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Media Services

This guide gives an overview of digital media resources offered to faculty and graduate students by the Scholar's Commons. You'll also find tutorials, links, and advice for all students.

Foreword

As the web matures, its complexity grows. New paradigms arise for publishing content, programmers develop new models for site organization and structure, and the boundry between desktop and web blurs. Despite all the progress, one fact remains: a web browser displays HTML-formatted content styled by CSS.

The collections of links below fall into three main categories: help, tools and software. The tools and software listed here represent a small selection of the most popular free web development programs and packages available. Although the popularity of an item may not indicate its quality, it can indicate the ease of finding help for a particular issue.

Learning, Reference and Trends

Browsers

According to recent studies, cross-browser compatibility problems shorten web developers' lives by nearly seven years. Protect yourself: spot inconsistencies early using a full arsenal of browsers to test your page.

Web Hosting

University Computing Services offers the students, faculty and staff of Florida State a small amount of web space.  Look here and here for more details.

Using a service like Blogger.com is perhaps the quickest and easiest way of publishing on the web, as it allows the user to concentrate on content rather than formatting, coding, etc.  As one's familiarity with HTML and CSS grows, greater possibilities arise for customizing the site's layout and look.

You might also look into using one of the many free web-hosting companies out on the web.  Some vendors also offer access to a database, server-side scripting, etc.  Many will place ads on your pages, and all will cap your monthly transfers and disk space.  Two examples (NOT recommendations) are $0.00 Web Hosting and Zymic Webmaster Resources.  As with all products and services, you will get what you pay for.  Do some research before making a commitment.

If you want your site to have a name like "www.cutiepiesitename.com," you will need to pay a company to register the domain name. Two example domain name registration companies are Network Solutions and Godaddy.com.  Shop around: domain name prices vary widely from company to company.

Development Tools/Editors

Anyone can create a web page from scratch using only a simple text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.

FTP/SFTP/WebDAV Clients

An FTP or WebDAV client program allows you to transfer pages, scripts and data to a web server.

Web Server Software

You can set up a web server on your local machine.  The directions for installing Apache Web Server on a Windows machine live here.  Read more about using Apache with OS X here.  I'll assume that Linux/Unix users know what to do :)

Server-Side Scripting Lanugages

Databases

The three RDBMSs (Relational Database Management Systems) listed below are no-cost, popular and well-documented.  Beginners may find this resource on database design useful.

Graphical Database Management Interfaces

Use a Framework...

...or a Content Management System

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