Here are some resources to get you started. This is not a complete or thorough list by any means. No recommendations or endorsements are implied by listing a link here; this is just an effort to help you on your learning path.
Look for the following items when evaluating services:
Some popular hosting providers are very difficult to work with. They may have a lot of upcharges or add-ons, making their initial very low entry price inflate as you try to get the features you need for your website. They may also have complex or convoluted procedures for doing basic tasks like transferring a domain registration from them to another registrar.
- Mozilla Firefox — open source software from Mozilla. This is my favorite development browser because it follows web standards pretty well and renders pages reliably. As with many other browsers, Firefox includes an Inspection capability for web developers that is very handy.
- Microsoft Edge — Edge now uses the same underlying technology as Chrome. Edge is the default browser included with Windows 10.
- Google Chrome — widely used browser comes on Android phones and pre-installed on many new computers.
- Apple Safari — standard with Apple devices and available for Windows.
- Notepad++ — this is a much fancier version of the standard Notepad program. It does color-coding and can handle standard HTML and CSS changes. From Don Ho at SourceForge.net.
- HTML-Kit 292 — although this program has been around for several years, I think it is still one of the better HTML and CSS editors. From Chami.
- FileZilla — if you need a standalone FTP client, this is the widely-accepted tool.
- ColorMania (from Blacksun Software) — this free utility program lets you pick colors and save palettes.
- Color Scheme Designer (authored by Peter Stanicek and now from Paletton) — lets you play with whole sets of theme colors; now also has many ads, but functionality is still full.
- List of named colors (from World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C)).
- Don't spend a lot of time on this … it's about the content, remember!
- Google Fonts — popular fonts that you can reference from Google's site or embed on your website, so visitors don't have to install it on their devices in order to see your website as it was designed. All fonts here have open source licenses and can be used on any project.
For faster page loads, less bandwidth usage, more flexibility in design options, and improved mobile performance, images should be both sized to fit the design and optimized/compressed to use as little disk space as is practical.
- Bulk Image Resizer — this free, online tool will resize one or more images. It is very easy to use and very fast. Be cautious about how much disk space is associated with varying levels of quality … higher quality will take considerably more disk space.
- TinyPNG — free, online tool to compress JPG and PNG images.
- Optimizilla — free, online tool to optimize and compress JPG and PNG images.
- MDN — wonderful resource for learning about web technologies, finding tutorials, getting guides to developing skills, seeing examples, and more.
- HTML5 Living Standard — HTML5 is the current standard for web pages and this is the continuously updated version from the Wordwide Web Consortium (from W3C).
- HTML named entities — special characters like a non-breaking space or a copyright symbol are so frequently used on web pages that there are codes for them; this is the guide to those codes.
- CSS-Tricks — essentially a blog about CSS, this site has interesting examples and medium-level explanations.
- RichInStyle.com CSS2 tutorial — offers basic and some advanced concepts in relatively short segments (from RichInStyle.com).
- CSS Tutorial: Starting With HTML + CSS — very simple examples (from W3C).
- CSS Specifications — for details about the standard, look here (from W3C); NOTE: browsers support standards at different rates and with different methods; refer to https://caniuse.com/ for specific supported information for any CSS feature.
Note: Microsoft no longer provides Expression Web. It will continue to work on computers where it is currently installed, but clients need to decide on an approach for their next website migration. Migration options include: a new toolset, a website builder, a new platform, customized changes of the design for easier content updates, etc. The only tool I have found so far that is comparable to Expression Web is Adobe Dreamweaver, although it is less user-friendly and requires a learning curve.
Microsoft®, Windows®, Expression®, Expression Web®, and FrontPage®