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Creating a Web Site: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 2. Creating Your First Page

Web pages are the basic unit of a Web site, and every Web site is a collection of one or more pages. The ideal Web page contains enough information to fill the width of a browser window, but not so much that readers need to scroll from morning until lunchtime to get to the page’s end. In other words, the ideal page strikes a balance—it avoids the lonely feeling caused by too much white space, and the stress induced by an avalanche of information.

The best way to get a handle on what a Web page should hold is to look at your favorite sites. A news site like www.nytimes.com displays every news article on a separate page (and subdivides longer stories into several pages). At an e-commerce shop like www.amazon.com, every product has its own page. Similarly, a personal Web site like www.MyUndyingLoveForPigTrotters.com may be divided into separate Web pages with titles like “About Me,” “Vacation Photos,” “Résumé,” and “Top Secret Recipes for Pig Parts.”

For now, don’t worry too much about how to divide your Web site into pages—that’s a task you’ll revisit in Chapter 8 when you start linking pages together. Instead, your first goal is to understand how a basic page works and how to create one of your own. In this chapter, you’ll get a chance to build that first page. On the way, you’ll learn the essential details of the most important standard in Web site design: XHTML.

The Anatomy of a Web Page

Web pages are written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) or ...

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