site on a regular basis. And, if you want to, invite other people so they can also contribute to your blog.
So, thanks for watching. I really appreciate it. I hope you've found this video useful and that it helps you to make the decision about which books you want to buy, not that I'm biased or anything. Anyway, if you do decide to buy the book, I'm sure you'll find it very useful and hopefully I can add you to the list of satisfied customers, people who have learnt how to do things the right way. And that's what it's all about.
[speaking to the dog:] So, what do you reckon then, would you buy it?